I am NRVC: Mrs. Sandy Piwko

I am NRVC: Mrs. Sandy Piwko


How are you involved in vocation ministry?

I’m the director of volunteer ministry and vocation promotion for the Religious of the Assumption Sisters. In addition, I have served since 2021 as co-coordinator of NRVC’s New England Member Area with Sister June Fitzgerald, O.P.

 How long have you been involved in vocation ministry?

Five years.

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

I am a part of a six-person vocation team we call FAST, Future Assumption Sisters Team, which consists of representatives from our four communities in the U.S. Before COVID we would generally meet in person only twice a year, but a positive outcome of the pandemic is that now we meet monthly via Zoom. It is a true team endeavor where we set objectives for three years and work together to implement our vocation promotion goals.

Has being a member of NRVC been helpful?

Being a member of NRVC has been helpful in so many ways. The team at NRVC is always trying to support vocation directors with a variety of resources. Whether it’s current infographics, studies, webinars, HORIZON magazine, or our member area meetings—all contribute to keeping us on the pulse of young and emerging adults who are discerning religious life and the strategies we need to reach them.

What idea have you used in vocation ministry lately that you have been excited about?

Not long ago we implemented a monthly newsletter called FAST FLASH that highlights the province’s efforts for vocation promotion in each community. This monthly newsletter keeps us honest in our effort to place vocation promotion at the forefront. The newsletter also highlights monthly statistics from VISION Vocation Network, and insights from our social media platforms. Many of the sisters from the FAST team have commented that having this monthly reminder has helped spur new ideas for outreach.

Can you share a fun fact about yourself?

Some say I’m the donut fairy at work, because occasionally I supply the staff with donuts. It was a major contribution to morale during COVID! On a separate note, my husband and I love to walk, hike, and travel.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was a child, I dreamed of being a famous singer or a teacher. My friends and I always played school, with me as the teacher. I loved correcting tests! While I didn’t follow that path, I did eventually become a director of religious education. For 12 years I was the lead catechist at my home parish before taking on my new role with the Assumption Sisters.

Any words of wisdom for people who are new to this ministry?

I believe as a vocation director you need to constantly remind yourself and your team to not get discouraged if discerners aren’t breaking down the doors or even responding to your emails. We must remember that every encounter with a person can be an opportunity to witness or share what religious life is about, with or without words. Also, don’t hide the joy of your vocation—take a risk and smile!



Published on: 2022-08-01


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