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Each year men and women must have their dream of becoming a sister, nun, brother, or priest deferred because of educational debt. Religious communities simply cannot afford to assume such debt on their very limited budgets. When the church is in great need of religious vocations, men and women are being turned away from religious life.

Through God's grace and the generosity of our donors, the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations is now able to assist religious communities in servicing that debt, so that they may welcome new members without delay.

The NFCRV issued its first grants in 2015, the Year of Consecrated Life, to eight women's religious communities on behalf of 10 candidates to religious life. In 2016, NFCRV opened applications to men's and women's religious communities.


NFCRV has assisted more than 40 religious communities in welcoming 50+ potential new members to religious life who had significant educational debt.

The stories of hope, call, and service from these vibrant and diverse candidates to religious life are the inspiration behind the Fund.




Monica Edaburn

Felician Sisters
of North America (C.S.S.F.) 

Milwaukee, WI

The joys of religious life

Everything! Sometimes I still pinch myself that I am actually in community. I have worked and waited so long to enter, since I had my call young. Most of all, I enjoy spending time with the sisters at meals and having fun and deep conversations with them as I get to know each of them personally.

Typical day in my life
A typical day in my life includes morning/evening prayers and meals with my postulant director and visiting our assisted living ministry for daily Mass. On given days I volunteer at my desired/designated ministry. I work in the Early Childhood Education Center at St. Joseph Academy. After evening prayers and supper, my postulant director and I spend an hour together. Most days we also do adoration in the chapel.



Rose Rucoba

Marianist Sisters 

St. Louis, MO

What I love about the Catholic Church

I love that women in the Catholic Church have the choice to enter religious life. Not very many other religions have something like the sisterhood that Catholicism does. I feel empowered that I can be an unmarried woman without children and still have a place in society and the Church.

Favorite scripture passage
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God" (Matthew 5:9).

Dorothy Herring

Benedictine Sisters, Mount St. Scholastica Atchison, KS

Serving as a charge nurse in DooleyCenter, the licensed long-term care facility of the Benedictine Sisters of Atchison, KS.




Pamela Rose Suresca

Salesian Sisters
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians 

Haledon, NJ

What surprised me most
about religious life

St. Francis De Sales says: “Be who you are and be that well, in order to honor the Mastercraftsman whose handiwork you are.” This statement rings true for the Salesian Sisters. One of the greatest surprises in religious life, specifically the Salesians, is that each sister is SOOOO different, quirky, talented, and unique. I think I came into this seeing and witnessing many religious sisters who all seemed so similar in how they talked, prayed, and acted. In my time with the Salesians I have noticed that each sister is fully alive and fully herself while still living out the Salesian Spirit.


Ryan Richter

Marist Brothers
Forrest Hills, NY

My Vocation Story

Right after I graduated from college, but before I began my professional career, I went on a vocation pilgrimage to visit several religious communities. Seeing these people living to love and serve all God's children with such purpose and intentionality made me realize the fulfillment I was seeking wasn't in money or fancy job titles, but in living my everyday life as the closest imitation to Jesus Christ as I could. And, for me, that's the Brothers.


Hien Nguyen

Dominican Sisters of Mary Immaculate Province 
Houston, TX

What I'd like to say to benefactors

Thank you all for your support. You are creating a realistic hope for others to follow their callings. With this grant, I am more at ease to continue my application to the convent. And I could not be more happy and feel blessed.

A favorite teacher

My favorite teacher is Mr. Wilson. He taught me English when I first came to America. He made me feel like I am smart and important. I enjoyed school more because of him.



Megan Christ

Totus Tuus
Pittsburgh, PA

How my education will help me in my ministry

My background in psychology gives me an open-minded awe in how uniquely God crafts each one of us, especially our minds. I hope to teach adolescents how to integrate faith into their intellect, will, and emotions. Studying studio art allowed me to learn that I can connect to God with each of my senses. This knowledge helps me to teach the young women I work with how to pray.


Francis Nguyen

Salesians of Don Bosco
New Rochelle, NY

Why I chose this religious institute?

I chose to enter the Salesians of the Eastern USA province because I saw the joy and family spirit that pervaded the whole house when I came for a Come and See weekend. I felt like I would be able to be myself in the house with the men in formation, which was and is still really important to me.

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Jennifer Frazer

Benedictine Sisters

Erie, PA

What I love about the Catholic Church

There are a thousand ways to be Catholic ; and the history of the Church is fascinating - whatever the problem, someone's already thought deeply about it.

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Wayne Mulei

Conventual Franciscan Friars
Castro Valley, CA

What surprised you most about religious life?

I am surprised that the tradition that started over 800 years ago with Saint Francis is still alive and well. While studying the life of St. Francis I am constantly amazed how God worked though Francis to bring people to salvation. By staying open to God’s grace, and developing a strong relationship with Jesus, St. Francis’ life became like a living prayer. I see friars doing that today and it is inspirational.


Catherine "Katie" Rotterman

Felician Sisters of North America 
Beaver Falls, PA

What I’d like to say to benefactors who support the National Fund for Religious Vocations

Thank you so much. Without your help I would likely have spent the next decade paying off my student loans, waiting anxiously for that last obstacle to leave. Your support is truly a gift from the Lord and please know of my prayers for you and those who make your support possible.

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Sister Mary Amata
Reifsnyder, S.C.C.

Sisters of Christian Charity 
Mendham, NJ

What drew you to religious life?

Despite encouragement from a priest in high school, I was convinced that religious life was not for me. Nonetheless, I began to experience the unshakable feeling that I was called to more. Seeing the examples of parish priests and sisters along the way, I came to realized that I wanted what they had. That is, I desired the kind of joy that comes from God alone and manifests itself through a lifetime of self-sacrificing love.


Sister Michelle Elizabeth Marie, O.Carm. (formerly Catherine Nicosia)

Carmelite Sisters
for the Aged and Infirm 

Germantown, NY

Tidbit or fun fact about me

I can sing the Alphabet backwards!

Vocation aspirations

To make the nursing home residents (and their families) feel the Love of Christ, and to see Christ in them and in the other sisters.



Chelsey Sanchez

Salesian Sisters 

Daughters of Mary Help of Christians 

San Antonio, TX

What would you tell someone considering a religious vocation but unsure what steps to take or how to tell if it is really for them?

In the Gospels, Jesus is always assuring His disciples to not be afraid. I think that’s advice anyone discerning a religiousvocation to take seriously. Have courage to follow Jesus’s call and say “yes!” The only desire God has for you is to behappy. If you are truly called to a religious vocation, you will be happy.




Sister Elizabeth McGill, I.H.M.

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary 

Scranton, PA

My vocation story

As an undergraduate at Marywood I noticed an IHM Sister in a small group of individuals conversing. I really could not believe she was a nun. She broke ideas I previous constructed about nuns. She seemed so relatable, joyful, and relaxed- the beauty of this IHM Sister flowed from her interactions with others in the group. This observation was monumental. 


Amy Westphal

Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

San Francisco, CA

What I love
about the Catholic Church

First, the social teachings provide a way to connect this day with the way that Jesus lived out his life. Second the tools to examine one's self and do the work to live a life like Jesus.  I love that there is a vocation to service through religious life.



Sister Maria Anna Dela Paz, O.S.F.

Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia

How long have you been a Catholic? What brought you to the church?

Although I was raised as a cradle Catholic, my relationship with God really didn’t start until I went to college. I attended Saint Peter’s College (now university) in Jersey City, NJ, a Jesuit school. I started becoming involved in campus ministry and learned more about Jesuit spirituality. It was through the Jesuit practice of the Examen, being a woman for others, and seeing God in all things that helped me develop my faith and influence everything else I did.


Sister Jennifer Louisa O’Neill, I.H.M.

Sisters, Servants 
of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Immaculata, PA

What made you choose your order?

Well, I am a graduate from Immaculata, so I just kind of clicked with them from the start. The joy and love that is prevalent in the way they do their daily tasks is really inspiring. Also, the way they evangelize and teach is important to me, as well as their devotion through Mary.

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Jessica Vitente

Sisters of Providence

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, IN

What has surprised me about religious life?

Postulant life has been an opportunity for long-term coming and seeing, as well as tasting, seeing and hearing, what religious life is about as a young woman in the 21st century. It was an experience that welcomed me to jump into a new lifestyle with both feet. I left three decades of a California girl lifestyle. It was difficult, but through the grace of God, I was able to build new relationships. It’s hard to believe I’m claiming the Midwest as my new home.


Sister Kimberly Todd Mello, O.S.C.

Poor Clare Nuns

Boston, MA

What would you like to say to the donors who made this grant possible?

I would like to say thank you, for I have hope and much faith that your generosity and the generosity of those who make what you do possible is providing a spark that helps keep the fire burning.



Sister Graciela Colon, S.C.C.

(formerly Cialinett Colon)

Sisters of Christian Charity

Mendham, NJ

What would you tell someone considering a religious vocation but who is unsure of what steps to take?

If you have a feeling of being called, don’t have fear. Fear can hold us back. Letting go of fear to find a greater is a great feeling. When I started exploring the possibility is when I started to feel I was becoming myself. It’s about getting to know yourself even more and being the person the Lord wants you to be. Don’t be afraid to take that step. We need that in the church. It’s a beautiful process. 



Cursey James Calais II​

Society of St. Joseph

Washington, D.C.

What made you begin to consider a religious vocation? Was there a particular moment or experience you remember as an “epiphany” that led you to your commitment?

I discerned prior to college. Ever since I was young, I felt called to serving people. Later on, in high sch1814

ool, after I made my Confirmation, I began to get more involved with the church. I had a lot of inspiration from my parish priests.


Jane Aseltyne

Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Monroe, MI

What made you choose the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

One summer afternoon, my parents took me to visit one of the convents where my great aunts—who happen to be Sisters of IHM—were living. When I walked in that convent door, I thought, “There’s something here.” I wasn’t sure what it was, but I looked around at the nuns and how they were treating the people around them and I thought, “Oh my gosh, this might be the thing I’ve been looking for.” 


Sister Mary Mensch SS.C.M.

Sisters of Saints Cyril

and Methodius

Danville, PA

What is your favorite Bible verse?

I have a couple! But my favorite is probably Matthew 6:21: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” It’s actually the underlying theme of one of my favorite books: The Alchemist. It really speaks to how I discovered my vocation: My heart was really drawn to my community.


Thomas Junis

Salesians of Don Bosco

What would you tell someone considering a religious vocation but unsure what steps to take or how to tell if it is really for them?

Getting to know the founder of the order was key for me. If I’m going to be a member of that order, then I know I am going to be living the lifestyle of that founder. Creating a relationship with that person and asking for intercession was a huge part of my discernment. Reading about his life and letting him speak to me was important. 


Luis Ramos

Marist Brothers

What were you doing before you entered this formation program?

I did a year of service after college. I lived in community with brothers and laypeople at this property in New York. I worked in their volunteer program with youth ministry, manual labor ministry . . . and that’s really where I started my discernment.

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Father Greg Dunn, O.P.

Dominican Friars

Province of

St. Martin de Porres

​How did your education influence your decision to dedicate your life to an order? 

Being at Texas A&M was a big part of my vocation story. I experienced a lot of independence and was making a lot of choices for myself. And I surrounded myself with friends who challenged me. It was great to see the fruitfulness of campus ministry and all the great people doing constructive things there, like retreats and worship and praying together.



Meaghan Baldwin

Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate

Monroe, NY

Who is your spiritual role model? 

I probably have a few, but certainly Our Lady—what better way to go to Jesus than through his mother? And certainly my mom. She’s so loving and caring. She embodies the sacrificial love perfectly. 


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Sister Christina Chavez, C.D.P.

Congregation of Divine Providence

San Antonio

​What made choose religious life?

I remember asking some sisters, “How do you know what you are doing with your life?“ and they said that they were still discerning – it blew my mind.

I was interested in finding out what it takes to become a nun. I googled it from my cell phone and the Vision Vocation Match website came up first. That's when the journey began.  


Sister Boram Lee, F.M.A.

Salesian Sisters

Daughters of Mary Help of Christians

Haledon, NJ

What was the turning point that made you consider becoming a nun?

I had this opportunity to go on this mission trip to Haiti. I spent a week there living with the clergy and the religious sisters and brothers of that order. I felt so much joy and beauty in their life, which was being used completely to serve other people. I became so inspired by how they lived and thought maybe I could have a fulfilling life, too, living in this way.


Sister Eilis McCulloh, H.M.

Sisters of the Humility of Mary

Villa Maria, PA

​What would you tell someone on the fence about religious life?

I would tell them what someone told me: “Just try it.” You have at minimum of six years between candidacy and final vows, so there is time to test the waters. Among the sisters in my community, we range from 29 to 100 years old, and we are a community – we laugh, we are filled with joy we have a good time while being centered in God, all living with same purpose. There’s nothing like it.

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Sister Katherine Frazier, O.P.

Adrian Dominican Sisters

Adrian, MI

What are the major differences between your life as an academic and your new life in the church?

As an academic, you are trying to understand things and their roots. In religious life, it feels more like jumping off a cliff because I don’t know what the world or my congregation will look like in 30 years. For me the journey of religious life is about putting all my faith in God. If he’s truly calling me to this life then he believes I can have an effect on bringing this congregation into the future – and he can bring us all closer to the kingdom of God. 

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Sister Ana Gonzalez, O.P.

Dominican Sisters of Peace

Akron, OH

What is the most surprising part about adjusting to the life of the sisters?

I thought sisters would be lonely. I didn’t see the role community played. Now as a candidate living in a community I know sisters are never alone. There is that sisterly and spiritual bond. They are not behind closed doors just praying. They pray a lot, but they are out fighting for social justice and educating and saving and changing the world. 

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Sister Margaret Uche, O.P.

Dominican Sisters of Peace

Akron, OH

What would you like to say to benefactors who made this grant possible?

I would like to thank them so much for this grant, which will help me continue my vocation because my student loans were one of the issues I had when entered religious life. I worried I wouldn’t get in. This grant helped me make that dream come true. 

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