Promoting Vocations to the Religious Life

by | Jan 18, 2016 | A Question of Faith, Vocations

Margaret Cartwright discusses the need to rediscover ‘story-telling’ as part of vocations for the religious in Ireland and how a recent grant of €268,000 will be used.

Vocations promotion gets boost from generous grant Hilton foundation supports work of Vocation Ireland

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Efforts to promote a vocation to religious life in Ireland will move up a gear in the New Year thanks to a generous grant from a US-based philanthropic foundation. Vocations Ireland, an umbrella organisation which helps religious orders to share their unique way of life and encourage new members, has been awarded $290k (€268k) by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

The grant, which is spread over three years, is specifically to help build organisational capacity for Vocations Ireland to enable the organisation to support and nurture vocations to the consecrated religious life in Ireland today.  Vocations Ireland serves the needs of religious vocation directors and their desire to promote and invite new members to share in their unique and fulfilling way of life.

Vocations Ireland Director Margaret Cartwright said she was “delighted” with the grant and said it would allow the organisation to support religious orders, congregations and missionary societies in telling the stories of their ministry. Ms Cartwright said: “while the challenges ahead may be daunting, we are indeed excited to be working with the Hilton Foundation and look forward to developing together new and exciting possibilities and opportunities for religious life in Ireland today”.

She said that the generosity of the organisation “will help Vocations Ireland as a charitable organisation to develop the capacity of our organisation, improve the services we can offer to our members and assist us in our outreach to the wider Church community in the re-telling of our vocation story. “This in turn will enable our members to be better equipped to respond to those who are discerning their vocation to religious life”.

Ms Cartwright said Vocations Ireland would like to express appreciation and gratitude to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Board of Directors for their vision, commitment and generous investment in the future of religious life and for their confidence in Vocations Ireland and its leadership.

Vocations Ireland would like to thank Sister Rosemarie Nassif, SSND, director of the Hilton Foundation Sisters’ Initiative, and Brad Myers, domestic program officer at the Foundation, for their guidance and encouragement. We look forward to working together in 2016,”

Vocations Ireland is an association of the Vocation Directors of the Catholic religious orders in Ireland. It works to present religious life, apostolic, missionary and contemplative, as a life choice that is one way of following Christ and bringing deeper meaning and purpose to life. Vocations Ireland provides information on religious life as well as support and accompaniment for those who are trying to discern if they are called to follow this way of life.

The 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 Hilton Foundation currently conducts strategic initiatives in six priority areas: providing safe water, ending chronic homelessness, preventing substance use, helping children affected by HIV and AIDS, supporting transition-age youth in foster care, and extending Conrad Hilton’s support for the work of Catholic Sisters. In addition, following selection by an independent international jury, the Foundation annually awards the $2 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to a non-profit organisation doing extraordinary work to reduce human suffering. From its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 billion in grants, distributing $100 million in the U.S. and around the world in 2014. The Foundation’s current assets are approximately $2.5 billion. For more information, please visit