Religious Education Congress Kicks Off in Anaheim

Go ahead, get your snarky comments about liturgical dance ready — while you’re doing that, I’ll be preparing to celebrate the Eucharist with 40,000 enthusiastic, devout, and motivated Catholics who have flocked to Anaheim to be a part of this year’s Religious Education Congress.

Since I’m blessed to be giving three talks this year, I haven’t given a good look to the program booklet, but I do know that I’m honored to be speaking among such amazing souls as Fr. Jim Martin, S.J., John Allen (if he’s able to be away from Rome…) and Mark Hart.

I know I’ll be visiting with many amazing Catholic publishers, including my own publishing home Ave Maria Press. I’ll have a chance to chat with my friends at Magnificat and Catholic Digest magazines, to shop a vast array of Catholic vendors, and most importantly to attend Mass every day and join the long line to see one of the scores of priests who will be offering Confessions.

The arena will have been warmed up for us by the 14,000 teens who attended today’s Youth Day, and Archbishop José Gomez will preside over all of the weekend’s events. Per the Congress Update page, Cardinal Mahony will not be attending Congress.

After three days of faithful celebration, my feet will hurt but my heart and soul will be filled to capacity — I know: I’ve been here for the past four years. I recognize the first day jitters, the second day buzz, and the final day combination of joy and exhaustion.

I also know that many of you can’t understand or appreciate what happens at Congress – if that’s true, feel free to tune out for a few days because I’ll be trying to pop in and share photos and updates.

Follow the action on Twitter with hashtag #REC2013 and catch Congress online at http://www.recongress.org/live/.

About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa M. Hendey is the founder and editor of CatholicMom.com and the bestselling author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms and A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms.

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  • Ben

    What’s faithful about the Three Days of Darkness? The liberal dissenters who want women priests or the liberal dissenters who want no priests at all?

    • Lisa M. Hendey

      Ben that’s not my experience of Congress. My experience of Congress is hundreds of habited nuns, the faithful lined up for over an hour to go to Confession, prayerful teens and young adults who are volunteering to serve their parishes, vocations booths brimming over with young men contemplating a future as priests, catechists and teachers who share countless hours to educate children, and an Archbishop who is doing a phenomenal job of leading his Archdiocese. I did not meet, hear or experience a single dissenter — I’m not saying they were not there, but if they were they’re a tiny minority compared to the thousands of faith filled Catholics who are there.


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