Vocation Ambassadors

Vocation Ambassadors


27 Vocation Ambassadors complete training in 2017

Ready to spread good news of vocations

Participants in Vocation Ambassadors 2017
Participants in the 2017 Vocation Ambassadors program are ready to spread the word about religious life.

Twenty-seven people took part in this year's Vocation Ambassadors program, an effort to prepare teams to spread the good news about religious life vocations. Nine groups of three (young adult, communicator, and vocation director) took part in a four-day workshop held June 9-12 at Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, Indiana. Each team developed a strategic plan for vocation communications.

In their evaluations, many participants noted that the workshop was inspiring. One of the young adults wrote:

It was inspiring to be around so many people who are passionate about religious life and vocations, and I feel that a lot of quality resources were provided.

The program was made possible thanks to a grant  from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. 



2017 Vocation Ambassadors Update

One of the many teams that took part in the 2016 Vocation Ambassador Program.

Eight communities and one college are sending teams of three to the 2017 Vocation Ambassador Program, to take place June 9-12 in South Bend, Indiana. This program, which launched last June, prepares young people to be ambassadors for all types of religious life vocations. 

Each team consists of three people: a religious institute's vocation director, a communicator, and a young adult ambassador. During the program, teams will create individual vocation communications plans that will aid the ambassadors in spreading the word about religious life.  

NRVC extends sincere thanks to the following people who will be presenters, as well as to the Hilton Foundation, which is underwriting the program.

  • Cheryl Aughton, communications director for the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities in Pittsburgh
  • Sister Deborah Marie Borneman, SS.C.M., NRVC director of member relations and services
  • Father Adam MacDonald, S.V.D., vocation director for the Society of the Divine Word
  • Sr. Marie Mackey, C.S.J., vocation director and congregational director of young adult ministry
  • Siobhán O'Neill Meluso, social media strategist with experience at VISION Vocation Guide and Divine Word Missionaries
  • Father Larry Rice, C.S.P., director of the University Catholic Center at the University of Texas and presenter on the topic of social media for the church
  • Sister Annette Schmeling, R.S.C.J., consultant, trainer, and communications professional who specializes in both contemplative dialog and social media
  • Carol Schuck Scheiber, publications editor for the National Religious Vocation Conference
  • Chris Swain, director of the Office of Lasallian Vocation Ministry for the De La Salle Christian Brothers 


2017 Vocation Ambassadors Program, June 9-12, 2017

Vocation Ambassadors Program

 

                                      

The Vocation Ambassador program begins with a four-day "Share the Sacred" workshop that provides participants with the skills to become vocation ambassadors.

The workshop

Fourteen select teams of vocation ministers, communicators, and single young adults (ages 20-30), will work together to develop a consistent message that vocations to religious life is a viable option in the Catholic Church. Teams bridge gaps of knowledge and experience to create a collaborative communications strategic plan for vocations that involves a minimum of 100 team hours beyond the Share the Sacred workshop. 

Venue and fees

The program will convene at Holy Cross College, June 9-12, 2017, starting at 5 p.m. on June 9 and ending at noon, June 12. The Program is free. Participants will only be responsible for travel and personal expenses. All program materials, accommodations, meals, and presenter fees will be underwritten through the generosity of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. 

Application process

Participants in the Vocation Ambassadors Program will be selected as a team. The application must be completed and submitted by an NRVC member (single or licensed). And the participating team must include a vocation minister who has previously attended the NRVC Orientation Program for Vocation Directors. The communicator and young adult do not have to be NRVC members.

Read more details about the program here.

What prior year participants have said about the program

Global Sisters Report on the 2016 Vocation Ambassadors Program.
 

Vocations ministry can be an isolated experience, and it's essential to be able to touch base with others who work in that area. I found working with the entire group was a wonderful experience. There is a real sense of enthusiasm around the ministry.

—Father Alan Neville, M.S.C. Vocations Ireland VAP team

It was great to listen to all the other congregations and learn from them. I want to work closely with our community's vocation director to ensure we are communicating correctly and branding ourselves in the best way possible.

—Ms. Yahaira Perez-Caraballo, Communicator

I have been inspired to speak up for Christ and for vocations to religious life in general when meeting all of the vocation directors at this event. The collaboration of activities was very helpful because people were not often alone representing their ideas.

—Jennifer Merola, young adult

The most helpful workshop was the one where the young adults were taught about religious life. I now feel much more confident in my ability to talk to people about religious life and vocations. In addition to the wonderful presentations and abundance of useful information that was shared, two things really made this program "over the top". The first was the communal prayers when a different team led each one. I truly enjoyed seeing others' ways of praying, especially some of those who shared their native languages. 

—Kelly Dahman, young adult

 

 



2017 Vocation Ambassadors seeks applications

March 25, 2017 deadline

Sister Deborah Borneman, SS.C.M. (left) with two participants in the 2016 Vocation Ambassadors Program.

Religious communities are encouraged to apply for the grant-funded Vocation Ambassadors Program to take place June 9-12 at Holy Cross.

The deadline to apply for the program is March 25.

Learn all the details of this well-regarded program here.

I have been inspired to speak up for Christ and for vocations to religious life in general when meeting all of the vocation directors at this event. The collaboration of activities was very helpful because people were not often alone representing their ideas.

—Jennifer Merola, young adult participant in 2016 Vocation Ambassadors



2017 Vocation Ambassadors Program in June

Apply by March 25

The Vocation Ambassadors Program will take place June 9-12 at Holy Cross College in South Bend, Indiana. The program trains young people to be ambassadors who can communicate vocation messages. Each participating religious community must send a communications staff person, a vocation director, and an adult between ages 20-30. By taking part, all three participants agree to do 100 hours of work to fulfill the project's mission.

Workshop

The Vocation Ambassadors Program begins with a four-day "Share the Sacred" workshop that helps sharpen the "ambassadorial" skills and communications planning of participants. Fourteen select teams will work together to develop a consistent message that religious life is a viable life option in the Catholic Church.

Venue and fees

The program will convene at Holy Cross College, June 9-12, 2017, starting at 5 p.m. on June 9 and ending at noon, June 12. The program is free. Participants will only be responsible for travel and personal expenses. All program materials, accommodations, meals, and presenter fees will be underwritten through the generosity of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Application process

NRVC members may begin applying now; applications are due March 25. Participants in the Vocation Ambassadors Program will be selected as a team. The application must be completed and submitted by an NRVC member (single or licensed). And the participating team must include a vocation minister who has previously attended the NRVC Orientation Program for Vocation Directors. The communicator and young adult do not have to be NRVC members.

Read more about the program here.



2016 Vocation ambassadors attract attention

Game launched; story published

Three vocation ambassadors launched an online game that connects college students and sisters face-to-face.

NRVC's Vocation Ambassadors Program garnered positive media coverage and saw the launch of an innovative game for connecting college students and sisters.

Global Sisters Report published a detailed feature about the program in its "Trends" section on August 16.

In August three newly trained vocation ambassadors with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ launched a game intended to get college students at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas interacting in person with sisters. The game, loosely modeled on Pokemon Go, is called "Collect the Deck." Players collect cards by attending events and visiting sisters and other notable personalities at the university. Each card profiles a sister or university person. Whoever collects the most of the 52 cards wins a $200 prize in February.



2016 Vocation Ambassadors Program, June 10-13, 2016

 

Do you want to learn relevant, practical, and affordable marketing strategies that you can implement immediately to promote vocations to religious life?  

NRVC is creating a network of young adults who will be commissioned as Vocation Ambassadors and equipped with media training and communication skills to represent and to promote religious life in the Church and to the general public. All program materials, accommodations, meals, and presenter fees will be underwritten by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Selected participants will be responsible for personal expenses and travel to and from Holy Cross College for this summer workshop, June 10-13, 2016.

Using a four-day workshop called Share the Sacred, 14 selected teams of vocation ministers, communicators, and Catholic young adults (ages 20-30), will work together to develop a consistent message about vocations to religious life as a viable option in the Catholic Church. The Vocation Ambassadors Program will bridge gaps of knowledge and experience by assisting team members to create a collaborative communications strategic plan for vocations that involves a minimum of 100 team hours beyond the Share the Sacred workshop. 

WHAT:  Share the Sacred, 4-day workshop

WHERE: Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, Indiana 

WHEN: Workshop commences June 10, 4 p.m.; concludes: June 13, noon

REGISTRATION: Applications accepted Feb. 1 - March 15, 2016

Who is participating?

Participants in the Vocation Ambassadors Program have now been selected. Team applications were submitted by NRVC members. Eligible applicants could hold a single membership or be part of a license; however only one application per license was allowed to be submitted. The vocation minister needed to be an NRVC member who had some experience in social media and had previously attended the NRVC Orientation Program for Vocation Directors workshop. Team members did not be the same gender. 

 

Members of the NRVC Vocation Ambassadors design team talk to young adult focus group members during its fall planning meeting.

Successful vocation ministry integrates leadership, vocations, communicators, and young Catholics. We are confident that the participants in the Vocation Ambassadors Program will play an important role in ensuring the future of religious life. Please direct any questions to Deborah M. Borneman, SS.C.M., NRVC director of member relations and services at debbiesscm@nrvc.net.

Serving on the Vocation Ambassadors program design team were: Sister Deborah Borneman, SS.C.M., project coordinator; Ms. Miranda Caulkins (communicator with the Adorers of the Blood of Christ); Ms. Debbi Della Porta (communicator with the Sisters of Mercy); Sister June Fitzgerald, O.P.; Father Adam MacDonald, S.V.D.; Ms. Valerie Oltmanns (communicator with the Felician Sisters); Father Larry Rice, C.S.P.; and Sister Theresa Sullivan, D.C.

Details and FAQ  here.

The application process is now closed. 

There were 38 applications from 12 states and Ireland, representing missionary, apostolic, monastic, and evangelical religious institutes.  After prayerful deliberation, the selection committee has chosen 14 teams to participate.  All applicants have been notified of their status. 

For more information about this exciting program, click here.



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