I’m spending the next week or so in LA for the LA RE Congress, one of the biggest RE congresses in the world. While the congress doesn’t start until later in the week, I thought I would blog a bit about my experiences in LA so far.

The flight over was one of those mythical flights that friends tell you about. The plane was virtually empty and everyone had a row to themselves. A miracle! Consequently, I actually slept pretty well and arrive in LA feeling pretty good!

The first day we came together as a group to discuss logistics and, more importantly, to share the projects that we will implement as a result of our experiences at the congress. The ideas were many and varied, but the central theme seemed to be engaging our sometimes disengaged RE students and helping them to come to know Christ in what is an increasingly secular world.

We then ventured to Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral in downtown LA for midday Mass. The Cathedral is a contemporary masterpiece of architecture. Designed by Prof. José Rafael Moneo and built in 2002, the cathedral is flooded with natural light, space and with an ambulatory that takes visitors on a pilgrimage around the nave. One of the most striking features of the cathedral was the tapestries that adorned the walls. Above the baptismal font, a subdued image of John baptising Christ appears. Along the walls of the nave are tapestries of saints interspersed with young men and women, symbolising the whole mystical body of the church.

The Mass was well attended, beautifully sung and with an excellent homily from Fr David Gallardo. It was a very moving experience.

Rest day tomorrow, looking forward to visiting some local schools on Thursday!