June 2016 newsletter

June 2016 newsletter

NRVC hosts gathering

Religious leaders to look at cultural diversity

Sister Teresa Maya, C.C.V.I. will facilitate the June gathering of religious leaders to look at cultural diversity.

On June 17 in Baltimore the NRVC is hosting a gathering of religious leaders to look at the reality of the cultural diversity in the U.S. Catholic Church and how best to respond.

The NRVC board concluded that the challenges and opportunities presented by the 2014 NRVC/CARA "Study on Cultural Diversity in Religious Life" needs a broad response beyond those in vocation ministry.

As a result, NRVC is hosting the June 17 gathering, which will represent the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, the religious leadership conferences, the Religious Formation Conference , and the NRVC Cultural Diversity Committee. The day will be facilitated by Sister Teresa Maya, C.C.V.I., general superior of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. Other guests include Sister Mary Johnson, SNDdeN; Dr. Arturo Chavez, president and CEO of Mexican American Catholic College; and Father David Songy, O.F.M. Cap, president of Saint Luke Institute.

The purpose of this gathering is to imagine ways that the various groups represented can collaborate in developing projects, symposia, workshops, and publications to assist religious institutes in dealing with the reality of a culturally diverse church.

Resource of the month

Women's vocation culture assessment

This month every NRVC member from a women's religious community will receive a complimentary copy of "Vocation Culture: Reflection to Action" by mail. NRVC created this instrument to help women's communities evaluate and strengthen their internal vocation culture. Members may also download this resource (as well as a men's resource) for free here. (Members must log in first.)

Coming out of the Women Religious Moving Forward in Hope gatherings in the past few years was a request for resources to assist in strengthening the vocation culture within women's religious institutes. In response NRVC created an instrument that consists of a series of behavioral questions intended to be used by religious institutes in diverse settings. These questions were written by women for women and are based on eight critical needs identified by the Moving Forward in Hope participants.

In addition to the copy being sent to NRVC members, additional copies may be ordered by members and nonmembers alike at nrvc.net for $6 members; $9 nonmembers (plus shipping and handling).

Do you know your ethics?

Sign up for a workshop today!

Further your professional development by signing up today for the July 18-19 NRVC workshop "Ethical issues in Vocation and Formation Ministry," taking place in downtown Chicago.

The ethics workshop will be presented by Father Raymond P. Carey, Ph.D. It will cover issues such as:

  • ​confidentiality, ​
  • agency ​and ​obligations ​related ​to ​positions ​of ​trust,
  • ​dissemination ​of ​information,
  • ​​timeliness ​of ​admission ​or ​dismissal ​decisions, ​
  • ​and other ​issues ​related ​to ​ethical ​rights ​of ​candidates ​and ​those ​in ​positions ​of ​authority.

Summer Institute enrollment is already very robust, with a record number of participants enrolling in workshops. Please don't delay; click here to sign up for a workshop in ethics, orientation, or behavioral assessment.

Convocation to livestream panel discussion

Please suggest young religious and discerners

As part of NRVC's ongoing innovation in its biennial convocation, the organization will host a livestream panel discussion of young adults interested in religious life on October 30 in Overland Park, Kansas. Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann of Salt + Light TV will host the discussion. Organizers are accepting suggestions of young people who might participate until early August.

The livestreaming (that is, live web video of the event) will allow convocation participants and people watching the panel online to ask questions and interact with young religious and young people discerning consecrated life.

Panelist submissions are encouraged

To learn more about the young adult panel and how to recommend a panelist, please click here. Each panelist will receive a small stipend, two nights at the convocation hotel, and participation in the closing banquet and awards ceremony. The community of the panelists is asked to cover travel costs. NRVC also will be promoting this event and the panelists through mainstream and social media, with the hope that the involved communities will also benefit from an increased public profile.

To learn more about the convocation, which takes place October 27-31 and includes day-long, pre-event workshops, click here.

Today's Catholic Sisters final report published

Gatherings successful; NRVC encourages more

A report summarizing the impact of NRVC's series of four gatherings about Catholic sisters has been published and is available here

In 2015 NRVC sponsored "Today’s Catholic Sisters"—intended to increase awareness and understanding of sisters among laity, clergy, media, and other interested parties. In particular, the gatherings looked at why a young woman would consider joining consecrated life.

The participants’ positive response affirmed that the faithful witness and selfless service of religious sisters continues to inspire and have a positive impact on our church and world.

NRVC hopes these gatherings will spur other church constituencies (especially Catholic colleges and universities) to engage in similar projects supportive of women religious and their essential vocation. A higher public profile contributes to a church culture that encourages and inspires young people to desire religious life.

Farewell to Julie Durkin Montague

Gratitude for service

After almost two years of faithful, dedicated service, Julie Durkin Montague, executive assistant, will complete her time with NRVC on June 3 in order to pursue other opportunities in the non-profit sector. In addition to fulfilling her administrative duties, Julie also assisted with special projects and served as secretary to both the NRVC and NFCRV boards. She will be missed at NRVC and we extend our heartfelt prayers, appreciation, and best wishes for her future success.

NRVC Misericordia Scholarship Fund

Help communities to participate

The Misericordia Fund was established  in honor of the Year of Consecrated Life and the Year of Mercy. The fund allows NRVC members and friends to assist congregations that cannot afford fees for NRVC programs and membership. 

Photo: Mazur-Catholicnews.org.uk, creative commons.

All NRVC members should have received in the mail a letter from NRVC's Brother Paul requesting a contribution to the NRVC Misericordia Scholarship Fund. This fund, established last year in the honor of the Year of Consecrated Life and in anticipation of the Holy Year of Mercy, assists religious institutes in financial need with membership and workshop fees.

Since the fund's inception, NRVC has increased its membership by 10 percent and has offered more than $16,000 in scholarships to 31 member institutes. All because of your generosity! Please give whatever you are able and know that it will be appreciated by NRVC and our scholarship recipients. All money received goes directly to scholarship assistance.

To donate online, click here.

Report on newly ordained priests

Bishops release information

The annual report about new ordinands was released in April by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Produced by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), it reviews information about the age, race, background, and vocational discernment of men who have just been ordained. It can be downloaded here.

The report included these details about vocation programs that had an impact on the 2016 class of newly ordained men:

• On average, responding ordinands report that they were about 17 when they first considered a vocation to the priesthood. They were encouraged to consider a vocation by an average of four people. Seven in ten (70 percent) say they were encouraged by a parish priest. Other frequent encouragers include friends (48 percent), parishioners (46 percent), and mothers (42 percent).

• One half of responding ordinands (51 percent) indicated that they were discouraged from considering the priesthood by one or more persons. Among those who reported discouragement, 20 percent indicate that one person discouraged them from considering the priesthood, and 14 percent indicate that two people discouraged them.

NRVC seeking director of finance and operations

Resumes welcome

NRVC is seeking a director of finance and operations. If you know of a person with a strong finance, accounting, and non-profit background, please let them know of this position. NRVC offers the opportunity to share in its life-giving mission of consecrated life vocations and to work in the stimulating environment of the Catholic Theological Union campus.

Download the job description here. Learn more by contacting Executive Director Brother Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. at bpaulbcsc@nrvc.net.

World Youth Day in July

Be part of this event with NRVC

NRVC members can still be part of NRVC's World Youth Day presence in Krakow, Poland on July 25-31.

NRVC and VISION Vocation Network will sponsor a vocation space at the English Language Pavilion in Krakow. Spearheaded by the Knights of Columbus, NRVC joins Canadian Salt + Light TV and Family Rosary as one of the four major partners of this key WYD venue.

NRVC members will be given free priority access to participate in the Vocation Center in the English Language Pavilion. Its goal is to provide a relaxed, comfortable space for individual pilgrims or groups “to encounter” in a personal, informal way a vibrant presence of women and men religious. There will be opportunities to speak with pilgrims about their faith, hopes, dreams, and vocations—be it to marriage, religious life, or priesthood.

An estimated 45,000 U.S. pilgrims are expected in Krakow, in addition to pilgrims from other English-speaking countries. For details about joining this event as a member of NRVC, please click here.

Prayers for those who give

Remember intentions of NRVC benefactors

NRVC is grateful to those who donate to our ministry. We ask our newsletter readers to join us in prayer for the latest intentions of our benefactors, which can be found on nrvc.net.

  • Br. Robert L., C.S.C. of Ohio : Greater courage to embrace the call of the Gospel; vocations to consecrated life, all in need of mercy.
  • Ms. Margaret C. of Illinois: Repose of the soul and the family  of Lucas M. , Sr. Dorothy B., R.S.F.
  • Mr. Robert O. of Illinois:  Peace in the family, especially eldest niece Kimberly H.; an end to terrorism, an increase in vocations
  • Mr. Vic G. of Michigan:  Love and peace in his family; peace in the world, good health
  • Ms. Barbara S. of Illinois:  That her children return to the church
  • Father Jerome B. of Pennsylvania :  Good health
  • Ms. Elizabeth M. of Michigan:  World peace and the end of ISIS; her nephew who has cancer
  • Ms. Rita R. of Illinois: World peace
  • Sr. Antonia Marie G., C.S.S.F. of New Jersey:  All her special intentions
  • Father Thomas K. of New York:  World peace, Pope Francis, faithful departed, vocations, and special needs and intentions
  • Mr. and Mrs. R. W. of Illinois:  Needs of the family
  • Mrs. Sharon P. of Illinois:  Relief of back pain
  • Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence F. of New Jersey:  Son Thomas who has autism, and friend Joe B. who has cancer

Photo by  Josh Kenzer, creative commons license.

NRVC collaborator news

Events, assembly, and more

Communicators for Women Religious conference

The board of the Communicators for Women Religious has hired an executive director, Mr. Nicholas Schafer, who began working at the organization's newly established Chicago office in June. Funded by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the organization will be located in the same building that houses the National Religious Vocation Conference, Religious Formation Conference, and Giving Voice (which represents young women religious).

Additionally,  the Communicators for Women Religious will hold its annual conference in Indianapolis October 4-7. The theme will be "Advance Your Mission! Turbocharge Your Communications." Learn more at c4wr.org.


LCWR offers resouce on contemplative dialogue

In response to interest in understanding contemplative dialogue, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious recently created an online resource that demonstrates this practice and highlights its potential as an instrument of transformation.

"Contemplative Dialogue: Unleashing the Transformative Power of Communal Wisdom" is a video of eight women religious who allowed their actual contemplative dialogue session to be filmed so that others could see how this form of communal contemplation and sharing works. The one-hour film may be seen online and is available here.

The film, as well as transcript of the introduction and a document providing additional information on the practice are available on the LCWR website as downloadable files (https://lcwr.org/contemplative-dialogue). The video is also available with Spanish-language captioning of the introduction and concluding commentary.

We developed these materials to help people know how to effectively conduct a contemplative dialogue session. So maybe the pitch is for vocation directors to learn this process themselves to use within their own communities, with groups they may be working with, for people in discernment, etc. It’s a process that can be used by any groups that want to have a conversation together about matters of importance to them.


CMSWR course for Spanish-speaking sisters; leadership forum for young women

The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious (CMSWR) will offer the summer course "Spouses of Christ, Daughters of the Church” (Esposas de Cristo, Hijas de la Iglesia) June 27-July 8 at the Pax Christi Retreat Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. Enrollment is open to any Spanish-speaking women religious serving in the United States.

For more information, see www.cmswr.org or e-mail EsposasdeCristo@cmswr.org.

In addition, CMSWR is sponsoring "GIVEN: the Catholic Young Women's Leadership Forum," June 7-12 at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

This event will bring together 300 rising leaders, selected by application, with religious and lay leaders for a full-scholarship, week-long immersion in faith formation, leadership skills training, and networking. Speakers will include: law professor Helen Alvaré, Catholic Relief Services President Dr. Carolyn Woo, and singer songwriter Audrey Assad.

Applications for a full scholarship are at www.givenforum.org. This event is supported by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.


Religious Brothers Conference Assembly

The Religious Brothers Conference will hold its 45th annual assembly July 23-26 at the Siena Center in Racine, Wisconsin. Brothers from all communities are welcome to attend. The theme will be "The Brother in the Year of Mercy," and the keynote speakers will be Sister Barbara Reid, O.P. and Brother Steve Bevans, S.V.D., both of whom are on the faculty of Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. For more information, see todaysbrother.com.


Catholics on Call extends application deadline for summer young adult event

The Catholics on Call Young Adult Conference will take place August 3-6 at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. Learn more about this event aimed at young adults considering a church vocation here.

The Partner Conference for Catholics on Call will take place September 15-16 and is open to religious institutes that are partners to the program. Learn about partnership and the September event here.


U.S. bishops to gather Catholic leaders next summer

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is convening a gathering of Catholic leaders next July with the intent of forming "missionary disciples."

Called, "The Joy of the Gospel in America: A National Convocation of Catholic Leaders," this event will take place in Orlando Florida July 1-4, 2017.  By invitation only, the event will bring together key leaders from dioceses and Catholic organizations from across the country.

The assembled Catholic leaders will engage in strategic conversation, under the leadership of the bishops, with the goal of “forming missionary disciples to animate the Church and to engage the culture.”  

Other key organizational leaders from Catholic organizations, movements and apostolates, missions, religious institutes, agencies, and institutions will be identified and invited by the USCCB.


Biblical Studies Program at CTU

Catholic Theological Union in Chicago is sponsoring a Biblical Studies Program in August and October. Learn more at ctu.edu. Click on "Programs & Centers," then "Biblical Study/Travel."


Upcoming events

Sister Jane Mary Gawlik, C.S.S.F.


How long have you been involved in vocation ministry?

For most of my life as a Felician sister. At first I was the local vocation contact in my ministry assignments. In 2007 I was asked to join the vocation office team in the Archdiocese of San Antonio as the associate vocation director. I was a member of the NRVC and also the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors. At the same time I've been on the new membership team for my community and have worked in this area up until the present.

What do you enjoy most in vocation ministry?

There are so many aspects to enjoy about vocation ministry. I love meeting new people and sharing my life as a religious woman. I enjoy the challenges of creating programs in the archdiocese and with my community that invite young people to serve in the church. I have also discovered that collaborating with religious communities here in San Antonio has been both fruitful and enriching. I have not only gotten to meet and work with people but to enjoy so many beautiful friends as a result.  

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful to you?

I love being a member of NRVC because I have met so many wonderful people at conferences. I work with a variety of communities in the San Antonio area who are members and the support and networking is really nice. I have been enriched with opportunities to join in or help with events sponsored by NRVC.

What has been your best vocation effort?

One of the best events that we have here in San Antonio is the Life Awareness Discernment Weekend. For 10 years now religious communities in the archdiocese have collaborated to put this weekend together.  We have tweaked and refined this program, and it has surfaced many men for the diocesan priesthood as well as many men and women for consecrated religious life.

Note: Sister Jane Mary Gawlik, C.S.S.F. will be completing her service for the Archdiocese of San Antonio this summer. She hopes to keep a hand in vocation ministry in her new assignment with the Felician Sisters in New Mexico.

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Behavioral Assessment 2 workshop

December 2-3,

Tucson, AZ

National Board Meeting

December 4-8,

Tucson, AZ

Member Area Gathering - Delaware Valley

December 5,

via Zoom

National Office Closed

Dec. 25 - Jan. 1,

Christmas Holiday

National Office Closed

January 15,

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday

National Board Applications due

January 31,

Learn more

World Day for Consecrated Life

February 2,

Learn more...

Catholic Sisters Week

March 8-14,

Learn more...

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

April 21,

Plan now

Religious Brothers Day

May 1,

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Renew your NRVC membership