PRESSRELEASES 

 

 

National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations names new Executive Director

 

Marketing expert to helm NFCRV, which helps religious communities accept new members

 

Chicago, May 1, 2018 — The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV), is pleased to announce that accomplished marketer Phil Loftus has taken on the role of Executive Director.

 

Loftus brings 30 years of marketing experience to NFCRV, which awards grants every year to orders of sisters, priests, and brothers to service the educational debt of candidates to religious life. Loftus’ career has focused on launching and growing brands and leading innovative initiatives, including the “Got Milk?” campaign. He has served in numerous Catholic ministries and philanthropic efforts throughout his life, most recently as a consultant to TrueQuest Communications, which spearheads the publishing ministry of the National Religious Vocation Conference.

 

“In the many good causes that the church supports, educational debt as it relates to religious vocations stands out as unique and an urgent matter for our world,” says Loftus. Loftus is charged with the task of growing the fund, which was established in 2014 by the National Religious Vocation Conference following a study that identified student debt as an obstacle to religious vocations.

 

The challenge, as Loftus sees it, “is that the fund is competing against thousands of other worthy causes to support those less fortunate living on the margins. I believe there is opportunity to position the NFCRV’s need as immediate and crucial. The world relies on religious communities to be at the forefront of care: both material and spiritual. We need more vocations to continue the global work of religious communities. Solve the problem of educational debt, and we will have more vocations, which means more men and women religious to address the pressing needs of our world.”

 

It is this strategic approach that Br. Ronald Hingle, S.C., NFCRV Board Chair, welcomes in its new executive director. “Phil has a deep appreciation of Catholic religious life and the challenges we face in vocation ministry. The board and I are confident that Phil will bring the energy and vision he long demonstrated in advertising to promoting the needs of the church and the future of religious life. We are very grateful for the foundational work of outgoing NFCRV director, Mark Teresi, who helped make the fund a reality. We now look forward to this new phase in the fund’s development.”

 

Loftus and his wife, attorney Loretto Kennedy, have been active members of St. Mary of the Woods Catholic Parish in Chicago for the past 23 years. His three children, who all graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, have or are now pursuing undergraduate degrees, which gives Loftus first-hand knowledge of the financial burdens of educational debt. Loftus attended St. Patrick’s High School in Chicago and received a degree in economics at the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL. Loftus serves on the Board of Regents for St. Ignatius College Prep and VISION Vocation Guide’s Vocation Gateway Taskforce, which is exploring ways to assist parishes and high schools in their role as gateways to vocations.

 

For more information about the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations, please visit NFCRV.org.

                                                                            ###

2017 grants remove obstacle of student debt for seven candidates to religious life

 

National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations helps orders of priests, brothers, and sisters accept new members

 

Chicago, Nov. 22, 2017 — The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV) announced its 2017 grants, totaling more than $200,000, awarded to men’s and women’s religious communities to service the educational debt of 10 candidates to religious life.

 

Awards can be given to grantees each year until the candidate with educational debt makes final vows and becomes a fully professed member of the community or the student loan is paid off, whichever comes first.

The 2017 grantees are:

 

Apostles of the Sacred Heart​

Congregation of the Holy Spirit​

Dominican Sisters of Houston​

Poor Clare Nuns, Bostan, MA​

Redemptorists, Denver Province​

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Immaculata, PA​

Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, KS​

Sisters of Christian Charity​

Sisters of Providence, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods​

Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

 

“We continue to be heartened by the quality of candidates to religious life,” says Br. Ronald Hingle, S.C., NFCRV Board Chair. “They are bright, energetic, and ready to serve in ministry and prayer with enthusiasm and hope. Without assistance from NFCRV, 10 candidates to religious life would have had to defer their entrance to their respective communities until their student loans were paid off. What a loss that would have been for the church and the people they serve.”


A 2012 study sponsored by the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC), was the impetus for establishing the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations in 2014. The study found that an estimated 1,000 inquirers were turned away by a religious institute or personally opted out of discernment because of educational debt.

 

"It’s so easy to feel discouraged or overwhelmed while trying to tackle paying off student debt before joining a religious order,” says one candidate with educational debt whose community is a 2017 grant recipient. “When the NFCRV grant came through it served as a reminder of how God provides through the generosity of others!"

 

“Our mission is to help alleviate the strain that educational debt puts on candidates," says Mark Teresi, C.F.R.E., Director of the NFCRV. "Currently we are servicing the debt of 27 candidates to religious life, and this is just the beginning.”

The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations was made possible through grants from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the GHR Foundation. The fund accepts grant applications from religious communities who are members of the NRVC, the founding organization of the NFCRV, from January to March each year and approves the year’s recipients at their May board meeting.

For more information on the terms of the grant, applying for a grant, or donating to the fund, please go to NFCRV.org or call Mark Teresi at 773-595-4028.

###

2016 grants remove obstacle of student debt for seven candidates to religious life

 

National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations helps orders of priests, brothers, and sisters accept new members

 

Chicago, October 31, 2016 — The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV) announced its 2016 grants, totaling more than $140,000, awarded to men’s and women’s religious communities to service the educational debt of seven candidates to religious life.

 

Awards can be given to grantees each year until the candidate with educational debt makes final vows and becomes a fully professed member of the community or the student loan is paid off, whichever comes first.

The grantees are:

 

Dominican Friars, Province of St. Martin de Porres

Marist Brothers

Salesians of Don Bosco

Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate

Sisters of Saints Cyril and Methodius

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart

 

“For those entering religious life the expectation is that they be debt-free,” says Br. Ronald Hingle, S.C., NFCRV Board Chair. “Without assistance from NFCRV, these seven candidates would have had to defer their entrance to the community until their student loans were paid off.”

 

The real concern that religious communities were losing vocations because of educational debt, confirmed by a 2012 study sponsored by the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC), was the impetus for establishing the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations in 2014. The study found that an estimated 1,000 inquirers were turned away by a religious institute or personally opted out of discernment because of educational debt. And the cost of higher education continues to rise: The average 2016 graduate has more than $37,000 in student debt, up 6 percent from last year.

 

“For graduates in today’s economy, paying off loans can take years to accomplish,” says Mark Teresi, C.F.R.E., Director of the NFCRV. “Our mission is to help alleviate the strain that educational debt puts on candidates—so that they may freely discern their religious vocation—and on communities—so that they are able to effectively welcome new members.”

 

"I am grateful for the opportunity to discern my call,” says one candidate with educational debt whose community is a 2016 grant recipient. “Religious vocations are such a gift to the life of the Church, and I am glad to be able to see the fruitfulness of this life as I continue my novitiate year through the fund’s help."

 

The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations was made possible through grants from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the GHR Foundation. Women’s religious communities were the charter recipients of NFCRV grants to honor the Hilton Foundation’s priority interest in Catholic sisters. This year grants were also given to men’s religious communities. To date, NFCRV has assisted 19 candidates from 17 religious communities and awarded a total of $353,000 in grant commitments.

 

The fund accepts grant applications from religious communities who are members of the NRVC, the founding organization of the NFCRV, from January 15 through March 15 each year and approves the year’s recipients at their May board meeting. Grantees are notified of their application status by June 30.

 

For more information on the terms of the grant, applying for a grant, or donating to the fund, please go to NFCRV.org or call Mark Teresi at 773-595-4028.

###

New grant program pays college debt for 10 Catholic sisters-in-training

Study finds educational debt obstacle to vocations

 

Chicago, July 16, 2015—The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV) awarded its first grants to religious communities to pay the educational debt of 10 candidates to religious life. The fund grew out of a 2012 Study on Educational Debt and Vocations to Religious Life that found that student debt has become a serious obstacle for religious communities in being able to accept new candidates.

 

“It is notable that these first grants are being awarded during the Year of Consecrated Life, as established by Pope Francis,” said Cardinal Seán O’Malley, O.F.M.,Cap., honorary chair of the NFCRV board. “This initiative will support the work of celebrating, renewing, and promoting the gift of consecrated life and help the people of God to gain a greater appreciation for this important vocation and ministry. We are grateful for the vision and initiative of the National Religious Vocation Conference and the financial support of the Conrad N. Hilton and GHR foundations.”

 

Brother Ronald Hingle, S.C, chair of the NFCRV board, says the Fund’s mission “is to support Catholic religious life by alleviating the financial strain educational debt poses for religious communities. We also want to assist communities in developing effective policies for candidates with student loan obligations.”

 

“There is no more satisfying ministry than to provide help to those in need,” says Mark J Teresi, CFRE, first director of the NFCRV. “The board and I are grateful to have the privilege to provide financial assistance to so many religious communities this year.”

 

“Our challenge and my goal,” says Teresi, “is to fully endow this fund, through soliciting major gifts, to solve this obstacle to vocations permanently for women’s and men’s religious institutes.”

 

The following women’s religious communities are the 2015 recipients of NFCRV grants:

 

Adrian Dominican Sisters

The Congregation of Divine Providence

Daughters of Mary Help of Christians

Dominican Sisters of Peace

Felician Sisters of North America

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Sisters of the Humility of Mary

Sisters of Christian Charity

 

 

The funds awarded this year totaled $213,000. Payments will be made to grantees each year until the candidate with educational debt makes final vows and becomes a fully professed member of the community or the student loan is paid off, whichever comes first.

 

The Fund will send out grant applications to religious communities who are members of the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC), the founding organization of the NFCRV, in January 2016 with the NFCRV Board approving the year’s recipients at their May board meeting. Grantees will be notified of their application status in June.

 

For more information on the terms of the grant, applying for a grant, or donating to the fund, please go to the NFCRV.org, or contact Phil Loftus, CFRE at 773-595-4028 or ploftus@nfcrv.org.

National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV), founded in 2014, serves as a sign of hope in the future of consecrated life and is dedicated to increasing the number of women and men entering religious communities. The Fund hopes to accomplish this goal by: offering financial assistance to religious institutes so that they may accept candidates who have student loan obligations; assisting congregations in developing policies and resources so that they may work effectively with those who have educational debt; inviting contributors to invest so that the vital legacy of religious life continues for the church and the world. The Fund awards grants based on need. Any canonically recognized religious institute with membership in the National Religious Vocation Conference may apply for a grant to service a candidate’s educational debt during formation.

 

National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) was founded in 1988 as a professional organization of men and women committed to vocation awareness, invitation, and discernment to consecrated life as brothers, sisters, and priests. The NRVC has over 700 members, most of whom are vocation ministers for religious congregations. The NRVC serves its members by providing continuing education, advocacy, resources, and services for professional growth.

 

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation was created in 1944 by international business pioneer Conrad N. Hilton, who founded Hilton Hotels and left his fortune to help the world’s disadvantaged and vulnerable people. The Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in five priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance abuse, caring for vulnerable children, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants.

 

GHR Foundation applies entrepreneurial creativity and universal Catholic values in the areas of health, education and global development. Started in 1965 by Opus founders Gerald A. and Henrietta Rauenhorst, the Foundation seeks transformational change, and partners with the world’s experts to achieve impact. This results in a powerful exchange of ideas, and a community of thought leaders providing locally-driven solutions. GHR is anchored with a belief in responsibility, action and the knowledge that we are all deeply connected. Despite global challenges, GHR meets each task with entrepreneurial optimism because the Foundation has seen the impact of strategic, thoughtful change. 

 

 

 

 

 

Call us:

773-595-4028

© 2018 NFCRV

Find us: 

National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations

5401 South Cornell Avenue

Suite 207, Chicago, IL 60615

Phone: 773-595-4028