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March 15, 2017

Los Angeles Religious Education Congress


Theme for the 2017 L.A. Congress: Embrace Trust

2017 L.A. Congress: Embrace Trust

Catholics from all over the country flocked to Anaheim, California, February 23 – 26 to grow in faith and love of the Gospel. 37,247 Catholic lay people and clergy gathered around the topic of religious education choosing the theme “Embrace Trust.” And what a theme it was. In our current social and political environment in the U.S. a timelier theme could not have manifested.

In a reflection on the theme for the 2017 Religious Education Congress the Director for the Office of Religious Education in the Los Angeles Diocese Fr. Christopher Bazyouros said this,

“’No one can serve two masters’ (Matt 6:24): In our Gospel reading for Congress, Jesus teaches his disciples that we can only focus on one master. How difficult it is to put our whole trust in God!... Out of darkness, doubt and fear we are called to Embrace Trust!”

The Gospel calls us to embrace trust in the promises of Jesus Christ and embracing that trust in our Catholic faith served to unite those in attendance. If you read the news media lately it would be easy to view the Church as simply a wounded institution in conflict, but our brothers and sisters in Christ were united in Love for God and one other during their time at the 2017 R.E. Congress. Divisions have no place when you remain in Christ and His Church. The Gospel calls us not only to embrace trust in the Lord, but to embrace our brothers and sisters in Christ. To trust that they like us seek in all humility to follow the will of the Father.

We worship in different languages, and from different cultures. We see a problem in the world and we come up with different approaches to solving it. We all struggle to overcome a myriad of sins that prevent us from embracing trust in God and each other. But through all of our differences we are still one body in Christ, and it was beautiful to see the attendees of LA Congress embracing that unity with each other in their Catholic faith.

Catholic Musicians at Religious Education Congress

2017 L.A. Congress: Embrace Trust

OCP composers and artists had a substantial presence at LA Congress. With over a dozen OCP artists on site there was not a time slot in the schedule that didn’t include at least one of them. Our Catholic clinicians provided workshops during every break out session and led congregations in worship for six different liturgies in four languages.

Music is a common thread that weaves its way into almost any Catholic ministry including religious education. OCP has several collections that help draw young people in an education setting into a deeper relationship with the Lord through music. Collections like Never Too Young and Rise Up and Sing are the sound track to many religious education programs around the country. Our new Vietnamese resource Đồng Tâm geared toward Vietnamese youth like those involved with Phong Trào Thiếu Nhi Thánh Thể (The Vietnamese Eucharistic Youth Movement) helps a new generation unite with their Catholic cultural heritage. Many More Stories and Songs is another resource used frequently in parish religious education.

It was an honor for us to be able to share the Love of Christ through our gifts of music at the 2017 Las Angeles Religious Education Congress, and we can’t wait to join the body of Christ there again next year.

The 2017 LA Religious Education Congress Theme Song


Jethro Higgins


Jethro Higgins, father of 6,  has Directed Youth & Young Adult ministry programs and led liturgical music ensembles since 2004. Jethro received his Master of Science in Business Analysis from the Catholic University of America and is currently studying at The Augustine Institute in the Master of Arts in Theology program.