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10,000 educators attend NCEA convention in Boston

Catholic school teachers and administrators fill Veteran Memorial Auditorium in Boston's Hynes Convention Center for the opening ceremonies of the National Catholic Education Association Convention April 11. Pilot photo/Gregory L. Tracy

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BOSTON -- A national and international crowd of Catholic educators converged on Boston April 11 to kick off the three-day National Catholic Educational Association 2012 Convention and Expo.

According to organizers, more than 10,000 participants registered for the three-day event at the John B. Hynes Convention Center. The NCEA provided guests of the convention 300 workshops on topics relevant to Catholic education, an exhibit hall showcasing 267 education-related vendors, and a list of nationally recognized keynote speakers.

Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas, gave the opening keynote address entitled "It's a Big Enough Church." He focused the talk on delivering a message of tolerance among the faithful, enemies and even political rivals.

He addressed the danger of becoming bitter and responding to attacks with attacks, anger with anger, and intolerance with intolerance.

"There is just no virtue in that, you are simply giving back the energy received and we are hard-wired for that. We are not hard-wired for forgiveness," Father Rolheiser said.

He said the faithful need to be influenced by the writings of the Gospel, and particularly the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples.

Father Rolheiser used the image of Jesus removing his outer garment as revealing his true self.

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