National Religious Vocation Conference 2016 | Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation
National Religious Vocation Conference 2016 Panel on
Discerning a Vocation

How is the Spirit calling you to discipleship? Join host, Deacon Pedro Guevara-Mann, for a LIVE web-streamed discussion with a panel of young religious and young Catholics who are discerning their vocation.

Deacon Pedro will speak with 6 members of religious communities who are in discernment or in formation in front of a live conference audience. You'll be able to send questions and comments LIVE via Facebook and Twitter.

Watch here LIVE, Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 3pm ET / 12pm PT
LIVE from the National Religious Vocation Conference Convention in Overland Park, KS.

About NRVC
The National Religious Vocation Conference is a professional organization of vocation ministers that presents religious life as a viable option in the Catholic Church. NRVC promotes vocation awareness, invitation, and discernment to life as a religious sister, brother, or priest. NRVC reflects all forms of religious life and provides educational opportunities, resources, and other supportive services for spiritual, professional, and personal growth.

The National Religious Vocation Conference began in 1988 as a merger of the National Conference of Religious Vocation Directors (NCRVD) and the National Sisters Vocation Conference (NSVC). Today the NRVC has an annual membership of over 900 women and men representing over 350 religious institutes, both national and international, most of whom are vocation ministers for religious congregations. The organization is divided into 12 member areas. The National Board consists of eight to twelve representatives and the NRVC Executive Director.
Meet our Panelists
Br. Daniel Hernández Flores, OSC
Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross (the Crosier Fathers and Brothers)
From Onamia Minnesota, but I was born in Tlaxcala, Mexico.

Favorite saint: My first saint is not actually a saint. There are three blessed children Cristobal, Antonio and Juan. I first heard about them in my hometown in Tlaxcala, Mexico. They were martyrs in the 15th century at the beginning of the new evangelism in Mexico after of the conquest from Spain. I love this example of faith and fidelity to the Gospel because even though they knew they were going to die, they accepted and embraced God's wish to spread the good word.

Who to blame: The first was my small faith community in Mexico; and later like a miracle someone contacted me through Facebook. My answer was 'Oh my God!' How did they know about my doubts? Was it a miracle? Don't think that God is not listening to you, because He can hear very well. Look at me now--I am here!
Shaughn Phillips
Society of Mary (S.M) (Marianists)
My father is in the Army so I moved around growing up. They currently reside in the Diocese of Harrisburg, PA.

Favorite saint: While not officially a saint yet, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati is one of my favorite saints. He wasn't boring. He climbed mountains, drank with his friends, and smoked a pipe. His incarnational spirituality reflected his daily devotion to the Eucharist, which he would also sneak out at night to go be with in Adoration, as well as his commitment to serve our brothers and sisters who were poor or homeless in Turin through St. Vincent de Paul. His famous quote, "Verso L'Alto!" (To the Heights!) stirs a burning desire for sanctity rather than mediocrity.

Who to blame: Rather than saying it took a whole village it took the whole communion of saints! But Cardinal McCarrick from the Archdiocese of Washington D.C was the first person who planted the seed of my vocation I believe. Every year at the Youth Rally in the Verizon Center before the March for Life he would recognize diocesan priests, religious, and seminarians. But he would always ask after for those discerning a vocation as a priest or religious to stand. It took a couple years of going every year but eventually one year I felt comfortable enough to stand when he asked.
Sr. Celia Ashton, OCD
Carmelite Sisters of Baltimore
I'm from Baltimore, Maryland.

Favorite saint: Teresa of Avila. In short, Teresa was a very practical and determined woman whose love of God was the foundation of her life. Teresa stressed the absolute necessity of prayer and the interior life culminating in union with God. Her writings speak of the depths of the mystical life, which she experienced. Teresa continues to be a spiritual guide who encourages us to simply look at Jesus. She writes, "Behold, he is not waiting for anything else…" (Way of Perfection 26.3). I am proud to be her daughter and heir to such a rich mystical tradition.

Who to blame: I am very fortunate to have had many people who nurtured and supported my vocation throughout my life, but the two people who really put me on the spot and impelled me to respond were the Holy Spirit and Sr. Rayleen Giannotti, RSM.
Sr. Judithmarie Udofia, SSF
Sisters of The Holy Family
I am from Nigeria.

Favorite saint: My favorite saints are Bernadette of Lourdes and Judith of Prussia. Bernadette was very young and naive and despite all the trials and persecutions she passed through she persevered; especially when the church did not believe her visions and thought she was seeking attention for herself and her family because they were very poor. Blessed Judith of Prussia was married and her husband traveled to Rome on pilgrimage and never returned back home. She summed up the courage and dedicated the rest of her life to God as a religious.

Who to blame: I blame my mother for my religious vocation because she made a solemn promise to dedicate the child she will conceive back to God. She was so desperate to bear more children and so got me into a big tight spot with God and i couldn't escape this call despite my effort to. Hmm!!! Well I'm glad to have gotten hooked up with Jesus by my mother.
Kelly Schuster
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (commonly referred to the Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco)
I was born in Delaware.

Favorite saint: The Blessed Mother is really my favorite. She is my link between my biological family and my religious family. Our founders, St John Bosco and St. Mary Mazzarello had such trust in her under the title Mary Help of Christians.

Who to blame: I blame Fr. Abe, SDB! He was the Salesian of St. John Bosco that I worked most closely and who helped me discern my vocation.
Sr. Mary Elizabeth Albers, SOLT
Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity
Originally from Silver Lake, KS (just outside of Topeka), I currently reside in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Favorite saint: Our Blessed Mother is my favorite saint, probably because I have the closest relationship with her of any of the saints. I'm sort of always tugging at her skirt and I don't think she minds a bit, which is pretty amazing. She's not only the most beautiful model of what it means to belong entirely to God, she also helps each one of us to grow closer in our own relationship with Him.

Who to blame: The top three people I have to blame are my brother, who first encouraged me to go to Belize as a missionary, a SOLT priest in Belize named Fr. Mark Wendling, who really showed me the joy of a life consecrated to God, and Our Lady, who took seriously the consecration I made to Jesus through her prior to the experience of being called to religious life.