Generosity is important. So is predictability. To understand why, we just need to remember some basic facts about vocations.

The decision to pursue a vocation to the priesthood or consecrated life is not one to be taken lightly. It profoundly alters the person who makes it, the communities they serve, and the entire Mystical Body of Christ. There’s a reason that formation lasts seven years on average!

Here at the MEFV, we would not have it any other way. We want people in formation to have the peace of mind they need to make a faithful decision, one way or the other, about their vocation. We deliberately structured MEFV’s process to help nurture that peace of mind.

Rather than paying off grant recipients’ entire student debt upfront, MEFV takes over their monthly payments while they are in formation. More than once we have heard some version of the message so clearly expressed by Sister Maria Asterone:

If I had entered formation knowing that someone had paid off my loan, I am sure I would have felt like I ‘owed it’ to them to make it to final vows. It definitely would have created a sense of obligation that would have seriously distorted my formation. The way that MEFV works is so important. Your model gives us both the peace to persevere and the freedom to be honest if we discern that God is actually calling us to something else.”

So our model gets the important things right! But it creates challenges, too. There’s a lot of unpredictability. We simply can’t know, from one month or year to the next, how many of our grant recipients will persevere and how many will discern back out. Of the out-discerners, we can’t know who will be heavily versus lightly indebted—that is to say, what will be the value of the monthly payments we will no longer have to make, that will go back “into the pot.”

In short, our expenses are unpredictable. Our income is too—we don’t know who will choose to support MEFV, or when, or how generously.


There is one incredibly important exception. That’s the Sustainers Circle!

Other than the power of prayer itself, our steady, faithful, consistent monthly donors are the single most important source of vital stability for the Fund for Vocations.

If you’re not already a member, why not join today?


Send email with “SUSTAINERS CIRCLE” in the subject line to info@fundforvocations.orgor call us at 877.556.6338

We’ll send you the banking form to enroll, or we’ll take your information over the phone and get you set up.

We’ll also send you occasional premiums exclusively selected for Sustainers Circle members. These gifts are donated by generous friends—100% of Sustainers Circle contributions go toward grant-making.


As our thanks to you, we’ll send new members an autographed copy of Father Paul Scalia’s book That Nothing May Be Lost. Along with Father Scalia’s own brilliant scholarship, That Nothing May Be Lostcontains reflections from some of the leading Catholic thinkers of our day, including Helen Alvaré, Bishop Charles Chaput, Scott Hahn, and others.

Thank you for supporting vocations!


The Mater EcclesiaeFund for Vocations invites all its supporters, especially its Sustainers Circle members, to join in offering specific prayer intentions for an increase in vocations and in the ranks of MEFV Sustainers Circle members who are such a vital source of support.

We ask one person each month to offer a daily prayer, each day of that month, for those intentions.

Honesdale, Pennsylvania

Anthony Rennekamp and Sara (née Suchy) met at church in 2012. Sara was living in Washington, DC and working as a science writer and editor. Anthony was teaching high school physics near his home in Falls Church, Virginia. Anthony and one of his close friends had gone one day to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception for confession and daily Mass. They ran into Sara who had come to the Shrine for the same reason and struck up a conversation. Sara and Anthony exchanged phone numbers, began dating, and were married in July 2014. Today they are parents to three children and they live in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, close to Anthony’s family.

The mission of the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations is dear to their hearts because they have many friends in the priesthood and religious life. Of their close set of friends from their Washington days, four have pursued religious vocations (two with the help of MEFV grants), and the godfather of their second child will be ordained a priest of the Dominican Province of St. Joseph in May 2019. The month of May has additional significance for the Rennekamps: along with being the traditional month of Dominican ordinations, it is the birth month of Sara (May 7) and their oldest child, Anna Rose (May 28).

“We are honored to offer prayer intentions for the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations Sustainers Circle during a month so significant to our own family, to the Dominicans who have played such a big part in our faith formation, and of course to the MEFV’s patron saint, the Blessed Mother,” said Sara and Anthony. “As much as any family, we have been blessed to witness the power of holy vocations and their importance to the life and health of the Church. And we know from our friends’ experience what an obstacle student debt can be. Thank you for your apostolate!”

The Rennekamps pray the Liturgy of the Hours as a family. To their daily offices, they will add the following prayer for the month of May 2019:

Dear Lord, you promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against your holy church. Raise up, we beseech you, a new generation of holy priests and religious to witness to your Truth. Continue to bless the work of the Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations. Please increase their number of supporters, especially faithful monthly supporters through the Sustainers Circle, so that the burden of student loans is removed from the men and women who would follow You. We ask all this in the name of your son, our savior Jesus Christ, through the intercession of his mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Please consider taking a turn as lead intercessor for one month during 2019. Contact us at info@fundforvocations.orgor 877.556.6338 to sign up.