Fall & winter events

Convocation Member Incentive

Bring along a guest!

Convocation registration is open and we want you to bring along a guest!

This year’s keynote presentations, liturgies, and conversations are important for everyone to experience together. We recognize that vocation ministry needs more than one person per community, so the NRVC is offering an incentive to all its members to bring along a guest to walk humbly together. Convocation begins with an opening reception and ritual on Thursday evening, October 31, and ends after the awards banquet on Sunday night, November 3, 2024.  At Convocation, expect to:

  1. Create lifelong memories around timely topics.
  2. Learn more about cultivating what’s possible in vocation ministry.
  3. Dialogue with inspiring keynote presenters.
  4. Exchange ideas and encouragement throughout the event.
  5. Pray with a motivated community through vibrant prayer and Mass.
  6. Experience the NRVC culture of collaboration, joy, and hope.
  7. Belong to a professional space that values an intercultural approach to ministry.
  8. Celebrate the charism of each religious institute on All Saints and All Souls Day.

How it works

Every NRVC member can invite a non-member of their choice. Guests can be from leadership teams, formators, communicators, newer entrants, families, or anyone supporting vocation ministry. In other words, the guest is not a current member. When a member brings along a guest who pays the non-member rate, the member will receive $300 toward their 2025 membership renewal! For each license member who brings a non-member, $300 will be applied to your 2025 license membership renewal. This means potentially if all five license members each bring a guest at the non-member rate, your community receives $1,500 towards your 2025 license renewal!

Register for Convocation

  1. Register to attend Convocation for $600. If you are bringing a non-member guest, at the checkout, indicate the full name of your guest in the comments box.
  2. Register your guest to attend Convocation at the non-member price of $900. At the checkout, write your full name indicating this person is your guest in the comments box.
  3. Shortly after Convocation, $300 will be applied to your 2025 membership renewal.

Register for Convocation here.

Make hotel reservations

The Doubletree Hotel at 1500 Park Place Blvd, Minneapolis, MN, is in Saint Louis Park, across from The Shops at West End. There's free car parking, free Wi-Fi, an indoor swimming pool, and a fitness center. There are several restaurants within walking distance from the hotel. The NRVC has contracted a block of rooms for three days prior and 3 days after Convocation for a reduced rate of $129 per night plus 10.525% taxes. Check-in is after 3:00 pm and check-out is before 10:00 am. 

Please do your part to help defray the NRVC's meeting expenses by reserving your hotel room through our link with Nix Conference and Meeting Management. While it may be cheaper for reservations elsewhere, the NRVC depends upon your reservations to keep the overall rate of the conference affordable.  Please use this link for your hotel reservation.

Register Now

The Early Bird Convocation registration rate of $600 for members and $900 for non-members ends on October 1. After October 1, registration is $700 for members and $1,000 for non-members.

October 31st Pre-Convocation workshop information can be found here.
Details about the November 4th Bus Pilgrimage after Convocation can be found here. All Convocation questions can be directed to Sister Debbie Borneman, SS.C.M. at debbiesscm@nrvc.net

Download a Convocation draft schedule here.



NRVC Recognition Awards

Nominations due August 15

NRVC Recognition Awards

Who inspires you, encourages you, and freely shares ideas and insights? Within the NRVC, there are plenty of outstanding members! Who can you count on to be collaborative, innovative, and creative?

As we look forward to gathering together at our upcoming Convocation, we ask for your prayerful consideration in nominating NRVC members for the NRVC Outstanding Recognition award. This award is given at the Convocation banquet to acknowledge an individual NRVC member who has made an outstanding contribution to vocation ministry. Please read the qualifications and complete the nomination form. All NRVC members who have been members for at least three years are eligible to be nominated for this prestigious award.

Download the nomination form for the Outstanding Recognition Award

NRVC members are also invited to submit nominations for the Mustard Seed Award. This is presented to an individual/group who has made a significant impact on vocation ministry by growing a culture of vocation that raises awareness locally or nationally. This individual/organization does not have to be a member of the NRVC or a vocation director. 

Download the Mustard Seed Award nomination form

All NRVC members and Member Areas are welcome to submit nominations. All nominations are due by August 15, 2024. The NRVC Board will carefully review all nominations and select recipients at its September meeting.

Please contact Sister Debbie at debbiesscm@nrvc.net for more information.



Convocation: Walking humbly together

October 31 - November 4, 2024

 

Join us at Convocation!

Download a draft schedule here

We are excited to be heading out to Minneapolis for our biennial Convocation, October 31- November 4, 2024. Thank you to the Upper Midwest Member Area for serving as hosts for our 2024 conference.

Convocation registration is open! Pre-Convocation workshop registration is open! The Sacred Sites, Sacred Stories pilgrimage is open! Visit our online store to make your selections, register, and make payments. 

What is Convocation?

Convocation brings together the NRVC membership with its trademark excellence in workshops, liturgies, keynote presentations, and networking. This large membership conference also includes the member business meeting, awards banquet, and invitations to several organizational collaborators. It provides the opportunity to celebrate the mission and vision of the organization while engaging in professional development and ongoing formation. 

Welcome Reception and Ritual begins at 6:00 p.m., October 31, 2024

Closing Banquet ends at 9:00 p.m., November 3, 2024

How do we travel to Convocation?

To carpool from Chicago, it's a 6-hour drive and from St. Louis, it's an 8-hour drive.  The closest airport is the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP). Arline service includes Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, KLM, Southwest, Spirit, Sun Country, United, and Westjet. Choose car and shuttle transportation to/from the airport through Taxi/Uber/Lyft/other app-based ride services, and Car rental companies at your own expense.

Hotel reservations open

The venue selected is the Doubletree Hotel at 1500 Park Place Blvd, Minneapolis, MN. It's in Saint Louis Park, across from The Shops at West End, which has numerous affordable dining options. Central Minneapolis is five miles away, and the Mall of America is less than a half-hour drive from the hotel. There's free car parking, free wi-fi, an indoor swimming pool, and a fitness center. The NRVC has contracted a block of rooms for three days prior and 3 days after Convocation for a reduced rate of $129 per night plus 10.525% taxes. While it may be cheaper for reservations elsewhere or through third parties, the NRVC depends upon your reservations through Nix conference management to keep the overall rate of the conference affordable. If we do not meet our contracted rooms, the NRVC will be penalized financially. Check-in is after 3:00 pm and check-out is before 10:00 am. Please note reservations for the hotel discount rate ends on October 7.

Please use this link for your hotel reservation.


Planning your budget

An opening reception on Thursday evening, lunch on Friday and Saturday, along with the closing awards banquet on Sunday, are all included in your registration fee. There are several restaurants within walking distance from the hotel. There is also a restaurant in the hotel 

NRVC member early registration rate: $600      

Non-member early registration rate: $900

Registration fee after October 1: $700 for members and $1,000 for non-members

Pre-Convocation workshops, 9:00 a.m. -  4:30 p.m., on October 31, 2024
Member rate: $200 includes lunch & 2 workshops
Non-member rate: $300, includes lunch & 2 workshops

Optional bus Sacred Sites, Sacred Stories Pilgrimage on November 4, 2024, is $175 and includes meals, all admissions, and tips. Make your pilgrimage reservation in our online store.

The hotel overnight rate is $129 plus 10.525% taxes from October 29 to November 6. Parking is free. Please do NOT make reservations directly to the hotel or through third parties as they will not be applied to our NRVC contract. Thank you.  Make your hotel reservations with this link.

Due to contracts with the hotel/vendors, all registration fees are non-refundable after October 1, 2024.

If you need financial assistance, the NRVC Misericordia Fund is available to help with Convocation registration fees. For information and applications, please click here. 

Would you like to be a Convocation sponsor?

Many levels of Sponsorship are available and we welcome your support.  Please contact our Director of Development, Mr. Phil Loftus at  ploftus@nrvc.netClick to find information on sponsorship opportunities, and see who is already on the Sponsor list

Sacred Sites, Sacred Stories Bus Pilgrimage

We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good, and decent are worth it. Laudato Si, 229


This incredible bus pilgrimage begins by departing at the hotel at 8:30 am on Monday, November 4 after Convocation. It is an opportunity to learn about Upper Midwest history from the perspective of its Indigenous Peoples through encounters in listening, storytelling, and experiencing sacred sites with time for individual and communal reflection. Afterward, we will humbly pray our stories together and with insights from local leaders before returning to the hotel at 7:00 pm. The cost of $175 per person includes bus travel, meals, tips, etc.

For more detailed information, click to the Convocation Pilgrimage website article. This optional experience is limited to 50 people, register early to confirm your space.

Keynote presenters

On November 1, Ms. Ann M. Garrido, D.Min., will present an all-day workshop entitled, “Walking Humbly in Tough Conversations.”  She has a passion for bringing the best research and practice around healthy communication and conflict management from the business world into the church world. Dr. Garrido is an associate professor of homiletics at Aquinas Institute of Theology and a consultant with Triad Consulting Group, a conflict mediation and communications team. She has taught courses in pastoral theology, homiletics, and catechetics. She has served as Director of Field Education, Director of Distance Learning, Director of the Aquinas Ministry Integration Project, Director of the Doctor of Ministry program, and Director of the Masters in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Dr. Garrido is the author of numerous articles and ten books in the field of church leadership and ministry including the series, Redeeming Administration, Redeeming Conflict, and Redeeming Power. She earned a master of divinity and a doctor of ministry in preaching at Aquinas Institute of Theology.


On November 2, Brother Christopher A. Patiño, F.S.C., will focus his presentation on “Leaven of Hope: Envisaging and Engendering an Open World.” He is the son of Mexican immigrant parents and currently serves as General Councilor for the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (De La Salle Brothers). His ministerial responsibilities as General Councilor include accompanying the institute’s “beyond the border” projects, the mission in South Sudan, and Bethlehem University in Palestine with the congregation’s North America and Pacific Asia regions. Previously, Brother Chris served as director of vocation ministry, teacher, administrator, and in other capacities at various Lasallian educational apostolates. Brother Chris holds a master of arts in pastoral studies (Loyola University of Chicago), and a certificate in Catholic School Administration (Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles). He was part of the NRVC Orientation Program for New Vocation Directors presenters team for four summers, served as a Member Area Coordinator for six years, and received the NRVC Outstanding Recognition Award in 2022.


On November 3, Sister Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN will address the theme, “Walking Humbly Together through Foundational Transformative Values.” She was trained by Crossroads and serves as co-chair of the Sisters of Notre Dame, USA Anti-Racism Team. Sister Patricia is committed to working with religious congregations on dismantling racism. She was the first African American to serve on her Provincial Leadership Team and was elected to the US-East-West Unit Provincial team of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. She is a founding member of the National Black Sisters’ Conference and served as its president for 5 years. Sister Patricia became the first African American Executive Director of Pax Christi, USA. She holds a master’s degree in social work (Catholic University of America) and received her accreditation from the Academy of Certified Social Workers Incorporated. She is a licensed social worker in the District of Columbia. Sr. Patty received the LCWR Outstanding Leadership Award and received the Pax Christi USA Ambassadors of Peace Award.


October 31, Pre-Convocation workshop choices and presenters

Come a day early to elevate your skills and enhance your ministry! There are five workshops available, and you can select two to attend. The workshops are designed for vocation ministers, leadership teams, and all those responsible for the admissions process. Workshop registration for NRVC members is $200 which includes your choice of two workshops and a buffet lunch. The price for non-members is $300. Registration is open in the store

  1. Requirements of Immigration Law in the Discernment Process Workshop presented by Ms. Graciela Mateo
  2. Requirements of Civil and Canon Law in Candidate Assessment Workshop presented by Mr. Christopher J. Fusco, JCL, Esq.
  3. Navigating the Maze of Psychological Assessment in the Application Process Workshop presented by Sister Karen Cote, I.H.M. Psy.D., and Sister Mercedes McCann, RSM, Ph.D. 
  4. Are you Really Woke to the Opportunity? presented by Father Anthony Bozeman, S.S.J. planned by the NRVC African American Vocation Committee
  5. God’s Call is Everywhere: A Global Analysis of Contemporary Religious Vocations for Women Workshop presented by Father Luis Fernando Falcó, MSpS, Ph.D., Ms. Mary L. Gautier, Ph.D., Sister Gemma Simmonds, C.J., and Sister Patricia Wittberg, S.C., Ph.D.

For all workshop descriptions and presenter bios, visit this website article dedicated to Pre-Convocation workshops. 


Liturgy

Communal and personal prayer are important values of the NRVC. We are grateful to OCP for providing Breaking Bread Hymnals and our music director! Each day, Mass will be celebrated along with opportunities for Communal Prayer. A prayer room will be located in the hotel for those who seek a quieter, contemplative space.  All Saints Day Mass will be celebrated by our NRVC episcopal liaison, Bishop Austin Vetter.  All Souls Day Mass will be celebrated by Fr. Frank Donio, PAC, executive director of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men. Then our  closing Mass will be celebrated by Archbishop Bernard Hebda to begin National Vocation Awareness Week! 


Outstanding recognition awards

The NRVC presents up to four categories of awards at the biennial Convocation: The Harvest Award, the Lifetime Member Award, the Mustard Seed Award, and Outstanding Service Recognition. The NRVC Board will select the Harvest Award recipient at its spring Board meeting. Nomination forms for the Mustard Seed Award and Outstanding Member Recognition Awards are available here. More information about the National Awards is available in the Member Guidebook. All awards will be given at the Convocation closing banquet on November 3. 

Donation custom

It is the custom of the Host Member Area to select a local non-profit organization for the collection taken at the closing Mass at Convocation. The Upper Midwest Member Area has selected the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition (NABS) as the recipient for 2024. NABS is the first and only national organization whose purpose is to advocate on behalf of Native peoples impacted by U.S. Indian boarding school policies. They seek truth through education and research, justice through activism and policy advocacy, and healing through programs and traditional gatherings. 

Exhibitor information

The National Board welcomes collaborators and those who support vocation ministry as exhibitors to our Convocation. Exhibits are available to those who are sponsors at the $2,000 and higher levels. Exhibits open at 3:00 p.m. on October 31 and close at 4:00 p.m. on November 2 p.m. Exhibits include 1 table, two chairs, and up to two Convocation registration fees. For more information about promoting your organization, please contact debbiesscm@nrvc.net

Health and wellness

The NRVC is committed to keeping participants healthy. Masks are not required, however, if you experience any cold symptoms, we kindly ask that you alert the Board/staff to determine if you need to take further steps to protect your immune system and those in attendance. 

Terms and conditions

Please read our NRVC terms and conditions for all events and programs.

Convocation provides the opportunity to celebrate the mission and vision of the NRVC while engaging in professional development and ongoing formation. Invite members of your congregation to attend with you to support you in your ministry.

Mark your calendars and watch for updates in the Catalyst and newsletters.



Pre-Convocation Workshops

October 31, 2024

Come a day early to elevate your skills and enhance your ministry! There are five workshops available, and you can select two to attend. The workshops are designed for vocation ministers, leadership teams, and all those responsible for the admissions process. When making your hotel reservations, plan to arrive on October 30, the day before the workshops on October 31.

The workshops begin at 9:00 a.m., shortly after 8:00 a.m. Mass, and conclude at 4:30 p.m. All workshops include a buffet lunch. 

Registration is open in the store for Pre-Convocation workshops.

Pre-Convocation workshop choices on October 31:

Workshop registration for NRVC members is $200 which includes your choice of two workshops and a buffet lunch. Price for non-members is $300.

  1. Requirements of Immigration Law in the Discernment Process
  2. Requirements of Civil and Canon Law in Candidate Assessment
  3. Navigating the Maze of Psychological Assessment in the Application Process        
  4. Are you Really Woke to the Opportunity?
  5. God’s Call is Everywhere: A Global Analysis of Contemporary Religious Vocations 

Pre-Convocation workshop descriptions and presenters

1.  Requirements of Immigration Law in the Discernment Process 

This workshop focuses on the critical components of immigration law in the application process for international applicants for religious institutes and societies of apostolic life in the U.S. Topics include the clarification of key immigration definitions, the R-1 Religious Worker Visa process/changes, documentation, and tracking of immigration status throughout formation, permanent residence process/changes, long-term immigration planning, and legal responsibilities of the religious institute and candidate. It will also include some of the ways religious institutes can be advocates to help immigrants/migrants/newcomers. Ms. Mateo will discuss suggestions on how to ask essential questions in a minimally invasive and timely way so if there is a reason to stop an application, it can be done early on to either resolve the issue or end the discernment, including insights into culturally sensitive issues that may delay an application or in seeking legal counsel.

Ms. Graciela Mateo is the Managing Attorney of the Religious Immigration Services (RIS) section of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINC). She has been with CLINIC in its RIS section since 2017 practicing exclusively in religious immigration law. CLINIC currently represents over 100 religious organizations assisting them in bringing international priests, brothers, sisters, novices, seminarians, and other religious workers into the U.S. to serve the Church. Ms. Graciela Mateo has been practicing immigration law since 2018. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and Charlotte School of Law.


2.  Requirements of Civil and Canon Law in Candidate Assessment

This workshop focuses on the critical components of civil and canon law in candidate assessment and the application process. Because religious institutes and societies of apostolic life are non-profit voluntary religious associations, it will address pertinent information on policies and practices concerning financial assets, salary, savings, property, and tax issues along with debts, liabilities, and lawsuits of applicants to initial formation. Mr. Chris Fusco will include community transfers, international candidates, and special issues regarding the assets of older, widowed, and annulled Catholics. He will address document disposition, internal and external forums, and confidentiality. He will include suggestions on how to ask essential questions in a minimally invasive and timely way so if there is a reason to stop an application, it can be done early on to either resolve the issue or end the discernment, including insights into culturally sensitive issues that may delay an application or in seeking legal counsel.

Mr. Christopher J. Fusco, JCL, Esq. serves as the associate director for civil law at the Resource Center for Religious Institutes since March 2018 and has served as the associate general counsel and moderator of the Tribunal for the Diocese of Metuchen since September 2011. Mr. Fusco holds a master’s degree in religious studies and a licentiate degree in canon law from The Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. He received his Juris Doctor degree from The City University of New York School of Law and clerked for The Superior Court of New Jersey. He also holds a master’s degree in music from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Christopher is a member of the Bars of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. He has also been admitted to the US Court of International Trade, the US Tax Court, and the US Supreme Court. He is a member of the Canon Law Society of America, the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and the National Diocesan Attorneys Association.


3. Navigating the Maze of Psychological Assessment in the Application Process 

With all the new and effective treatments available for chronic conditions, it can be difficult to distinguish the seriousness of mental health conditions which necessitates telling a discerner to delay or stop discerning religious life. This workshop will address how to respectfully gather the information needed without minimizing behaviors that can make community life challenging. It will address issues that can be resolved with counseling and realistic expectations for the length of time needed to change behaviors before admission. The presenters will also explore serious mental health illnesses that can be hereditary, have no simple cure, or have enduring behaviors that require lifelong treatment that would preclude admission to vowed communal life. Generational family-of-origin issues and how the presence of mental health concerns in the family impacts the life of the individual and potentially of the community will be included in this workshop. The presenters will also explain the purpose of each component of psychological assessment and how to read the report. 

Sister Karen Cote, I.H.M. Psy.D., serves as the Director of Outpatient Services at Saint John Vianney Center since 2019. Sister Karen is a licensed psychologist for the Outpatient Department conducting psychological assessments and psychotherapy for priests, deacons and their spouses, and men and women religious. She has previous experience as a staff psychologist at a state hospital, director of a residential treatment facility for Native American adolescents, and a member of a crisis response team in New Mexico. She earned a Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology from Immaculata University and an MSW in Clinical Social Work from New Mexico Highlands University. Sister Karen has written articles for HORIZON and presented workshops for the NRVC in the mental health field. Her interests include psychological assessment, personality disorders, and cultural diversity.

Sister Mercedes McCann, RSM, Ph.D. serves in Leadership Relations in the Consultation, Education, and Outreach Department for Saint John Vianney Center. She also serves as a therapist in the Center’s outpatient program. Sr. Mercedes previously served as a psychotherapist for the inpatient program providing psychotherapy for women and men religious and priests. She has previous experience in state and county institutions, formation ministry, and as the assistant superintendent for special education for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, holding numerous positions within the field of special education. She holds a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Seton Hall University and a master’s degree in psychology from Marywood University. Sister Mercedes has written articles for HORIZON and presented workshops for the NRVC. Her particular interest is the intersection of spirituality, ministry, community, and good mental health in religious life.


4.  Are you Really Woke to the Opportunity?

This interactive workshop created by the NRVC African American Vocation Committee explores how racial biases and stereotypes impact vocation ministry. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on what it means to welcome people of color into their communities, what they experience upon entering, and how to support them in their discernment. This workshop will leave attendees with topics for further personal and communal reflection, practical wisdom, resources, and a better appreciation of our call to be Catholic (Universal) in our promoting and nurturing the call.

Father Anthony Bozeman, S.S.J., a priest with the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart (The Josephite Community), was raised in Philadelphia within the parish boundaries of Our Mother of Sorrows. Father Anthony joined the U.S. Military, serving his country for a total of 16 years of combined Active and Air National Guard Reserve duty. Father Anthony has pastored parishes in Philadelphia, Houston, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. He is the immediate past president of the National Black Catholic Clergy Caucus. He serves as assistant vocation director, administrator of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Reserve, LA, and as an Outreach Priest. Known for his enthusiasm and reliability, he is highly sought out nationally for preaching, retreats, and revivals. He describes himself as a man on fire for the Gospel of Christ, as a Preacher, Teacher, and Soul Reacher. Father Anthony understands that “to whom much is given, much is expected.”


5. God’s Call is Everywhere: A Global Analysis of Contemporary Religious Vocations 

Religious life is vitally necessary to the Catholic church today in an era of globalization and shifts in demographics beyond a numerical perspective. Through a comparative analysis of six countries researching newer entrants of women religious, the workshop presenters will provide a global understanding of the hopes and concerns of women discerning a vocation to religious life in the twenty-first century. What can we learn from a meta-analysis? This workshop moves beyond counting sisters to listening to and learning from one another about the obstacles to vocation discernment in various parts of the world. It brings together the sociological data to facilitate timely reflection for leadership, vocation, and formation directors through a global lens to remember that God’s call is everywhere.

Father Luis Fernando Falcó, MSpS, Ph.D., is a Mexican priest and member of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit congregation. He is trained as a psychotherapist and psychoanalyst and completed doctoral studies in political science and sociology at UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México). Fr. Luis served in religious formation ministry for 21 years in his congregation and was rector of the Instituto de Formmación Filosófica Intercongregacional de México. He is the director of Proyecto Cruces, providing professional formation and consultancy to religious communities and priesthood, applying organizational and psychosocial knowledge to religious life. He has written a book, Contingencia y llamado eterno (2010), reflecting on the new sociocultural conditions of new vocations in religious life.

Ms. Mary L. Gautier, Ph.D. retired in 2019 as a senior research associate at CARA, the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, a position she held for 21 years. Mary holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Louisiana State University. At CARA, she specialized in Catholic demographic trends in the United States, managed CARA databases, and conducted demographic projects and computer-aided mapping. She also edited The CARA Report, a quarterly research publication, and other CARA publications. She is the co-author of twelve books on Catholicism in the United States. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Liturgical Press and for ASEC, the African Sisters Education Collaborative.

Sister Gemma Simmonds, C.J., is a sister of the Congregation of Jesus.  She is a senior research fellow at the Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology in Cambridge, where she is director of the Religious Life Institute. An international speaker and lecturer, she lectured in theology at Heythrop College, University of London, specializing in spiritual direction in the Ignatian tradition, and has been a spiritual director and retreat giver for over thirty years. Gemma has been a missionary in Brazil, a chaplain at the Universities of Cambridge and London, and a chaplaincy volunteer in Holloway Prison.  She is a regular broadcaster on religious matters on the BBC, Radio Maria England, and other radio and television networks.

Sister Patricia Wittberg, S.C., Ph.D., is a sister of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Ohio.  She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago, is an emeritus professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), and is currently a research associate with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).  She is particularly interested in generational continuity and change among Catholics. Her academic research focuses on the sociology of religion, community, and church and nonprofit organizations. She is the author of numerous books and articles on Catholicism and Catholic religious life, most recently chapters in Faith and Spiritual Life of Young Adult Catholics in a Rising Hispanic Church (Liturgical Press, 2022).


Registration for Convocation and Pre-Convocation workshops is open in the store. Look for details about the Convocation pilgrimage to spend more time with Convocation participants here. For more information about Convocation, click here. 

We kindly request that you stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel by registering using this link. The NRVC takes a financial risk when securing rooms for the Convocation. Reserving rooms at other hotels or BNB sites increases this risk, which could result in higher room and registration rates in the future. 

Download a draft Convocation schedule here




Convocation Pilgrimage

November 4, 2024

This incredible bus pilgrimage begins by departing at the hotel at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, November 4 after Convocation. We return to the hotel at 7:00 p.m.  Registration is open in our online store.

We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good, and decent are worth it. Laudato Si, 229

It is an opportunity to learn about Upper Midwest history from the perspective of its Indigenous Peoples through encounters in listening, storytelling, and experiencing sacred sites with time for individual and communal reflection. In the morning, we will be walking around the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, what the Dakota refer to as Bdote Minisota, or “meeting place of rivers,” including the Historic Fort Snelling State Park, Dakota Internment Camp following the Dakota-U.S. War, and Pilot Knob Hill (Oheyawahi).

Lunch prepared by a Native American Restaurant will be served at the Church of St. Peter, the oldest Catholic Church in the state of Minnesota. In the afternoon, we will go to the Mdewakanton Shakopee Museum, (Hoċokata Ṫi [ho-cho-kah-tah-tee) is the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s cultural center and gathering space that is used to interpret and encourage traditional Mdewakanton Dakota cultural heritage, language, and history.

Without disembarking, the next stop will be the George Floyd Square, while en route to a catered supper by a second Native American restaurant served at the Church of Gichitwaa Kateri. Afterward, we will humbly pray our stories together and with insights from local leaders in the Church before returning to the hotel at 7:00 pm.

The cost of $175 per person includes bus travel, meals, tips, etc. This optional experience is limited to 50 people, register early to confirm your space. For additional information, please contact Sister Debbie at debbiesscm@nrvc.net

Download a Convocation draft schedule here.



National Vocation Awareness Week, Nov. 3-9, 2024

Promote vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life through prayer, invitation, and education.

 

National Vocation Awareness Week

 

 

National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is an annual week-long celebration of the Catholic Church in the United States dedicated to promote vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life through prayer, invitation, and education, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these particular vocations.  For social media posts, use #NationalVocationAwarenessWeek or #NVAW. Please avail yourself of the many resources NRVC offers to help promote NVAW in your community, parish, school, or campus ministry office.

NRVC resources

Resource for National Vocation Awareness WeekThe new interactive vocation resource showcases today’s Catholic sisters, nuns, brothers, and priests, the Bold and Faithful Storymap: Meet Today's Religious. 

QR Bold and Faithful Meet Todays Religious storymapThis storymap is designed for use by individuals considering a religious vocation and for parishes, campuses, and classrooms to promote vocations and connect those in religious life to everyday Catholics.

Featuring audio, video, articles, an interactive events calendar, and a religious institute map, the 2023 Bold and Faithful storymap is a companion resource, along with 2021 Religious Life Today storymap, to the NRVC’s 2020 Study on Recent Vocations to Religious Life

Conversation Cards

Fifty Fun Facts about Religious Life handout

Religious Life Today Booklet

Responsibilities of Members for Vocation Ministry Handout

Ten Questions Parents ask about Vocations to Religious Life Brochure

Ten Questions People ask about Vocations to Religious Life Brochure

VISION Vocation Guide Digital Edition | VISION Article Index 

Vocation Vocabulary Booklet

Short videos on Religious Life

NVAW videos

 

Religious Life Is...

Finding Joy in Religious Life

What You Might not Know about Religious Life

Favorite Ways to Pray


Additional NRVC videos to share on your social media platforms are also available on the NRVC YouTube Channel, including our Learn it! Love it! Live it! webinar series. 

Religious Life Today: Learn it! Love it! Live it!

Other resources

VISION Vocation GuideVISION Vocation Network resources: NRVC's VocationNetwork.org offers many vocation-related resources, including, articles, videos, prayers, and quizzes on vocation discernment and religious life. Order free VISION guide, prayer cards, and posters.

The USCCB website offers news releases, prayer cards, video clips, and other resources.

Global Sisters Report offers lessons for classrooms about Catholic Sisters.

Serra International offers Spark Vocation Tools.

Keep us in the loop

Please send us any plans, photos, or news about your events celebrated during National Vocation Awareness Week. We're happy to spread the good news. 

History

Observance of Vocation Awareness Week began in 1976 when the U.S. bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year for the celebration. It was later moved to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord in January. In 2014, after extensive consultation, the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations moved the observance of National Vocation Awareness Week to November to engage Catholic schools and colleges more effectively in this effort.



World Day for Consecrated Life, February 2

Celebrated in parishes Feb. 1-2, 2025

About World Day for Consecrated Life

In 1997, Pope Saint John Paul II instituted a day for women and men in consecrated life. This global celebration is attached to the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2nd. This Feast is also known as Candlemas Day; the day on which candles are blessed symbolizing Christ who is the light of the world. So too, those in consecrated life are called to reflect the light of Jesus Christ to all peoples. 

The celebration of World Day for Consecrated Life is transferred to the following Sunday in order to highlight the gift of consecrated persons for the whole Church. 

There are several ways to celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life. Invite sisters, brothers, and priests to publicly renew their vows at Mass, send cards of support to newer entrants, ask to visit a mother house to meet and pray with sisters, brothers, and priests, invite a vocation director to visit your classroom, Board meeting, or faith group to learn more about consecrated life. Send flowers, make a donation to a religious community, or invite someone to discern their vocation to consecrated life!


Letter from Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for World Day of Consecrated Life, 2023. 

Resources to celebrate World Day for Consecrated Life

Celebrate with Abundant Hope!

Spark a conversation about religious life using the Abundant Hope prayer cards, Abundant Hope handout, and Abundant Hope video series of newer entrants and senior professed members talking about their lived experiences of intergenerational and intercultural vowed communal life.  There are 76 videos of sisters, brothers, and priests sharing abundant hope on the NRVC YouTube Channel. On World Day for Consecrated Life, gather together to talk about unwavering hope, invite others to celebrate, and record your own short videos to post on your social media sites to join this global celebration! 


VISION Vocation Network articles on Religious Life

VISION Vocation Digital Guides


Dare to Love video


Consecrated Life through the lens of Fratelli Tutti video


Ideas for families and parishes to celebrate WDCL video


Fundamentals from call to charism to community living video


What you might not know about religious life three minute video


Finding joy in religious life three minute video


Religious Life is...three minute video


Selected quotes from Christus Vivit!


USCCB Resources

Sample renewal of vows for cross-congregational events

Sample renewal formula from the Diocese of Brooklyn:

Eternal and Loving God, trusting in your faithful love,
I, _____________, renew my vows to live my life
following Jesus Christ in chastity, poverty, and obedience.
I commit myself anew to serve the Church
in the ministries entrusted to my Religious Congregation.
Grant me the grace, Lord Jesus,
through the intercession of Our Lady
and the prayers and support of my sisters and brothers in Christ
to live these vows faithfully.  Amen.

Sample renewal formula from the Diocese of Ogdensburg:

O my God, I ____________, renew my vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, hoping with your Divine Grace to observe them faithfully.”  Amen.

Sample renewal formula from the Archdiocese of Chicago:

Trusting in God’s love and fidelity,
I ____________, renew my dedication to God
Through the vows of Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience.
I renew the gift of my life in community
and in mission to extend God’s reign of justice, love, and peace in the world.
With total dependence upon God,
I promise fidelity to this commitment
made in accordance with the Constitutions
of my Religious Congregation.
I ask you to pray
that I will be faithful to this commitment. Amen


Quotes from the NRVC Focus groups of newer entrants
who entered religious life from 2003-2018

"This community really, for me, gave me a place and a voice to say, it's okay that you sing in Spanish. It's okay that you're abuelito did this. You had a little altarcito. It's okay. That cultural experience is valid, is valued. That's what attracted me to my community, where I could explore that and celebrate that."

"I was attracted to living in community with other people with the same charism, with the same spirit, with the same hopes for the world with our differences. I wanted to be in community. That was really important to me."

"I think the greatest joy and the greatest challenge is community life, always."


Homily links from Pope Francis

2024 Papal Message for the 28th World Day for Consecrated Life

It is good for us to look at these two elders who were waiting patiently, vigilant in spirit and persevering in prayer. Their hearts have stayed awake, like an eternal flame. They are advanced in age, but young at heart. They do not let the days wear them down, for their eyes remain fixed on God in expectation (cf. Ps 145:15). Fixed on God in expectation, always in expectation. Along life’s journey, they have experienced hardships and disappointments, but they have not given in to defeat: they have not “retired” hope.

2023 Papal Message for the 27th World Day for Consecrated Life

Your mission is enriched by the charisms of your institutes and societies, the charisms of your founders. In their remarkable variety, they all gave themselves for the edification of the Church and for her mission. All charisms are for the mission, and they are precisely so with the incalculable richness of their variety; so that the Church may bear witness to and proclaim the Gospel to everyone and in every situation.

2022 Papal Homily for the 26th World Day for Consecrated Life

What is our vision of consecrated life? The world often sees it as “a waste”, a relic of the past, something useless. But we, the Christian community, men and women religious, what do we see? Are our eyes turned only inward, yearning for something that no longer exists, or are we capable of a farsighted gaze of faith, one that looks both within and beyond? I am greatly edified when I see older consecrated men and women whose eyes are bright, who continue to smile and in this way give hope to the young. Let us think of all those times when we encountered such persons, and bless God for this. For their eyes are full of hope and openness to the future.

2021 Papal Homily for the 25th World Day for Consecrated Life

2020 Papal Homily for the 24th World Day for Consecrated Life

2019 Papal Homily for the 23rd World Day for Consecrated Life

2018 Papal Homily for the 22nd World Day of Consecrated Life

2017 Papal Homily for the 21st World Day of Consecrated Life

2016 Papal Homily for 20th World Day of Consecrated Life

2015 Papal Homily for 19th World Day of Consecrated Life

2014 Papal Homily for 18th World Day of Consecrated Life

Homily Links for Pope Benedict XVI

2013 Papal Message for 17th World Day of Consecrated Life

2012 Papal Message for 16th World Day of Consecrated Life

2011 Papal Message for 15th World Day of Consecrated Life

2010 Papal Message for 14th World Day of Consecrated Life

2009 Papal Message for 13th World Day of Consecrated Life

2008 Papal Message for 12th World Day of Consecrated Life

2007 Papal Message for 11th World Day of Consecrated life

2006 Papal Message for 10th World Day of Consecrated Life

Homily links from Pope John Paul II

2005 Papal Message for 9th World Day of Consecrated Life

2004 Papal Message for 8th World Day of Consecrated Life

2003 Papal Message for 7th World Day of Consecrated Life

2002 Papal Message for 6th World Day of Consecrated Life

2001 Papal Message for 5th World Day of Consecrated Life

2000 Papal Message for 4th World Day of Consecrated Life

1999 Papal Message for 3rd World Day of Consecrated Life

1998 Papal Message for 2nd World Day of Consecrated Life

1997 Papal Message for 1st World Day of Consecrated Life



Updated on: 2020-12-31


2024 Talk it Up Tuesdays!

Meet up and learn with NRVC members

"Talk it Up Tuesdays," is back in February 2024! These 60-minute Zoom gatherings are designed for members to learn together, talk together, and share ideas. 

Focusing on a topic in vocation ministry, the one-hour sessions will start at 1:00 p.m. CDT and will consist of an opening prayer, introductions, a 20-minute short presentation, 15-minute breakout groups, and 15 minutes to share ideas in the large group, a wrap-up, announcements, and closing. Best of all, these are free for NRVC members!

Sessions will not be recorded.

Topics and presenters for 2024

Tuesday, February 13, 2024, Using Your Gifts for Vocation Ministry, presented by  Father Rodrigo Ulloa, M.M.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024, Enhancing Community Involvement in Vocation Ministry, presented by Sister Jill Reuber, O.S.B.  

Tuesday, February 27, 2024, Radiating Joy and Cultivating Possibilities in Vocation Ministry, presented by Brother Brian Poulin, f.m.s.

Tuesday, March 5, 2024, Integrating Your Story in Vocation Ministry, presented by Sister Carol Ann Nawracaj¸ O.S.F.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024, Vocation Accompaniment and Making Connections, presented by Brother Peter Lamick, C.S.V.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024, Unlearning stereotypes and shifting perspectives in vocation ministry, presented by Sister  Lisa Laguna, DC

Tuesday, March 26, 2024, Widening our Vocation Ministry Communication Circles, presented by  Mrs. Renee Dee


We look forward to seeing everyone for this interactive winter gathering! If there is a topic that you are willing to present, let us know and we will add it to the schedule. 

Remember these sessions will not be recorded. Please refer all questions to Sister Dina Bato, S.P. at dinasp@nrvc.net



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CONNECT WITH NRVC

Member Area Gathering - West Coast

June 18,

via Zoom

National Office Closed

June 19,

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June 22,

Huntington Valley, PA

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July 4,

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Orientation Program for New Vocation Directors

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Ethical Issues in Vocation and Formation Ministry Workshop

July 16-17, 2024,

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July 23-24, 2024,

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