27 February 2017
Debora Stonitsch organized CNEWA’s trip to the L.A. Religious Education Congress, which was held in Anaheim from 24 to 26 February. (photo: Greg Kandra)
As I write, our CNEWA team is headed home from Anaheim, after three whirlwind days at the legendary Los Angeles Religious Education Congress — the largest annual gathering of Catholics in the United States. An estimated 40,000 people attend this extravaganza every year.
The LA Religious Ed Congress takes place inside the Anaheim Convention Center in California (photo: Greg Kandra)
For the first time, CNEWA was invited to appear as an exhibitor, hosting a booth — along with some 250 other organizations — in the massive exhibit hall in the Anaheim Convention Center. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.
CNEWA’s multimedia editor Deacon Greg Kandra had a chance to say hello to an old friend, Father Brian Escobedo, who hosted CNEWA for a parish visit last fall. (photo: Greg Kandra)
Debora Stonitsch of CNEWA’s development office answered questions and introduced attendees to the work CNEWA is doing around the world. (photo: Greg Kandra)
Many of those we met hadn’t heard of CNEWA — and a few were a little confused about the Catholic Eastern churches. We were happy to answer questions, pass out copies of our magazine and offer information about our work and those we serve — as our display proclaimed, “Accompanying the Eastern Catholic Churches.”
The Rev. Elias Mallon, S.A., Ph.D., shared his expertise on Islam and the Arab world. (photo: Greg Kandra)
There was great interest in our work among persecuted minorities in Iraq — and a lot of people who stopped by our booth took home small pins depicting “ن” (the Arabic letter “N”), recalling the way ISIS branded the homes of Christians for persecution.
These pins attracted a lot of attention to our visit, and many people took home several for friends. (photo: Greg Kandra)
It was a rewarding weekend in so many ways, and I know Father Elias, Debora Stonitsch and I all look forward to making a return visit next year.
If you couldn’t make it to Anaheim, we’d be happy to visit your corner of the country to share our story at your parish or diocesan event. Just drop a line to our development director Norma Intriago: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: CNEWA Education United States