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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Online webinars

If your congregation is a member of RFC, please use the RFC congregational login to access the archived webinars free of charge and to secure the member rate for the video presentations.

If your congregation is not a member, you can still purchase webinars and presentations. The site will create an account for you during the purchasing process, so that you can access the purchased videos for repeated viewing.

Presenter: Lynn M. McKenzie, OSB

Lynn M. McKenzie, OSB, is a member of the Benedictine Sisters, Sacred Heart Monastery, Cullman, AL. A civil and a canon lawyer, she is currently an ombudsman/mediator for the Department of Labor of the State of Alabama, a judge and defender of the bond for the Tribunal of the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham, AL, and a canonical consultant and advocate for leaders and members of religious communities. Her civil law degree is from the University of Alabama and her licentiate in canon law from the Catholic University of America.

Webinar: 05/30/2014
$15.00

This webinar will focus on new legal questions religious congregations encounter today. These include such delicate topics as end of life decisions and issues which newer members who have raised families and/or had long careers before entering religious life may present: concerns about property disposal, inheritance, debts, contracts, and insurance. There will be an opportunity for webinar participants to raise questions and issues of concern to them.

Presenter: Sr. Ann Billard, OLM, Ph.D.

Sr. Ann Billard, OLM, Ph.D. is a Sister of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy with many years of pastoral ministry experience. She is a certified grief recovery specialist and has graduate degrees in pastoral counseling from Loyola University in Maryland. Currently coordinating Transformative Aging programs, she provides spiritual direction, lectures, workshops, and retreats on grief recovery and the spirituality of aging. She has presented at national conferences and to groups of older adults both nationally and internationally

Webinar: 04/08/2014
$15.00

Often older religious comment “No one taught me how to do this time of life.” Called in Baptism to share in the mission of Christ, the spiral of call moves through all the different phases of discipleship. This webinar is designed to offer older religious a spiritual model of aging and support them in their desire to

  • Re-vision/ re-vitalize their call into the second half of life
  • Find meaning and purpose on their journey into radical discipleship
  • Become a spiritually transcendent elder
Presenter: Frank Desiderio, C.S.P.

Frank Desiderio, C.S.P. has been a parish priest and campus minister (UCLA), a radio and TV producer and, currently, is director of the Paulist Center in Boston. He is the executive producer of the documentary “The Big Question: A Film About Forgiveness” which launched him into a new ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation. Since 2009 he has offered retreats, parish missions and days of recollection on the spirituality of forgiveness. From Victoria, B.C. to Washington D.C. retreatants have said, "this is the best retreat I've ever been on." Participants come away saying; "I have been waiting for this for a long time", "this is exactly the kind of thing the Church should do", "I feel so much lighter", "this is what I needed to heal."

Webinar: 03/08/2014
$15.00

Based on the recently released book, Can You Let Go of a Grudge? Learn to Forgive and Get on with Your Life (Paulist Press, January 2014) Fr. Desiderio will give a brief overview of the spirituality of forgiveness based on five steps:

  • L - Look deeply at what went wrong
  • E - Empathy for the other is key
  • T - Tell the story differently
  • G - Give the gift of forgiveness
  • O - One day at a time, keep forgiveness strong.

This webinar will offer practical tools for women and men religious who want to bring peace to persons caught in a web of unreconciled relationships whom they encounter in their various pastoral, administrative, peace and social justice ministries. It will also offer inspiration about living more peaceably with oneself and in community and healing rifts through reconciliation. 

Presenter: Linda Gibler

Overwhelmed by the first Hubble Deep Field picture, Linda, a Dominican Sister of Houston, became enchanted with the magnificence of the Universe and intrigued by the image’s significance for a Catholic understanding of God. In 1999, she began formal study of cosmology at the California Institute of Integral Studies where she completed a MA then a PhD in Philosophy and Religion with an emphasis in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Before her cosmic epiphany, Linda was the director of social ministry for a parish in Houston where she coordinated direct services, social outreach, and social justice programs and served on a hospital medical ethics board. Linda is the associate academic dean of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio and an adjunct professor for the Loyola Institute for Ministry. Her book, From the Beginning to Baptism: Scientific and Sacred Stories of Water, Oil, and Fire was published in March 2010 by Liturgical Press.

Webinar: 02/28/2014
$15.00

Most of the theological and spiritual tradition that forms us as religious is based on a classical view of a static universe. As science reveals more about the world God created, we have the opportunity to deepen our understanding of God, ourselves, and the reality around us. The focus of this webinar is cosmology and how this new knowledge and consciousness informs the vowed life, lived in communion and for mission.

We will discuss insights from cosmology and its significance for Catholic faith, spirituality, and religious life. Topics will include an exploration of ecological themes in Christian scripture and tradition, the challenge and gift of evolution, the unique role of the human and reading creation as the first book of revelation. 

Presenter: Mary Lou Mitchell, SSJ, PhD.

Mary Lou Mitchell, SSJ serves as Congregational President for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester. She holds a Ph.D. in nursing and completed two years of post-doctoral work in researching the mind-body connection in health and well-being. Prior to serving in leadership she was on faculty at Nazareth College and had a private practice in holistic health. Sr. Mary Lou has spent years personally and professionally growing in the contemplative practice of living in the present moment.

Webinar: 12/04/2013
$15.00

Contemplating the gifts received when called into the vowed life will be the focus of this webinar. Our vows are a gateway into discipleship and communion. The challenge is to see the depth of meaning offered by each vow. According to Ilia Delio (2011) “heaven is not a place of disembodied spirits but an embrace of love that transforms this present earthly life with its frailties and weaknesses into the divine presence of enduring love….Heaven is not another world but this world clearly seen.” Come spend an hour clearly seeing the transformative nature of our vows. 

Presenter: Ray Dlugos, OSA

Ray Dlugos, OSA is an Augustinian friar from the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova in the eastern United States. Originally from the Philadelphia area, Ray was ordained a priest in 1983 and served in secondary education, parish, and vocation ministry before pursuing graduate studies in Counseling Psychology at the University of Albany, State University, New York. After earning his PhD in 1999, Ray joined the clinical staff at Southdown Institute in Aurora, Canada and was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2003. In August of 2008, Ray became Vice President for Mission and Ministry at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA, a sponsored work of the Augustinians. He currently holds the position of Vice President for Mission and Student Affairs at Merrimack while also serving on the provincial Council of his community. Fr. Ray presented at the 2012 Transformation of Religious Life: An Action-Oriented Initiative together with Luisa Saffiotti, PhD. on the topic of “Engaging Resistance in the Service of Communal Discernment”.

Webinar: 10/04/2013
$15.00

On the way to the deep and full joy that Jesus desires for us, we feel profound anxiety, deep rage, powerful shame, and intense grief in response to the ordinary experience of life that can challenge our faith, shake our hope, and limit our love. This webinar will help participants to deepen awareness of our emotional lives as invitations to transformation, growth, wisdom and peace all opening us to deeper faith and genuine hope. In addition to naming and removing the obstacles that block life giving emotions, this webinar will also discuss ways of expressing emotion that will deepen our intimacy with God and with others.

Artwork credit: “Integrity” © Doris Klein, CSA. Used with permission. See additional work by Doris Klein, CSA at www.doriskleincsa.com

 

Presenter: Sister Judith Schaefer, O.P., Ph.D.

Sister Judith Schaefer, O.P., Ph.D., is currently serving as president of Cotter Schools (grades 7-12) in Winona, Minnesota. Sister Judith is on leave from Saint Mary's University of MN where she previously served as Professor and Chair of Theology for 10 years, and as University Dean for University Affairs for three years. Sister Judith is a professed member of the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation, which has its Motherhouse in Sinsinawa, Wisconsin. Sister Judith completed her doctoral work at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, in Theology and Society, with an allied discipline in psychology. She has a Masters of Divinity degree from Aquinas Institute in Saint Louis, MO, and a Masters in Pastoral Studies from Loyola University in Chicago. Sister completed her undergraduate work in elementary education and received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago, IL.

Webinar: 09/07/2013
$15.00

Religious women and men take a vow of obedience that binds them to those with whom they share life. In the contemporary experience, discernment - both individual and communal - is extremely difficult and has few, if any, parameters. The webinar will explore a model of communal discernment that is centered in communion ecclesiology and that offers religious a model for engaging in communal discernment.

 

*Image credit: The Coming of the Holy Spirit by Soichi Watanabe. Used with permission.

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RFC

5401 S. Cornell Ave. Suite 304
Chicago, IL 60615
Phone: 773.675.8362
Email: rfc@relforcon.org
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