Convocation: Walking humbly together

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. 


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 selected the National Conference for Vicars for Religious to receive the Harvest Award. They also selected Ms. Marge Argyelan and Sister Josita Colbert, SNDdeN, to receive lifetime membership awards. 

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. Nominations are due on August 15, 2024. 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

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.

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