Choose Your Language

I walk into the EWTN studio at 6:30 for the 7:00 live taping of EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa. Live! Like a two-second delay only! If I mess this up, I am toast! I am trying to keep those thoughts out of my head as I walk through the studios, but then I pass the control room for the show and see this picture of MY BOOK up on the screens! Surreal, I tell you! When I said that to Fr. Mitch, he said, “Oh, no! This is really happening!”


I am taken back to the green room AKA Mother Angelica’s former office!!!!! What?!?!? This is too much! I am just trying to take it all in and not be overwhelmed by it all. Thankfully, Brother John, who happened to be from Texas, too, was taking care of me, and whenever I get around a priest, sister, or brother, I have a million questions about their vocation, so time flew!

Fr. Mitch comes into the green room, and he is ready to go in two minutes! Men do have it so easy in this respect! Anyway, we walk to the studio, and there are those two chairs! The same two chairs that I watched time and again on so many shows for EWTN, especially during the footage of Mother Angelica’s funeral. Wow!

They put my microphone on and tell me to only look at Fr. Mitch, not into the camera, and not at the audience which is over my left shoulder and out of sight. How strange! I can’t see the audience during taping. This is going to be interesting. No audience feedback, no smiles, laughs, or quizzical looks. No time to think about it now. The entrance music is playing.

18-EWTN-camWe had 26 minutes to talk about vocations together, and then we would take questions from callers and the audience. I don’t remember much, so I had to watch it a week later. I don’t really like to watch or listen to myself at all, so this was tough. Thankfully, I did not appear to be as nervous as I felt! I noticed a read anxiety rash on my neck during the interview, but that was mostly covered by my hair! Praise God!

Fr. Mitch could not have been more gracious! He asked just the right questions, and helped and supported me when I received questions from the audience/callers. At one point, a caller asked two questions, the first about my conversion story and the other about talking with discerners. Great! These two questions I could handle! I tell him of my experience of growing up without much (or no) faith, being baptized at the age of 26, meeting my Catholic husband, giving birth instead of coming into the church at the Easter Vigil, and the rest of the story. When I am finished, I am thinking now what was that second question. I am trying to cover, but I just can’t think of it. Thank you, Jesus, that neither could Fr. Mitch, so some in the audience or behind one of the cameras said, “Discerners.” So real! That just happened on live television!

In no time, the interview was over. Since I did not have a countdown clock in front of me, I did not know exactly how much time was left, so I mentioned to Fr. Mitch that “I have a great Mother Angelica story for you when we have time.” His response was killer! “We won’t have time tonight!” Ha! Ha! Humility is my friend at this point, and I just take it in.

Check out the full interview under “videos” under the media tab. Come, Holy Spirit! Inspire all those who see this show when it replays to pray for vocations and discern If they are being asked to promote vocations at their parish!


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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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