More than 1,600 area teachers, administrators and catechists were on hand Monday, Aug. 8, for the 33rd Annual Archdiocesan Religious Education Institute.
Sponsored by the University's department of theological studies, the conference drew Catholic educators from the City of St. Louis and 10 surrounding counties for a day filled with worship, workshops and words of wisdom from dynamic speakers.
The morning began with a 9 a.m. Mass at Saint Francis Xavier College Church celebrated by Bishop Edward Rice of the St. Louis Archdiocese.
Mass was followed by keynote speaker Father Robert Barron, director of Word on Fire Ministries and creator of the upcoming 10-part documentary series and study program "Catholicism."
Barbara Blackburn, Ph.D., a professor in the theological studies department and staff member at the Catholic Education Office, said the day's activities were a wonderful reminder of the shared call to develop each new generation of students.
"Working collaboratively in preschools, elementary and high schools, and universities, we answer the call to discipleship by following in the footsteps of Jesus, the Master Teacher," Blackburn said.
The conference also included more than workshops led by a host of education experts as well as several featured speakers who shared heartfelt knowledge and humor with participants.