CHICAGO, July 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 NFCRV.org, or contact Mark J. Teresi, CFRE at 773-595-4028 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations