Sister Charlene Herinckx, S.S.M.O.

Sister Charlene Herinckx, S.S.M.O.


What is your involvement in vocation ministry?

Right now I'm in my second term as superior general of the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon. I'm a lifetime member of NRVC. I've been the board director, a regional chair, and I worked on the staff for several years as coordinator of programs and projects.

How long have you been involved in vocations work?

I began in 1988 when I served in the Archdiocese of Portland’s vocation office part-time and as my community’s vocation director part-time. In 1995, I left vocation ministry temporarily. In 1999 I went to Chicago to serve in the NRVC office until 2005, at which time I was elected to serve on the leadership team of my community and as our vocation director.  

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful?

Yes, as a vocation director, NRVC has provided valuable workshops and resources as well as opportunities for networking and learning from other vocation directors. 

What has been your best vocation effort? 

While serving in the archdiocesan vocation office, we produced a poster titled “Men and Women in Formation in the Archdiocese of Portland.” It was a big surprise to many people to see how many there were, and I think it sent out a very positive message. 

Also, working with other women religious vocation directors, we sponsored monthly discernment gatherings as well as an annual retreat. It was a great opportunity for the women discerners to meet others who were also discerning, and it was a way of introducing them to the various religious communities. 

What do you find most rewarding about vocation ministry?

I have loved meeting with men and women who were seeking to find their mission in life. I have enjoyed visiting with them and asking “hard” questions to help them respond according to reality and not just their idealized vision of religious life. Also I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting other vocation directors. Their fervor and love of their communities and their vocations has always been inspirational to me. 



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