The Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations is privileged to assist men and women to follow God's call to service in the Church through a life of consecration. We operate the St. Joseph Student Debt Relief Grant Program for religious life. The grants issued through this program eliminate the delay many young people encounter as they struggle to pay off their student debts before they can enter religious life. A grant pays a person's student loan payments while they are in formation for religious life.
We have made a leap of faith.
Two unexpected occurrences have led to a very surprising event for the Fund for Vocations. First, by the time the application period had closed this year we had only 23 applications for grants. Normally, the count is in the 40s. We have no idea why there were so few, but we expect it is just happenstance and we will see a return to normal numbers next year, particularly since we are seeing our usual level of inquiries for early in the year.
Second, our donors' generosity has greatly exceeded our expectations and the Fund ended 2013 in the fairly good financial condition.
Those two occurrences led the Fund's board of directors to make a great leap of faith and authorize the funding of grants to all our applicants this year! This act equates to a commitment to raise an additional $75,000 each year for more than a decade.
That is a 35% increase in our commitment to help men and women proceed with the life to which God has called them. As we can only attribute our good financial position to your generous response to God's call to you, we can do no less. Please pray for us and continue to help us in this work to build up the Church.
We have removed the application forms for their annual checkup and will make them available again in the fall of 2014. The next application open period will begin on September 15, 2014. Click here to view more information about out grantmaking schedule.
We are helping over 100 men and women follow their vocations (and have helped more than 50 to try their vocations). Each year we must raise the money necessary to make their student loan payments. These men and women pray each day for you, for the Church and for the world as they work to become priests, monks and brothers, and nuns and sisters.
You can read about some of these men and women on our vocation stories page.
That was the good news. The truly awful news is that we have had to turn away 98 young people who wanted to offer their lives to Christ, but could not because of their student debt! Will the Church lose these vocations?
Please help us help them by making a tax-deductible contribution.
» In February, Brother Jason of the Holy Spirit of the Western Province of Carmelite Friars made his final profession of vows. Bro. Jason is shown above (right) with his superior Fr. Adam Gonzales.