May 2018 newsletter

May 2018 newsletter

Welcome Phil Loftus

NFCRV director and NRVC development director

Phil Loftus

Phil Loftus, a marketing professional with extensive Catholic ministry experience, has been named executive director of the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV), effective May 1. In addition, Loftus will serve as the development director for NRVC.

Loftus brings 30 years of marketing experience to NFCRV, which awards grants every year to religious orders to service the educational debt of candidates. Loftus’ career has focused on launching and growing brands and leading innovative initiatives, including the “Got Milk?” campaign. He has served in numerous Catholic ministries and philanthropic efforts throughout his life, most recently as a consultant to TrueQuest Communications, which spearheads the publishing ministry of NRVC. He is married and the father of three.

“Phil has a deep appreciation of Catholic religious life and the challenges we face in vocation ministry," says Brother Ronnie Hingle, S.C., board chair for NFCRV. "The board and I are confident that Phil will bring the energy and vision he long demonstrated in advertising to promoting the needs of the church and the future of religious life. We are very grateful for the foundational work of outgoing NFCRV director Mark Teresi, who helped make the fund a reality. We now look forward to this new phase in the fund’s development.”



It's Religious Brothers Day

Thank you, brothers!

In a recent HORIZON article, Brother Herman Johnson, O.P. shared how he invites young men to brotherhood. 

NRVC thanks and honors brothers around the world for their service and witness on this, the second annual Religious Brothers Day. NRVC was among the groups that last year helped initiate May 1 as a day to recognize and celebrate the brother's vocation. 

Consider posting a social media thank you to a brother who has had a positive impact on you. Be sure to use #ReligiousBrothersDay. Other news and information is available at  facebook.com/religiousbrothersday and on NRVC's Facebook page.

Chicagoland NRVC members and friends are invited to join in celebrating Religious Brothers Day with a prayer service on May 1 at 12:15 p.m., room 210, at 5416 S. Cornell in Chicago. NRVC is cosponsoring this event along with the Religious Formation Conference, Giving Voice, the Communicators for Women Religious, and Catholic Theological Union's Center for the Study of Consecrated Life, Institute of Religious Formation, and Hesburgh Sabbatical.



Pope issues positive vocation message

In Gaudete et Exsultate

With the title "Rejoice and Be Glad: the Call to Holiness in Today's World," the pope's newest apostolic exhortation, released in April, provides much for vocation ministers to rejoice over, as its core message encourages a sense of calling and discernment in everyday life.

The 37-page document (before footnotes) is ideal for personal reflection, group study,  and discussion with those in discernment. Below are samplings from the exhortation.

 

I would like to insist primarily on the call to holiness that the Lord addresses to each of us, the call that he also addresses, personally, to you: “Be holy, for I am holy” (Lev. 11:44; cf. 1 Pet. 1:16). (10)

We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves. Are you called to the consecrated life? Be holy by living out your commitment with joy. Are you married? Be holy by loving and caring for your husband or wife, as Christ does for the Church. Do you work for a living? Be holy by laboring with integrity and skill in the service of your brothers and sisters. (14)

Always ask the Spirit what Jesus expects from you at every moment of your life and in every decision you must make, so as to discern its place in the mission you have received. (23)



Ordinations dip; other trends hold

USCCB releases report on ordinations

Members of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph are ordained in 2017.  Photo CC license.

The 2018 report on U.S. ordinations shows a decline in the number of ordinations but steadiness in many of the trends noted in previous reports regarding age, ethnicity, education, etc.

A total of 430 potential priestly ordinands were identified by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, which conducts an annual study for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops of men slated for ordination. The number of ordinands is 20 percent less than the average of 540 over the last five years. Just under one quarter of  this year's ordinands are members of a religious institute (23 percent), a proportion that has held steady for several years.

Other characteristics of the ordination class of 2018 are similar to patterns in previous reports, including the following findings for men being ordained in religious orders.

Facts for 2018 religious order ordinands

  • The average age is 36.
  • 68% are Caucasian.
  • 49-54% attended Catholic school or college.
  • 71% took part in a Come and See weekend. The proportion of religious order ordinands who have taken part in these weekends has been steadily rising for the past five years.
  • 66% prayed the Rosary regularly before seminary.
  • 62% took part regularly in Eucharistic Adoration prior to seminary.
  • 48% took part in high school retreats, 36% in college retreats.
  • 47% were active in a parish youth group.
  • 26% participated in a World Youth Day.


Are you prepared to assess candidates?

Behavioral Assessment workshop in July

Father Raymond P. Carey, Ph.D. will present the workshop Behavioral Assessment 1.

​If you have not yet taken Behavioral Assessment 1, consider enrolling in this key workshop, to be held July 16-18 in downtown Chicago. 

This workshop will be led by Father Raymond P. Carey, Ph.D. and will cover practical interviewing techniques for assessing candidates. Workshop participants study sample case reports and learn skills for interviewing. They will also receive guidelines for organizing the information from interviews into useful reports. Interview topics include: family background, educational and occupational histories, psychosexual histories and intimacy skills, faith history, and other issues related to comprehensive vocational assessment.

Participants consistently give this workshop positive reviews, including the following:

"The content was helpful from beginning to end; there is no doubt my assessments will be more thorough," wrote workshop participant Sister Ann Letourneau, C.S.J.,  Psy.D. 

"Having actual cases to review was very helpful," wrote Brother Jason Graves, O.F.M. Cap., who also has attended Behavioral Assessment 1. "I learned a lot in the workshop, and I have a good idea on how to grow going forward. Father Ray practices what he teaches and is very credible. This is a great way to prepare for vocation ministry. "

Details and registration are online.



Convocation 2018 registration now open

November 1-5 in Buffalo, NY

Online registration opens May 1 for NRVC's 2018 convocation, which will take place November 1-5 in Buffalo, New York.

With a theme of "Walk with me: Encounter, Accompaniment, and Invitation," the convocation will feature NRVC's trademark quality presentations, outstanding liturgies, and plenty of opportunities to network and refresh your enthusiasm for vocation ministry. The convocation will include:

Four pre-convocation workshops to be held November 1:

  • Finding Your Digital Balance and Reducing Social Media Stress 
  • Screening Yellow and Red Flags in Candidate Assessment
  • Issues of Civil, Canon and Immigration Law in Vocation Ministry
  • ROI Calculator: Grace or Grim?

Keynote presentations by outstanding speakers 

An evening at Canisius College. This nearby Catholic college will host convocation participants for a young adult panel Q/A, evening prayer, and a shared meal. 

Optional excursion to Niagara Falls on November 5 for an additional $35.

The full convocation schedule may be downloaded. Click here for details and registration.



Misericordia Fund accepting donations

Can your community contribute?

NRVC continues to welcome gifts to its Misericordia Fund, which allows financially burdened communities to become members of the organization or attend workshops. The fund is a primary way for religious communities that are financially sound to share the wealth and ensure that cash-strapped communities can obtain professional training and support in vocation ministry.

To date,  the Misericordia Fund has provided more than 100 scholarships.

Learn more about or contribute to the fund here. Or call NRVC to speak personally to Marge Argyelan, NRVC database administrator: 773-363-5454.



Upcoming member area events

Gatherings include assessment presentation

Following are May meetings and events sponsored by member areas of NRVC. Members may attend events in any area.

Pacific Northwest, May 4-5
Beaverton, OR
Coordinators:
Sister Michael Francine Duncan, S.S.M.O., 503-644-9181, srmichaelfrancined@ssmo.org
Sister Christine Still, O.S.F., 253-797-0173, cstill@osfphila.org

Mid-Atlantic, May 7-8
Marriottsville, MD
"Due Diligence in Assessment," presented by Sister Deborah Borneman, SS.C.M.
Coordinators:
Sister Mindy Welding, I.H.M., 610-547-9715, sismindy@gmail.com
Sister Diane Roche, R.S.C.J., 504-388-8026, droche@rscj.org



Resource of the month

Vocation prayer cards

NRVC recently released a new prayer card featuring the words of Sister Ita Ford, M.M., martyred in El Salvador in 1980. These cards make ideal giveaways at talks and events. The front of the cards read:

I hope you come to find that which gives life 
a deep meaning for you. 
Something worth living for—
maybe even worth dying for—
something that energizes you, enthuses you,
enables you to keep moving ahead.
I can’t tell you what it might be—that’s for you to find, to choose, to love.
I encourage you to start looking and support you in your search.

The back of the cards lists figures from scripture who answered God's call. The cards are $12 for a pack of 100 or $8 per pack for NRVC members.

Learn more or place an order here. Or order by phone: 773-363-5454.



News of our collaborators

Opportunities for ministers and discerners

Free webinar on youth and young adult ministry 

NRVC members and friends are invited to take part in a free webinar on May 22  at 2 p.m.: "The National Dialogue on Catholic Pastoral Ministry with Youth and Young Adults: What Is It and How Can You Be Involved?" Sponsored by  the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, the webinar will feature a panel discussion by key leaders in the church who are collaborating in an effort to renew youth ministry. Learn more about this webinar and others at nfcym.org.

Catholics on Call welcomes discerners to July program

Consider referring discerners ages 18-35 to the Catholics on Call Summer Conference to take place July 25-28 in Chicago. Participants will have the opportunity to connect and pray with other like-minded young people, hear nationally known speakers, discuss how to listen to God’s call, and learn skills for discerning all types of vocations. 

Register or learn more at catholicsoncall.org/apply or call 773-371-5432.

Communicators for Women Religious conference October 2-5

Communicators for Women Religious will hold its 24th annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas October 2-5. The theme is "FORTify your Mission: The Path WORTH Taking." The conference will take place at the Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown. For more information, visit c4wr.org.

LCWR publishes book on lessons of doctrinal inquiry

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious has published a new book: However Long the Night: Making Meaning in a Time of Crisis, edited by Sister Annmarie Sanders, I.H.M. Its 184 pages chronicle what the organization learned as it went through the 2009-2015 doctrinal investigation by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Catholic sisters who were leaders of LCWR during those years share what helped them navigate the period in ways that might be useful for others attempting to work through conflict. 



Calendar

Mark these vocation ministry dates

 

Religious Brothers Day

NRVC Summer Institute

May 1

July 10-21

NRVC convocation 

National Vocation Awareness Week

November 1-5

November 4-10

World Day for Consecrated Life

February 2, 2019



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October-November 2018

NRVC Member Area Meetings

Delaware Valley: October 2, Philadephia

Orientation Program for Vocation Ministers

in collaboration with Vocations Ireland, October 1-5, Athlone, Ireland

NRVC Pre-Convocation Workshops

November 1, Buffalo

NRVC Biennial Covocation

November 1-5, Buffalo

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