Connections between full-time service and religious life

On July 17 and 18 the Catholic Volunteer Network will explore connections between full-time service and religious life by hosting the “From Service to Sisterhood Symposium” in Chicago. This symposium is the first event of a three-year Sisterhood Initiative funded by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to further explore and promote vocations to religious life

The symposium will bring together leaders of congregations, directors of volunteer programs, former volunteers and others to explore the connection between volunteerism and vocation. Keynote speaker for the event will be teacher and author Sr. Mary Johnson, SNDdeN, who will lead discussions tied to her new book, New Generations of Catholic Sisters: The Challenge of Diversity (co-authored with Sr. Patricia Wittberg, SC, and Mary L. Gautier).

“We are asking participants to share their own experiences, thoughts and expertise with a gathering of similarly focused individuals,” said Carol Lackie, Sisters Initiative project coordinator.  “We are confident that they will come away with a deeper understanding of what motivates the typical volunteer and what the volunteer experience means in the larger context of the volunteers life.”

As project coordinator, Lackie is particularly interested in how all vocations are being explored as a young woman moves forward from a volunteer experience to the next steps in life.

As part of the process CNVS will be accepting applications from congregations for funding to develop or strengthen volunteer programs and offering a workshop in Chicago in September on starting and managing a successful volunteer program.

[Colleen Dunne is development director for De La Salle Blackfeet School in Browning, Montana, and a former NCR Bertelsen intern in editorial and marketing.]