Media/press

Media/press


Vocation fact sheet

Statistics and links to vocation-related information

Who's considering religious life?

Just who is considering religious life is tracked by a number of different organizations, including the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the National Religious Vocation Conference, and VISION Vocation Network.

 

Men

• Among male never-married Catholics, 3 percent (or approximately 350,000) have very seriously considered becoming a priest or religious brother.
• Men who have attended a Catholic secondary school are six times more likely to consider being a priest or brother.
• Among college students involved in Catholic campus ministry: 66 percent have seriously considered becoming a priest or religious brother.
• Among men involved in diocesan young adult ministry: 84 percent have seriously considered becoming a priest or religious brother.

 

Women

• Among female never-married Catholics 2 percent (or approximately 250,000) have very seriously considered becoming a religious sister.
• Women who have attended a Catholic primary school are three times more likely than those who did not to consider being a religious sister.
• Among college students involved in Catholic campus ministry: 39 percent have seriously considered becoming 
a religious sister.
• Among women involved in diocesan young-adult ministry: 30 percent have seriously considered becoming a religious sister.
 

Women & Men

• Among former full-time volunteers of Catholic Volunteer Network 37 percent have considered religious life or the priesthood and 6 percent have chosen a religious vocation.
• Among men and women discerning a vocation, the average educational debt is $28,000. (A majority of religious congregations have turned an inquirer away within the last 10 years because of educational debt.)

 

Who's entering religious life?

Newer entrants identify their primary reasons for coming to religious life as a sense of call, a desire to deepen their prayer and spiritual life, and a desire to live and work with others who share their faith and values.

 

Worldwide

In 2018 there are over 1.1 million religious brothers, sisters,
and order and diocesan priests in the world:

     641,661 religious sisters and nuns
     414,065 diocesan and religious order priests
     50,941 religious brothers

 


In the United States

• Both the spirituality and mission of the religious institute, along with the example of professed members, are most likely to attract newer members to their respective institutes, followed by the prayer life and community life.

• In 2017, there are more than 61,000 religious sisters, brothers, and priests in the United States in 768 religious institutes.

• Over 1,000 U.S. women and men are in formation preparing to become sisters, brothers and priests.

• More than 200 women and men in the U.S. profess perpetual vows annually.

• The average age a person first considers a vocation to religious life fluctuates between 17 and 20; however, half are 18 or younger when they first consider a vocation.

• In 2017, approximately 477 entered priesthood—266 to diocesan priesthood (from 114 dioceses) and 96 to religious priesthood. Among religious orders, the largest number of respondents came from the Jesuits, Dominicans, and Benedictines.

• The average age of entrants is 28 years of age and the average age at perpetual profession for men is 43 and for women, 39 years of age.

• Newer entrants are 67 percent Caucasian/white/European American; 17 percent Hispanic/Latino/a; 11 percent Asian/Pacific Islander/Hawaiian; 3 percent African/African American/black; 2 percent other.

• 70 percent of newer entrants have a bachelor’s degree when 
they enter.

 

 

Information gathered from the follow sources:

http://cara.georgetown.edu/CARAServices/requestedchurchstats.html

2013 CARA/National Survey of Former Full-time Volunteers of the Catholic Volunteer Networkby Caroline Saunders, Thomas Gaunt, S.J., and Eva Coll

2012 CARA/USCCB Study on the Consideration of Priesthood and Religious Life among Never-Married U.S. Catholics by Mark M. Gray and Mary L. Gautier

2009 NRVC/CARA Study on Recent Vocations

2007 Young Adult Catholics and their Future in Ministry Study by Dean R. Hoge and Marti Jewell


 


Glossary of terms

The call to “religious life” in the Catholic Church—also known as “vowed life” or “consecrated life”—is a call to become more like Christ by living the values of prayer, ministry, and community. This call can be lived out in a number of unique ways (see main forms outlined below). Yet all religious priests, sisters, and brothers take vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience, commonly called the “evangelical counsels.” 
 

Apostolic/Active While prayer and community life are important to them, apostolic religious communities are engaged for the most part in active ministries, such as teaching, parish ministry, health care, social work, care for the elderly, work with young people, service to the poor, and many others.

Missionary Missionary communities focus their lives on spreading the gospel in areas in need of evangelization and service. These communities serve in a variety of ministries, such as preaching, teaching, healthcare and other forms of witness among the people with whom they live.

Contemplative Members of contemplative religious communities focus on daily prayer, especially the Mass, the Liturgy of the Hours, and individual prayer. They tend to live in greater solitude than apostolic communities so that they can direct their prayer and work toward contemplation, though some communities that consider themselves contemplative are also engaged in apostolic ministries.

Semi-Cloistered/Cloistered Often, contemplative religious communities are cloistered or partially cloistered. That is, they live separated from the outside world and focus on prayer, including prayer for the needs of the world. As cloistered religious, they rarely leave their monasteries, and all or most of their work is done within the monastery.

Monastic Monastic communities fall somewhere in between apostolic and cloistered. Monastic men and women place a high value in prayer and community life, but many are also engaged in active ministries. Monasticism centers on living in community, common prayer, and Christian meditation.
 


Additional vocation resources

» VISION Vocation Network for hundreds of articles and videos, podcasts, and interactive features including:
• Vocation Match (VocationMatch.com
• Spirituality Quiz | Celibacy Quiz | Catholic Quiz (scroll down on home page)
• Vocation Events Calendar
• VISION Vocation Guide (www.digitalvocationguide.org or order print copies)
• VISION bookmarks and Vocation Prayer Cards (these free resources come in packs of 50). 
• E-books: Discover your path; Being Catholic: A user’s guide (to be published March 2015)
• Year of Consecrated Life banners (Order banners at nrvc.net/store)
• Year of Consecrated Life song downloadable sheet music and audio files
» National Religious Vocation Conference (Find recent vocation studies at nrvc.net and vocation resources in the online store.)
» United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB.org)
» Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (cara.georgetown.edu)
» A Nun’s Life Ministry (anunslife.com)
» National Catholic Sisters Week (nationalcatholicsistersweek.org)
» Global Sisters Report (globalsistersreport.org)
» Men Religious in the U. S. (yearforconsecratedlife.com)
» Catholic Volunteer Network (catholicvolunteernetwork.org)
» Take Five for Faith: Daily renewal for busy Catholics (takefiveforfaith.com)
» Prepare the Word: Whole parish evangelization (PrepareTheWord.com, featuring weekly prayers of the faithful 
for the Year of Consecrated Life)
» Many other Catholic publishers have books and articles on prayer and discernment, religious life, and the lives of saints. Please check out their websites and catalogs for additional resources to build your library of vocation-related resources. Find a list of Catholic Press Association Member publications atwww.catholicpress.org under the About Us tab.

 

 

Catholic Church statistics

Center for the Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)
VISION VocationMatch.com, for those searching for the right vocation. A free service.
Vocation-Network.org, information and resources for those discerning a vocation to religious life.
DigitalVocationGuide.org, interactive digital version of the annual VISION Vocation Guide
NRVC Member Community links, links to religious community websites, dioceses, and organizations
Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR)
Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR)
Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life, and Vocations

 

 



Frequently asked questions about vocations

What is a vocation?

Many people use the word vocation (from the Latin vocare, meaning “to call”) in reference to the call to be a priest, sister, or brother. However, the Catholic understanding of vocation is much broader: every baptized person has a vocation—a call—to love and serve God. How you choose to live out that vocation is what each person must discern. Some feel called to live as single or married laypeople; others choose consecrated life and join a secular institute or religious community (as sisters, priests, or brothers); still others choose ordination as deacons or diocesan priests.

What is a sister or nun?

A sister or nun is a woman who belongs to a religious order, or community. Many people use the word nun interchangeably with sister, but technically nuns are those who live a cloistered (or enclosed) monastic life; whereas sisters serve in an active ministry. After a period of preparation (called formation) sisters and nuns take lifelong vows. Usually they take vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; that is, they promise to live simply, to live celibately, and to follow the will of God through their community.

What is a brother?

A brother belongs to a religious community of men. A brother takes religious vows, usually poverty, chastity, and obedience. A brother’s life revolves around prayer, communal living in a religious community or monastery, and a ministry within the Church and society. A brother is not ordained to the priesthood, and thus does not perform the sacramental duties of a priest. Some men’s communities include both brothers and priests, and both have equal respect and status in the community.

What is a monk?

A monk is the male member of a monastic or contemplative order. Some monks make solemn vows. Monasticism is a particular form of religious life built around a rule, such as the Rule of Benedict, and the Divine Office, a set of prayers and psalms chanted or sung at various points in the day. Women who choose monastic life are called sisters or nuns.

What is a friar?

A friar is a male member of a mendicant order, such as the Dominicans or Franciscans, although the term is sometimes extended to others in the monastic tradition.

What is the difference between a diocesan priest and a priest from a religious order?

All priests are ordained to the priesthood through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. However, a man may choose to be a diocesan priest (sometimes called a secular priest) or a religious priest (or order priest).

If he chooses to be a diocesan priest, then he enters the diocesan seminary system, and once ordained typically serves within his own diocese (a geographic territory designated by the Catholic Church). He is appointed to his ministry—most often parish work—by the bishop of that diocese. A diocesan priest is accountable to his bishop and the people he serves.

If a man chooses religious priesthood, he joins a men’s religious community. While he may perform parish ministry, he generally serves in other ways, typically doing work related to the mission and ministries of his religious congregation. A religious priest is accountable to his major superior and the other men in his community for his religious life and his local bishop and the people he serves for his priestly duties.

Why was there such a surge in religious vocations in the last century?

If you consider the continuum of religious life, the extraordinary number of men and women who entered religious life during the last century was an anomaly. Historically, religious sisters, brothers, and priests have always been a small number of the Catholic population. Some contributing factors to this surge in larger numbers were the limited opportunities for church ministry prior to Vatican II, a large influx of Catholic immigrants entering the U.S., the Catholic Church was growing in prominence and respect, and the similarity in values of the Catholic Church with U.S. societal values.

Are young people still choosing to become priests, sisters, and brothers?

Yes, and there's an uptick in newer entrants. For the second year in a row, over 500 women and men have entered religious life in the United States. Following an unusual surge in the mid-20th century, the number of men and women religious today more closely reflects a number consistent with the beginning of the last century. According to the 2009 NRVC/CARA study, 71 percent of those who have entered religious life and are currently in initial formation are under 40. 

Are young adults pressured to join a religious order if they request information?

Trained vocation ministers adhere to a code of ethics that specifically encourages them to allow inquirers a sense of true freedom to choose or not choose religious life or priesthood without any pressure or expectation from others. In fact, extreme pressure to enter religious life is a canonical impediment to admission to vows. Online websites, discussion boards, and email exchanges allow inquirers to seek information anonymously until they feel prepared to make more personal contact.

Most vocation directors acknowledge that their role is to accompany those in discernment, not to recruit them. In addition vocation directors have a duty to their communities and the church to properly assess and offer honest feedback about a candidate's fitness for religious life.

What is a vocation director?

A vocation director is designated by a religious institute to promote vowed membership, to help others discern their vocation, and to oversee the application process of new members entering the community as a postulant. They assist those who are considering the possibility of religious life by providing support, discernment counseling, and information. The Vocation director for a religious congregation answers to the elected superiors of their congregation. The National Religious Vocation Conference is the professional organization for vocation directors of religious communities.

Vocation Directors who work on behalf of a diocese answer to the bishop. They have their own professional organization, the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors.

What is the process to enter religious life?

Typically someone interested in religious life goes through a discernment process where they prayerfully consider the call to religious life, explore vocation options, contact religious communities, and eventually begin a more formal process of discernment with a particular religious institute.

Once a candidate chooses to apply to a community and is accepted, he or she typically begins a formation process starting with postulancy or candidacy, in which the person is introduced to the communal life, ministries, and mission of the community. Following postulancy comes the novitiate, where a person is formally admitted to a religious institute. The novitiate is an extended time of prayer, study and spirituality, which usually lasts for at least one year. After the novitiate, the novice is admitted to temporary vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. This period of temporary commitment allows for further discernment before he or she makes perpetual profession of vows within a given religious institute.

How many religious institutes are there in the U.S., and how many priests, sisters, brothers?

There are 768 religious institutes in the United States.
Diocesan priests: 25.757
Religious priests: 11,424
Permanent deacons: 18,287
Religious brothers: 4.007
Religious sisters: 45.605

These and additional statistics are found on the CARA website.

How do religious communities screen candidates?

Religious institutes usually require an extensive process of screening candidates to religious life, which usually includes extensive interviews, background checks, and medical and psychological testing. Candidates must demonstrate a lived commitment to the Catholic faith and an appropriate level of maturity and mental and physical health that the rigors of religious life require. Candidates who do not meet specific standards set by both Church law and the individual religious institute are not admitted to religious life.

Can married people enter religious? Widowed and divorced?

Religious life in the Roman Catholic Church is reserved for celibates only. Some religious institutes have accepted widowed and divorced people who have had their marriages properly annulled by the Church.

What are the vows of religious life?

The main vows for apostolic women and men in religious life are chastity, poverty, and obedience. Individual institutes may require additional vows. Monastics profess vows of stability, obedience and fidelity/conversatio to the monastic way of life, which includes chastity and living simply. By stability, a monastic bind themselves to a specific monastery.

What is the National Religious Vocation Conference?

The National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) was founded in 1988 as a professional organization of men and women committed to vocation awareness, invitation, and discernment to consecrated life as brothers, sisters, and priests. The NRVC has an annual membership of almost 1,000 members representing over 350 religious institutes and organizations. The organization is divided into 12 member areas plus international members from 22 countries beyond the United States. The NRVC serves its members by providing education, resources, and services for professional growth.

What is VISION Vocation Guide?

VISION Vocation guide is a print, online, and digital resource for those interested in entering religious life. Published by TrueQuest Communications on behalf of the National Religious Vocation Conference, VISION is distributed throughout the U.S. and Canada in print and around the world in its digital format. VISION articles and features are also available in Spanish and French online. The magazine is in its 22 year of publication. In 2006, VISION launched its popular VocationMatch.com service which assists those discerning a religious vocation to narrow their search for the right community. An annual VocationMatch.com Survey on Vocations helps track current trends.



Glossary of terms

APOSTOLIC LIFE

Not only the first followers of Christ, but all baptized Christians are encouraged to take up the work of an apostle, which is carrying on the original mission entrusted to us by Jesus Christ in the gospels. Some religious institutes are dedicated to serving the Church in active ministry or in an apostolic life. These specific “apostolates” may be in the form of health, social service, education, or direct service to the poor.


BROTHER

A brother takes religious vows, usually poverty, chastity, and obedience. A brother’s life revolves around prayer, communal living in a religious community or monastery, and a ministry within the Church and society. A brother is not ordained to the priesthood.


CHARISM

Each religious community has a charism, which is a purpose, mission, and spirit inspired by the community’s founder. For example, a religious community’s charism may be striving for reconciliation in the world through education or the strengthening of the family through compassionate health care.


CLOISTER

Within monasteries, free entry of outsiders is usually limited to a confined area. A cloister is the part of a monastery reserved only for the monks or nuns who reside in that monastery. Such monks and nuns may be referred to as “cloistered,” in that they strive for religious perfection within the confines of a monastery.


COMMUNITY

A group of persons who share the same beliefs, live together with a common rule, and cooperate in pursuing the common interests for the benefit of others besides their own members.


CONSECRATED LIFE

This is a state of life lived as a means of attaining Christian perfection. It is characterized by the profession of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, and obedience.


CONTEMPLATIVE LIFE

As opposed to the apostolic life, this form of consecrated life stresses prayer and self-denial as way of growing in the knowledge and love of God. Contemplatives within a religious institute give themselves over to God in a life of prayer, solitude, silence and penance.


DISCERNMENT

This is the process of discovering one’s particular vocation in life—whether God is calling someone to religious life, marriage, priesthood, the single life, or a particular ministry.


DIVINE OFFICE

A group of psalms, hymns, prayers and biblical and spiritual readings formulated by the Church for chant and recitation at stated times during the day.


EVANGELICAL COUNSELS

These are the vows and practice of poverty, chastity, and obedience. They are evangelical because they were taught and practiced by Jesus Christ in the gospels.


FORMATION

This is the period of preparation whereby a man or woman learns the customs, traditions, spirituality, and history of the vocation he or she is embracing. This usually takes place within a house reserved for this particular purpose. For men preparing for priesthood, this house may be called a seminary.


FRIAR

This term refers to a male member of a mendicant order, such as the Dominicans or Franciscans, although it may be extended to others in the monastic tradition.


MAJOR SUPERIOR

This is the person who is entrusted with the ultimate authority of a given order or congregation or one of its designated sub-divisions. This person may have the title of abbot or abbess, prior or prioress of a monastic congregation or monastery, the superior general of an entire religious institute, or the provincial superior.
 

MONASTERY

The is the place where religious dwell in seclusion. The term applies mainly to religious men or women who live a cloistered, contemplative life and recite the entire Divine Office in common.
 

MONK

A monk is the male member of a monastic or contemplative order. Some monks make solemn vows.
 

NOVICE

A novice is a person who is formally admitted to a religious institute to prepare for eventual religious profession. Canon law requires that all new members of religious institutes must have at least one full year of “canonical novitiate”. This year usually consists of intense prayer, spirituality, scriptural and theological study, and the history of his or her receiving religious institute.
 

NOVITIATE

This is the place or house where novices normally live.
 

NUN

Nuns are women religious under solemn vows living in a cloistered, contemplative life in a monastery. Although it is not accurate, common usage frequently refers to religious sisters as nuns.
 

ORDER, RELIGIOUS

An institute of men or women, at least some of whose members make solemn vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience.
 

PRIEST, DIOCESAN

A man is ordained to priesthood through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. A diocesan priest, sometimes referred to as a secular priest, works mostly in parishes in a specific geographic area known as a (arch)diocese. He is accountable to his archbishop or bishop and the people he serves.
 

PRIEST, RELIGIOUS

A religious priest is a man who is professed in a religious institute and is ordained to the priesthood through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. A religious priest, also known as an order priest, is accountable to his major superior and the other men in his community for his religious life and his local bishop and the people he serves for his priestly duties.
 

POSTULANT

This term is used to refer to a person who takes the first step of entering into religious life. A person is a postulant before he or she becomes a novice. In some religious institutes, postulants are referred to as “candidates.”
 

PROFESSED

This is a general term used to refer to those men and women who have been admitted to the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
 

PROVINCIAL

A religious superior is the person who exercises leadership over a number of community houses that form a division of the order or congregation, called a province.
 

RELIGIOUS

When used as a noun, this refers to a man or woman who makes religious vows and is a member of a religious congregation. More specifically, one may speak of a “male religious,” who may be a priest, seminarian, or brother, or of a “woman religious,” who may be a sister and/or nun.
 

RELIGIOUS INSTITUTE

This is a collective form of consecrated life, approved by a legitimate Church authority, where the members publicly profess religious vows, live in community, and strive for Christian perfection according to a common rule.
 

RELIGIOUS LIFE

This refers to life in a religious institute, congregation or order, usually under some form of vows.
 

SEMINARIAN

A seminarian is a man who is in the formation process of becoming a priest. He remains a seminarian until he is ordained to the deaconate.
 

SISTER

A sister is a woman religious who takes vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience within an apostolic, religious community or order. Like a brother, she lives in a community and her life is dedicated to prayer and ministry within the Church and society.
 

SOCIETIES OF APOSTOLIC LIFE

Societies of apostolic life resemble institutes of consecrated life. Their members, without taking religious vows, pursue a particular apostolic purpose as defined by the founding charism and mission of their society. Living a life in common in their own special manner, they strive for Christian perfection through the observance of their constitutions. Some of these societies, through a bond defined in the constitutions, live the evangelical counsels.
 

SUPERIOR, RELIGIOUS

The religious superior is the person who exercises authority over a religious community.
 

VOCATION DIRECTOR

This is a person designated by a religious institute to promote vowed membership, to help others discern their vocation, and to oversee the application process of a new member entering the community as a postulant.
 

VOW TEMPORARY

A commitment made to God to practice poverty, chastity, obedience or some other virtue for a specified length in time. The first vows of a religious are generally temporary, to be renewed according to the constitutions. These vows are preliminary to perpetual vows.
 

VOWS PERPETUAL

Ordinarily, perpetual vows are the final vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience a person takes in a religious institute.
 

VOWS, SOLEMN

Public vows pronounced in a religious order and recognized as such in the Church.



NRVC in the news

Media coverage of NRVC initiatives and events

Here's a snapshot of the National Religious Vocation Conference in various articles highlighting our mission as a catalyst for vocation discernment and the full flourishing of religious life as sisters, brothers, and priests for the ongoing transformation of the world.


EWTN News In Depth, A Call to Serve,  Roselle Reyes, beginning at 34:00, November 11, 2022.


Saying 'yes' to God's call led to a journey of discovery and love written by Sr. Jenny Wilson, RSM, Global Sisters Report, November 11, 2022


Christian Brother: Beauty of consecrated life options is like a tapestry written by Barb Umberger, The Catholic Spirit, November 9, 2022


The NRVC's Study on Educational Debt and Vocations was featured in a National Catholic Register story by Kimberly Jansen on "Eliminating Debt, Fostering Vocations" written by Kimberly Jansen, October 22, 2022. 


Br. Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C., former NRVC executive director and a founding member and first board chair of NFCRV,  National Catholic Register written by Joseph Pronechen, August 10, 2022.


For lay religious orders, COVID has made the old new again by Alison Nastasi, Angelus News, May 17, 2022.


When Student Debt Stands in the Way of Religious Poverty by Francis X. Rocco, Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2022.


Archdiocese of Chicago, Dare to Love 30 minute video, that cultivates vocation awareness through discussion of topics related to vocation discernment and promotion.  Programs: March 3, 2022 and February 3, 2022.


This sister is a living advertisement for Benedictine balance by Julie A. Ferraro, Global Sisters Report, February 24, 2022.


World Day of Prayer for Vocations is April 25: Vocation directors share their strategies by Julie A. Ferraro, Global Sisters Report, April 21, 2021.


Vocation directors say online ministry fills gap but isn't the same by Carol Zimmerman, Catholic News Service, March 19, 2021.


How have you experienced interculturality as a member of a religious community, and does this give you hope amid the challenges? by Sr. Maria Gomez, SSND, School Sisters of Notre Dame website, March 11, 2021.


2021 Catholic Sisters Week includes food challenge along with virtual events by Dan Stockman, Global Sisters Report, March 4, 2021.


What constitutes community for you, and does this aspect of religious life give you hope? by Sr. Limétèze Pierre-Gilles, SSND, School Sisters of Notre Dame website, February 9, 2021.


To give you a future of hope by Sr. Sophia Marie Peralta, SSC, The Beacon, December 10, 2020.


Rediscovering a reason for hope by Sr. Tracy Kemme, SC, Sisters of Charity website, December 1, 2020.


Finding Hope in Humility by Sr. Allison Masserano, ASCJ, Sisters Speak, Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus website, December 2020. 


Hope in hard times is an element of our prophetic vocation by Julia Walsh, Global Sisters Report, November 20, 2020.


Reflection on the NRVC 2020 Virtual Convocation by Sr. Grace Marie Del Priore, Felician Sisters of North America, Our Lady of Hope Province Update,  November 12, 2020.


Virtual convocation opens up National Religious Vocation Conference by Dan Stockman, Global Sisters Report, November 5, 2020.


Student loan debt nearly kept Dominican sister from answering God's call by Zoey Maraist, Catholic News Service, November 4, 2020.


Gone but not forgotten: Many former sisters stay connected to communities by Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans, Global Sisters Report, May 21, 2020.


National Religious Vocation Conference Study on Recent Vocations to Religious Life, by Mary L. Gautier and Sister Thu T. Do, L.H.C., Origins, April 9, 2020.


US vocation conference study finds diversity growing, dedication to Gospel values strong, by Dan Stockman, Global Sisters Report, March 25, 2020.


Presence is vial to recruit  younger women for consecrated life congregations say, by Gail De George, Global Sisters Report, February 3, 2020.


Keeping the sisterhood from extinction: The struggle to save nuns in America by Hollie McKay, Fox News,  January 27, 2020.


Love in action in Haiti, by Susan Rose Francois, Global Sisters Report, January 24, 2020.


'Genuine encounters' key in recruiting young women to religious life, say sisters by Dan Stockman, Global Sisters Report, December 16, 2019.


Monastery life allows God 'to make us truly free,' says Cistercian nun by Jessica Weinberger, Catholic News Service, November 6, 2019.


Behold, a millennial nun responds by Tracy Kemme, Global Sisters Report, August 2, 2019.


Sister to sister: Religious reflect on who inspired them to follow God's call by Elizabeth Evans, Global Sisters Report, January 10, 2019.


Organizations take on new ways to erase student loan debt for women religious by Dawn Araujo Hawkins, Global Sisters Report, September 17, 2018.


Spirit's light illuminates congregations' distinct 'facets' by the Life Panelists, Global Sisters Report, April 30, 2018.


Path to religious life varies, especially when sisters start out non-Catholic by Elizabeth Evans, Global Sisters Report, July 16, 2018.


Studies track effect of family encouragement on vocation pursuit by Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service, October 28, 2016.


Vocation Ambassadors program trains young adult Catholics to spread religious life, by Elizabeth A. Elliott, Global Sisters Report, August 16, 2016.


Sisters who are also mothers bring new perspectives to religious life by Elizabeth Eisenstadt Evans, Global Sisters Report, May 5, 2016.


Student loan debt stands between some would-be sisters and their vocations by Dawn Araujo Hawkins, Global Sisters Report, December 3, 2015.


What's unexpected about being a sister? by Julie Vieira and Maxine Kollasch, A Nun's Life Ministry, October 14, 2015.


Religious life about ‘radical availability, boundless compassion’
by Dan Stockman, Global Sisters Report, March 20, 2015.

 




GHR Foundation awards National Religious Vocation Conference

$200,000 grant for mining the 2020 Vocation Study data

By National Office

Chicago, Jan. 6, 2020—The GHR Foundation awarded a $200,000 grant to the Chicago-based National l Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) to provide extensive data mining and visual display of the responses to its 2020 Study on Recent Vocations, to be released in Spring 2020, which the GHR Foundation also helped fund.

With the goal of helping vocation directors in their ministry and using the most current data-mining and story-mapping software, NRVC will gather information on the newest entrants to religious life to create a vivid portrait of the characteristics, influences, and touch points that help shape the individual vocation journeys of men and women who chose to become Catholic religious sisters, brothers, and priests.

NRVC Development Director Mr. Phil Loftus recognizes this major gift “not only as an investment in NRVC, but as a commitment to using the latest technology to capture and share a fuller picture of religious life today. We are very grateful to GHR Foundation for their continued support of our mission."

NRVC hopes that the data-mapping program to be developed will have a broader application among religious communities and dioceses in creating up-to-date information about contemporary men and women religious and the ministries where they serve and the people whose lives are enhanced by their work.

 


The National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) was founded in 1988 as a professional organization of men and women committed to vocation awareness, invitation, and discernment to consecrated life as brothers, sisters, and priests. The NRVC serves its 1,000 members by providing continuing education, resources, and services for professional growth. The National Religious Vocation Conference serves as a catalyst for vocation discernment and the full flourishing of religious life as sisters, brothers, and priests for the ongoing transformation of the world.

GHR Foundation applies entrepreneurial creativity and universal Catholic values in the areas of health, education, and global development. Started in 1965 by Opus founders Gerald A. and Henrietta Rauenhorst, the Foundation seeks transformational change, and partners with the world’s experts to achieve impact. This results in a powerful exchange of ideas, and a community of thought leaders providing locally-driven solutions. GHR is anchored with a belief in responsibility, action, and the knowledge that we are all deeply connected. Despite global challenges, GHR meets each task with entrepreneurial optimism because the Foundation has seen the impact of strategic, thoughtful change.



Hilton Foundation awards $2 million to National Religious Vocation Conference

Funds distributed over three years

 

Contact:

NRVC office
phone: 773-363-5454
e-mail: nrvc@nrvc.net

 

HILTON FOUNDATION AWARDS  $2 MILLION 
TO NATIONAL RELIGIOUS VOCATION CONFERENCE OVER THREE YEARS

 

Chicago, June 19, 2014—The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation awarded a $2 million grant to the Chicago-based National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) to support upgrading and expanding the organization’s structure, programming, and resources. NRVC has been identified by the Hilton Foundation as a key partner in the foundation’s priority area of support of Catholic Sisters. The initiatives made possible by this grant include:

 

  • New programming and research, including a study of the influence of parents and family in nurturing vocations to religious life and priesthood
  • Participation in the 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, including planning and vocation programming for the English-language pavilion
  • Development of a national communications office for religious vocations
  • Redesign the award-winning VISION Vocation Network multilingual website (VocationNetwork.org)
  • Organizational restructuring, fundraising, marketing, and promotion

 

In addition funds from the grant will go toward resources and programs for the 2015 Year of Consecrated life—a special year designated by Pope Francis to honor the lives and witness of religious sisters, brothers, priests, and others in consecrated life. All of the resources, including a specially commissioned hymn and consecrated life timeline, will be available for use by dioceses and parishes. NRVC will also host a convening in Rome in 2015 of international religious vocation organizations to share information and develop collaborative strategies in vocation promotion.


Holy Cross Brother Paul Bednarczyk, executive director of the NRVC, expressed confidence that “by increasing the organization’s influence, broadening its support, and expanding its programming, NRVC will be better positioned to serve the church, religious communities, and most especially, those who are discerning religious life.”

 

In a letter to members, Bednarczyk thanked 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.” 

 

For additional information on these and other initiatives of the National Religious Vocation Conference, visit our website at www.nrvc.net.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________

The National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) was founded in 1988 as a professional organization of men and women committed to vocation awareness, invitation, and discernment to consecrated life as brothers, sisters, and priests. The NRVC has nearly 700 members, most of whom are vocation ministers for religious congregations. The NRVC serves its members by providing continuing education, resources, and services for professional growth.

 

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $92 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2013.  



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