November 2018 newsletter

November 2018 newsletter

Follow the NRVC convocation

On social media

Take part virtually in the NRVC convocation. Photo by Nordwood Themes, Unsplash.

Convocation attendees and non-attendees alike can engage virtually with the November 1-5 NRVC convocation in Buffalo, New York by following NRVC on Twitter (@NatRelVocConf) and Facebook and by taking part in the listening session with young adults on November 3 at 3 p.m.

To be part of the livestreamed young adult listening session, go to at 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 3 to find the link on the homepage—or copy and save this link to use that day.

In addition to the interaction online, NRVC will be publishing a selection of the presentations in the Winter HORIZON edition, which will mail February 1 and be available online in late January. 

More than 300 sisters, brothers, priests, and lay ministers are gathering for the convocation. Nineteen exhibitors will be present. NRVC will celebrate its 30th anniversary by acknowledging some of its founding members in attendance. They include Sisters Lucille Flores, S.S.M.; Suzanne Marie Kush, C.S.S.F.; Marie Francis Lomeo, R.G.S.; Juliana Miska, S.C.C.; Josefina Ramac, S.P.; Concetta DeFelice, O.S.F.; and Pat Dowling, C.B.S., as well as Brother Bill Boslett, O.S.F.

NRVC gathers with Hilton grant recipients

Focus on strategy and collaboration

NRVC and NFCRV were part of this group of Hilton grant recipients who gathered in California in October. In the top row, third and fourth from the left, are Sister Kristin Matthes, S.N.D.deN. and Phil Loftus.

Sister Kristin Matthes, S.N.D.deN., NRVC Board chair, and Phil Loftus, who serves as both executive director of the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV) as well as NRVC development director, attended an October convening of Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Sisters' Initiative Grant recipients.

The gathering involved sharing the foundation's new Phase 2 Strategy for Hilton Foundation grantees. An extensive survey prior to the convening helped identify understandings and important focus areas. Over the three days together participants engaged around critical points including: key indicators of progress, lessons learned, monitoring, evaluation, and learning.  

The gathering also served as an opportunity for participants to collaborate with each other to help raise the profile of Catholic sisters, something NRVC has played a key role in doing. Hilton's next five-year strategic initiatives will focus on education, human development, knowledge, and innovation, all with the goal of increasing the global leadership of Catholic sisters.

Sister Kristin and Phil expressed confidence that NRVC can play a significant role in helping the Hilton Foundation achieve these ambitious new goals. They see the convening as an excellent opportunity for both NFCRV and NRVC to increase in awareness and continue to explain their missions.

NRVC updates Code of Ethics

Do you know the ethical norms?

The NRVC Board recently ratified an updated "Code of Ethics for Vocation Ministry," which has been posted on This document is foundational reading for all those in vocation ministry and religious leadership. Thank you to members of the taskforce that updated it from its 2008 version:  Sister Deborah Borneman, SS.C.M.; Father Raymond Carey; Sister Amy Hereford, C.S.J.; the late Father Don Miller, O.F.M.; Sister Antoinette Moore, C.S.J.P.; Father John Pavlik, O.F.M. Cap.; and Ms. Christy Schiller.

Friday Freebie

HORIZON articles to distribute freely

On select Fridays, NRVC makes a popular article from HORIZON available to the wider world via social media. NRVC members and others may copy and distribute the "Friday Freebie" without restriction.

Click here for this month's freebie! And be sure to find out the next one by following HORIZON on Facebook and Twitter, @HORIZONvocation.

Try this!

Brothers/Sisters Nite on campus

By Brother Mike Sheerin F.M.S.

Brothers/Sisters Nite has rapidly increased in popularity.

St. John’s University Campus Ministry sponsored its fourth annual Brothers/Sisters Nite at the 5:30 Sunday night student Mass on September 16. This event is annually coordinated by Marist Brother Mike Sheerin F.M.S., St. John’s University campus minister and NRVC member. His job description includes campus vocation awareness. The main purpose of Brothers/Sisters Nite is to let the students see, meet, pray, and eat with a number of sisters and brothers serving the local church. 

Representing 30 congregations, 97 brothers and sisters gathered together in the University Church of St. Thomas More. This was a significant increase from last year when 53 religious took part.

Newly professed Marianist Brother, Andrew Joseph Santoriello, S.M., shared his vocation story with the students after Communion. He reflected on understanding discernment as a prayerful exploration with twists and turns leading to a better understanding of his call to follow Christ as poor, chaste, and obedient. 

Following Mass, the religious and students participated in a pizza party for a meet and greet. The energy and feel of the whole evening was palpable. Students commented, as they always do each year, that they never saw so many sisters and brothers gathered in one place and so easily sharing their love of the consecrated life. It was the church alive!  

Synod on youth wraps up

Links to synod reports and outcomes

Young people gave bishops input prior to the synod.

The synod of bishops held in Rome October 3 to 28 brought attention to the needs of young people. The young adults who audited the event or attended pre-event input sessions emphasized several pastoral needs within the synod’s theme of “young people, faith, and vocation discernment.” Among the concerns they uplifted were:

• A desire for the church to listen to, accept, and reach out to young people where they are

•  A desire for authentic witnesses and mentors

• A desire for the church to respond to their concrete life concerns, including things like freedom from violence, emotional wellness, employment, sustainable development, etc.

Sister Nathalie Becquart, Xav., former director of the National Service for Youth Evangelization and Vocations in France and a collaborator with NRVC, addressed the synod, emphasizing the need to listen before speaking or acting. She told “It’s a long process of being silent, listening to young people, and understanding their realities. Then you can speak.”

Other themes that emerged at the synod included church sexual abuse, migration, women's roles in Catholicism, secularism, digital media, and the challenge of communicating the church teaching on sexuality. Find more information on the synod at

Reminder: November 4-10 is Vocation Awareness Week

Here are some resources

In just a few days, the U.S. church celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week from November 4-10. Consider commemorating this week within your sponsored ministries, parishes, etc. Find details and resources at

Use the VISION calendar

Publicize your community's events

If you are planning a special event, be sure to publicize it on NRVC's VISION Vocation Guide online calendar. 

Your free listing will be available to VISION's 300,000+ annual  visitors. Any public event sponsored by a religious community—vocational, educational, spiritual, etc.—may be listed on the calendar. See the calendar here; list an event here.

Resource of the month

Tool to assess your community's readiness for new members

A few years ago, NRVC developed a resource for women's communities and another for men's that would help a community assess where it stands in terms of readiness to invite and welcome new members.

These resources can be downloaded for free (for members), or printed copies may be ordered for $9 ($6 for NRVC members). Learn more at

News of our collaborators

Opportunities for ministers and discerners

November 1 free webinar on trauma

St. Luke Institute will present a free webinar titled "After the Trauma: Spiritual & Community Recovery" on Thursday, November 1 at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.

Rev. David Songy, O.F.M.Cap., S.T.D., Psy.D., will discuss the spiritual impact of trauma and explore how a faith-based response can foster healing over time. Visit to register.

In addition, find resources for hope and healing at 


Stream the Catholics on Call talks

Catholics on Call has made available online the presentations of those who spoke at their September Partners Conference. "We hope that you will receive these videos as a token of our desire to keep in touch with you and continue the conversation we began," wrote Steve Millies, director of the Bernardine Center.

"Authenticity, Vocation, and the Risk of Faith: Hopes and Challenges for the Synod on Young People" (Part I)—Father Dan Horan, O.F.M., CTU

"Authenticity, Vocation, and the Risk of Faith: Hopes and Challenges for the Synod on Young People" (Part II)—Father Dan Horan, O.F.M., CTU

"Expanding Our Vision of Vocation"—Mark Laboe, DePaul


Lecture on interculturality in mission and ministry

The Center for the Study of Consecrated Life is presenting “Diversity Is Not Enough: Interculturality for Mission and Ministry,” a public lecture by Sister Sia Nyasari Temu, M.M. and Father Antonio Pernia, S.V.D. to take place November 12, at 7 p.m., room 210 at Catholic Theological Union, 5416 S. Cornell Ave. in Chicago. Please RSVP to Complimentary parking in the CTU garage will be available.


RFC save the date

The Religious Formation Conference announces its 2019 Congress date and location: October 24-27 in Louisville, Kentucky.

Keynote speakers include Sister Norma Pimentel, M.J. and Father Bryan Massingale. Other presenters include Brother Mickey McGrath, O.S.F.S., Sister Teresa Maya, C.C.V.I., Father Dan Horan, O.F.M., Kathy Galleher, Ph.D, and others. 

Topics will include sexuality, interculturality, transitions and resiliency, ongoing formation, and more.

Registration will open by May 1, 2019 with priority discounted registration by September 15, 2019. For more information visit Direct questions to Ryan Hoffmann, associate director, at  


National Young Adult Leadership Forum

This two-day forum, designed for those who minister to young adults at all levels, will allow participants to dialogue with both national leaders integral to major events, as well as with young adult peers, applying insight to local efforts. Join the forum December 5-6 in Tampa, Florida. Find more information at


Important vocation ministry dates



NRVC Convocation 

National Vocation Awareness Week

November 1-5

November 4-10

World Day for Consecrated Life

February 2, 2019

National Catholic Sisters Week

March 8-14, 2019

Religious Brothers Day

May 1, 2019

Summer Institute

July 9-24, 2019

Fall Institute

October 7-24, 2019

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