After an especially contentious 2016, the world needs hope and positivity—and our community is no excepton. Join as we come together to lift up our spirits, lift up the word of the Lord, express and exercise love, compassion, unity, and solidarity even as we experience divisiveness and negativity in the country and around the world. Join us on January 28.
|8–8:45 am||Registration & Continental Breakfast in Grand Pavilion|
|9–9:30 am||Welcome/Morning Prayer|
|9:45 am||Session 1 Workshops|
|11:15 am||Session 2 Workshops|
|1:30 pm||Session 3 Workshops|
|3:00 pm||Keynote Speaker|
Online registration is now closed, but please join us!
We will accept registrations at the door.
If you have any questions, contact Sr. Catherine Ryan at or Patricia Garcia at
Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson & Claire Henning
The Parish: The Heartbeat of the Church
If we, as church, hope to witness to the truth of the Gospel in the global climate in which we live today, then we, as church, must learn to live within our own parish communities as diverse peoples holding all of our differences as we remain connected by our shared purpose.
Rev. Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson was born in East Los Angeles in 1939 and was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest in May, 1965. He was sent to complete his graduate degree in Religious Education at Fordham University in New York in 1970 and came back to serve as Director of Youth Ministry followed by Director of Religious Education for the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Msgr. Torgerson has been in residence at St. Monica Catholic Community for over thirty years and has joyfully served as our pastor for the last twenty-eight years.
Claire Henning, D.Min.; Executive Director, Parish Catalyst, is a product of 25 years of Catholic education and 20 years experience working as a lay ecclesial minister in her home parish, St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Community, Los Angeles, California. In 2012, Dr. Henning left parish ministry to become the Executive Director of Parish Catalyst: a nonprofit organization designed to accelerate original thinking and innovation in parish ministry. Dr. Henning received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles, a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Theology from Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, and a Doctor of Ministry Degree from the Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C. Dr. Henning is a commissioned Pastoral Associate in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as well as a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America.
Chasing After the Wind? Ecclesiastes' Key a Happy Life
You are working on your career, you marry and try to be a good person and have fun. Whatever you achieved, there could still be a feeling of something missing or of regret for other options you did not take. Talking about the book of Ecclesiastes, we will find that these are not 21st century problems. Come and discover a deeper sense of living through the eyes of Ecclesiastes, the Teacher and what he really meant between the lines.
Dominik Gnirs is the Coordinator of Adult Faith Formation at the Office of Religious Education in Los Angeles. He holds a magister in Theology from the University of Vienna, Austria. He has been in Youth Ministry for 15 years and directed youth retreats. Dominik worked for the Kardinal Konig Haus Adult educations Center in Vienna. He is a parishioner of St. Monica and lives with his wife in Central Los Angeles.
Boost Your Communication to Enjoy Each Other More!
“Too often we aren’t enjoying each other as much as we could in our relationships & ministries. In this workshop, Claire shares how to boost the joy and love in your relationships, both personally and in your work and ministry lives, with greater communication skills that will get you looking forward to being together more!”
Claire Frazier-Yzaguirre, MFT, M.Div, is a licensed marriage and family therapist, an ordained minister and joyful convert of many years to the Catholic Church—author, speaker, wife and mom. Each year, together with her husband, Dr. John Yzaguirre, they train thousands in the `dynamics of unity` to live united, resilient and joyful lives and marriages in their Irvine Counseling practice; and through teaching their “Thriving Marriages/Families” program in 50+ cities. Claire has 30 years experience in ministry and counseling and has received two Masters from Fuller Theological Seminary Graduate Schools of Theology & Psychology, in Pasadena, CA.
Dr. Jim Finley
Following The Call That Echoes in The Words Of The Christian Mystics
In this session James Finley will help us turn to the Christian mystics, whose words guide us toward a habitual, underlying experience of God’s presence in our lives. Simple guidelines for practicing contemplative prayer and other practical matters will be included in this prayerful inquiry.
James Finley leads retreats and workshops throughout the United States and Canada, attracting men and women from all religious traditions who seek to live a contemplative way of life in the midst of today's busy world. He is also a clinical psychologist in private practice with his wife in Santa Monica. He is the author of: Merton's "Palace of Nowhere, The Contemplative Heart" and "Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God."
Rabbi Michael Lotker
What Really Happened in the Garden of Eden—A Jewish Perspective
The Garden of Eden story is well known and central to many religious traditions. Rabbi Lotker will present a Jewish reading of the text focusing on a close reading of the text itself as amplified by Hebrew and scholarly insights. The result will surprise you.
Rabbi Lotker, a Phi Beta Kappa/Magna Cum Laude physicist, spent the bulk of his first career in the alternative energy business, working in wind power, solar, and geothermal energy. Ordained as a Rabbi at Hebrew Union College where he also received his Master of Hebrew Letters degree, he is presently Rabbi of Temple Ner Ami in Camarillo.
Do I Really Want To Let Go Of My Grudges? They’re So Comfortable!
Forgiveness means that we let go of grudges and thoughts of revenge, which empowers us to be free from negative and destructive emotions. For people of faith, it also means opening ourselves to God’s grace in order to accept forgiveness for our own transgressions as well as extend mercy to those that have offended us. With insights from both contemporary films and the published wisdom of experts, this session will explore ways to live out this invitation to be like Jesus.
Joan Doyle, a nationally certified Lay Ecclesial Minister, has held a variety of positions in her parish, St. Paul the
Apostle. She has a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Religious Education along with a California teaching credential. Joan serves annually as a judge for the HUMANITAS prize, rewarding quality scripts for film and TV, and has written study guides for several Catholic media projects.
Experience God’s Love & Mercy through the Creation of Rituals
Rituals help us take a look at our lives in an authentic manner. This workshop will provide multiple practical examples of how to create rituals that can free us, transform us, deepen and heal our relationships—thus experiencing god’s love and Mercy.
Ann Pettit is a practicing Spiritual Director, certificated through two different programs. She has done extensive work on how to enrich lives by weaving in the use of rituals in beautiful ways. She is a wife and mother and a high
school Athletic Director/Teacher.
Living, Being & Becoming the
“Word Within the Word”—”The Body Within the Body.”
We are reminded to be mindful of the words and songs we place in people’s mouths for what they take into their bodies, they become. An in-depth mini-retreat to reflect on how what we sing, say and give voice to defines who we are—for better or worse—at worship and in our daily lives. Will include music, scripture, poetry and images in art. Poetry and art is the language of the heart., and also of the heart of Catholic Worship.
John Flaherty is an educator and university administrator with 36 years of experience teaching at all levels. He serves as the Associate Director of Campus Ministry and Director of the Pastoral Liturgy and Pastoral Music Certification Programs in the Center for Religion & Spirituality at Loyola Marymount University. John is a published composer and has won awards for his work scoring for film and television. His proudest accomplishments are his family and the many former students who now pursue their own careers in music and
Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith
Lift Up the Word—Grace In An Ecumenical and Interreligious Environment
Rt. Rev. Alexei Smith was born and raised in the Hyde Park area of Los Angeles, CA, and attended local Catholic Elementary and Secondary Schools. His undergraduate studies at the University of Southern California were in the field of International Relations. Father Alexei worked for several years in private industry prior to his entering Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston, MA, in 1983. Awarded a Master of Divinity Degree, with High Distinction, in 1987, he was ordained a Greek Catholic Priest of the Eparchy of Newton, MA, that same year, and assigned as Pastor of Saint Andrew Russian Greek Catholic Church in El Segundo, CA, and also Administrator of Saint Paul Melkite Greek Catholic Mission in the same city.