April 2019 newsletter

April 2019 newsletter

Communications workshop this summer

Registration open for July 22-24 course

A communications director and vocation minister discuss strategy at an NRVC workshop.

NRVC is offering the three-day workshop: "Communication skills to promote vocations" July 22-24 at Catholic Theological Union as part of its five-course Summer Institute.

The communications workshop will help vocation directors and other personnel to develop their skills in planning and producing quality communications for vocations. The workshop will be presented by several experienced communicators who have worked in vocation or related ministries:

  • Alex Cranstoun, media manager, Catholic Apostolate Center
  • Father Frank Donio, S.A.C. director, Catholic Apostolic Center
  • Sister Lisa Laguna, D.C., vocation director, Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul
  • Siobhán O’Neill Meluso, communications coordinator, Benedictine Sisters of Chicago
  • Nicholas T. Schafer, executive director, Communicators for Women Religious
  • Carol S. Scheiber, publications editor for NRVC 

Learn more at nrvc.net.

Discussion of youth needs is underway

You are asked to participate

The U.S. church is encouraging a large, national conversation about youth and young adult pastoral needs, and NRVC is encouraging your participation.

The project is called National Dialogue. It is a key way the U.S. church is responding to the October 2018 youth synod and the forthcoming papal exhortation on youth. (Pope Francis is expected to make public an apostolic exhortation on youth April 2.)

The vision of the National Dialogue is an energized and unified church committed to forming and engaging youth and young adults as missionary disciples. Because vocation directors have contact with seekers, inquirers, and young people curious about faith, NRVC is being invited to hold listening sessions to help the church better understand and minister to them. 

Details are at nationaldialogue.info.

NRVC begins blog

Additional benefit for members

NRVC is happy to introduce its new "NRVC Catalyst" blog that will regularly provide updates to members from the national office. Don't miss the most recent posts focused on the ways NRVC and its members are "setting the world ablaze."

The blog may be found at nrvc.net/blog. Note: This is a members-only resource. You must be logged in to read the full posts.

Education grant deadline April 8

Apply online for NFCRV monies

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.

Religious Brothers Day, May 1 | World Day of Prayer for Vocations, May 12

Plan now for your commemorations

On May 1, NRVC will join the international church in celebrating Catholic brothers. Likewise, it will be celebrating World Day of Prayer for Vocations on May 12.

Prayer services and reflections for celebrating Religious Brothers Day are available at yearforconsecratedlife.com

More information about brothers can be found at these sites:

Details on World Day of Prayer for Vocations are at nrvc.net. Pope Francis also has published a message, "The courage to take a risk for God's promise."

NRVC, NFCRV, and RFC give presentation to vicars

At recent national gathering of religious vicars

Being introduced by Sister Maryann Seton Lopiccolo, S.C. at a recent gathering of diocesan vicars were the following presenters (seated from left): Sister Brenda Monahan, O.S.B. of the NRVC Board, Sister Ellen Dauwer, S.C. of Religious Formation Conference, and Phil Loftus of the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations.

When the National Conference of Vicars for Religious gathered in Chicago in March, the NRVC, NFCRV (National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations), and RFC (Religious Formation Conference) gave a joint Powerpoint presentation. The presentation covered each group's mission and challenges.

Misericordia Fund welcomes donations

Help a community take part in NRVC

NRVC welcomes donations to its Misericordia Scholarship Fund, which provides grants to religious institutes in need so they can join or take part in programs.

Since 2015, NRVC has awarded more than $73,000 through 148 scholarships. The fund has been instrumental in helping institutes access resources, networking opportunities, and professional development.

One scholarship recipient wrote in a letter of thanks: "As a small community, financial assistance has helped us to remember we are still relevant and vital to the church of the 21st century. This relationship affords us the opportunity to stay fully informed throughout the year. NRVC energizes us with new possibilities and with ways to enhance our vocation ministry." 

To learn more, email nrvc@nrvc.net or call 773-363-5454. Donate online here.

Latest reports on membership trends

Available on NRVC website

Sister Sarah Cieplinski, S.N.D.deN. and Sister Carol Lichtenberg, provincial, at Cieplinski's final vows ceremony in December 2018. Photo courtesy of snddenusa.org.

Each year the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate produces studies about trends in new membership in religious institutes and in the priesthood. Find the latest data on nrvc.net under the "Studies" tab, then "Links to studies & reports."  The latest studies are:

Women and Men Professing Perpetual Vows in Religious Life: The Profession Class of 2018

Women and Men Entering Religious Life: The Entrance Class of 2018

The Class of 2018: Survey of the Ordinands to the Priesthood

HORIZON archives hold valuable material

Free handout of young people's view of vocation

All members of NRVC and all subscribers to HORIZON are free to download HORIZON articles for themselves and to share them with up to 50 people. Consider using the HORIZON library and the HORIZON issue index to:

  • Discuss material with a vocation committee
  • Enlighten people in your community
  • Motivate your membership to connect with young people

Not sure where to start? This month we’ve attached a pdf of What young people say about vocation.” In this piece, from the Summer 2018 HORIZON, young adults who gathered in Rome prior to the youth synod discuss their desire for accompaniment in understanding their vocational call. 

VISION Vocation Guide

Still time to place an ad

If  you have not yet placed an ad in the forthcoming edition of VISION Vocation Guide, please don’t hesitate to contact the executive editor, Patrice Tuohy, to ensure your presence: pjtuohy@truequestweb.com or 312-356-9900.

VISION is a publication of the National Religious Vocation Conference and has a proven track record in helping discerners connect to religious communities.

Member area news

Opportunities to network, learn, etc.

Following are forthcoming meetings of the member areas of NRVC. Find additional details after logging into nrvc.net and clicking on the "Membership" tab. 

Delaware Valley
May 1


April 29-May 1, St. Louis

Going Deeper: Walk with me: Encounter, Accompaniment and Invitation

Hudson Valley
April 29 - May 1 
Information is here; registration here.

Lake Erie/Ohio River
May 6-8, Sylvania, OH

May 15-16, Marriottsville, MD

New England
May 4, Worcester, MA
Presentation: "Everyone's called! Making the culture of vocation real"
May 29-30, Isle LaMotte, VT

Pacific Northwest
May 10-11, Bellevue, WA. Learn more.

Upper Midwest
June 16-18, St. Paul, MN

Resource of the month

"Listening to the call" prayer cards

This attractive postcard-size prayer card can complement the vocation promotion resources given at events. It also makes a perfect gift enclosure for building relationships with catechists and directors of religious education. The front of the card has space to place contact information for your community. This resource was designed by the NRVC Black Religious Committee and includes a moving prayer composed by Sister Magdala Marie Gilbert, O.S.P.

Available in packs of 100. $5 for 100 for members; $8 non-members.

News of HORIZON advertisers & collaborators

Opportunities for ministers and discerners

Thank you HORIZON advertisers!

Redemptorist Renewal Center

The peaceful Sonoran Desert is the stunning setting for this retreat center. It offers programs year-round, including its "Contemplative Study and Sabbatical Program" and the "Hesychia School of Spiritual Direction." Learn more at desertrenewal.org. 

Global Sisters Report

Don't miss "The Life," monthly reflections from a diverse panel of sisters from around the world.

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.

Mexican American Catholic College

The Mexican American Catholic College in San Antonio, Texas offers courses in Pastoral Spanish and in Hispanic Ministry. Participate in a transformative experience and be part of a diverse community rooted in faith. Maccsa.org.

St. Luke's Institute

St. Luke Institute offers many resources such as handouts and webinars for religious. In addition, it offers candidate assessments. Assessments play a crucial role during the discernment process, and St. Luke's provides important insights about candidates. Learn what this facility has to offer at sli.org.

News of NRVC collaborating organizations

Catholics on Call: applications available now

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. Applications for the 2019 Young Adult Conference are available here.

RFC offers webinars, conference

The Religious Formation Conference has more than 35 webinars and presentations available online for a fee for non-members or free for members. Find them at relforcon.org. In addition, the RFC is sponsoring the following webinars:

• "Pope Francis’s Gaudete Et Exsultate," by Father Dan Horan, O.F.M., Ph.D. on Tuesday, April 16 at 1 p.m. CT 

• "Being Signs of Courageous Hope," 2019 RFC Congress, October 24-27.
Learn more at relforcon.org.


Dates to help you plan 2019 ministry

I am NRVC: Sister Mary O'Donovan, O.Carm.

Sister Mary O'Donovan, O.Carm.

Sister Mary O’Donovan, O.Carm. is a vocation director for the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged & Infirm and co-coordinator of the Hudson Valley member area of NRVC. She has a masters in social work and is a psychotherapist by profession.

How long have you been involved in vocation ministry?

Almost four years.

Tell us about your vocation team.

In my community I am the vocation director for our communities throughout the United States and Ireland. I am a member of a formation team consisting of a postulant director, novice director, and two members of the leadership team of our congregation.

Has it been helpful to belong to NRVC?

Being a member of NRVC has been very beneficial. As a co-coordinator of the Hudson Valley member area, I had the privilege of working closely with NRVC in helping organize the recent convocation in Buffalo, New York. They are a great team, full of fun, enthusiasm, and  energy—true advocates for religious vocations. I have been able to network with many members to share their wisdom and insight.

What ideas have you used lately that excite you?

We use social media, Instagram, and Facebook accounts to promote our community. We have a Vocation Steering Committee, consisting of sisters from various communities throughout the United States and Ireland. We meet regularly to discuss vocation events and more in each diocese. Discerners have an opportunity to attend an annual discernment retreat at our motherhouse in Germantown, New York. We have SALT volunteer program (Serving the Aged Lovingly Today) twice a year for young adults, ages 18-40. I love interacting with young adults and experiencing their faith and joy as they discern God’s will for them.

Tell us a fun fact or two about yourself.

I come from County Tipperary, Ireland and play the tin whistle. In vocation work, you have to have a keen sense of humor, which I have. I love walking, hiking, nature, photography and journal writing.

Please name one thing that inspires you as a sister.

I am inspired by God’s faithfulness and the joy of being in relationship with Him. His ability to work in me to do amazing things never ceases to surprise me.

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NRVC Member Areas

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


April 2020

NFCRV Application Deadline

April 15, 2020

Member Area Gatherings

Hudson Valley, April 20, ZOOM

West Coast, April 23, ZOOM

Pacific Northwest, April 24, ZOOM

Delaware Valley, April 28, Philadelphia


Renew your NRVC membership