Religious education congress draws 40,000 to Anaheim
Published: March 28, 2012
ANAHEIM, Calif. (CNS) -- Catholics from 41 countries and 47 U.S. states gathered in Anaheim or watched the live webcast of the annual Los Angeles Religious Education Congress March 23-25, calling believers around the world to attend to the life-infusing voice of God. More than 40,000 people came to the Anaheim Convention Center for the 2012 Congress centered on the theme, "Voice Infusing Life," which started with a daylong event of high-energy rallies, workshops and liturgies for 15,000 high school youths from several Western states March 22. The live congress webcast drew viewers from 873 cities spanning the globe. Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez and Sister Edith Prendergast, a Religious Sister of Charity who is archdiocesan director of religious education, led a March 23 morning opening rite and welcome. "The voice of God is easy to recognize, but difficult to take to heart," said Sister Prendergast. "It is a voice that calls us away from old habits, inviting us to adopt more wholesome ones." To hear God's voice, she continued, people need to be reflective and discerning. We have to recognize the voice of the shepherd -- and the voice of the stranger," she added. "At the heart of religious education is always a personal encounter with Jesus Christ." Speaking on "The Urgency of Discipleship and Evangelization in Today's World" March 24, Father Anthony Gittins, a member of the Congregation of Holy Spirit, described voice as "a characteristic of human beings and, therefore, it is a characteristic of the God who made human beings."
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