June 2015 newsletter

June 2015 newsletter

NRVC Misericordia Fund

Help a religious institute take part in NRVC

In celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life and in anticipation of the Holy Year of Mercy, NRVC proudly announces the establishment of the NRVC Misericordia Scholarship Fund to provide grants for NRVC membership and programs to religious institutes in need.

All members have received information in the mail about this new initiative. We ask you to please be generous so that all religious institutes may benefit from all that our organization has to offer. Your gift, whatever the size, will directly support a religious community committed to vocation ministry. Donate here.

NRVC-CARA families study

On family role in nurturing church vocations

Brother Timothy Danaher, O.P. with his parents, William and Theresa. Photo courtesy of Theresa Danaher.

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), which is conducting research on families and vocations for NRVC, reports an excellent response rate from both religious institutes and dioceses to the “Study on the Role of Family in Nurturing Vocations to Religious Life and Priesthood." The  results will be released to the NRVC membership and the media in August.

NRVC will also promote the study results at the World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Philadelphia in conjunction with Pope Francis' visit to the United States September 22-27. If you plan to attend the meeting, be sure to stop by the NRVC booth.

World Youth Day

Krakow, July 25-31, 2016

Brother Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C., executive director of NRVC, will travel to Krakow in June for planning meetings regarding the English-speaking pavilion at World Youth Day in July 2016. The Knights of Columbus, Salt + Light TV, Holy Cross Family Ministries, the Sisters of Life, and NRVC are the five partners overseeing the planning of the program at the Tauron Arena in Krakow. This brand-new arena has a seating capacity for more than 15,000 people and is located outside of the city center.  

NRVC will be given further information once we have greater clarity about the vocation venue and the role NRVC members may play in it. Learn more about World Youth Day at worldyouthday.com.

Blessings on transitions

Vocation directors who are moving on

NRVC extends deep appreciation to members who are transitioning out of vocation ministry this summer. Thank you for all you have done to promote religious life, work with inquirers, assess candidates, and animate members of your religious institute. Know that we at NRVC will continue to keep you in prayer and that you are always welcome to attend our workshops and convocation. Consider attending an event with your community’s new vocation director.

Thank you, regional coordinators

NRVC also expresses gratitude to those who are transitioning out of regional leadership this summer:

  • Sister Pat Twohill, O.P.
  • Sister Amelia Breton, S.B.S.
  • Sister Sue Weetenkamp, R.S.M.
  • Sister Katherine Kase, C.S.C.
  • Sister Julie Myers, O.S.F.
  • Father Don Miller, O.F.M.
  • Sister Sarah Roy, O.S.F.
  • Sister Adrienne Kaufmann, O.S.B.
  • Sister Vicki Lichtenauer, S.C.


Take the member services survey

NRVC wants to hear from all its members. If you have not yet filled out the survey about member services, please click here and give feedback about how NRVC can best meet your needs. The survey closes June 30, 2015.

Advent Days of Reflection & Renewal

For vocation and formation ministers

Sister Addie Lorraine Walker, S.S.N.D.

NRVC and the Religious Formation Conference (RFC) are collaborating to offer a four-day desert retreat December 14-17 at the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson, AZ. Titled “Learning to Live and Pray in Hope,” this Advent retreat will focus on transformation and the journey of faith. It offers vocation and formation ministers opportunities to embrace Advent practices such as waiting, accepting, anticipating, and listening. It will emphasize heightened awareness, gratitude, and silence. The presenter is Sister Addie Lorraine Walker, S.S.N.D., Ph.D. Registration opens this month. Click here for more information.

NRVC members to be youth mentors

Partnership with NFCYM

NRVC is partnering with the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM) to provide mentors for youths in its "animator program," which takes place this July.

Youth animators at a past NCYC conference.

Eleven NRVC members have been selected to assist with animator training at Marian University in Indianapolis, Indiana. These vocation ministers will provide support and encouragement to young people who will be trained to be “animators” (or leaders) at the large NCYC conference in Indianapolis in November.

Animators are teens who lead prayer, song, and movement from the main stage during the NCYC conference. This new venture of having NRVC members connect with these young ministry leaders is another way to be present to young people and to promote vocations. NRVC members who will be mentors are:

  • Father Andy McAlpin, O.P.
  • Brother Michael Migacz, S.C.
  • Father Timothy Armbruster, C.P.P.S.
  • Father Paul Henson, O. Carm.
  • Sister Belinda Monahan, O.S.B.
  • Sister Hannah Vanorny, O.S.B.
  • Sister Pat Connolly, D.C.
  • Sister Rebecca Tayag, S.S.N.D.
  • Sister Mary Beth Bromer, C.S.S.F.
  • Sister Laurie Orman, R.S.M.
  • Sister Stephanie MacDonald, O.S.B.

Additional information about the NCYC animator program can be found here.

Are you prepared to assess?

Summer Institute: Behavioral Assessment I

Father Raymond P. Carey, Ph.D.

Registration for this acclaimed workshop by Father Raymond P. Carey, Ph.D. is almost at capacity for the July 20-22 session in Chicago. It will also be offered October 13-15 at the Marillac Center in Leavenworth, Kansas.

If you have never received professional training to assess potential new members, this acclaimed workshop is a must. Registration for this workshop by Father Raymond P. Carey, Ph.D. is almost at capacity for the July 20-22 session in Chicago. However, it will also be offered October 13-15 at the Marillac Center in Leavenworth, Kansas.

 Find further details and registration here.

Dolores Orzel honored by priest organization

National Federation of Priests' Councils gives award

Dolores Orzel

Dolores Orzel, creative director of the National Vocations Awareness Division of the J.S. Paluch Company, in May received the Mandatum Award of the National Federation of Priests' Councils for her outstanding work in promoting priestly and religious vocations.

For 27 years Orzel has promoted religious and clerical vocations through her instrumental work in overseeing the J.S. Paluch Vocation Seminar, an annual event that brings together leaders in vocation and related ministries for a collaborative learning experience. NRVC congratulates Orzel on this well-deserved honor and once again extends thanks to her and the J.S. Paluch Company for their generous gift of time and treasure on behalf of Catholic vocations.

Summer service projects

Part of Year of Consecrated Life

Leaders from four of the 26 religious communities sponsoring the building of a home in Louisville, Kentucky for a low-income family: Sister Janet Marie Peterworth, O.S.U.; Father John Schork, C.P.; Sister Teresa Gunter, O.S.B.; and Sister Nancy Gerth, S.C.N. 

As a way of promoting the mission and increasing the visibility of religious communities, the U.S. bishops are encouraging religious orders to sponsor service projects this summer. As a result many communities are sponsoring opportunities for service, ranging from soup kitchen assistance to house building.

An example of a collaborative project is a Habitat for Humanity house construction project that 26 religious orders in the Louisville, Kentucky region are supporting. Throughout the summer of 2015 young people and other interested adults are working side by side with sisters, brothers, and priests to construct a Habitat for Humanity home for a mother and her eight children. The project is called “Wake up the World” and was begun by religious communities in honor of the Year of Consecrated Life. Click here for further details.

Resource of the month

"Keys to the Future" kit

Debuted in 2012, the “Moving Forward in Hope: Keys to the Future” process has helped many religious communities to re-energize their membership to support and participate in vocation ministry.

It is designed to be adaptable, interactive, and participatory. It helps communities to:

  • understand crucial points of information that emerged in the 2009 NRVC-CARA study of newer members;
  • examine the community’s realities in light of the study; and
  • identify and prepare to take positive, concrete steps to encourage new membership with support and participation from the entire community.

The “Keys to the Future” kit is on a DVD that contains the comprehensive, adaptable process, including a 30-minute video, facilitator's manual, handouts, and a PowerPoint presentation. The process is designed for a one-day, five-hour gathering. However, portions of the program may be adapted to fit your specific needs.

Members: $25. Non-members: $37.50. Click here to order.

Communications tip of the month

Make use of Instagram

Instagram is a photo-and-video-sharing app that is easy to use on a smartphone or tablet. Religious orders use it to show images of their lives to others, share spiritual messages, and to interact with young people.

Instagram can be set up so that your posts also instantly post to other types of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Instagram tends to be used by people younger than age 35, and its users are heavily female. According a 2014 report by the Pew Research Center: "Most notably, 53 percent of young adults ages 18-29 now use the service, compared with 37 percent who did so in 2013. Besides young adults, women are particularly likely to be on Instagram, along with Hispanics and African-Americans and those who live in urban or suburban environments."

Find basic information about Instagram here. For articles on Instagram use in ministry see:

Catholic Church ministry
Campus ministry

Upcoming workshops & conferences

NRVC collaborators host key events

Workshops to celebrate consecrated life

St. John Vianney Center is sponsoring two workshop series—one for men and one for women—in celebration of the Year of Consecrated Life. The men religious program is scheduled for June and July and is titled “The Appreciative Heart: Celebrating the Journey of Your Lived Experience in Consecrated Life.” The men’s programs will be held at:

  • Maritime Conference Center, Linthicum Heights, Maryland, July 13-14
  • Techny Towers Conference Center, Techny, Illinois, July 20-21

For details on the men’s programs, click here.

The women’s program series will focus on “Exploring the Identity of Religious Life in the 21st Century: Who do you say that I am?” Sessions are scheduled for:

  • DuPont Education Center, Wilmington, Delaware, October 2-3
  • Double Tree Hotel, Kenner, Louisiana, November 20-21

Contact Pat Weston at pweston@sjvcenter.org or call 888-993-8885 for more information.

J.S. Paluch Vocation Seminar

The annual J.S. Paluch Vocations Seminar will take place August 17-19, 2015 in Chicago. This invitation-only event features the Very Rev. Frank Donio, S.A.C., D.Min. as keynote speaker on the topic "Vocation Ministry: Keys to Collaboration." Donio is Director of the Catholic Apostolate Center and Provincial Rector of the  Immaculate Conception Province of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallotine Fathers and Brothers). For information on the National Vocations Awareness Division for J.S. Paluch Co., click here.

Catholics on Call Young Adult Summer Conference

Catholics on Call is sponsoring a Young Adult Summer Conference in Chicago August 4-8 for men and women ages 18-30 who feel called to a life of service in the church and are seeking direction. They may apply online. Or email: catholicsoncall@ctu.edu.

Catholics on Call Partner Conference

Catholics on Call invites vocation directors to attend its Partner Conference to be held September 24-25 in Chicago. The featured speaker will be Kathleen A. Cahalan, professor of theology at Saint John’s University School of Theology Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota. She will discuss the call to discipleship, the vocation to ministry, and practices for accompanying young discerners.

Learn more at catholicsoncall.org/partner-conference. Or email: catholicsoncall@ctu.edu.

Communicators for Women Religious

The Communicators for Women Religious is holding its annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico October 6-9. Vocation ministers are welcome to take part. The conference theme will be "Spirit of the wind; Spirit of the message," and the keynote speaker will be Father Richard Rohr, O.F.M. Workshops will address social media, branding, magazines, and more. Learn more at c4wr.org

Symposium "To Wake up the World"

The Council of Major Superiors of Women will host a fall symposium, “To Wake up the World,” November 13-14 at the Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch in St. Louis. This will be a national event at which scholars and religious come together to discuss the beauty and witness of religious life. The keynote address will be by Archbishop Augustine DiNoia, O.P., adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is open to all religious, priests, and laity. Learn more at cmswr.org.

Sister Sarah Roy, O.S.F.


How long have you been in vocation ministry?

I have been involved in vocation ministry part-time since my first vows in 2005. I have been the full-time director since 2009. So, I guess part-time for four years and full-time for six years.

What kind of team do you work with?

Our vocation ministry consists of myself as vocation director, and a vocation committee of three other sisters.

Have you benefited from belonging to NRVC?

NRVC has been extremely helpful to me in my vocation ministry. When I first began, the Orientation Program was a lifeline for me. It gave me a strong foundation of what vocation ministry is all about and the tools I needed to be a good vocation minister. It gave me a support network to turn to with questions, too. NRVC has also provided me with professional development and many laughs with other vocation ministers.

What have been your most fruitful projects?

The two most fruitful projects for my vocation ministry would be my interactions with the local Newman Centers and the contacts that VISION Vocation Guide sends to me. These two avenues allow me to make contact with discerning women and invite them to visit with our community.

What do you find rewarding in this ministry?

I enjoy walking with discerning women as they answer God’s call. I enjoy seeing the joy they find in their vocation.

Contact Sister Sarah at sistersarahelizabeth@gmail.com

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National Office Closed

May 27,

Memorial Day National Holiday

Member Area Gathering - West Coast

June 18,

via Zoom

National Office Closed

June 19,

Juneteenth National Holiday

Member Area Gathering - Delaware Valley

June 22,

Huntington Valley, PA

Orientation Program for New Vocation Directors

July 10-14, 2024,

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Ethical Issues in Vocation and Formation Ministry Workshop

July 16-17, 2024,

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Behavioral Assessment 1 workshop

July 19-21, 2024,

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Health and Wellness in Candidate Assessment Workshop

July 23-24, 2024,

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Being Human and Sexual: An Evolving Understanding Workshop

July 26-29, 2024,

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