In continuing to share the experience of attending this year’s Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ Religious Education Congress, I have to share that one of the true highlights for me personally was the presence of Fr. Robert Barron and several members of the Word on Fire team. On Friday night, we had the great blessing of spending time with Fr. Barron at a reception and learning about a few of his upcoming projects.
Of course, it’s always a thrill to meet someone like Fr. Barron in person. But I have to share that my favorite aspect of that evening was sharing the moment with friends from my own parish who joined me as guests for the reception. In the photo above, the gentleman you see in the light blue shirt is a terrific volunteer at my church. A college professor by day, Craig volunteers his evenings to teach adult religious education in our faith community. He has used several of Fr. Barron’s resources in his groups and was honestly thrilled to meet and thank this holy priest and his team in person.
Moments like these are at the heart of what I love about Congress. Here you have this incredibly dedicated volunteer taking off time from work, spending his own money to pay for his spiritual development, and being treated to a chance to discuss theology with a person as genuinely kind and open as Fr. Barron. I honestly couldn’t wipe the smile off my face that night… and it didn’t hurt that while visiting with Fr. Barron, I was treated to some time with my dear friend and Fr. Barron’s new Content Director Brandon Vogt.
Unfortunately, due to my own speaking commitments, I was not able to hear Fr. Barron’s terrifically popular Congress workshop live, but thanks to the beauty of video, we can all enjoy it together:
Topic: Let us explore the essential recommendations for the successful proclamation of Jesus Christ in today’s culture. This calls for a “willingness to tell the great story,” lead with the beautiful, preach with ardor, and employ the new media. The presentation will renew our spirits and send us to engage in the transformation of our world.
Fr. Barron’s work with Word on Fire continues to give new life to the ways in which we learn about and share our Catholic faith. His standing-room-only Congress session points to how many of us are hungry for tools to help us grown in and teach others about the Church we love so dearly. I am grateful to leaders in the New Evangelization such as Fr. Barron, and to the foot-soldiers such as my friend Craig who use these tools and their own freely-given gifts to lead others into an ever-closer encounter with Jesus Christ.
- Stay tuned this week for more memories, lessons and hashtaggy fun from #RECongress
- Check out some of our Congress photos here and here
- View the RE Congress livestream videos here
- Check out the #RECongress hashtag on Twitter here