Did you know that studies consistently show that 70% of the newly ordained first heard the call to the priesthood between birth and 18 years of age? (1) At the risk of stating the obvious, these are the prime educational years for faith formation. Children should...
Rhonda Gruenewald's Author Page
People often refer to me as the “Vocation Lady”! But how did a convert to Catholicism get into Vocations? In 2011, at my home parish Saint Cecilia Catholic Church in Houston, Texas, our newly ordained parochial vicar Father Victor Perez asked me to come to a meeting about priests and such! He was tasked with reviving the parish vocation committee that had been dormant for 5 years. Being a convert, I did not know what he was talking about. Vocations, in the Catholic context, was foreign to me, but after hearing Father Victor’s enthusiasm for everything vocation related at that meeting, I was hooked and took over as leader of this new-found Vocation Ministry. I went home to research anything I could about vocations; I found nothing detailed about how to start or revive a committee, so we let the Holy Spirit guide us! I knew one thing early on: I had found my passion in life! We prayed and promoted vocations any way we could at our parish, from starting Adoration for Vocations to playing pin-the-miter-on-the-Bishop at our parish festival! After 18 months, I was asked how we could place this model of a Vocation Ministry in every parish in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. I said, “Maybe I could write a pamphlet?” The Holy Spirit had much BIGGER plans. 17 months later, the “pamphlet” was a fully published 288-page book with its imprimatur! The goal of Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry and VocationMinistry.com 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. Now, the website and the book are in Spanish, too, as Sembrando Semillas. I love serving the Church by giving diocesan workshops, training deacons, priests and laity how to promote vocations! So far, I have given 75+ workshops in 42 dioceses in from 2015-2019. Whew! When I am not busy working, you can find me either exercising, reading, listening to podcasts, or hanging out with my family, too! David and I have two children Abby and Gabe, so I spend most of my time on my vocation as a wife and vocations to the priesthood, consecrated life, and sacramental marriage! That is how I became known as the “Vocation Lady”! God truly works in mysterious ways using those who say YES! As an author and founder of Vocation Ministry, a 501 c3 nonprofit, I have been showcased on EWTN Live with Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, Sirius/XM Catholic Radio Seize the Day with Gus Lloyd and the Busted Halo Show. 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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