The 2018 Los Angeles Religious Education Congress was well attended by the friars and institutions of the province. The Congress is a four day event, with the first day being a Youth Day. St. Augustine High School in San Diego participated by using the Youth Day as their Junior Class retreat, Fr. Kirk Davis, O.S.A., who serves as chaplain of the high school, was able to concelebrate Mass. In addition, Fr. Tom Davis, O.S.A. and Fr. Mark Menegatti, O.S.A., chaperoned the youth of Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish in Los Angeles @OMGCYouth to join in the festivities as well. Reflecting on the Youth Day, Fr. Tom said, "It was so awesome to engage the future of our incredible Church and the Holy Spirit moving in them. This gives me great hope and happiness!
The remainder of the weekend was a three day Congress with hundreds of workshops in the Anaheim convention center and the surrounding hotels. Over 30,000 registered participants attended, which makes the LA Congress the largest annual gathering of the Catholic Church in the United States.
Friars in formation drove up from San Diego to participate, promote the Augustinian Order, and join in the workshops. The friars were able to sign up for their preferred talks and attend those that they felt would most support their current and future ministries. Rev. Br. Philip Yang, O.S.A. most enjoyed a talk by Fr. Richard Leonard on the recent Synods on the Family that were held in Rome. Br. Arturo Renteria, O.S.A. mentioned that his favorite workshop was, "Hope is the Choice that Matters Today," by Sr. Lynn Levo, CSJ, as well as being able to attend a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Tagle of Manila. Br. Arturo shared that the homily of the Mass was inspiring in that the Cardinal, "Invited us to share our gifts with other people."