February 2019 newsletter

February 2019 newsletter

NRVC / VISION at World Youth Day

Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims take part

In Panama City for World Youth Day, in front of the VISION display about four steps in vocation discernment, are board leadership member Father Adam MacDonald, S.V.D. and board president Sister Kristin Matthew, S.S.N.D.

Representatives of VISION Vocation Guide and NRVC took part in the 2019 World Youth Day held in Panama City in late January. 

Some half a million or more young people and other pilgrims took part in the event. Representing NRVC were board leadership committee member Father Adam MacDonald, S.V.D. and board chair Sister Kristin Matthes, S.S.N.D. Patrice Tuohy of TrueQuest Communications also was present. The NRVC representatives met pilgrims who visited the Vocation Fair. VISION / NRVC hosted a display depicting the four main components of vocation discernment. 

NRVC study of new membership underway

Encourage your superior to complete the survey

NRVC is urging members and friends to ensure that your community superior fills out the recently mailed survey on newer membership in religious institutes. Communities are strongly encouraged to participate even if they no longer accept new members. The survey is for all U.S. religious communities.

The first segment of the survey involves a questionnaire for leaders. The second part of the survey will be sent in the spring to members who entered religious life from 2003 to 2018. More information about this important work can be found at nrvc.net.

Summer Institute 2019

Plan on joining us in Chicago!

NRVC's Summer Institute, slated for July 9-24, promises to be another series of excellent workshops designed with your needs in mind. Registration will open in February 2019.

Find out what our Summer Institute is like here:

Get a sneak peek at the workshops here.

Discerners need your help in VISION guide

Connect with people considering religious life

The thousands of young adults who read VISION, visit its website, and complete online profiles turn to NRVC's VISION Vocation Guide for help in discerning their vocations. VISION counts on NRVC members to support these efforts and promote their ministries, charisms, and unique way of life in VISION.

Please plan on being part of NRVC's 2020 VISION. Learn more here.

Document on youth synod now in English and Spanish

Official document posted online

The official church document of the October 2018 synod on youth and vocational discernment is now available online in English and Spanish. The 56 -page document can be downloaded  from synod2018.va. It contains many insights about ministry with youth, including ministry with a vocational component.

Grants for education debt available

Apply by April 8

The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations has announced that NRVC members are eligible to apply for grant assistance to cover education debt costs for candidates. Applications must be done online and are due April 8.  Learn more at nfcrv.org.


Sign up for subscriptions; patronize our advertisers

Build support for your ministry with subscriptions

Do you need an ongoing way to keep membership and leadership on board with your ministry? Want them to be reading and understanding the vocational concerns in religious life today?

Purchase a subscription for your leaders and/or key members so they can read and discuss HORIZON, a unique, award-winning publication. (Remember, those who have NRVC memberships already receive HORIZON.)

Coming soon in the next edition, the keynote addresses from our November convocation, including:

♦ The vocation encounter: ministry at the Beautiful Gate, by Father Kevin DePrinzio, O.S.A.

♦The invitation: mutual encounter, mutual accompaniment, by Sister Xiomara Méndez Hernández, O.P.

Please patronize HORIZON sponsors

Thank you to the organizations that are advertising in HORIZON: the journal of the National Religious Vocation Conference. Learn about their services here:

Institute of Religious Formation, Catholic Theological Union

Hesburgh Sabbatical, Catholic Theological Union

St. Luke Institute

Redemptorist Renewal Center

Mexican American Catholic College

VISION Vocation Guide

LA Religious Education Congress

NRVC holding meet and greet

The Los Angeles Religious Education Congress includes many exhibit booths of religious institutes.

The NRVC and Religious Formation Conference are partnering at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress March 22-24 to sponsor a meet and greet for their members on Saturday, March 23 at noon outside the exhibit hall. Join them for a group photo and a chance to meet your sisters and brothers in ministry. For more information, please contact Sister Deborah Borneman, SS.C.M. at debbiesscm@nrvc.net.

National Catholic Sisters Week

March 8-14

For the third year, NRVC will be partnering with collaborators to celebrate National Catholic Sisters Week, which takes place March 8-14. NRVC is co-sponsoring an open mic night and concert by Sara Thomsen on March 11, 6-8 p.m. at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. The other sponsors are Giving Voice, Religious Formation Conference, Communicators for Women Religious, and the Center for the Study for Consecrated Life. Funding has been provided through a grant from National Catholic Sisters Week.

Please share information about your events with NRVC (debbiesscm@nrvc.net) so we can spread the news about how our members are celebrating this commemoration. If you did not receive a grant, you can ask for an "event box." Learn more at nationalcatholicsistersweek.org. Or contact NCSW at contact@nationalcatholicsistersweek.org.

Member area retreat

Delaware Valley member area to gather

The Delaware Valley member area will gather February 25 in Philadelphia for a retreat. For more information, contact Sister Celeste Mokrzycki, S.S.J. at cmokrzycki@ssjphila.org or Sister Maryanne Tracey, S.C. at mtracey@scnj.org

Resource of the Month

Dozens of videos added to NRVC YouTube

To better serve its members and the public, NRVC has added a large number of convocation keynote speaker videos to its YouTube channel. Consider using these free videos to animate members of your religious institute or use selections of videos for discussions with discerners or other vocation ministers.

The YouTube videos include speakers from convocations dating back to 2004 and the videotape of young religious speaking about their hope for the future for NRVC's Moving Forward in Hope project.

News of our collaborators

Opportunities for ministers and discerners

Retreat for women in discernment

Women ages 21-40 who are discerning a call to religious life are invited to a national vocation discernment retreat March 7-10 in the San Antonio Hilton Airport Hotel. It will be offered in English and Spanish. The cost is $30, which includes meals, lodging, and the retreat. For more information, contact Sister Marichui Bringas, C.C.V.I. at escribe@nationalcatholicsistersproject.org or visit nationalcatholicsistersproject.org.

Institute of Religious Formation & Hesburgh Sabbatical 

The Institute of Religious Formation and Hesburgh Sabbatical Programs at Catholic Theological Union are currently accepting applications for the fall semester of both programs, which begin August 28. For more information, see ctu.edu/academics/special-programs.

Catholics on Call: Save the dates

Catholics on Call is sponsoring a Young Adult Conference July 23-27. The conference will be expanded to a five-day program at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. This experience is designed for women and men (ages 18+) who may be thinking about a life of service in the church as a lay minister, religious sister, brother, or priest. It is for those who are undecided and want guidance in determining how God is calling them.

September 19-20, Catholics on Call will again offer its Partner Conference. This event is for campus ministers, vocation directors, volunteer directors, and anyone who ministers to young adults. It is an opportunity to come together to learn and discuss best practices for supporting young adult men and women in vocational discernment.

Webinars available—free and discounted—at St. Luke's Institute

St. Luke Institute's SLIconnect is currently offering a number of webinars. Topics include understanding spiritual desolation, strategies for de-escalating conflict, preventing compassion fatigue, and more. Some seminars are free; most are $25.

RFC "ForMission" class forming, web learning available

The Religious Formation Conference is organizing the next ForMission class, which will begin May 30 and run until June 7 at Catholic Theological Union. Application materials and updated information are available. For details, to receive application materials, or to ask questions about the program, click here.

In addition the RFC has more than 35 webinars and presentations available online for a fee for non-members or free for members. Find them at relforcon.org.


Sister Colleen Brady, O.S.F.

For almost five years Sister Colleen Brady, O.S.F. has been a vocation minister for her community, the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany, New York, and she serves as an NRVC member area coordinator for the Deep South member area.

Are you part of a vocation team? If so, how does your community divide up roles within vocation ministry?

No, but I do work closely with our formation director and congregational leadership.

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful to you?

Yes, it's been absolutely helpful! Belonging to NRVC has benefited me from the first convocation (which was informative and supportive) on to the orientation program with its practical sample forms, policies, and comprehensive information on vocation ministry.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I am the mother of three grown children—two sons, one of whom resides in China, and a daughter—and five grandchildren, the oldest of whom will be graduating from high school this June.

What do you find challenging and what do you find rewarding in vocation work?

It is a very challenging time in our church with many young people having no religious affiliation and little home faith formation. They are not even aware of the possibility of religious life.  

I find it very rewarding to walk with women in discernment. It can be challenging at times, but it is a privilege to be able to listen deeply and to help the women listen to God’s loving call in their lives.


Dates to help you plan 2019 ministry


World Day for Consecrated Life

February 2

National Catholic Sisters Week

March 8-14

Religious Brothers Day

May 1

World Day of Prayer for Vocations

May 12

Summer Institute

July 9-24

Fall Institute

October 7-24

National Vocation Awareness Week

November 3-9

February newsletter ...
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VISION opportunities ...
NRVC's award-winning vocation guide is now accepting advertising reservations. It also ...  More
Summer Institute ...
Five workshops offered this summer in Chicago at the home of ...  More
World Day of Prayer for ...
The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is ...  More

NRVC Member Areas

Click here to locate members of the NRVC in your member area.


 February 2020

World Day for Consecrated Life

February 1-2

NFCRV Applications Accepted

January 6- April 15, 2020

Member Area Gatherings

Delaware Valley, February 25, Philadelphia

Mid-Atlantic, March 2

West Coast, March 12, ZOOM call


Renew your NRVC membership