MFIH: Keys to the Future

MFIH: Keys to the Future

Keys to the Future -- A Great Success!



Click to view final report

Moving Forward in Hope: Keys to the Future

June 4-6, 2012 San Antonio, TX

Moving Forward in Hope: Keys to the Future workshop is funded by the GHR Foundation and sponsored by the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC). In fulfillment of one of the objectives of the Moving Forward in Hope National Vocation Plan developed in 2010, this special project is meant to provide religious institutes with a “conversational tool” to allow members to engage in a deeper exchange about the results of the NRVC/CARA Study on Recent Vocations to Religious Life and the implications for apostolic religious life, specifically around the areas of community, visibility, communal prayer, and the celebration of Eucharist as they are experienced in individual congregations. Sr. Lynn M. Levo, CSJ, facilitated this training for women and men religious to gain a deeper understanding of the study and be given skills and training in how to facilitate discussions around these critical issues in their own congregations and elsewhere.

In June, 89 women and men religious who represented the diversity of religious life in North America came together at the Oblate Renewal Center to experience this workshop. Religious brothers, sisters, and priests came from 24 states as well as Canada, representing all three leadership conferences. They were from different generations, ethnic backgrounds, ecclesiologies, and spiritualities. Fifty-nine percent of the participants are vocation ministers; 23 percent are in religious leadership; and 18 percent are in formation or other forms of ministry. The planning committee consisted of: Brother Jonathan Beebe, CSC; Sisters Deborah Borneman, SSCM; Charlene Diorka, SSJ; Maria Therese Healy, O. Carm; Virginia Herbers, ASCJ; Lynn Levo, CSJ; Ms. Jeanne Dennison, and Father Mark Soehner, OFM.

Every religious institute has received a complimentary copy of a CD which includes this comprehensive program for use in their religious institutes. Please read the following quotes from our participants:

  • The video of newer members was powerful. I think it will be very useful for our sisters to view. I appreciated the idea of the "stable table" and the image of journey.
    Sister Marybeth Antonelli, Sisters of Saint Francis of Philadelphia
  • I gained so much insight from all the tools that were used in this workshop. I'm very hopeful as well as excited to go home and share. Excellent ideas!
    Sister Mary Stephen Beauford, Oblate Sisters of Providence
  • The prayer atmosphere was so helpful to the contemplative atmosphere! The video is amazing and will help move hearts!
    Sister Janice Bernowski, rc
  • I love the telling of stories as ice breakers to gradually 'peel the layers' to go deeper into the discussions, one step at a time. The process questions were effective in deepening individual insights, as well as small group discussions.
    Sister Maria Eleanor Caisido, Congregation of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament
  • It will help us to get real/concrete. Thank You! Brother John Celichowski, Capuchin Province of St. Joseph
  • I'm hoping this will be the fuel in the gas tank to get us moving forward! It gives me great hope!
    Sister Kathy Claflin, Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia
  • It was especially helpful to have such a diverse participant list -- seldom the opportunity for such broad based quality time together.
    Sister Mary Catherine Clark, Adorers of the Blood of Christ
  • The materials are excellent. The staff of NRVC was helpful and Lynn Levo was a good facilitator. Thank you.
    Sister Lucy Clynes, DW
  • It unpacked a new confidence and a desire to challenge negative attitudes. I pray that members will participate and allow themselves to be transformed anew and to share in vocation ministry.
    Sister Maureen Corcoran, Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth
  • It could not have been more hands-on and practical. I am so looking forward to using the tools with my community. The witness of the newer members was particularly engaging.
    Brother Robert Croteau, Brothers of the Sacred Heart, New England Province
  • It gave me a clearer understanding of the study and increased my energy to 'doing something' about vocations! It was non-threatening and truly engaging, in an honest manner.
    Sister Yolanda Cruz, Sisters of St. Mary of Namur
  • This will strengthen our efforts. Thank you for all the hard work invested in helping us. I knew it would be great and it was!
    Sister Donna Del Santo, Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester
  • The video, Power Point, and process stimulated honest sharing! Seeing that newer members are very hopeful and echo our commitment to the essentials of religious life should be especially helpful.
    Sister Dorothy Ann Dirkx, Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother
  • I feel comfortable taking thisback to our leadership team to discuss how we can moveforward. Thank you to the committee, to GHR and NRVC for the insight to envision this process for communities.
    Sister Pat Dowling,Congregation of Sisters of BonSecours
  • The car imagery is fun to work from! The video is outstanding and the Wordle is clever. I especially appreciated the presence of such a diversity of congregations.
    Sister Peggy Doyle, Congregation of NotreDame
  • The facilitator was excellent and provided gentle, knowledgeable guidance throughout the process. The video of newer members was excellent. It is always valuable to hear from the newer members themselves.
    Sister Patricia Dual, Dominican Sisters of Peace
  • Our journey through the process is helpful in being ready to take others through it. Sister Lynn was very supportive and directed in a subtle, helpful way.
    Sister Mary Elizabeth Endee, Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist
  • You've given me the tools, now I need to gather our sisters for deepersharing and planning. It surpassed my expectations!
    Sister Fran Fasolka, Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart
  • We are already speaking and planning, this will move us in a more specific way. It will be very helpful. Our chapter theme is: "Inviting New Members -- Inviting the Future."
    Sister Carmel Therese Favazzo, Sisters of the Catholic Apostolate
  • It gives us a step by step process that we can adapt. It's great to have a theme and a way to carry it through, very comprehensive. There was a great spirit of collaboration.
    Sister Michele Fisher, Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth
  • The materials are excellent. The opportunity to really move through the process was excellent.
    Sister Joanne Gallagher, Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston
  • The table talk was most useful. It exceeded anything that I had expected. Sister Lynn was fantastic, she truly modeled how to facilitate as we went through the process.
    Sister Mary Terese Giblin, School Sisters of St. Francis of Christ the King
  • It made me more aware and got me thinking of different ways in which engagement between generations can take place including the modern means of communication. We move forward together.
    Father Christopher Gibson, Passionist
  • I intend to incorporate all the components. It is very helpful, provides members to enter the process with an open mind.
    Sister Jeanne Gilligan, Franciscan Sisters of Peace, New York Archdiocese
  • I truly appreciated having all three conferences of religious in the room at the same time--this is a first for me! I am so grateful and excited for more events of this tenor by the NRVC.
    Sister Jeanne Marie Gocha, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
  • I am glad I came. It was well worth the effort. Thank you for making this workshop possible and making it possible for me to participate.Sister Regina Marie Gorman, CMSWR President
  • The 'ready to use' resources are invaluable. Thank you so much for the privilege of participating and for all you did to make it such an excellent experience.
    Sister Violet Grennan, Executive Director for the Religious Formation Conference
  • Our congregation, like many congregations, has been looking at the issue through assemblies and area gatherings, but we needed something more. I think this process will lead us deeper to concrete ways. Thank you for this opportunity.
    Sister Madonna Harvath, Bernardine Franciscan Sisters
  • As a vocation director for my congregation, it is just the tool I need! It is not crafted in the head, but allows us to begin in the heart, returning to our original dream for religious life.
    Sister Maria Therese Healy, O, Carm. Committee Member
  • It renewed my hope! It was creative, simple, but a profound process. It should be fairly easy to use. The 'goodies' on the CD are nice to have and should make it even easier to use!
    Brother Ronald Hingle, Brothers of the Sacred Heart, New Orleans Province
  • It was well beyond my expectations. It is a marvelous help! We were in touch with reality and still invited to engage in hope with the future. I feel this tool is essential.
    Sister Carol Ann Jokerst, Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
  • The part of naming the present reality honestly will be really helpful in supporting vocations in local communities.
    Sister Donna Marie Kemberling, Sisters of Christian Charity
  • The 'car-imagery' -- using driving as a metaphor to move through the stages of reflection, imagining, planning -- was really perfect, especially non-threatening for men's community settings.
    Brother Mark Knightly, Congregation of Holy Cross, Moreau Province
  • I wasn't sure what to expect but I'm very grateful for the experience. It's a good process which will lead to good conversations.
    Sister Sarah Kohles, Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque
  • Excellent questions and reflective process. The careful planning created the necessary support structure. It exceeded my expectations.
    Father Daniel Lackie, Franciscan Friars, Province of St. Barbara
  • I appreciate all the resources given to us and Sister Lynn's facilitation style.
    Sister Mary Lange, Sisters of the Holy Family
  • I thought I was going to get lots of information but instead I received a great process with all the tools and materials! It was great for reflection, application, and moving to action.
    Denise LaRock, Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul
  • It more than met my expectations. It has given me hope and every possible help to do it. I was in awe at the depth and honesty in sharing at our table.
    Sister Lourdes Leal, Congregation of Divine Providence
  • The facilitator's guide is wonderful. I'm looking forward to pursuing its implementation.
    Sister Joyce Lehman, Sisters of the Precious Blood
  • I'm so grateful you have consolidated such priceless information in a user friendly format. My table partners were so passionate about sharing that we could have talked for days. I am on fire to share it with my community and Region IX.
    Sister Vicki Lichtenauer, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth
  • The video of the newer members will be a hit! Sister Lynn facilitated with such love! You could tell she had a great deal of information and enjoyed doing it!
    Sister Mary Elizabeth Lloyd, Religious Sisters Filippini
  • This is perfectly timed for me. We have community meetings at the end of July. I already knew I had to present our vocation team's progress towards a comprehensive vocation plan. Now I have everything I need for that meeting. This is perfect! It took all the anxiety out of it all.
    Sister Karen Ann Lortscher, Benedictine Sisters of Cullman
  • I couldn't think of a better facilitator. Lynn set a great tone and modeled the process in a very effective manner. It met and exceeded my expectations!
    Father Adam MacDonald, Society of the Divine Word
  • I am most grateful to NRVC for reaching out and including representatives of all conferences and inviting the representative from the USCCB as well as RFC, etc. to join us.
    Sister Maureen Martin, Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
  • I think I will have to do it regionally, but now I know how to talk to my leadership team about scheduling it.
    Sister Mary Carol McClenon, Sisters of the Good Shepherd
  • It is a very effective conversation tool supported by visuals that capture the conversation flow and depth of the study.
    Father Gary McCloskey, Augustinians, Villanova Province
  • Before I came, I had no clear idea of what I was expected to do. Now I feel confident about leading my community through the process. Once again, it was a quality event, as all NRVC events are.
    Father Don Miller, Franciscans, St. John the Baptist Province.
  • We have already had conversations in our community about where we are at. This tool will help deepen that discussion. I truly appreciated experiencing it with other religious first before bringing it home.
    Sister Margaret Mary Mitchel, Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration
  • I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but I feel prepared to facilitate this conversation with the community. I had done very little in the way of engagement with the findings (beyond reading them), so this was helpful.
    Sister Belinda Monahan,Benedictine Sisters of Chicago
  • It models a way for me to imitate the facilitation for my own community. The presentation allows me to recognize the findings and implications in a more concrete way.
    Sister Sandy Nguyen, Daughters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary
  • Ifound the process to be better than expected. What will be most helpful is the video and handouts. It is very practical and easy to use.
    Father Jim Osendorf, Congregation of the Mission
  • First of all, I'm so grateful to NRVC for using time and resources to secure theGHR grant to enable these services. I'm also grateful to the committee that evolved these resources and Lynn Levo for the process.
    Sister Lisa Paffrath, Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence
  • The fresh approach to the topics will allow for new thinking, fresh ideas and new enthusiasm for the tasks ahead. I became more knowledgeable about the NRVC/CARA study and current thinking, and am very comfortable with the conversation tool itself.
    Sister Margaret Palliser, Dominican Sisters of Sparkill
  • It exceeded my expectations. This was a broad exposure to a diversity of communities. Thank you for inviting me and welcoming me here. I shall share thiswith the conference.
    Father John Pavlik, CMSM Executive Director
  • I feel so blessed in having been selected and I learned so much. The process was well done and thought through. Each step did build well on the previous step and took me deeper.
    Sister Lucy Povilonis, Dominican Sisters of Hope
  • The car imagery will be especially helpful...the journey hopefully will happen! I have great hope for it! Sister Anita Quigley, Society of the Holy Child of Jesus
  • Remarkable. Remarkable. Remarkable. Thrilled to take it back to the 93 CAVA members representing the 65 congregations and my own sisters.
    Sister Elyse Ramirez, Archdiocese of Chicago, Office for Religious
  • Thank you so much to the time, energy, and resources that were put into this gathering. I feel blessed on many levels to have been here personally and for my congregation.
    Sister Mary Catherine Redmond, Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • Thanks so much for inviting LCWR to this. You did a fantastic job!
    Sister Annmarie Sanders, Director of Communications for LCWR
  • I found most helpful the techniques of having one set of questions for personal reflection and another set of questions for group discussion. Asking the deeper questions is always important.
    Sister Mary John Schik, Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles
  • This calls us to be responsible for being present to and for each other, and the new people we invite. It is very useful to tell our stories and to get my sisters excited about vocations. I will share it with the other vocation directors of Region XII at our fall meeting in October.
    Sister Marietta Schindler, Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel
  • We have already independently begun some larger vocation efforts/committees/resources, but I hope this will engage the larger province. This workshop exceeded my expectations.
    Friar Paul Schloemer, Conventual Franciscans
  • Some very good resources to work with.It gave me some good language to use. The video of newer members was very real, informative, and conveys great hope.
    Brother Michael Sheerin, Marist Brothers
  • I think the video and process handouts are particularly helpful. They are excellent and I believe they have the potential to engage my community. It was a great workshopand Lynn Levo's facilitation made it!
    Sheila Stevenson, Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, NYPPAW
  • The process is well balanced and designed to generate positive action. I not only understand, but am motivated to spread this good news.
    Sister Josephine Marie Streva, Allegany Franciscan Sisters
  • It fits nicely into a process we have already begun -- and will save us a lot of work as we move on to the next stage, giving us a framework and resources.
    Father Norm Tanck, Congregation of St. Basil
  • I think the video and the handouts with the questions will be particularly helpful. The questions are very well done and should lead the congregation to deeper reflection and conversation.
    Sister Sharlet Wagner, Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross
  • I'm very grateful for the diversity, for the different conferences present, for the respect shown to each. Sister Mary Wegher, Benedictine Sisters of Rapid City
  • It was a renewal for me personally! It is so useful -- all the materials and the experience itself.
    Sister Carol Welp, Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters
  • We've had a 'vocations summit' based on the NRVC/CARA study, and need another step to energize our members -- this tool will provide that step in our ongoing cultivation of a culture of vocations. I think the fresh questions and the car metaphor will provide helpful inroads for our conversations.
    Brother Tom Wendorf, Society of Mary, Marianists
  • It was way beyond my expectations, it was outstanding. The video with the newer members is outstanding. Their witness is so life-giving and enthusiastic.
    Sister Christine Wiltrakis, Missionaries of the Precious Blood
  • The video will give us great discussion points, real people sharing their stories help us relate to our own experiences. This process enhances a process we have shared recently regarding vocations.
    Father Vince Wirtner, CPPS
  • I feel well prepared and I am excited about bringing it back to community leadership. I believe this tool will enable us to ask the hard questions and to have an honest conversation in community.
    Sister Laura Zelten, Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross

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