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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Orientation to Formation

The next Orientation to Formation workshop for formation directors and congregation/province leaders will take place October 9-11, 2020 at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, IL.

On October 12 an additional day or stand alone day workshop will be held for congregation and province leaders with formation liaison/oversight responsibilities. Orientation to Formation is specifically designed for formators, mentors and persons in elected leadership who attend to new members as they make their sacred journey. 

Maco Cassetta, CND and Paul English, CSB will serve as facilitator-presenters for the 2020 Orientation to Formation session. 

The changing and hope-filled realities of religious life today raise challenging questions regarding the present and future life of the global Church. These questions are especially relevant to formators who are engaged in the sacred ministry of accompanying new members. The critical questions most often raised by formation directors focus on how to be with new members as they discern their call to vowed religious life.   

Overview of Orientation to Formation Workshop Content and Process

October 9 Friday

Registration: 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Dinner 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Friday opening session: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

  • Opportunity for participants to get acquainted with one another
  • Identify and name what you hope to get out of the weekend.

(Participants’ responses will help shape and focus the input, conversations, and practicum experiences that will be presented on Saturday and Sunday). 

October 10 Saturday

Breakfast 8:00 am

Morning Session 9:00 am – 12:00 noon

Lunch 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm

Afternoon Session 1:15 pm – 4:00 pm

Eucharist – Vigil Mass 4:15 pm – 5:15 pm

Dinner 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Topics will include:

  • the emerging reality of religious life;
  • supervision;
  • selfcare;
  • how to deal with difficult conversations.

Special emphasis will be placed on “practicum experiences” to assist the participants in knowing how:

  • to be with new members on their sacred journeys;
  • to be attentive to their own personal journeys;
  • to communicate well with others (new members, formation/mentor team members, leadership team members). 

October 11 Sunday Morning

Breakfast 8:00 am

Morning session 9:00 am – 11:30 am

  • 11:30 am box lunch/departure for those who choose not to register for Sunday afternoon (Oct 11) and Monday morning (Oct 12) session focusing on issues related to the role of elected leaders regarding formation of new members and relationship/engagement with formation personnel.

October 11 Sunday Afternoon through October 12 Monday Morning

October 11 Sunday Afternoon

Registration for new attendees 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Opening session 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Dinner 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Topics will include:

  • Critical issues facing elected leaders seeking to navigate the shifting sands of religious formation in the 21st century
  • Challenges and best practices going forward
  • Life-long formation as a practical tool to address the needs of new members and engage wisdom members in the shifting reality of our time.

October 12 Monday Morning 

Breakfast 8:00 am

Morning session 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

  • Topics continued

12:30 pm box lunch / departure


Click here to download registration form (Word document)

If you want more information and/or have questions about the program, please fill out and submit the inquiry form below.

Fill out my online form.

5401 S. Cornell Ave. Suite 304
Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: 773.675.8362
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