Are you aware of a woman who knows she has a calling from God to be a religious sister but is hindered from answering the call because she has debt, primarily education debt? Today, the average debt for education is $28,000, and the majority of women religious orders will not accept a postulant who has this amount of debt to payoff.
The National Council of Catholic Women has a fund-raising program that offers a solution to this dilemma. It is called Vocation Purse and is designed to raise funds that will be used to alleviate the debt of a woman who has the desire to pursue a religious vocation.
A woman entering a religious order does not receive financial assistance from her home diocese due to the fact there is no guarantee she will return to work in her diocese; whereas, her diocesan seminarian counterpart is provided financial assistance because following his ordination, he will work in his diocese.
Vocation Purse is a program that is simple to use. Pick and organize a fund-raiser of your choice after which the funds collected are sent to the office of the National Council of Catholic Women who forwards the money on to the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations for disbursement on behalf of an applicant who has entered an order, has applied for assistance and is accepted.
No money is ever exchanged between the NFCRV and the applicant, as the religious order directly receives the money and is then responsible for making the loan payment for the applicant. This program offers a realistic opportunity for individuals, schools, churches, organizations and offices to step up and help increase the number of vocations to the religious life for women.
By locally utilizing this program in the Diocese of Sioux City, we could in all actuality be assisting one or more of our very own women realize her vocation to be a religious sister. More information on this can be found on the website at nccw.org or email me at email@example.com and I will get a brochure to you.
The National Council of Catholic Women, founded March 4, 1920, will celebrate its 97th year of service to God at their annual convention Sept. 7-9, in Dallas, Texas, with the theme: Catholic Women: Living the Joy of the Gospel. Convention is an event where council sisters from all parts of the country can gather to become empowered through workshops, inspiring speakers and moving liturgies.
It is at this convention that my two-year term as the NCCW province director for the Dubuque Province will conclude. It was a privilege and an honor serving as province director and I am so grateful to everyone who in any way supported me in this venture. The experience was one I thoroughly enjoyed, will always remember and will never regret doing, even though it did require me to go out beyond my comfort zone.
Another convention to write down on your calendar is the biennial convention of the Catholic Women Diocese of Sioux City to be held in the spring of 2018. The theme will be Brunch With The Bishop and the topic will be Our Catholic Faith: Do You Know What You Think You Know. I recommend attending a convention as it provides an opportunity for all of us as Catholic women to gather and celebrate with one another our rich Catholic faith and heritage.
Whatever profession you work in there is likely a national organization to which you can belong. The National Council of Catholic Women is the national organization for Catholic women which educates, supports and empowers its members. Doctors, nurses, lawyers, accountants and teachers wouldn’t give a second thought to not being a member of the national organization for their occupation.
To me it just makes perfect sense that we as Catholic women should not think twice about being a member of the National Council of Catholic Women. I strongly urge you to give some serious thought to becoming actively involved in this organization, made up of an awesome group of women doing God’s work here on earth by becoming one of its members. Our benefits are out of this world when we are God’s voice, hands and feet here on earth.
Mary Ann Ruether is the NCCW Province Director, Province of Dubuque.