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Diocese of Albany Vocations Summit

Saturday, May 7, 2016
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Shrine of the North American Martyrs, Auriesville, N.Y.

“Conversion and vocation are two sides of the same coin.” ~Pope Francis

Summit Brochure          Register Online

Our upcoming Vocation Summit is a large-scale diocesan event to help create a culture of vocations in the Diocese of Albany. To accommodate the hundreds of Catholics expected to attend, the event is being held at the Shrine of the North American Martyrs.

The purpose of the Summit is to re-ignite our focus on vocations—to marriage, family, priesthood, and religious life—which flow from our baptismal call to discipleship. Practically speaking, the summit will focus on several key areas that are part of our Pastoral Plan for Vocations, including Parish Vocation Committees, Religious Education, Catholic Schools, Campus Ministry, and more.

Who Should Attend
All Catholics interested in helping to promote vocations are invited. In particular, this includes lay leaders such as Parish Council Presidents or catechists, as well as those with an official capacity, such as priests, deacons, sisters, parish staff, Catholic school staff and faculty, youth ministers, campus ministers, etc.

Nationally-known experts will give presentations and lead discussion throughout the day.


Fr. Tim Birney
For over ten years, Fr. Tim Birney has worked in all aspects of fostering vocations, from accepting new seminarians to working closely with lay people in parishes and schools. Known as an engaging speaker with a delightful sense of humor, Fr. Birney will offer our keynote address, as well as a breakout presentation specifically for clergy. Fr. Birney serves as Vocation Director in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
  Rhonda Gruenewald
Rhonda Gruenewald’s book Hundredfold: A Guide to Parish Vocation Ministry is the definitive handbook for promoting vocations in Catholic parishes. Audiences love her energy, wit, and wisdom—not to mention her practical know-how about reaching young people with a pro-vocations message.
Her talk will focus how to begin a Parish Vocation Committee, including tried-and-true ways to promote vocations among young people.
  Sam Alzheimer
Sam Alzheimer is the founder of Vianney Vocations, an organization dedicated to creating a culture of vocations in the Church. His presentation will focus on Discipleship and Discernment as critical components of formation in Catholic schools, youth ministry, and campus ministry. He offers an extensive demonstration of the new Vocation Lessons curriculum and will provide resources for students and educators.

May 7 Vocation Summit Schedule

8:45 a.m. Gathering & light breakfast
9:30 a.m. Keynote by Fr. Tim Birney
10:45 a.m. Mass with Bishop Scharfenberger
11:45 a.m. Lunch & free time on Shrine grounds
1:15 p.m.  Breakout Sessions
Becoming a Vocation-Friendly Parish by Rhonda Gruenewald
Catholic Education & Vocations by Sam Alzheimer
Be Your Parish’s Vocation Director by Fr. Tim Birney
2:30 p.m. Closing Remarks & Prayer


The Shrine of the North American Martyrs is a beautiful 600-acre property situated on the banks of the Mohawk River in Auriesville. It commemorates the martyrdom of three Jesuit missionaries, as well as St. Kateri and other heroes of the faith who impacted this part of the country.

In addition to the stupendous 1930s-era coliseum, where the main Mass will be celebrated, there are numerous chapels and prayer-paths that visitors have enjoyed for decades.

The beautiful location is just one more reason to attend our Vocation Summit! If you live in the Diocese of Albany and have not visited the Shrine, this is a tremendous opportunity to be inspired!

The diocese is offering bus transportation to the Shrine from several key locations. They are: St. Clement's in Saratoga Springs, St. Jude the Apostle in Wynantskill and St. Ambrose in Latham.

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