Crosier Fathers and Brothers three-year strategic plan for recruitment

Crosier Fathers and Brothers three-year strategic plan for recruitment

The Crosier’s strategic plan grew out of a former recruitment plan the office had been using and out of a decision at a provincial chapter to make the “quality and care of Crosier life” a priority. After the chapter the provincial asked province department heads to develop strategic plans for their respective ministries. The vocation staff took the lead in developing strategy, setting goals with the Crosier Leadership Group and working in coordination with the Vocation Formation Committee. The vocation staff solicited feedback on the plan from membership and from the Vocation Advisory Committee, a group of lay professionals with expertise in marketing, public relations, and military and corporate recruiting. The Crosiers are now in the second year of making this plan a reality and have accomplished many of their objectives.

“Good planning always costs less than good reacting. Using this plan allows up to reach our goals, maintain our focus, and make the best use of our time and resources,” says Ann Marie Mongeau Anderson, director of vocation ministries for the Crosiers. “A strategic plan is not something you write once and put away. We revisit it and make revisions every six months because our success is a journey, not a destination.”

Rationale

The need for new members is all too evident. Research suggests that there is both opportunity and urgency for recruiting a new generation of Crosiers. There is an increase in interest among young men. There are new avenues, such as the Internet, for a small order like ours to reach prospective members. Yet, time is not on our side. According to The Future of Religious Orders in the United States, five to seven years from now may be too late.

This was realized by the 1999 provincial chapter, which chose to include recruitment in the directional statement, Quality and Care of Crosier Life: “We will intensify our individual and communal efforts at seeking and fostering new members. We will widen the scope of our recruitment efforts beyond the Midwest and work toward ethnic diversity in our vocational development.” The Leadership Group provided further clarity and priority to recruitment when it chose to focus on recruitment and retirement. Later, leadership identified concrete goals for our recruitment effort (as noted in the adjacent column).

Recruitment goals

August of first year

4 postulants

2 novices

August of second year

6 postulants

3 novices

August of third year 

6 postulants

3 novices 

Strategic plan for recruitment

The purpose of this strategic plan is to give direction and focus to recruitment of new members. A significant amount of resources (people, time, energy and finances) will need to be dedicated to this effort to reach these goals. The following objectives and strategies will guide our implementation of the directional statement regarding new membership.

Vocation department recruitment goals

To realize the ultimate goal of three novices and six postulants per year, the vocation department has established the following goals (shown in the charts below). (Editor’s note: The “working copy” of this section of the plan includes time lines and due dates and assigns tasks to specific members of the vocation staff.)

Objective 1: Help foster relationships between vocation contacts and Crosiers

Strategies

  1. Maintain minimum of monthly personal contact with each active contact.
  2. Provide two opportunities per month for men to meet and learn about the Crosiers.
  3. Provide quality experiences for contacts who visit Crosier communities.

Objective 2: Provide an effective discernment environment for Crosier candidates

Strategies

  1. Establish formal candidate program.
  2. Explore possibility of reestablishing a residency program.
  3. Develop and identify additional discernment resources.
  4. Develop short-term service/live-in opportunities.

Objective 3: Expand effective outreach to our target group, young men ages 16-30

Strategies

  1. Increase Crosier presence at key youth and young adult functions.
  2. Update and enhance Web site. 3) Evaluate and update print advertising.

Objective 4: Cultivate additional prayer support

Strategies

  1. Promote praying for Crosier vocations regularly in all Crosier publications.
  2. Develop three Crosier vocation prayers; one general prayer for all audiences, one prayer specifically for Crosiers, and one prayer focusing on the call of men of ethnic and cultural diversity.
  3. Identify key Crosiers and friends for prayer support.

Objective 5: Involve additional Crosiers in vocation ministry

Strategies

  1. Educate Crosiers on elements of effective vocation ministry.
  2. Establish recruitment involvement for each Crosier.
  3. Identify a Crosier from each community to serve as a new member liaison.

Objective 6: Establish referral network, a group of Crosier friends and supporters who can recommend Crosier life to young men

Strategies

  1. Identify people who have influence with Catholic young men.
  2. Strengthen and develop relationships with people of influence.
  3. Provide resources and key messages to people of influence.
  4. Seek feedback and ongoing input from people of influence.

 



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