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 via Zoom.

On October 12 an additional day or stand alone day workshop will be held (virtually) 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

Friday opening session: 6:30-8:00pm central time

  • 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

Morning Session 9:00am–12:00 noon

Lunch break 12:00 noon–1:30 pm

Afternoon Session 1:30-4:00 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

Morning session 9:00am-12:00 noon (conclude at noon)

  • Continue topics; engage presenters responding to questions raised by participants

October 12 Monday  

Morning session 9:00am – 12:00 noon

Afternoon session 1:15-3:15pm

Topics will include:

  • The role of elected leaders regarding formation of new members and relationship/engagment with formation personnel. 
  • 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.

Conclude at 3:15pm central time


Registration form can be accessed on the top left-hand side of this page under "more information." Please email to Kathy Kandefer, BVM at or mail to the National Office:

Religious Formation Conference
1525 E. 53rd St. | Suite 716
Chicago, IL 60615

If you want more information and/or have questions about the program, please email Sister Kathy (email directly above).


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