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 firstname.lastname@example.org– or 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!