NAVFD grew out of a desire for those members charged with vocation or formation ministry in their congregations to have a place to meet and engage in discussion. Initially, gatherings took place under the auspices of the Canadian Religious Conference (CRC). The vocation mandate was largely lost with the restructuring of CRC. Those who had engaged in the CRC sponsored events continued to communicate resulting in a national Conference held in Halifax in 2008. At that meeting NAVFD was formed and received Letters Patent in 2009 to officially establish the organization with legal status. NAVFD was granted registered charity status in 2013.
What does NAVFD do?
- Hosts the popular website vocations.ca where searchers come to look for information about discernment and congregations and dioceses.
- Produces a monthly newsletter with information relevant to members.
- Provides other opportunities for input and discussion for example, teleconference calls.
- Provides materials e.g. discernment cards.
- Provides support for members whose ministry is sometimes isolating in their congregation.
- Offers a conference every two years with keynote speakers and workshops designed to enhance the ministry of the members.
NAVFD completed the largest vocation survey ever conducted in Canada, courtesy of a generous grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The results of this survey will be invaluable to congregations for their future planning and to NAVFD itself in setting direction for the future and serving NAVFD members more widely thus fostering a culture of vocation across Canada.
NAVFD wants to further embrace its role as a truly national organization by including more opportunities for French language materials and a more robust presence in Quebec.