Religious Formation Conference

The Religious Formation Conference (RFC) is a national Roman Catholic organization serving religious institutes of women and men with programs and services for those in the ministry of initial and lifelong formation, and general congregational membership.

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2021 Congress Moves to All-Virtual Format

September 21, 2021

Dear Friend,

In many ways this has been a year of great uncertainty. This is true for our religious communities, for those in initial formation, for organizations that serve religious life, and for each of us as individuals. It is hard to plan congregational events, family celebrations, travel, meetings, and other events both large and small. For RFC, this applies particularly to our 2021 Congress

When we opened registration for Congress in the late spring, Covid cases were at an all-time low, the country was beginning to open fully, and spirits and hopes were rebounding. While we knew this could be a temporary reality, the Delta variant was certainly not in the picture at that time. Therefore, we planned to hold Congress as both an in-person gathering and an online event to meet the needs and preferences of as many members and friends as possible. 

For the past several weeks we have carefully tracked both national and local Covid statistics, listened to the advice of our public health professionals and public officials, consulted with organizations that have planned for fall gatherings, and worked with our meeting planners, Nix Associates, as we tried to discern the best way forward. At our recent Congress Planning Committee meeting, composed of both Board and staff members, we analyzed the data, weighed the options, and engaged in a discernment process to make a final decision on the safest format for Congress. 

As a result of this process, we have decided to move to a totally online format for Congress this year. 

We realize that for some this decision will be a relief, for others it will be a disappointment, and for still others it will pose an opportunity. We know that many of you have expressed a desire to gather in person, following many months of isolation and screentime. We are equally disappointed (especially this extroverted Executive Director!). We promise, however, to do all that we can to design a high quality and engaging experience online that provides multiple opportunities for interaction. Believe me, we know how boring and passive many online events can be!

In the next few weeks Nix Associates will transfer those who registered for the in-person component to online, cancel your hotel reservation, and refund you the difference in price of the two formats. Please be patient with us in the process. If you would like to cancel or change your registration in any way, please contact Nix Associates directly by phone at 314.645.1455 or by email at

We hope that you will continue to plan to attend Congress and perhaps encourage a colleague (or two or three!) to attend, too. This is also an opportunity for international congregations to reach out to their members with an invitation to attend. We do offer group discounts and have a fund to assist members in need of financial assistance.

Thank you for all your support and encouragement. We count on your prayers as we strive to recreate Congress 2021 online. 

Blessings on all that you are and do,

Ellen Dauwer, SC
Executive Director


1525 E. 53rd St. | Suite 716
Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: 773.675.8362
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