The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations’ (NFCRV) Decade of Promise campaign, with a goal of raising $100,000 over 10 years, has received gifts and pledges totaling 40 percent of the goal in its first year, according to Fr. Anthony Vinson, OSB, board chair.
The campaign funds will support the NFCRV’s mission of alleviating educational debt as a roadblock to religious vocations.
Fr. Anthony, a Benedictine monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN, said, “We have been inspired and humbled by the response. By accepting the invitation to support our work for $100 a year for 10 years, our generous benefactors and friends are helping to remove the obstacle of educational debt so a new generation of men and women can answer God’s call to vowed life.”
With those entering religious life carrying an average educational debt load of more than $33,000, Fr. Anthony noted that more work is needed: “We continue to invite others to be part of the Decade of Promise and spread the word about the Vocation Fund.”
The Vocation Fund grew out of the 2012 Study on Educational Debt and Vocations to Religious Life that found that student debt was hindering religious institutes from accepting new members as candidates to religious life, particularly because new members must be debt-free to take the vow of poverty.
Fr. Anthony is pastor of two Spencer County, Indiana, parishes, St. Boniface in Fulda and St. Meinrad in St. Meinrad. He also is chaplain at St. Xavier High School in Louisville, KY.
The NFCRV was established by the National Religious Vocation Conference in 2014 to assist its member religious communities in welcoming candidates with educational debt. From 2007 to 2013, Fr. Anthony served on the NRVC Board of Directors, serving as chair of the finance committee, a member of the rural life committee, a member of the editorial advisory board of NRVC’s journal, Horizon, and as board chair. In 2013, he was a site coordinator for the English-speaking venue for the 14th International World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.
The National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations has a Platinum rating from Candid, the nonprofit reporting service. Learn more about the Vocation Fund at www.vocationfund.org.