March 8, 2013

Members of the Marianist Family, volunteers and guests at the 2013 L.A. Religious Education Congress

Members of the Marianist Family attended the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress from Feb. 21 – 24 in Anaheim, Calif. Province staff and Marianist religious hosted four booths: vocations; the Marianist Mission; Justice and Peace; and the Association of Marianist Universities. Some 40,000 Catholics attend the annual Congress for liturgical celebrations, networking, workshops and talks given by leading Catholic educators, writers and activists. It is the largest annual gathering of its kind in the world.

Bro. Tom Wendorf reports that 10 Marianist brothers, priests and sisters staffed the vocations booth, which was decorated with living-room chairs and a fireplace. They engaged with visitors and handed out brochures and iPad covers with the Marianist logo and web address. Staffers gathered information from about 25 young men and women who expressed interest in the Marianist Family. (Aspirant Andrew Giles and contact Jason Mora first met the Marianists at the Congress.) “Our booth was ‘hospitality central,’ as many friends of Marianists and alumni of our schools stopped by,” said Bro Tom. “The Marianist Family shows some of its genuine best at the L.A. Congress.”

Bro. Alex Tuss and Linda Hayes staffed booth space for the Marianist Mission. They gave away more than 20,000 prayer cards, calendars and other Mission materials to attendees, including catechists and religion teachers. The Mission shared space with the Province office of Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation and the Marianist Social Justice Collaborative, staffed by Brian Reavey and Jim Vogt.

Bro. Tom Giardino, executive director of the Association of Marianist Universities, organized the education booth. Graduates from Chaminade University of Honolulu, St. Mary’s University and the University of Dayton assisted in staffing the booth, where their message to Congress participants was, “If you are looking for an outstanding Catholic university, the Marianists have three.” They passed out hundreds of fliers about the universities and visited with many alumni.

 Top left, Bros. Brandon Alana and Brandon Paluch; right, Bro. David Betz, Sr. Evangeline Escobar, FMI, Most Rev. Bishop Oscar Solis (auxilary bishop of Los Angeles), Fr. Ken Templin, Sr. Nicole Trahan, FMI, and Bro. Tom Wendorf; lower left, Bro. Alex Tuss and Linda Hayes. Photos courtesy Bro. Jim Wisecaver

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