I am NRVC: Sister Cathy Bertrand, S.S.N.D.

I am NRVC: Sister Cathy Bertrand, S.S.N.D.


You were the NRVC excutive director for 10 years (1992-2002). What are you doing now as a lifetime member of NRVC?

Presently I am a full-time facilitator and consultant working with religious congregations of women and men, as well as with dioceses and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.  

How do you currently live out your commitment to vocations?

As a woman religious who is committed to this way of life, and working with those who are as well, how can I not be attuned to supporting ongoing efforts in looking to the future–especially regarding potential new members? 

Though the sands of this ministry have shifted and changed greatly over the years, I continue to believe that religious life is a viable and valuable option in our church and world. As I work with many congregations, vocations is an area of great impact on the viability of a community.

What have you found most rewarding about vocation ministry?

Connections and relationships! First of all the potential candidates themselves, though challenging at times, are for the most part inspiring, and often I find myself in awe when people share their experience of God and their profound desire to serve God’s people. It is a serious responsibility and also a great privilege to be in relationship with those who are discerning this way of life and to support those who are supporting their exploration.

A close second to this would be the opportunities for collaboration that were part of the ongoing experience in my time with NRVC–the National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors (NCDVD), the leadership conferences of women and men, the bishops' conference, the Religious Formation Conference, National Coalition for Church Vocations (now closed), Serra International, J.S. Paluch, international vocation conferences, and the list could go on and on. I know that presently NRVC is adding to this list.

Finally this ministry truly challenged me to attend to what was going on within me in my response to God and God’s people. I often quote what I once read in a constitution of a men’s community: “May we never speak least about what matters most.” I cannot speak from a place of integrity if I am not engaged in an ongoing effort to integrate that which matters most.



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