International vocation ministry conference

International vocation ministry conference

In preparation for 2018 synod

Among the 800+ participants in the recent International Conference on Vocations and Consecrated Life were (from left) executive director Sister Sharon Dillon, S.S.J.-T.O.S.F.; board member Father Toby Collins, C.R.; and Patrice Tuohy of TrueQuest Communications, which serves NRVC's communications needs.

Representatives from NRVC took part in a gathering in Rome December 1-3 to prepare for the 2018 synod on "Young people, the faith, and vocational discernment." The gathering, "Vocation Ministry and Consecrated Life: Horizons and Hopes," brought together more than 800 religious from around the world to confront the challenges of vocation ministry and consider new possibilities, starting with current best practices. The event was sponsored by the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL). 

"A kindness and sincerity permeated the entire experience," said NRVC's executive director Sister Sharon Dillon, S.SJ.-T.O.S.F. "The deep joyfulness of each person present was held up as a key component in inviting youth and showing what religious life is and why it is so needed today."

Dillon attended the conference along with Father Toby Collins, C.R., NRVC Board member, and Patrice Tuohy of NRVC's communications firm, TrueQuest Communications. In addition, roughly 20-30 religious who are members of NRVC took part in the gathering.

The event opened with a greeting and reflection from Pope Francis. It included input from both vocational leaders and young religious. Former NRVC executive director Brother Paul Bednarczyk, C.S.C. spoke on the North American experience of vocation ministry. 

The conference highlighted many vocation ministry themes familiar to NRVC members, including but not limited to: encountering youth with an openness to where they are, cultivating and showing joy in one's vocation, offering youth a personal experience of Christ, and encouraging a culture of vocations so that all people in the church are involved in vocation ministry.

Father Toby Collins, C.R. has created several videos about the conference. His photos of the event are on the NRVC Flickr page.

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