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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Fall Continuing Education eCourse for Vocation & Formation Ministers

Windows on the Divine

Continuing Education eCourse for Vocation & Formation Ministers

Mary Pat Garvin, RSM, Ph.D.

September to December 2021

This year our continuing education eCourse will explore topics pertaining to the accompaniment of women and men in vocation discernment and initial formation.

The theme for this year’s program is Windows on the Divine. For centuries stain glass windows have graced simple chapels, parish churches, and medieval cathedrals worldwide. Each window, a unique composition of color and shape, tells a story intended to support and enrich all who gaze and meditate upon its beauty. Similarly, this year’s topics will comprise a unique set of processes and skills intended to support and enrich those engaged in vocation and formation ministry within their congregations.

Our sessions will be held on ZOOM and will include input, conversation, and small group discussion. Participation in this series includes free access to SLIConnect: Resources for Healthy Life and Ministry (, a service of Saint Luke Institute. SLIConnect is a rich resource of 100+ video courses designed to promote healthy life and ministry for members of religious congregations, ordained clergy, and all those ministering in the Church.


Turning Feedback into Feed-Forward!

❖ What if both those in vocation discernment, initial formation, and their directors/ministers adopted the practice of feed-forward instead of feedback! We will explore recent research indicating the benefits of feed-forward and ways to utilize it throughout the formative journey.

Post-Traumatic Growth: Yes, It’s Really a “Thing”!

❖ The term post-traumatic stress is familiar to many. Less familiar is the term post-traumatic growth! We will explore post-traumatic growth and identify its potential for assisting those in formation in weathering difficult experiences during (and after) their years in initial formation.

Getting the Most Out of Supervision and Peer-Vision

❖ Many congregations require that their vocation and formation directors/ministers engage in regular supervision, and perhaps also peer-vision. We will explore how supervision and peer-vision offer support and enhance a director’s/minister’s capacity to accompany those on the formative journey.

Self-Care: The Basis for Care of Others

❖ Although most of us have not travelled recently, we remember well the airlines’ words of wisdom – “Place your own oxygen mask on first before attempting to help others.” Self-care is the basis for our care and accompaniment of those in vocation discernment and the formative journey. We will explore common and not-so-common ways of self-care designed to strengthen our 24/7 ministry!

Expressive Writing as a Potent Discernment Tool

❖ Research continues to reveal the potency and benefits of expressive writing (a.k.a. journaling). We will explore the physical, emotional, and psychological benefits of this simple practice during both vocation discernment and the formative journey.

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

Religious Community Membership
Associate Membership
Individual Membership

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