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 January 2015
Alumni Reflection: Facing Failure
A Missionary's Conversion to God's Love  
By Charlene Becicka, former Salesian Lay Mission
New Year's Resolutions always fill us with feelings of hope and optimism; however, many of us find ourselves breaking our resolutions before the month of January is even over. If that sounds familiar, this reflection from former Salesian Lay Missioner Charlene Becicka, is for you! Continue Reading.
Six Tips for Successful Grad School Applications
By Katie Mulembe, Catholic Volunteer Network

Considering graduate school? You are not alone. Our recent research study indicated that 45 percent of former volunteers have a Master's degree, which is far higher than the national average of just seven percent. An additional twelve percent continue even further to complete a professional or doctorate degree. Most volunteers opt to complete their graduate education after their term of service.


There are many ways that the service experience prepares you for graduate studies. We've compiled these six tips to help you get started.  Continue Reading.  

Evangelii Gaudium: Moving the Church from Maintenance to Mission
A webinar facilitated by Fr. Frank Donio, S.A.C., Director, Catholic Apostolate Center
January 20, 2015 - 8:00pm EST

In his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis invites all to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.  We are not to keep the faith to ourselves, but are sent as missionary disciples to transform the world to Christ. We are all called to be Spirit-filled disciples, not in a maintenance mode but rather a missionary one (Evangelii Gaudium,118-120,259-262). How can we accomplish this call to be a missionary disciple today? 

Register for this webinar! 

Updated Alumni Resource

What's Next Notebook is a guide for volunteers making the transition out of their year of service. This resource, recently updated by Catholic Volunteer Network and Catholic Apostolate Center, will help you process the ways that you have been changed by service, and also look ahead to decide what your next steps will be. This resource is designed as a booklet that you can use during your times of prayer and reflection. We encourage you to print this and write your thoughts inside it.  Download your copy today! 

What's the Connection Between Volunteer Service and Vocations?

Has your service experience caused you to think a little differently about your vocation? You are not alone, we've found that many volunteers discern their vocation during or shortly after their service experience. Many even uncover a call to religious life or priesthood. In this video, four former volunteers share about their journey to sisterhood.
From Service To Sisterhood
From Service To Sisterhood
Find more information about discernment and vocations at:
Catholic Volunteer Network:
Catholic Apostolate Center:
Upcoming Events for Volunteer Alumni

Catholic Volunteer Network Discernment Retreats 
Catholic Volunteer Network now hosts discernment retreats for current volunteers and alumni who are contemplating their next steps. Join us for a weekend retreat and enjoy the opportunity to get away from the busyness of life and join with others in the spirit of discernment. We have three retreats scheduled, and more coming soon.
Chicago, IL - February 28 - March 1, 2015
Rochester, NY - March 27-29, 2015
Carmel, CA - April 17-19, 2015
These retreats are made available free of charge thanks to the support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Travel stipends are also available. Click here for more details.

From Mission to Mission Re-Entry Workshops 
From Mission to Mission seeks to help returned missioners and volunteers live mission here in their home culture, in a way that honors those to whom they have said goodbye. Their workshops are for domestic AND international volunteers and missioners from any program, university, diocese, etc. Former volunteers can attend our workshop in the months or even years after completing their term of service. The workshop is not just for those who recently finished their service. The 2015 workshop schedule is: 
New York, NY - April 16-19, 2015 
Chicago, IL - July 9-12, 2015 
Chicago, IL - October 29-November 1, 2015 
Please visit or contact Julie Lupien at to register for one of these upcoming workshops. Financial aid is available.
DC Catholic Day of Service
February 21, 2015
Young adults in the Washington, DC area are invited to participate in the upcoming DC Catholic Day of Service, hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington. Participants will serve in various locations throughout the city and meet up in the afternoon for fellowship and lunch. More details can be found at the DC Catholic Facebook page.

Have you visited our Alumni Resource Center?
Click here for more information about alumni webinars, graduate school programs, Staying Connected archives, and more!
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Please send your questions and feedback about this newsletter to Katie Mulembe.