Gatherings for the promotion of the spiritual, social, and intellectual welfare of Catholics.
They are religious, national, international, sociological, social, political, and educational.
The first large congress was held at Mainz, Germany, 1848, and since that date such congresses have been held nearly every year in Germany.
They have also been held in France, since 1868, and in Belgium, Holland, Hungary, Spain, Argentina, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, England, and the United States.
They were known in pre-emancipation times in England and Ireland, and today, in England, are held under the auspices of the Catholic Truth Society (founded, 1872), and in Ireland under the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland (founded, 1903).
Catechetical congresses have been held in Germany, Switzerland, and France; and international congresses from time to time, the first and most famous of which took place at Mechlin, 1863-1864.
In English-speaking countries such gatherings are known as congresses only when national in scope.
The so-called "Congresses of Religions" have been disapproved of by the Holy See.
New Catholic Dictionary