Congress XIII (2023)
July 20-23, 2023 | Gaylord National Harbor, MD
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Past Congress Gathering Photo
July 20-23, 2023 | National Harbor, MD

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Congress theme and what does it mean?

The Congress XIII theme is “Write the Vision: A Prophetic Call to Thrive.”

Habakkuk 2:2−4: “Then the LORD answered me and said: ‘Write down the vision; Make it plain upon tablets, so that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is a witness for the appointed time, a testimony to the end; it will not disappoint. If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. See, the rash have no integrity; but the just one who is righteous because of faith shall live.’” View more spiritual wisdom and considerations regarding this theme by Rev. Raymond Harris, Archdiocese of Baltimore.

About the Congress XIII Logo

The artist, Anthony VanArsdale, incorporated the image of the dove because he felt it was significant to show a symbol of the Holy Spirit, considering God’s guiding movement in our lives and in our call to live for one another. The feather takes on the appearance of a flame because God is a life-giving living fire that moves in us as an outpouring of love for our neighbor. The flame appears alive in the hand that is writing God’s Vision for humanity.

Where is the conference being held?

Congress XIII (2023) takes place July 20-23, 2023 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. The Gaylord’s address is 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD 20745.

Where can I find a schedule of events?

Visit the Agenda page for a preliminary schedule of events. The schedule will be finalized in late February 2023.

Covid-19 Policy

The health and safety of all Congress XIII participants remain our top priority. We are closely monitoring government mandates and policy changes and local and venue guidelines along with public health announcements. We will keep you up to date with new developments to ensure a coordinated effort and a safe environment for all participants.

Code of Conduct

Click here for the Code of Conduct.

Registration Policies and Procedures

Registration and Admission Policy?

Only registered individuals with a name badge may attend Congress activities. Badges must be worn at all times. Registrations will not be accepted by phone.

What is the cost of registration?

ADULTS (19 Years +):
Early-bird registration (August 2022 through February 28, 2023): $395.00
Regular registration (March 1, 2023 through July 15, 2023): $450.00
On-site registration: $495.00

YOUTH (13-18 Years):
Early-bird registration (August 2022 through February 28, 2023) $350.00
Regular registration (March 1, 2023 through July 15, 2023) $395.00
On-site registration $440.00

What is the registration deadline?

Early Registration ends February 28, 2023.
Regular registration ends July 15, 2023.

What payment methods are accepted for registration?

We can accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover for credit card payment. You can also pay by check/money order, payable to NBCC and mailed to 320 Cathedral St. Baltimore, MD 21201. If you choose to pay by check, payment must be received within 30 days of your registration. Failure to pay by the 30-day deadline could result in cancellation of your registration.

How do I register for The Congress?

The 2023 Congress has online registration. Through the online registration system, you can select to register and pay with a credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover) OR you can register online and then send us a check/money order in the mail. If you choose to pay by check, payment must be received within 30 days of your registration. Failure to pay by the 30-day deadline could result in cancellation of your registration. Registrations will not be accepted by phone. Please review the Congress cancellation policy below prior to registering for the conference.

How do I register multiple individuals from my organization/parish/family?

If you are registering multiple people from your organization, parish or family, select the Group Registration option on the online registration form. You will be able to enter all your attendees at one time, and pay for the group with one payment.

Can I bring my children?

The Congress offers a Youth programming track for children ages 13-18 to attend while their parents/guardians participate in the Adult program. Children under 13 are not permitted to attend the Congress. Please do not bring your children under age 13 as we will have to turn them away.

Is child care provided?

NBCC does NOT provide child care at this event. Please plan to make other arrangements for your children under age 13 as they will not be permitted in the sessions or social events. Children aged 13-18 should register as a Youth attendee.

Can I bring a guest to participate in the social events?

All guests must be registered and have a badge in order to participate in any part of the Congress, this includes all social and meal events. The only exception to this rule is the Opening Mass at the National Shrine in Washington, DC which is open to the public.

What if I need special accommodations or have meal restrictions?

If you need special accommodations or have food restrictions in order to fully participate in this event, please indicate this when prompted on the online registration form. NBCC will make every effort to accommodate your request but can only do so if we are notified in advance.

What is the cancellation policy?

All registration cancellations must be in writing. Cancellations must be received by June 16, 2023 to receive a refund (minus a $25 processing fee). After this date, no refunds will be given. All written refund requests will be processed within 60 days after the conference. Please email cancellation requests to:

I am unable to attend, can I transfer my registration to someone else?

If you are unable to attend after you’ve registered, you can transfer your registration to another individual by sending an email to All transfer requests must be in writing – we will not accept any requests by phone.

Can I register for select days only? I don’t want to attend the entire event.

We do not have a daily registration rate. Full Congress registration fees will apply.

Will I get a receipt when I register?

A receipt will be included at the bottom of your registration confirmation email, with a link to access it at any time in your attendee portal.

What meals are included in my registration?

Your Congress registration fee includes breakfast and lunch on Friday and Saturday, as well as a a light breakfast and farewell brunch on Sunday morning. In addition, there will be morning/afternoon refreshment breaks and an opening reception.

Who can I contact with registration questions?

For additional questions not listed here, contact

Travel & Hotel

Important Note: Our room block at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is sold out.

Please use this unique link to book accommodations at one of the many nearby hotels.

How do I make hotel reservations?

Hotel reservations can be made through the hotel reservation link. This link will be provided to you in a confirmation email sent after you register for the Congress.

Do I have to register for The Congress before I reserve my hotel room?

Yes – you must be registered for the Congress to reserve a hotel room at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center. The link and phone number to reserve your room will be provided in the email confirmation sent to you when you register online for the Congress.

What is the hotel room rate?

NBCC has reserved a block of rooms at the group rate of $209 per room/per night. With taxes and fees, the total cost for a standard king or double queen room is $246.62 per room/per night.

What is the hotel reservation deadline?

The deadline to make reservations at the group rate is Tuesday, June 27, 2023. After that date, rooms and rate cannot be guaranteed.

If I am registered for the Congress, am I guaranteed a hotel reservation?

Hotel reservations are made on a first come, first reserved basis. The hotel has blocked a group of rooms specifically for NBCC attendees. You will receive the link to book your room in your registration confirmation email. The room block will fill up, so attendees are encouraged to book their room reservation early. Don’t wait until the June 27 deadline. Please be courteous and only book the actual number of rooms you plan to use – the hotel will not hold rooms without a guest name.

What is the hotel cancellation policy?

You may cancel your hotel reservation for no charge before 11:59 PM local hotel time up to 3 days prior to your arrival date. Please note that the Gaylord will assess a fee of one night’s room and tax if you must cancel after this deadline.

What are the closest airports to fly into for the Congress?

(DCA) Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport: 6.9 miles
(IAD) Washington Dulles International Airport: 32.3 miles
(BWI) Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport: 42 miles

Reagan Washington Airport is the closest airport to National Harbor and would be the most economical for transfers. The distance from Reagan Airport to Gaylord National Harbor is 16 miles. By taxi, the fare would be $30.00 to $40.00 each way.

What transportation is available from the airport?

Yellow Cab DC: | PHONE: +1 202-544-1212

Red Cab DC: | PHONE: +1 202-285-1632

Uber is another option, and the average travel time from Reagan Washington Airport is 22 minutes, with an average route price of $37.00 (As of October 2022). For current pricing, go to:

Car Rentals: Hertz and Enterprise offer car rentals at all three airports: Reagan Washington Airport; Dulles International Airport; and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. For pricing, go to: Hertz or Enterprise.

What are the parking arrangements at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center?

Daily parking is available at the Gaylord National at a cost of $33.00 plus tax per day for self-parking, and $54.00 plus tax per day for valet parking.

What is there to do at National Harbor?

Onsite recreation options include unique dining and shopping experiences, the Relache Spa, as well as a pool and fitness center.

All Congress XIII attendees will receive a 10% discount at the Marketplace when they show their badge.

Nearby recreation in National Harbor includes over 160 shops, 40 restaurants, the Capital Wheel, MGM National Harbor Casino, and more.

And of course, National Harbor is a short ride away from the over 400 museums, monuments and cultural sites in Washington, DC. Water taxi service is available in National Harbor to and from Downtown DC, Old Town Alexandria, Georgetown, Nationals Stadium, and historic Mount Vernon.


What criterion is used to select speakers?

The purpose of this Congress is to provide a spiritually uplifting experience to all attendees. The NBCC believes part of our mission is to address the topics that impact the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of Black Catholics within the Church and society, and speakers are encouraged to submit proposals on topics that meet that criterion and align to Catholic Social Teaching.

How can we request exhibit space?

Thank you for your interest! You can learn more about exhibit and sponsorship opportunities by visiting the online Prospectus or sending an inquiry email to our team at
Diane Dodson, Account Manager: 703-740-1965,
Erin Ong, Account Manager: 703-740-1960,

Is photography allowed at the event?

Photography is allowed at the event by the guests or general public, as long as the photographers take photographs from their seats and do not obstruct the view of the audience. Only conference designated photographers are allowed to put up tripods, have access to the stage area or stand for photographs. Media, press and other photographers planning for special photography are requested to seek prior permission from the organizers of the conference.

Is video or tape recording allowed at the event?

Videography or tape recording is allowed at the event. Attendees are requested not to obstruct the view of the audience while doing so. Only conference designated videographers are allowed to put up tripods, have access to stage area or stand for videography.

Are any of the sessions being recorded?

The sessions are NOT being recorded.

Priest and Deacons who wish to concelebrate or assist at any NBCC Mass

LETTERS OF SUITABILITY ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL CONCELEBRATING PRIESTS, BROTHERS, AND DEACONS ASSIGNED OUTSIDE OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF WASHINGTON. Letters can be emailed to Hard copies should be made out to: Very Reverend Anthony E. Lickteig Episcopal Vicar for Clergy Secretary for Ministerial Leadership P.O. Box 29260 Washington, D.C. 20017-0260.

What if I have additional questions about the program?

If you have additional questions about the program, contact us at