Catechetical Workshop

Prayer: A Conversation with God, Orange County

April 12, 2019
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Heart of Jesus Retreat Center, Santa Ana
Santa Ana, CA • Directions

"Lord, Teach us to pray." Jesus' own Apostles asked for His help in learning to pray. So often our students and even we ourselves need help praying. Prayer is something so essential to the Christian life, yet it can often seem complicated. Join our Workshop staff for a FREE one-day program in the Diocese of Orange County for Catholic School teachers on finding simple yet profound ways we can enter and help our students enter into a more intimate relationship with our Lord through prayer. This Workshop blends scholar presentations with interactive pedagogical sessions, giving you a chance to explore content with a respected college professor, as well as explore and simulate practical teaching strategies with ready-to-use classroom materials. Share best practices with your fellow teachers, enjoy catered breakfast and lunch, and engage in both formal and informal discussions.


Breakfast and Check-In

Program Introduction

Praying With Music and Sacred Art
Spend time entering into prayer through sacred music and sacred art.

Daring to Pray
Enjoy the first of two presentations by Dr. Ben Akers followed by Q&A.


Speak Lord, Your Servant is Listening
Spend time in silence and prayer with guided meditation.

Holy Mass


Praying Scripture for a Change
Enjoy the second presentation by Dr. Ben Akers, followed by Q&A.

Seek and You Will Find; Knock and the Door Will be Opened
Spend time engaging in the different types of prayer and learn ways to help your students understand and enter into them as well.

Additional Resources, Evaluation

Join us, and you'll receive…

Catechetical Formation

Catechetical Formation

Engaging sessions by a catechetical scholar provide background knowledge so you can confidently engage students with our Faith.

Spriritual Formation

Spriritual Formation

You'll explore your vocation as a teacher, coming to see your calling as a witness to Christ in the classroom.

Practical Application

Practical Application

A veteran teacher follows each scholarly presentation with research-based teaching strategies, giving you immediate ways to apply this knowledge in the classroom.

Ready-to-Use Materials

Ready-to-Use Materials

Receive a free, classroom-tested teacher's guide featuring 10-12 lessons with classroom activities and sacred art.



Jose Gonzalez joined the team at Sophia Institute for Teachers after more than 10 years as a high school teacher at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Wichita, Kansas. In addition to teaching, he has also worked as a youth minister and a coordinator of Totus Tuus in the Archdiocese of Denver. Jose is also an experienced speaker and presenter whose experiences include youth and Confirmation gatherings, RCIA classes, and adult faith formation. Jose has a BA in theology with a concentration in religious education from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and an MA in evangelization and catechesis from the Augustine Institute. Jose and his wife, Mary Beth, have two daughters and a son.


Dr. Ben Akers is an Assistant Professor of Theology and Assistant Dean for Student Life at the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado.  He served for six years as the Director of the Denver Catholic Biblical School and Catechetical School in the Archdiocese of Denver helping grow it into the largest and most comprehensive diocesan Bible Study program in the United States.  He has also taught as an adjunct instructor at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary and St. Francis School of Theology. He attained a Master’s degree in Scripture while working as a campus missionary for FOCUS at the University of Denver and the University of Colorado (Boulder) (2001-2004).  He went on to study and work in Rome, Italy directing a study abroad program for Christendom College.  While in Rome, he attained a Licence degree in Sacred Theology (STL) from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) where he also earned his doctorate in Sacred Theology (STD). He and his wife Heather are blessed with three wonderful daughters and a son.​


Heart of Jesus Retreat Center, Santa Ana

2927 S Greenville St, Santa Ana, CA 92704

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