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2016 Year in Review

As we celebrate Christmas joy and New Year excitement for what is to come, I would like to thank each of you for being part of this vocation journey that Vocation Ministry is on. I recognize with gratitude the extraordinary grace of God working through our lives and those we encounter. Praise God!

Over the course of this year, I have been on a mission to build a culture of vocations throughout the US and Canada! I thought the numbers might speak louder than words on what has been accomplished.

Read more: 2016 Year in Review

Lansing, Michigan: Parishioner Workshop

This workshop was special for multiple reasons!

1. It is in Lansing, home of Michigan State University where my husband went to college. Go Spartans! So, my husband David decided to come along and sight see around his alma mater.

2. We met up with Fr. John Linden, Vocation Director, and Dawn Hausmann, Director of Consecrated Life, and went to dinner with some members of the Vocations Core Team for the Diocese. It was such fun to spend time with people hungry enough for more vocations that they work on it at their parish and for the diocese.

Read more: Lansing, Michigan: Parishioner Workshop

Lubbock, Texas - Priest Workshop

On the Feast of St. Andrew, the Apostle, I spoke to 34 priests of Lubbock, a Diocese just two hours south of Amarillo, TX!

After the workshop, the priests filled out a survey and all but one said they were Highly Likely to start a Vocation Ministry at their parish!!! Wow! That is the best response yet!!! Come, Holy Spirit, Come!!!

"As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, 'Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him."

Read more: Lubbock, Texas - Priest Workshop

Ogdensburg, New York Parishioner Workshop

I cannot put adequate words together to explain how inspired I am by the 100+ parishioners/priests/religious sisters who want to pray and work for vocations in this diocese! 1% of the Catholic population spent 6 hours of their day learning how to build a culture of vocations at their parish! They are going to start a ripple effect that is felt far and wide! The Diocese of Ogdensburg is small but mighty!

It is heartening to receive such notes of affirmation after a Hundredfold Workshop!

Read more: Ogdensburg, New York Parishioner Workshop

Peoria, Illinois Workshop for Priests

About 100 priests of Peoria, Illinois, came to a 4-hour workshop on Forming a Vocation-Friendly Parish! They embraced the idea of creating Vocation Ministries at their parishes. After the workshop, I surveyed the priests who with a large majority of 74% said they are Highly Likely to Start/Continue a Vocation Ministry at their parishes! Wow! I will return to Peoria to hold a Hundredfold Workshop for parishioners in January! I feel the soil being opened up and fertilized, getting ready for the Holy Spirit, right now!

Read more: Peoria, Illinois Workshop for Priests

National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors

Did you know that each diocese has a Vocation Director, who has the responsibility to promote vocations in his diocese? Did you know that many of them are also pastors or hold other positions in a diocese?

Vocation Directors from the US and 17 other countries came together in Boston. For me, this is like going to Vocation Disney World, being with 250 Priests dedicated to Christ and bringing about vocations to the priesthood and religious life!

Here are just a few of my many take away moments from this week!

Read more: National Conference of Diocesan Vocation Directors

Buy the Book

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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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