We have carefully designed our grant program so that men and women who seek to answer God’s call can do so immediately, without delay or distractions. We assume monthly student loan payments while an aspirant is in formation thereby enabling them to enter formation right away, and free from financial worry. When a newly minted priest, sister, or brother takes final vows, we then pay off their loan balance within five years. If they discern out, they simply reassume their monthly loan payments, which we have kept up to date.
Other organizations teach fundraising to indebted young people who have vocations, and then retain a part of those funds to use elsewhere. It can take the young people significant time to raise those funds—we believe that such delay is injurious to the vocation. We make grants from the money we raise, and we make the grants promptly so that formation can begin without delay.
In other words: We make grants quickly, and then pay debt slowly. That way, formation begins sooner, and it’s free from distraction or pressure—even self-imposed— to persevere (because someone has paid off their loans) if God is calling them elsewhere. We designed our process to advance our mission: fostering healthy vocations.
Where you come in
The Catholic lay faithful partner with and assist the Fund for Vocations—and the wonderful young men and women we exist to support—in three ways:
- Pray for us. First, last, and always, pray. Pray that God’s will be done in our work.
- Make a financial contribution. Any amount, large or small will be a great help and blessing to all those who need the Fund for Vocation’s assistance to follow God’s call.
- If you know anyone who might be interested in this effort, tell them about us.
Without your grant, it would have taken me seven years at least, probably longer, to pay off my loans, despite having graduated in three years. The way that the Fund for Vocations operates gives true freedom. I could not have entered without that money, it is as simple as that, but the manner in which it gets paid out matters too, a lot. The fact that the Fund takes over the loan payments during formation makes a big difference. It lets you discern with no pressure. It lets you say Yes, but at the same time, it doesn’t make you feel like you have to persevere even if you discover that your true vocation lies somewhere else. I think if a third party just pays off the student debt, it creates a heavy sense of obligation in the discerner that can cloud the picture, to everyone’s detriment.
Sister Maria Asterone
Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará
It is a tragic irony that when the heavens are being stormed for vocations and God generously answers, that the response can be hindered by something as minor in comparison as a student loan. Yet, sadly more and more vocations are being put on hold for this very reason. That’s why vocation directors exclaim: “Thank God for the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations!”
Fr. Andrew-Carl Wisdom, O.P.;
Former Promoter of Vocations, Director of the Society for Vocational Support;
Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great