Mission and Benefactors

Mission and Benefactors



The National Religious Vocation Conference began in 1988 as a merger of the National Conference of Religious Vocation Directors (NCRVD) and the National Sisters Vocation Conference (NSVC). Today the NRVC has an annual membership of over 950 women and men representing over 300 religious institutes, both national and international, most of whom are vocation ministers for religious congregations. The organization is divided into 12 member areas. The National Board consists of twelve representatives and the NRVC Executive Director.


Mission of the NRVC

The National Religious Vocation Conference is a professional organization of vocation ministers that presents religious life as a viable option in the Catholic Church. NRVC promotes vocation awareness, invitation, and discernment to life as a religious sister, brother, or priest. NRVC reflects all forms of religious life and provides educational opportunities, resources, and other supportive services for spiritual, professional, and personal growth.

NRVC Goal #1

The NRVC proclaims a positive and hopeful image of religious life in the Church and society, while affirming the call to holiness of each person.

NRVC Goal #2

The NRVC provides education, resources, networking, and support to its members and others involved in vocation work.

NRVC Goal #3

The NRVC promotes dialogue among national organizations concerned with Church vocations, in particular to religious life.

NRVC Goal #4

The National Religious Vocation Conference recognizes and values the diversity within our church and strives to be inclusive of this diversity in all of its endeavors and programs.

NRVC Goal #5

The National Religious Vocation Conference fosters dialogue on vocational issues with a variety of church organizations with special emphasis on those who serve young adults and parents.

NRVC Goal #6

The executive director, staff, and board of the NRVC ensure that the administrative responsibilities of the organization support and facilitate the purpose and mission of the organization.


The National Religious Vocation Conference began in 1988 with the merger of the National Conference of Religious Vocation Directors (NCRVD) and the National Sisters Vocation Conference (NSVC). Vocation directors had hoped for the consolidation of the religious vocation conferences for many years, so that combined resources, personnel, and energy could be focused on one mission and require only one membership.

In the spring of 1988, the interim NRVC board of directors, composed of members of the National Sisters Vocation Conference (NSVC) and the men’s National Conference of Religious Vocation Directors (NCRVD)--together with their respective executive directors, Sister Sharon Baudry, CSA and Sister Jeanne Schweickert, SSSF--finalized the structure and documentation of the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC). Brother Joseph Samson, FMS, became the first NRVC executive director.

Since 1979 NCRVD and NSVC had shared office space at 1307 South Wabash Avenue in Chicago with the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors (NCDVD) and the National Catholic Vocation Council (predecessor to the National Coalition for Church Vocations). In 1990 the NRVC, NCDVD and NCCV offices relocated four blocks away to 1603 South Michigan Avenue.

Sister Catherine Bertrand SSND became NRVC executive director in 1992. Five years later, NRVC and NCCV were invited by the Catholic Theological Union (CTU) to relocate to the first floor of their residence hall at 5420 South Cornell Avenue in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago.

Brother Paul Bednarczyk, CSC, assumed the position of NRVC executive director in 2002. The residence hall housing the NRVC offices was demolished in 2007 to make way for CTU's new school building. The NRVC office then moved to 5401 South Cornell Avenue, across the street from the new CTU building. 

Contact Us

National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC)
5401 South Cornell Avenue, Suite 207
Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: 773.363.5454
Fax: 773.363.5530
Email: nrvc@nrvc.net
Click here to see a map showing where we are located.

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation support for NRVC

On behalf of the NRVC Board, I am delighted to announce that the board of directors of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded NRVC a $2 million dollar grant to continue to build our organization’s capacity and sustainability. This generous grant will provide NRVC with additional personnel, the ability to create an effective development program, resources for the Year of Consecrated Life, and other important vocation-promotion services over the next three years (2014-16). 

Grant objectives

NRVC will implement the following objectives over a three-year period:

 1. Restructure and expand its administration: NRVC currently operates with a 25-year-old staffing structure that does not adequately meet the needs of our current expanded mission, programming, and services.  This grant will assist in underwriting the restructuring of the NRVC administration over the next five months. The following updated organizational structure was developed with the help of a professional management consultant firm:

Executive Director: The Executive Director will remain as the CEO of the organization, but the balance of the position’s focus will shift from internal to external operations. Upcoming projects that will receive particular attention will be a comprehensive development program for the NRVC and the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV). In addition, the Executive Director will continue international outreach for collaborative efforts in professional development and vocation promotion; relationships with significant partners, major donor initiatives, and sustainable organizational strategies.

Executive Assistant:The Executive Assistant will serve as the conduit with all NRVC directors to oversee daily administrative responsibilities of the NRVC office.  Primary responsibilities will include administrative and clerical support to the Executive Director and special projects.

Director of Member Relations and Services: This position, formerly Associate Director of Programming and Resources, includes developing and overseeing programming, resources, membership, and current member relations.

Director of Finance & Operations: This position will require the coordination of all financial and operational functions of the NRVC, including grant oversight, investment, contractual obligations, and bookkeeping and quarterly reporting.

Director of Development and Fundraising: Because of the integral link between the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations and NRVC, this position will be filled by the Director of the NFCRV. Responsibilities for NRVC include donor development and care, grant writing, special events, and marketing and promotional efforts.

IT Manager: The IT Manager will oversee all membership, donor, and subscription databases as well as online services.

Staff Assistant: The Staff Assistant will provide assistance to all Directors in the areas of reception and clerical help.

 2. Develop a broad-based marketing campaign to support NRVC, its mission, and the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV): The purpose of this campaign is to mobilize the broadest-based audience possible to take an active part in NRVC’s mission through prayer and financial contributions. This campaign will include an investment in traditional direct-marketing methods to develop strategies for continued growth.  Through traditional methods of testing, NRVC will lay the groundwork for identifying major donor prospects and creating planned giving leads for both the NRVC and the NFCRV.  This campaign will be quarterly and begin in the fall of 2014.

3. Promote and provide resources at the national, diocesan, and parish level for the 2015 Year of Consecrated Life to commence in November 2014: With the Year of Consecrated Life in the spotlight, NRVC and its VISION Vocation Network want to make the most of this unique educational opportunity by getting high quality resources into the hands of dioceses and parishes.  This will include a specially commissioned commemorative hymn, a resource packet to be mailed to every parish in the U.S.; a media e-kit; a photo and video bank; a CARA Study to discerners, and a special expanded issue of the 2015 Vision Vocation Guide.

4. Partner with other “top tier” Catholic organizations in sponsoring the vocation program and venue at the English-language pavilion at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, in 2016: Building on our success in Rio de Janeiro in 2013, NRVC and its VISION Vocation Network will partner with the Knights of Columbus, the USCCB, Canadian Salt and Light TV, Holy Cross Family Ministries, and other international organizations in sponsoring the vocation venue and program for World Youth Day 2016. Participation of NRVC members in this endeavor will be given first priority.

5. Conduct research through CARA to study the influence of parents and family in nurturing vocations to religious life and priesthood: No study on the influence of parents and families on vocations has ever been done before. This research will be timely as Pope Francis will convene a Synod on the Family in Rome in October of 2014. In addition, Philadelphia will be the host city of the 8th World Meeting of Families to be held in Philadelphia from September 22-27, 2015. The three-party study will include a:
     - Survey of Parents of Religious and Clergy
     - Survey to a Random Sampling of Catholic Parents
     - Regional Focus Groups 

6. Sponsor a convening of the directors of various international religious vocation organizations, particularly from English-speaking countries (Canada, Ireland, England and Wales, Australia, and New Zealand) during the Year of Consecrated LifeThe purpose of this facilitated meeting to be held in Rome in February 2015 will be:
     - to gain a sense of the larger vocation picture beyond their own country;
     - to identify common areas of convergence in vocation needs with suggested solutions;
     - to explore future areas for collaboration in the common mission of promoting membership to religious life.

7. Convene an exploratory panel of high profile experts in media and communications to assist in defining the scope and sequence of a national communications strategy and office for religious vocations: This convening will engage the best of church communicators, journalists, and media specialists to develop a plan of communications that is inclusive of religious life in its entirety and complexity, while not falling into the same issues that trap an already divided and polarized church and religious life. The final result of this collaborative effort will be a communications plan that is hopeful, real, and focused on what unites religious.

8. Redesign the award-winning VISION Vocation Network multilingual website (www.VocationNetwork.org): This expansive redesign will provide a better visitor experience, including quicker response times, responsive design to accommodate any viewing device; and updated key features, including Vocation Match and Vocation Calendar.

9. Launch a new vocation program titled “Vocation Ambassadors.  This one-of-a-kind initiative will be offered as a pilot program with a desire to offer it annually as part of the regular NRVC programming.  The purpose of the program is to provide lay Catholics with media training and communication skills to represent and promote religious life in their parishes and schools and among the general public.

NRVC is the only organization in the U.S. church that directly serves the comprehensive needs of religious vocation directors and their desire to invite new members to their unique and fulfilling way of life. The vocation directors’ needs, much like the vocation question itself, continue to increase in their complexity. While there are no simple solutions, one thing is clear: NRVC and its mission must remain vital and strong for the sake of the future of religious life among its membership and beyond.

This generous Hilton Foundation grant will enable NRVC to grow as a religious and professional nonprofit organization with better organization, financial sustainability, improved services to our membership, and increased outreach to the larger church community. By increasing our influence and broadening our support, NRVC will be better positioned to serve the church, our constituents, and most especially, those who are discerning religious life.

On behalf of the NRVC board and membership, I express my heartfelt gratitude to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Board of Directors for their vision and generous investment in the future of religious life and for their confidence in NRVC and its leadership.  In particular, I would like to thank Sister Rosemarie Nassif, S.S.N.D., director of the Hilton Foundation Sisters’ Initiative, and Brad Myers, domestic program officer at the Foundation, for their immeasurable encouragement and guidance.

Most of all, I want to thank you for your membership and continued loyal support, especially during this transition year. Two years ago the NRVC made a bold proposal to increase membership dues dramatically to demonstrate to our partnering foundations that our members are equally invested in our mission and its future. Mindful of the financial sacrifices this would entail, the NRVC membership at the 2012 Convocation voted nearly unanimously in favor of restructuring membership levels and fees. Your vote of confidence was key to showing our benefactors that the NRVC mission is worthy of their investment.

As we bask in the glow of our 25th anniversary year and this glorious season of Pentecost, may the Holy Spirit fill our hearts with hope, gratitude, and awe at God’s unfolding bounty.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Brother Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. Executive Director

Your support

The NRVC depends in part on the generosity of people like you to continue our important work supporting vocation ministry. Please consider donating online by clicking here. Or contact us to make a contribution.

Donor contact information

National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC)
5401 South Cornell Avenue, Ste. 207 Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: 312.363.5454
Fax: 312.363.5530



Prayer intentions of NRVC benefactors

We are very grateful for your interest and support of NRVC. Please know of our prayers for you. We welcome your special intentions. Click here to learn more.



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NRVC Member Area


January 2018

NRVC Office closed

January 1-2; 15

Mid-Altantic Member Area Meeting

January 9; Washington D.C.

Southwest Member Area Meeting

February 18-21, 2018; San Antonio


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