Rhonda Gruenewald and Vocations Ministry: Helping Create a Culture of Vocations
To her family, Rhonda Gruenewald is a devoted wife and mother. For the Church, Rhonda is a woman who has said “yes” to an ever-growing need to find a solution for the worldwide vocation crisis. Rhonda is passionate in her desire to provide parishes and diocese with effective, impactful tools to begin a groundswell of support for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Today, I’m pleased to share my conversation with Rhonda, the author of Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry.
CRUX Q+A with Charles Camosy
Camosy: So here we are in the midst of vocations week. What should Catholics be thinking and praying about during this time?
Gruenewald: We should be praying for men and women to generously answer God’s call. A recent study showed that 30 percent of children from Mass-going families have thought of a vocation to the priesthood or religious life. The vocations are there! We must encourage young people through prayerful action to discern God’s will fully in their lives. I would challenge every Catholic to encourage one young person during Vocation Awareness Week to consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life and/or invite a priest or religious to share their vocation story with another young person or youth group. We need to “normalize” vocation discernment as a natural part of the development of each person.
How to Make Vocations a Priority in the Parish
Empower laypeople to help foster this important work
I have a passion for vocations, but that was not always so. I am a convert to Catholicism, recently celebrating the 18th anniversary of my confirmation, but the call that started my passion for vocations happened in the fall of 2011.
Parish-Based Ministry Can Foster Vocations
The Catholic Voice spoke with Rhonda Gruenewald about Vocation Ministry, her role in it and how parishes can start and sustain successful vocation ministry programs. Gruenewald visited the Archdiocese of Omaha April 6 to lead an all-day Vocation Summit at St. Patrick Church in Fremont. About 130 people attended, representing 23 urban and 16 rural parishes.
Religious Life Institute Magazine, All in the Family—Seedbed of Vocations, Nov/Dec 2017
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven.”—Mt 5:16
With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming fast, our thoughts naturally turn to our families. Christ came to us in a family context. The Church is the family of God, and religious communities are families of faith founded on a charism given to a particular founder or foundress.
Religious Life Institute Magazine, Accentuate Your Charism by Involving Youth in Loving Service,
Many priests and consecrated men and women say that they heard the call to their vocation when they were on a mission trip, working with the poor, or volunteering at a hospital. Serving others gives us a glimpse of pure love.
Religious Life Institute Magazine, The Importance of Prayer in Vocation Promotion, May/June 2017
With the annual World Day of Prayer for Vocations fast approaching on May 7, 2017, I am reminded of the one thing that Jesus said we are to do about vocations: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the Master of the Harvest to send out laborers to His vineyard” (Lk 10:2).
Religious Life Institute Magazine, Vocational Discernment…On the Run!, March/April 2017
Nun Run! Convent Crawl! Monastery March! Whatever the event is called, let your light shine to those who may be interested in joining an institute of consecrated life by inviting them into your convent, monastery, friary or home!
Religious Life Institute Magazine, Putting Yourself Out Among the People, January/February 2017
My life changed five years ago. When our new parochial vicar, Fr. Victor Perez, called my husband and me out of the blue one day to come to a meeting about “priests and such,” my life made a drastic and fantastic turn into the world of vocations.
Religious Life Institute Magazine Interview,
How did you first get started in promoting the awareness of priestly and religious vocations at the parish level? The call that started it all happened in the fall of 2011. Our brand-new parochial vicar, Fr. Victor Perez, had seen me around campus, at youth retreats and praying…
Serran Magazine Article, Spring 2015 (p. 4)
The duty of any Catholic parish is to help its members fulfill their primary vocation—to grow in holiness. Within this broad context, the Vocation Ministry has a narrower task: to help parishioners discern God’s will for their specific vocations. Let’s focus on enriching the environment for vocations so that the individual parishioners are more open to the call…
Texas Catholic Herald, Local author’s new book encourages families to promote parish vocations
Rhonda Gruenewald, a parishioner at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, took inspiration from Pope Francis, who said “No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people,” and wrote “Hundredfold, A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry” in an effort to encourage and develop vocation ministries in every parish.