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National Vocation Awareness Week 2023

Sister Bridget Waldorf with Youth and Theology Ministry Program
Sister Bridget Waldorf, (middle, back), a member of the SSND North American Vocation Team, joined in a tea ceremony with high school participants at the Youth in Theology and Ministry program at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, June 2023.

In the United States, National Vocation Awareness Week (NVAW) is celebrated each November, this year from November 5-11. NVAW is a time to highlight and promote vocations to ordained ministry and consecrated life, and to renew our prayers and support for those who are considering one of these vocations.

The School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) North American Vocation Team (NAVT), serves the congregation in the U.S. and Canada by promoting a culture of vocation, with an understanding that we are all called by God to continue the mission of Jesus in some particular way. The NAVT hosts and participates in many activities, both online and in person, to educate and inform youth and young adults about their choices in life and how to discern the direction God is calling them. They partner with schools, parishes, dioceses, youth and campus ministers, Serra Clubs and others to connect with people in this discernment stage. Connect with the NAVT, where you’ll find upcoming discernment events and other resources, including a monthly discernment newsletter, Vocation Reflections.

Saint Louis University Vocation Fair
Sisters Andre Soete (left) and Carol Jean Dust (right) participate in a vocation fair at Saint Louis University.

Beyond the work of the NAVT, all SSND have a role in engaging others in the discernment of their vocational call: “We recognize that we are all vocation promoters, personally and communally.” (You Are Sent, C 43, 44) Our lay partners can assist in this important work simply by sharing their connection to SSND with young people and asking them, “Have you ever considered that God might be calling you to religious life?”

The SSND North American Vocation Team invites everyone to consider what can be done to increase the awareness and understanding of religious vocations during NVAW and beyond.

Sister Stephanie Spandl with Summer Leadership Academy at Mount Mary University
Sister Stephanie Spandl (back right corner), a member of the SSND North American Vocation Team, participated as an adult mentor to a small group at the Summer Leadership Academy at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee, June 2023.

10 ways to help promote a culture of vocation:

  1. Pray for all young people to be open to hearing and following God’s call. (View prayers.)
  2. Pray for vocation directors and all who encounter and accompany young people discerning their vocation.
  3. Create space and time in your home/parish/school/community to pray together with others for an increase in religious vocations.
  4. Ask to leave vocation brochures, prayer cards and bookmarks in display areas at your parish, school or ministry location. [View order form.]
  5. Host a table with vocation information at parish and campus festivals and events.
  6. Check your (arch)diocesan website for vocation resources and to make sure it displays correct information about SSND.
  7. Renew your own vows (marriage, religious) publicly in your parish, school or ministry, perhaps on significant feast days or when celebrating an anniversary.
  8. Be a consistent presence with and among young people, accompanying them where they are (activities, events or celebrations).
  9. Share SSND discernment events with interested young adults.
  10. Explore nrvc.net for additional resources. Samples:
    1. Responsibilities of members for vocation ministry PDF 
    2. Vocation fact sheet

During National Vocation Awareness Week 2023, School Sisters of Notre Dame in Illinois are participating in the Meet Our Sisters Tour (MOST) sponsored by the Communicators for Women Religious (CWR) Chicago regional group. Learn more.


Want to learn more?


School Sisters of Notre Dame

320 East Ripa Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63125

Phone: 314-561-4100



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