Keeping Connected and Engaged

By Lisa Bright, 25 March 2020
(L-R) Diocese of Parramatta participants Nathan Heffernan, Lisa Bright, Frank Mangion, Richard McMahon and Antionette Mangion at the 2020 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress at the Anaheim Convention Centre, Anaheim, California, United States. Image: Lisa Bright/Supplied.


As we live in a time of physical isolation, our world is seeing the many ways people can stay socially connected via technology.

On Sunday, 29 March 2020, the Pastoral Planning Office of the Diocese of Parramatta is hosting an opportunity to gather as an online community to discuss the keynote address and a workshop from the recent Los Angeles Religious Education Congress 2020.

The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress gathers over 30,000 people from around the world at the Anaheim Convention Centre, California, for a three day conference, excited and on fire to grow and share faith.

Congress, as it is commonly referred to, is an annual event hosted by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and has been running since 1956. The Congress describes itself as “open to all who wish to learn more about the Catholic faith or seek personal growth.”

Hear what participant Nathan has to say about Congress 2020 below:

Congress is a liturgical feast with amazing music, atmosphere, keynote presenters, liturgies, Masses and inspirational preaching combined with over 200 workshops covering areas of liturgy, sacraments, missionary discipleship, accompaniment, prayer, spiritual growth, catechesis just to name a few! Congress is a multicultural experience, welcoming people from many lands.

Over the past four years, over 25 people from various parishes across the Diocese of Parramatta have accompanied me to Congress. This year, a group of five from our Diocese made the journey to participate in Congress, which had the theme of “Be Mercy, Live Holy”.

What makes Congress such an amazing event and such a rich resource for parishes that people want to go back over and over? I invite you to join me in an online forum to get a taste of it for yourself.

The keynote presentation and selected workshop can be watched prior to the discussion. Questions to ponder are offered. An online forum (via video conferencing) then gathers twice on Sunday, from 10am to 11am for the keynote presentation and from 2pm to 3pm for the selected workshop to share thoughts, comments and reflections.

In times of crisis we are given challenges and opportunities. As we are forced to slow down, let us seize some of the opportunities for learning, praying and personal growth.

To register for the online forum, email your name and phone number to You will be sent details prior to the event.


Lisa Bright is the Project Officer for the Pastoral Planning Office for the Diocese of Parramatta. To have a conversation about ways to keep connected and engaged, email


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