Choose Your Language

April 14, 2018

I was thrilled to be back in New York, promoting vocations. The first time I spoke in New York was the first time I spoke to parishioners about Vocation Ministry! We were at Dunwoodie Seminary in Yonkers, and I was petrified. 2 ½ years later, I have spoken in over 30 other dioceses and no longer consider myself to be a new speaker.

Now, I am speaking to parishioners at Immaculate Conception Center, which is also the college seminary for Brooklyn. Bishop DiMarzio had declared a Year of Vocations in Brooklyn from September 2017-August 2018, so this was a perfect event for the diocese. Leticia is also speaking to the Hispanic community here, which is always a delight.

Only 10 days prior to the event, only 6 people had registered. Oh, my goodness! So, I only send 100 books up, thinking I did not want to haul a bunch of books back to Texas with me. When I landed, over 130 people had registered with more coming in. Wow!

If you have heard me speak, you know what I think of the need for perseverance when you do vocation work. The devil will try to thwart all good activities, especially when you are building up God’s kingdom on earth.

58 Brooklyn NY parishioner workshopSo, my presentation starts like any other, but about 10 minutes in, right before the perseverance talk, all my technology fails! The group cannot see the cool videos of the Ministry Fair or Junior High Program Night, I would have to show them that later. I just share my information and stories with them the best I can while seminarians, priests, and lay people are crowded around trying fix the issue. After about an hour and rebooting the entire system, the technology is back up and running. The devil did not win!

If the technology going out was not enough, Brooklyn was having a heat wave in April and so was the auditorium I was in. The heat was stuck ON, and even with the windows open, it was HOT! And I had picked to wear a sweater, pants, and boots that day as it should not have been 85 in the room! We finally had to move to another room to cool off! I felt bad for the priests in their cassocks, too!

Thankfully, the crowd was so enthusiastic that I sold out of t-shirts and books and had to take orders for more! Brooklyn is ready to start a new wave of vocations!

58 Brooklyn NY parishioner workshop 2

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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

Also available in Spanish.

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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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