“Faith…Sought, Renewed, Lived and Shared!” is the theme for the 2012 Santa Barbara Regional Congress, taking place just two days after the start of what Pope Benedict XVI has called a “Year of Faith.”On that note, the Oct. 13 regional congress — to be held at Bishop Garcia Diego High School in Santa Barbara — will present speakers and workshops addressing this topic and more to begin this year-long celebration, said Sue Spies, Santa Barbara Region coordinator for the Office of Religious Education which presents the regional congress.These workshops, she said, will help attendees “better understand what the Year of Faith is all about, and will help begin the process of renewing their baptismal call by living out the everyday moments of their lives.”The Year of Faith honors the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council on Oct. 11, 1962, as well as the 20th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The U.S. bishops have suggested that this year be “an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion — to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him.”Among the workshops geared toward the Year of Faith is “Still Propelling Us Forward in Faith,” led by Father David Loftus, formerly a consultant for Catechist Formation and Adult Faith Formation with the Office of Religious Education and currently administrator at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Northridge.“When the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council gathered 50 years ago, they set our Church on a course for a New Millennium,” said Father Loftus. “As we enter upon the Year of Faith, in this workshop we will consider some of the most notable themes that shaped the Church for the past half-century, why they were important, and where they have brought us today.” Other workshops addressing important issues include the following:—“Religious Liberty: The Teaching of Vatican II and Modern American Religious Liberty,” with Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Curry of the Santa Barbara Region. This session will deal with the impact on the Church and world of “Dignitatis Humanae,” the Declaration on Religious Liberty of Vatican II (issued Dec. 7, 1965), and with how that teaching relates to modern issues of religious issues in contemporary America.—“Catholic Catechetical Teaching 50 Years After Vatican II,” with Franciscan Father Kenan Osborne, longtime professor at the Graduate Theological Union/Franciscan School of Theology in Berkeley, now retired and living at Old Mission Santa Barbara. The workshop will address how catechetical teachers, Catholic school teachers, youth ministers and parish leaders have experienced “the beauty of these changes on the one hand, and on the other hand the questions and problems which seem to be based on Vatican II and its aftermath.”—“Is the Death Penalty Immoral?” with Dr. Janice Daurio, professor of philosophy at Moorpark College, who noted that “a critical thinking approach to the topic of capital punishment requires that the issue be looked at from all sides. We will do that in this workshop.” —“Positive Aging and Its Potential Implications for Ministry,” with Dr. Christine Gerety, associate director of Outreach and Pastoral Care at St. Monica Church, Santa Monica. The workshop will explore projections about aging in U.S. and Los Angeles over the next 30 years; their potential impact on parishes; and the positive roles that spirituality and ministry can play in the lives of seniors and their parishes. Altogether, 70 workshops in English and Spanish will be presented at the Santa Barbara Congress, which begins at 8 a.m. with registration check-in and 8:45 a.m. opening liturgy and concludes with 3:45 closing prayer. Registration is $25 advance, $30 onsite. Bishop Garcia Diego High School is located at 4000 La Colina Road, Santa Barbara. Information: (805) 569-1135.{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/0921/sbcongress/{/gallery}