The NFCRV was established by the National Religious Vocation Conference in 2014 through an initial grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and additional funding from the GHR Foundation to assist NRVC member religious communities in welcoming candidates with educational debt. The Fund is sustained through the generosity of individual donors and foundations and organizations, including the Helen Brach Foundation and the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW).
The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV) 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.
The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations
The challenge of educational debt and vocations
Phil has spent his professional career building and growing brands, client business and leading teams with exceptional results.
He is a 30-year plus marketing expert focused on innovative launch, retention and brand building initiatives. Most recently Phil has helped both the National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) and the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations (NFCRV) in a consulting role contracted through Truequest Communications.
Phil collaborated and helped lead the NFCRV’s Ana Gonzalez grantee video project. In addition Phil was instrumental in formulating a Marketing Plan for NFCRV to help provide a framework for building an infrastructure to market the fund short term. Phil has also successfully generated funds for NFCRV by seeking out donors and asking for support of the fund.
For the NRVC Phil has assisted in writing grant proposals including the 2016 Loflin and Raskob grants for the Vocation Gateway initiative. He has also helped with enhancing VISION reader engagement through its social sites.
Phil led the 15-person “Got Milk?” team at FCB Chicago, where he was Senior Vice President. This campaign drove 3 percent of total milk volume and continues to help stem category decline as consumers seek alternative plant-based products. The team re-launched all digital sites as they worked to develop a new way to increase sales by bringing milk to 38 million food insecure individuals via the Feeding America Great American Milk Drive. This effort has generated over 11 million servings of milk since inception.
Phil also spearheaded national brand promotions, sponsorships, and events for numerous businesses including M&M Mars, Snickers, Kellogg’s, Pepsi, and Pizza Hut.
Life and Familiy Experience
Phil and his family have been active members of the St. Mary of the Woods Catholic Parish faith community (SMOW) for the past 22 years. St. Mary’s is an integral part of their lives, and they actively participate in all aspects of parish life, the most important being Sunday liturgy.
Phil completed 12 years of Catholic schooling and attended St. Cornelius Parish School in the Archdiocese of Chicago where he was taught by the B.V.M. sisters and St. Patrick’s High School; Chicago’s oldest Catholic Boys School run by the De La Salle Christian Brothers. These 12 years helped form his character and inspired him to become active in his faith life.
Phil and his wife, attorney Lorrie Kennedy, joined the parish’s Lenten Discussion Group, modeled around Basic Christian Communities. It was here they first met many parishioners who have become dear friends.
They were involved in the parish council, served on the liturgy committee, and were Campaign Ambassadors for the $4.2 million Parish Expansion Campaign. They have participated in the Lunches for the Homeless Ministry and the St. Sylvester Share and Care. Phil was a Holy Name Grand Raffle Ticket Captain. They have supported many school and parish activities and are blessed to be part of such a dynamic faith-filled parish.
All three of their children have attended Catholic elementary and high schools and been active in service projects. Each has a strong foundation in faith, and they strive to live out the values they have experienced.
Phil is past Co-President of the Saint Ignatius College Prep High School Parent Organization which supports Chicago's first Jesuit school’s mission by managing 20+ Parent Organization functions throughout the year.
In Addition Phil is a member of the Saint Ignatius College Prep Board of Regents (BOR) which is a formal group of volunteers who serve as ambassadors for the school. They work together with Saint Ignatius College Prep’s administration to advance the school’s mission and help provide the means of support to sustain it. BOR members represent a diverse group of leaders from business, education, law, social, religious and philanthropic communities. The BOR was established in 2012 by the school’s President, Fr. Michael P. Caruso, S.J.
Phil has been active in grassroots Chicago philanthropy over the years including: Old St. Patrick’s World’s Largest Block Party, Misericordia Candy Days, Chicago Food Depository New Year’s Eve Charity Ball, and Pope Francis Home build with Habitat for Humanity.