I've just returned from a three day visit to the Religious Education Congress in Anaheim, and all I can say is WOW!
My dear friend (and frequent tell-it-like-it-is commentor on this blog) has been trying to get me to go to this event for years, but I have always been in some inconvenient stage of childbearing that prohibited my attendance. This year, however, the stars aligned. Jay, grandmas and friends stepped up to take over management of house and children, and I sailed out of town for three days of education and reflection. How amazingly wonderful it was!
I got to attend 8, yes 8, 90 minute workshops on topics that I selected (there were 26 to choose from for EACH session). I focused my track mainly on raising and educating godly children, but the topics were broad enough to cover things like the new need for clustering parishes, the church's role in immigration and all sorts of other things.
I got to go to mass every day, and what masses they were! Imagine the entire Anaheim Area packed to the rafters with faithful Catholics, all receiving the Eucharist together. Combined with gives-you-goosebumps music, a three-language liturgy, and one particularly charismatic homilist (who shamelessly promoted his own bobble-head...really, you had to be there), the experience was moving beyond description.
I got to shop and visit exhibitor booths featuring everything from the new St. John's Bible (beautiful, awe-inspiring) to Dead Sea foot scrub (less so).
I got to sleep all night. For three nights in a row. Need I say more?
Thank you, thank you, thank you to my amazing husband and the heroic grandmothers who made this possible. I return refreshed, inspired and ready to resume my joyful duties and mother and wife.