The National Religious Education Congress has now become an annual event. Its aim is to provide an opportunity for religious educators to come together to find inspiration for their work and to avail of the opportunity for personal renewal and growth.

The Congress is organised by a voluntary committee and is a not-for-profit event. This year the members of the committee are Vivek da Silva (Chairperson) Patricia O Sullivan (Secretary), Maura Hyland, Brendan O Regan, Fr Turlough Baxter, Ciaran Coll, Anna Maloney, Pamela McLoughlin and Sr Patricia Lynott.

The theme for this year’s Congress is Voices that challenge. We live in a society that is increasingly pluralistic and diverse. It is diverse in its social values, religious beliefs, political affiliations and cultural ethnicity. It is in this context that there is, in Ireland today, a robust debate about the nature of Religious Education, and in particular about its place in schools.

We hear different voices expressing a variety of opinions and concerns but, amidst this cacophony of voices, we might not always hear the insistent, still, small voices within and among us.

Which voices should we listen to? How do we find our own voice? How do we encourage others to nurture their own voice? At this year’s National Religious Education Congress we want to explore how we can create space in our lives, our schools and our communities so that different voices can be expressed, listened to and heard.