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Every fall, Catholics on Call offers the Partners Conference. Campus ministers, vocation directors, volunteer directors, and anyone who ministers to young adults have the opportunity to come together to learn and discuss best practices for supporting young adult men and women in their vocational discernment.
The 2015 Catholics on Call Partner Conference will take place on September 24-25, 2015. Our speaker will be Kathleen A. Cahalan, professor of theology at Saint John’s University School of Theology∙Seminary, Collegeville, Minnesota.
Cahalan earned her doctorate in practical theology from the University of Chicago Divinity School and is author of several books, most recently Opening the Field of Practical Theology (Rowman and Littlefield, 2014), edited with Gordon Mikoski, A Living Discipleship: Called on the Way, co-authored with Laura Kelly Fanucci (Twenty-Third Publications, 2015), and Introducing the Practice of Ministry (Liturgical Press, 2010).
She directs a collaborative research project, the Collegeville Institute Seminars, which is exploring vocation in relationship to the professions, across the lifespan from children to older adults, and through interfaith perspectives. She has a forthcoming book on vocation, Call It What It Is.
Kathleen Cahalan will give two presentations: on The Call to Discipleship, the Vocation to Ministry and Accompanying Our Callings: Practices of Prayer, Discernment, and Story-telling.
*If you are not a Catholics On Call Partner, and wish to learn more about the Partners Conference and the partnership, contact us at 773.371.5431 or email the Assistant Director, Birgit Oberhofer.
You can download information about the role of a Catholics on Call partner and the application form:
Information from our Partner Conference 2014
The 2014 Catholics on Call Partner Conference took place on September 18-19, 2014. Our speakers were Jonny Baker, Team Leader for "Pioneer Leadership," a non-traditional ministry training program for the Church Mission Society in London, UK and Steve Leach, one of the "pioneers" participating in the training program. Jonny and Steve gave inspiring presentations about young adult culture and finding vocation from "within." If you missed the conference, please read the article CoC Partner Conference - A Participants' Perspective by Fr. Henry Beck, OFM or CoC Partner Conference 2014: A Young Adult's Perspective by Melissa Carnall.
In our evaluation we asked the participants if there is anything they would do differently in their work with young adults after having attended this conference. Here are some of their responses:
- Enter their culture, our culture, looking for grace.
- Offer authentically what God has done in my life.
- Constant awareness of holy ground, God is there, being you.
- Not differently, but increasing my awareness and awe for young adults.
- I must pay attention to the building blocks of culture and use it to reach young adults.
- First and foremost letting go of my pre-conceived notion of who young adults are.
- Listen more closely to their stories and needs.
- I will invite young people to tell their stories as opposed to simply telling them my community's story.
It was obvious that the conference left us challenged and inspired to engage young adults in not only our context, but in theirs as well. We trust that the Spirit continues to bear fruit from our time together.
Information from our Partner Conference 2013
The 2013 Catholics on Call Partner Conference "Vocation - Waking Up to a New Understanding" took place on September 19-20, 2013 at CTU, Chicago. Our keynote speaker Dr. Edward P. Hahnenberg, a well-known speaker, theologian and author of the book “Awakening Vocation,” talked about the notion of vocation over the centuries and a renewed theology of God’s call.
The video recordings of Dr. Edward P. Hahnenberg's lectures "Slipping into Silent Slumber: Vocation Over the Centuries" and "Waking Up an Idea: Toward a Renewed Theology of God's Call" are now available online below. In addition, Lauren Schwer, Associate Director for Campus Ministry at Loyola University Chicago, responds to one of Hahnenberg's lectures:
Dr. Edward P. Hahnenberg: Slipping into Silent Slumber: Vocation Over the Centuries
Lauren Schwer: Responder
Dr. Edward P. Hahnenberg: Waking Up an Idea: Toward a Renewed Theology of God's Call
Click here to see the results from our working groups in response to the question: "What practices can we offer young people that help them discern their calling?"
Information from our partner conference 2012
Keynote speaker of the 2012 Partner Conference with the title "A Church for My Generation" was Dr. Susan K. Wood, SCL, a well-known theologian from Marquette University and gifted writer about Church and ministry. She reflected on characteristics of the different age cohorts in the Church and their impact on ecclesiology and vocation. In her presentation on "The Church Young Adults Want" she shared with the audience statistics from various surveys about young adults and their involvement in the Church. From there Dr. Wood reflected on a few key issues that seem to have an impact on young adults and the Church they want: Parish - Appeal to People in their Freedom - Attention to Ethnic Diversity - Attention to Ideological Diversity - More Open to Women - Authenticity. In her second presentation Susan Wood talked about "The Vocations Young Adults Want", touching on many burning questions for both, young adults, religious communities and lay ministers. Other parts of the program included: Young adult reponders, witness talks by Catholics on Call alums and time for discussion in small groups.
The video recordings of both key note presentations and an interview with participants are now available online:
Dr. Susan Wood, SCL, "The Church Young Adults Want"
Dr. Susan Wood, SCL, "The Vocations Young Adults Want"
Catholics On Call Partner Conference, "A Church for My Generation" - Interviews with Participants
Susan Wood's Powerpoint presentation "The Church Young Adults Want" can be downloaded here:
A collection of working group results is available here:
information from our partner conference 2011
Around 120 people, Vocation Directors, Campus Ministers, Young Adult Ministers and others attended our 2011 Partner Conference with the title: Engaging Young Adults for Church Vocations. We had different speakers who shared with us best practices of reaching out to young adults and encouraging them in their vocation. Speakers included: Paul Jarzembowski, Executive Director of NCYAMA (National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association); timone davis, Director of ReCiL (Reclaiming Christ in Life), a Ministry of the Office for Black Catholics of the Archdiocese of Chicago; Jorge Rivera, Coordinator of Hispanic Young Adult Ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Fr. Robin Ryan, C.P., Founding Director of Catholics on Call and Vice-Provincial of the Passionists, Eastern Province. The conference left also time for conversation and networking.
A collection of the working group results is available here:
Information from our Partner Conference 2010
The 2010 Catholics on Call Partner Conference took place onSeptember 23-24, 2010 at CTU, Chicago. The title of the conference was: “Becoming an Adult in Today's World: What Catholic Young Adults Think About Faith, Church, Vocation”. Keynote Speakers were Dr. Christian Smith and Dr. Marti Jewell.
The 2010 Partner Conference focused on the religious and spiritual lives of Catholic young adults, with attention to their interest in church vocations. Dr. Christian Smith is the Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults (Oxford, 2009). This important study of young adults is a follow-up to his earlier book, Soul-Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (Oxford, 2005). Dr. Marti Jewell serves as Assistant Professor of Theology in the School of Ministry at the University of Dallas. She was the Director of the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership Project from 2003 to 2009. As part of the Emerging Models Project, she studied the interest of young adult Catholics in ecclesial vocations.
Information from our Partner Conference 2009
The 2009 Partner Conference took place on September 24/25, 2009 at CTU, Chicago. We were very pleased to have Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop of Green Bay, WI as as our main presenter. The theme of the conference was: "Discerning God's Call in the 21st Century."
Please click here for Fr. Robin Ryan's homily during the Closing Eucharist on Friday.
Information from our Partner Conference 2008
Keynote speaker of the Partner Conference 2008 was Thomas Rausch, SJ (Professor of Theology at Loyola Marymount University and author of Being Catholic in a Culture of Choice) gave two talks:
"Young Adult Catholics Today"
"Meeting the Living God: Beyond a Culturally Determined Faith"
To post the recorded talks on the website, we had to devide them in smaller pieces. Click on the following links to hear the podcast:
Tom Rausch, SJ: Young Adult Catholics Today - Part 1
Tom Rausch, SJ: Young Adult Catholics Today - Part 2
Tom Rausch, SJ: Young Adult Catholics Today - Part 3
Tom Rausch, SJ: Young Adult Catholics Today - Part 4
Tom Rausch, SJ: Meeting the Living God - Part 1
Tom Rausch, SJ: Meeting the Living God - Part 2
Tom Rausch, SJ: Meeting the Living God - Part 3
Tom Rausch, SJ: Meeting the Living God - Part 4
Tom Rausch, SJ: Meeting the Living God - Part 5
We are grateful to Tom Rausch for making available the Bibliography he used.
Dan Allen, 2007 Catholics on Call alumni gave a very deep and insightfulwitness talk on vocation and calling on Friday morning!
Scroll down on this page to watch a slide show from the conference.
Information from our first Partner Conference 2005
Presenters and their papers:
- Fr. Donald Senior, C.P., New Testament scholar and President of Catholic Theological Union. Topic: Theology of Call. Download Fr. Senior's paper.
- Fr. Jim Bacik, Catholic campus ministry director, University of Toledo, and prominent author. Topic: The Spirituality of Contemporary Young Adults. Respondents: Young adult panel.Download Fr. Bacik's paper.
- Sr. Barbara Bowe, R.S.C.J., New Testament and Christian spirituality scholar. Topic: Principles of Discernment. Respondents: A panel of a campus minister, young adult minister, and vocation director. Download Professor Bowe's paper.