Resources for Congregations

"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete."
John 16 : 24

Studies & Research

There are 2 organizations that are doing research specifically in these areas. Unfortunately, both of them are US based and so information on the Indian context will be missing. However, many of the issues being faced are similar and so, a lot of their research studies are relevant across the world.

  • The National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC): NRVC, founded in 1988, is a professional organization for religious vocation directors, whose primary goal is to help people discern a religious vocation, assess interested candidates and welcome new members to religious life.
    • Their studies and reports on vocations and religious life are very useful and available for reference on the site.
    • Vocation Directors Manual: NRVC has put together a Manual covering almost every aspect of the Vocation Ministry. It is a comprehensive resource for vocation promoters. However, you need to be a paid member of NRVC to be able to access this content. Click here to see the contents and here to become a member.
  • Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA): Founded in 1964, CARA is a national, non-profit, research center that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church. It is affiliated to Georgetown University in Washington DC. CARA offers a wide range of services for parishes, dioceses, congregations, etc. Their publications are very useful and you can access the results of their studies and surveys.  This information will be useful to any vocation promoter.

    He who trusts himself is lost.
    He who trusts God can do all things.

    – St. Alphonsus Liguori

    Resources for Parishes / Dioceses / Congregations

    • Vocation Ministry: As per the website, this is based on the book “Hundredfold” written by Rhonda Gruenewald. She wrote the book based on her experience of leading a successful Vocation Ministry. It provides information, activities, and inspiration to anyone starting, reviving, or refreshing a vocation ministry in a parish.
      • The site and the book are designed to inspire parishes to get involved in vocation work, to help new ministries with a clear guide to the nuts and bolts of the ministry, and to reinvigorate long-standing committees to attract new workers to God’s vineyard.
      • This is a very practically useful site with the process divided into phases with resources for each phase. A lot of the material is freeand can be downloaded directly from the site –e.g.  for Leaders, for Families, for those discerning. However, you may get full use of the site only after having bought the book.
    • Vianney Vocations: The objective of this initiative is to ‘renew the Church by inspiring a new generation of priests and religious.
      • They have a list of services they offer to vocation teams – applicable for congregations and parishes.
      • They also have a Store which has all kinds of material for vocation promotion – books, brochures, posters, videos etc.
    • Avow: This is an accompanying site to the book Discerning Religious Life by Sr. Clare Matthiass CFR.
      • It helps anyone start small discussion groups for young women who want to make the journey of discernment together.
      • The site provides materials to conduct your own small discernment groups. The material is free when you buy the book or you can get it online.
    • The Melchizedek Project: This is an accompanying site to the book To Save a Thousand Souls – A Guide for discerning a Vocation to the Diocesan Priesthood by Fr. Brett A Brannen
      • The objective is to educate and inspire Catholic students to consider a vocation to priesthood.  The site facilitates starting of discernment groups on college campuses, as well as at Catholic high schools and parish youth groups.
      • You can request the Group Materials online free and there’s a lot of good information about how to run these groups.
    • Vocation Promotion:  This site offers a method of vocation promotion that involves advertising, marketing and a social media outreach. It uses new methods of targeting and getting ‘leads’ to good potential candidates.
      • They provide services only in the US but you can learn a few tips from the site e.g. this quiz helps to test your vocation program efficiency. If you sign up for their newsletter, you will get regular newsletters with relevant tips and information.
      • If you want to try this method and see if they can help, you can contact them directly. However, use this option only if your congregation is comfortable with social media ads and marketing.