November 2017 newsletter

November 2017 newsletter

Sister Sharon's mini videos

From the executive director

By Sister Sharon Dillon, S.S.J.-T.O.S.F.


I invite you to view these mini vocation videos developed in collaboration with A Nun's Life Ministry at an October 27-28 video training for sisters that it sponsored at Vocation Ambassadors this summer. Please also see my report on activities of the last quarter, including my reflections and observations.

Communications workshop in Philadelphia

This month's member area gathering

All NRVC members are invited to attend the following professional development opportunity.

Delaware Valley - December 6
Mount St. Joseph Convent, Philadelphia
Cynthia Krohn, communications professional for Christian Brothers
“Telling Our Stories: Marketing Tips for Vocation Ministry"
Flyer with details
Coordinators for Delaware Valley member area:
Sister Celeste Mokrzycki, S.S.J., 215-248-7200,
Sister Maryanne Tracey, S.C., 973-290-5325,

NRVC Board gathers

Agenda includes planning, finances, services

The NRVC Board relaxes after a long day's meeting.

At the October 8-12 meeting of the NRVC Board in Rapid City, South Dakota, the group moved forward with its strategic planning process, reviewed its financial status, chose an executive team, and examined member services. At the same meeting, the board also chose the executive committee, which consists of:

Brother Ronald Hingle, S.C., chair

Father Toby Collins, R.C., vice chair

Sister Kristin Matthes, N. , secretary and treasurer

The board also approved a change in the bylaws that was proposed by the member area coordinators and affects the process for changing coordinators.

Details about the full board are at, as are the complete bylaws for the organization.

National Vocation Awareness Week

Free shipping on resources Nov. 5-11

One way NRVC is celebrating National Vocation Awareness Week is by offering its members free shipping on any purchases they make during the week, November 5-11. This is the time to stock up for your year ahead, including events related to the fall 2018 synod of bishops.

For National Vocation Awareness Week, in addition to downloadable resources at,  you will find prayer cards and materials for liturgies, events, etc. with your community, parish, or ministry from the U.S. bishops and from Serra International.

Be part of NCYC

Your chance to be present to teens

NRVC invites you to take part in the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), which will take place November 16-18 in Indianapolis. This year's theme will be Called - Llamados, and approximately 23,000 young people, youth ministers, and parents will take part in this celebration of faith and discipleship.

NRVC members may join in as volunteers, exhibitors, or adult participants. Full details are available here.

NRVC is sponsoring a gathering space called Inspiration Nook to meet participants and promote vocations to religious life. No matter how you are participating, you are welcome at Inspiration Nook. More volunteers are still needed in the thematic park. 

If you are participating, please email Sister Deborah Borneman, SS.C.M.  ( with your name, email, and religious community. Please note that all participants must complete Safe Environment training to participate.

NRVC to lead the Rosary

Additionally, NRVC has been invited to lead a communal living Rosary in the Marian Chapel. At 11:15 a.m. on Friday, the 17th, we will pray the Joyful Mysteries for the intentions of parents. At 3:15 p.m., we will pray the Sorrowful Mysteries for the intention of young people. On Saturday, the 18th, at 11:15 a.m., we will pray for all youth ministers with the Glorious Mysteries. At 3:15 p.m. we will pray for vocations with the Luminous Mysteries. 

If you have PowerPoint images of Mary you can share, please contact If you have rosaries to give away, this is an ideal place to bring them.

Please note that NRVC is unable to pay for travel, meals, or accommodations of members taking part in this event.

Are you connected to VISION?

Be part of its discerner network

VISION Vocation Guide is a print publication with a 24-7 online presence. Literally thousands of people engage with VISION around the clock on social media. Connect today with VISION and join the conversation!








Renew your membership today

Lock in benefits!

Now is the time to renew your membership and invite new members to join NRVC.

Anyone applying for funding for education needs of new members needs to have membership paid in full before December 31. Only NRVC members who have joined by this date can apply for funding from National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations.

Help NRVC streamline renewals, and help yourself by renewing today!

Please pray for our benefactors

Their requests

The patrons of the National Religious Vocation Conference are keeping us in their prayers. Let's do the same for their intentions. Here are the latest prayer requests from our donors.

• Barbara E. from Michigan as she opens up a pain clinic that she focus on what God is calling her to.

• Tammie J. in Illinois that she be provided new career opportunities.

• Ralph C. in Wisconsin for all novices.

• Brother Irenee in Rhode Island for vocations and perseverance.

• Maryann F. in Michigan for the health problems of Bob and Maryann and for deceased relatives and friends.

• Mary E. in Indiana for the return of family members to church, for those suffering from chronic pain, for vocations.

• Evette F. in New Jersey for our political leaders (especially on the local level).

• James W. in Kentucky for miraculous graces for friends and family, especially George N., Sarah K., and Patty T.

• Gregory G. in Florida for financial health (personal and business).

• Dan M. in Ohio for financial stability.

• Brother Chris in Illinois for health and continued recovery.

• Robert L. in Illinois for improved health for himself and his sister.

• Friar Thomas in Illinois for deceased loved ones.

• Lucy F. in Iowa for peace in the world.

• Laurence F. in Illinois for deceased loved ones and an end to abortion.

• Rita S. in Illinois for her health and for her family.

• Yvonne V. in Louisiana for the alcoholics in her family and that they recover.

• Mary P. in Michigan for her family and for those who are homeless.

Fall Institute educates 59

Next workshop in February

NRVC brought together 59 vocation ministers October 11-21 in Leavenworth, Kansas for training in behavioral assessment and orientation to the ministry.  One participant wrote: 

My expectations were widely fulfilled. The resources used were appropriate; they helped me to understand and deepen each topic. Very good selection of content and very well explained. Enough time to integrate the concepts, time to share with others, and time to pray with them. Thank you for everything!" — Sister Monica Darrichon, S.Sp.S.

The next opportunity for professional education will be February 20-22, 2018 at the Mexican American Catholic College in San Antonio, Texas. A workshop there will address issues of race, cuture, and new candidates. Watch for details in this newsletter.

Just a few of the 59 vocation directors who took advantage of NRVC's Fall Institute this year.

Resources of the month

Free shipping on everything Nov. 5-11

This month, we call attention to the full array of NRVC resources at our store. Members who order November 5-11 will save on free shipping. This is the time to stock up on your needs for the coming year. 

Everything from "God grant me a discerning heart" booklets to guide your time with discerners to our new "10 questions people ask" brochures are available at the store at 

News of our collaborators

RFC congress, lecture series, and more

Formation Conference Congress 2017

It’s not too late to register for the November 16-18 National Congress of the Religious Formation Conference.  Join more than 300 men and women religious in Milwaukee, who are gathering under the theme of "Grace in the Now: the Gospel of Encounter."  Detailed information and registration materials are available at

CTU fall lecture series continues

The Catholic Theological Union is hosting a fall lecture series on religious life topics continuing through December 4. Learn more at

Communicators for Women Religious

CWR will partner with the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) to present communication workshops for UISG delegates and local congregational leadership at their annual gathering in Manila, Philippines November 5-10.

Registration open for Conference on Intercultural Competencies 

Join national experts in human formation and intercultural competency to address opportunities and challenges in evaluating and forming international priests and religious for ministry in the United States. "Intercultural Competencies for Human Formation" will be held April 15-18, 2018, at Saint Meinrad Archabbey and Seminary in Indiana. The conference is co-sponsored by Saint Luke Institute and Saint Meinrad Archabbey. Learn more and register at or contact Beth Davis at or 502-632-2471.

Canadian vocation conference

The National Association of Vocation and Formation Directors in Canada invites U.S. vocation directors to attend its conference April 22-25, 2018 in Hamilton, Ontario. Find details here.


Upcoming events


National Vocation Awareness Week

November 5-11, 2017

NRVC at National Catholic Youth Conference

November 16-18, 2017

World Day for Consecrated Life

February 2, 2018

National Catholic Sisters Week

March 8-14, 2018

World Day of Prayer for Vocations 

April 22, 2018

Religious Brothers Day

May 1, 2018

NRVC Convocation 

November 1-5, 2018


Sister Marie Mackey, C.S.J.

Sister Marie Mackey's community is the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, New York, a Diocesan religious community serving primarily the Brooklyn and Rockville Centre Diocese, as well as Puerto Rico. Her roles include being co-coordinator of NRVC's Hudson Valley member area. She has also been active in the Vocation Ambassador Program sponsored by NRVC the past two summers. In addition, she is a young adult minister.

How long have you been in vocation ministry?

I have been a Congregational Vocation Director for two years, although I have been involved on a vocation committee for about 10 years.

Has it helped you to belong to NRVC?

NRVC is a blessing to me. I have met so many vocation directors and learned so much about vocation ministry from being active in the various member areas. The support and professional development that NRVC provides is outstanding!

What are some things you've learned from this ministry?

I have learned about the importance of presence. Being available to others to listen and journey with them is a unique and profound experience.

Any words of wisdom for others who do this work?

Be patient. God is doing something new in you and in religious life.

Your biggest challenge?

At times it can be isolating and overwhelming, especially if you are a one-person vocation office. Determining where to place your energy takes time. Relationships with others are crucial.

What's most rewarding?

I find so many aspects of this ministry rewarding; however, meeting such good people who are discerning where God is moving in their lives gives me great hope for the future of religious life and for the world.

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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


Renew your NRVC membership