Category: Letters from the Executive Director

Choosing Control During Uncertainty

A Letter from the Executive Director Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?’  Jesus said to him in reply, ‘Allow it now, for thus it is fitting… Read more »

Holiness is Not a Strategy

A Letter from the Executive Director “Holiness is not a strategy. Structures prevent bad things.” This comment was made last week by a Catholic leader during the Catholic Partnership Summit. The gathering explored what aspects of the current leadership culture led to the twin crises of abuse and leadership failures, and sought to imagine a new future. The comment was made in the context of exploring governance and leadership.    I have been reflecting on this challenge while considering the heart-breaking news about Jean Vanier…. Read more »


A Letter from the Executive Director Catholic Volunteer Network strives to honor community by cultivating spaces, relationships, and supports that help you nurture your soul and strategies. We affirm your vision and creativity, and hope this community can affirm and challenge you to serve even better. A sense of belonging is critical for the demanding… Read more »

Unusual Kindness

A Letter from the Executive Director January 18-25 is the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The text chosen for this year is Acts 27-28, which focuses on Paul being shipwrecked on Malta and being shown “unusual kindness” (28:2).  In reading about this week, I was moved by a reflection by the World Council of Churches which invites… Read more »

I Love You, I Want You Here

A Letter from the Executive Director During opening night of the recent CVN conference, I invited attendees to pay attention to the relationship between calling and desire, especially regarding service. I now invite you to consider how being called by God and having your own desires relate. There is power in that intersection, even if it’s hard to describe. Moreover, fully understanding that place is not as important as learning how to be there and be aware.    … Read more »

Confession and Invitation

A Letter from the Executive Director I have a confession. I’ve done it again. I have let control almost prevent creativity. Our upcoming “Many Rays, One Rising” conference includes plenary sessions seeking to foster practical sharing and engagement of attendees around topics of mission, diversity, communications, and strategies for the future. We have a range… Read more »

Practically Spiritual

A Letter from the Executive Director You work and minister in a spiritual realm. What you do is grounded in something that cannot be totally understood, measured, or explained. I hope that is true of your program’s foundation, even though numbers, budgets, and evaluations demand attention too. This year’s National Conference – “Many Rays, One… Read more »

Relationships Not Programs

In July, CVN’s Executive Director, Yonce Shelton represented CVN at the Voice and Vision National Summit for Ministries with Youth and Young Adults in Steubenville,Ohio. This Summit was co-sponsored by Franciscan University of Steubenville and the National Dialogue of Pastoral Ministry with Youth and Young Adults. The National Dialogue is a collaborative effort between the… Read more »

Do What is Right

A Letter from the Executive Director There was only one rule for my college football team: do what is right. Despite how broad that might seem, I can’t remember a time when a player felt he was able to argue with our head coach’s opinion about a situation. Being committed to the team – and… Read more »

Why These Conference Speakers

A Letter from the Executive Director Last month, we announced our two keynote speakers for Many Rays, One Rising, the 2019 National Conference on Faith-Based Service. Now that you have learned a little about who they are, I want to share why we invited them. Speakers were invited because their stories and strategies are relevant… Read more »