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Gruenewald Family 2016 webRhonda Gruenewald is a full-time wife and mother of two teenagers and a convert to the faith thanks to David, her husband of 19 years. Prior to staying at home with children, she graduated from the University of Texas in Austin and taught English, speech and debate at a public high school for 6 years.

Besides being a Serran, Rhonda is a lector, an Extraordinary Ministry of Holy Communion, and the Vocations Ministry Director for Saint Cecilia Catholic Church. Additionally, she frequently works with the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston Office of Vocations on various projects.

Rhonda started to labor in the field of vocations at Saint Cecilia Catholic Church in Houston in October 2011. St. Cecilia's pastor asked the newly ordained parochial vicar Father Victor Perez to revive the parish vocation committee that had been dormant for 5 years. Rhonda and David, along with several other parishioners, were asked to attend a meeting with the founding members who were now in their 80s.

Although she had converted to Catholicism fifteen years prior, thanks to her husband, she did not know what the word vocation even meant, but after hearing Father Victor's enthusiasm for everything vocation related at the first meeting, she was hooked and took over as leader of this committee. Researching any and all material promoting vocations, she discovered only a few websites, promoting various activities on them. Rhonda found nothing detailed about how to actually start or revive a committee. The group and its new leader had no guide to follow; much prayer occurred early and often.

One of the early decisions the new group made was to change their name. They felt their parish truly needed ministering to, so the members decided to become a Vocation Ministry instead of a committee. This small but meaningful step gave them a mindset of compassion for all parishioners.

Their brand new, filled-with-the-Holy-Spirit parochial vicar wanted to set the parish on fire for Jesus and vocations by holding a wide variety of events that increased parishioners' awareness of and interest in vocations. Most of the time, Rhonda felt like she was just keeping her head above water. This did not deter her though as this work was too important. Nevertheless, it was a huge learning curve for all involved. Within a year, this new-found passion quickly became a ministry of 20 members who promoted, affirmed and brought awareness to vocations in every way possible.


Rhonda says, “We tread our own path and let the Holy Spirit guide our ministry. You will tread yours, but I hope the book and website help make that path easier and more fruitful.”

Creating opportunities for the Holy Spirit to reach the hearts of the discerners is integral to this process and one of the overarching purposes of a Vocation Ministry. The ministry helps families understand the value and importance of vocations, ensuring a future generation of priests, nuns, sisters, brothers, and others who dedicate their lives to Christ. Such a ministry should actively pray for, educate, and gently encourage parishioners who already are discerning their vocation, whether it is the priesthood, religious life, or marriage. Furthermore, if God has the priesthood or religious life planned for a young man's or woman's life, a Vocation Ministry can help by offering time in adoration for God's call to be heard with clarity and by promoting discernment events within the parish or diocese. Finally, the ministry must guide parishioners to celebrate and honor those already in a vocation.

The goal of Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry and is to provide information, activities, and inspiration to anyone starting, reviving, or refreshing a Vocation Ministry, and to make those ministries thrive. It is designed to inspire parishes to get involved in vocation work, to help new ministries start strong by providing a clear guide to the nuts and bolts of the ministry, and to reinvigorate long-standing committees with fresh ideas that attract new workers to his vineyard.

Rhonda never imagined that she, as a convert, would be asked to travel the country teaching priests and parishioners how to create a vocation-friendly environment at their parishes. God truly works in mysterious ways using those who say YES!

Saint Anthony of Padua was said to be "worn out" doing the work the Lord asked of him before he died. Let us be worn out for Christ, using our gifts to serve his Church.

God bless you in your vocation endeavors. St. Alphonsus Liguori, pray for us!

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For a full overview and step-by-step instructions for 50+ vocation activities, buy Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry. Purchase from

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I think this book will do so much good. I know you wrote it with much prayers and love, and it is a product of your dedicated works in the ministry of vocation. You have blessed our vocation office and the vocation ministry at St Cecilia and here in the Archdiocese abundantly! May the Lord bless you and He abundant fruit to your work!

Fr. Dat Hoang, Former Vocation Director for Archdiocese of Galveston Houston

Vocations to the Priesthood and religious life can only evolve in a culture which nurtures a positive response to God’s calling whether that be in the home, school or church. Without a doubt, a robust parish vocation mission is the perfect means of cultivating such an environment in all three places. Rhonda Gruenewald has developed a full proof method of creating and sustaining a bountiful vocation mission in every parish. Her work is truly the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Margo P. Geddie, Vice President for Communications for Serra US 

This book will be a useful tool for parishes in our Archdiocese and beyond. We frequently have pastors and parishioners who ask for help to initiate or revitalize their parish vocation committees. Having a manual coming from a parish’s practical experiences and with electronic forms available on the website will enable us to respond to their needs. We look forward to having it as a resource as we continue to build a culture of vocations for the sake of our Church and society.

Sr. Anita Brenek, CDP, Associate Director, Office of Vocations Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

To have all of these activities in one well thought out piece with such prayerful consideration and documented practice is a lovely example of Divine inspiration paired with the willingness of servant's hearts in answering His call. This is a beautiful example of what can be done with the collaboration of gifts bestowed to us while listening to the call of our Lord. It will become a gift to many in seeking a clear path to promoting vocations. "Well done, my good and faithful servant" Matthew 25:21. It is a masterpiece!

Anne Shepherd-Knapp, Chairman, Serra US Vocation Committee Deputy Governor, District 10 President, The Serra Club of Spring-1960 Area

The workshop provided practical steps to address a pressing need in our diocese. The wide gamut of possibilities allows large and small parishes to DO something. Rhonda is good at responding to questions and has lots of practical experience, both positive and negative.

Very Reverend Jay Peterson, Vicar General Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

The most beneficial aspects of the workshop are the book, the website and downloadable materials, and the practical nature of “how to”. You were also encouraging in the many ways pastors/priests are trying to encourage vocations.

Monsignor Mark Merdian, Diocese of Peoria, Illinois  

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