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Resources for Recruiting for Notre Dame Vision 2022 Resource Guide

Greetings from Notre Dame! As we prepare for another summer of Notre Dame Vision, we are excited to share resources and ideas on recruitment, preparation, processing and integration to help connect the experience of Notre Dame Vision with your parish, school and diocese. Recognizing that every parish and school is different, some of the strategies may not apply to your setting, but perhaps something in here will prompt a new idea for you. We hope this resource offers ideas and insights into your work with young people in preparation for Vision and beyond. To apply visit our website at mcgrath.nd.edu/visionapply.

Since planning for anything during a pandemic is inherently tentative, the information and dates below are subject to change based on the evolving understanding of COVID-19 and its impact along with CDC and University guidelines.

Please contact Megan Shepherd, Program Director of Notre Dame Vision at mshephe2@nd.edu or (574) 631-8290 with any questions or ideas to share.

What is Notre Dame Vision?

Here is a great Video Discussion Guide for your use!

WHAT DO I SAY?

To assist you with promoting Notre Dame Vision, we have provided the following talking points to use in reaching out to principals, presidents, pastors, parents, and youth ministry leaders.

  • Notre Dame Vision helps students to deepen their faith and forms them for Catholic leadership in their homes, schools and parishes. Through prayer and conversation with peers and mentors about their hopes, fears and challenges as teenagers, many students experience a profound transformation. The week is filled with dynamic presentations, reflection in small groups, and liturgical celebrations.
  • High school students are given mentorship from some of the brightest and faith-filled undergraduates at Notre Dame. The Notre Dame undergraduates who serve as Mentors-in-Faith are a resource that cannot be replicated anywhere else. The mentors receive training and theological formation from the top theology educators at Notre Dame and are hand-picked by McGrath Institute staff. Only a few years older than the high school students, the mentors provide excellent examples of what it means to be faithful and compassionate young adults.
  • Students are given the opportunity to consider educational opportunities beyond high school in a nurturing, faith-filled environment. During the week, students experience first-hand the Catholic environment of the University of Notre Dame as they live in the dorms, eat in the excellent dining halls, pray at the Basilica and the Grotto, and experience all that the University of Notre Dame has to offer.
  • Looking to bolster your existing youth ministry and faith formation programs in the parish/diocese/school? The Notre Dame Vision program complements the work of the family, parish and school in the formation of students who are called by God to live their faith and serve their communities. They can become student leaders in current school programs.

WHO DO I INVITE?

Anyone seeking to know God’s presence in their lives and to respond through lifelong discipleship.

NOTRE DAME VISION

Notre Dame Vision is a series of summer conferences for high school students held at the University of Notre Dame. Participants find the opportunity through one of these conferences to recognize their gifts and understand how God is calling them in their lives. Notre Dame Vision is open to all high school students (entering grades 9-12 in the fall of 2022 or graduating in the spring of 2022). Throughout the week at Notre Dame Vision, we explore God’s call for us to live fully and faithfully through dynamic large group experiences, interactive small group time, profound liturgies, and excellent music.

For:

  • Confirmation Candidates
  • Leadership Team Members
  • Retreat Leaders
  • Youth Council
  • Peer Ministers
  • Student Council Members
  • Confirmation Leaders
  • Potential Leaders
  • All Youth

VISION CYM

Vision CYM is part of the Church Life Summer Institute, a summer conference designed specifically for high school, diocesan, and parish youth ministers. Through theological exploration, stimulating discussion, and personal renewal, Vision CYM engages youth ministers in an experience of a comprehensive vision of vocation, which is a reality that bears meaning for the lives of all people. Vision CYM supports both the person of the youth minister and their ministry to young people.

For:

  • High School Campus Ministers
  • Parish Youth Ministers
  • Diocesan Youth Ministry Staff
  • High School Theology Teachers
  • Catechists

HOW DO I RECRUIT?

Ideas for Cultivating Potential Applicants

SPREAD THE WORD

Set up opportunities to speak at youth ministry gatherings, religious education classes, campus ministry gatherings, leadership team meetings, student governments, beginning of the year parent meetings, etc.

USE PREVIOUS PARTICIPANTS

Word of mouth from previous participants is one of the best recruiting methods. Have participants write a reflection as soon as they return in the summer, then share these reflections at mass, in the bulletin, in the school newspaper, on social media and at info meetings.

CAST A WIDE NET

Invite all youth to the program through the bulletin, e-mails, parent mailings, social media, parish or school newsletter and general announcements.

NETWORK WITH OTHER LEADERS

Connect with your diocesan office to share information and collaborate with other parishes or schools.

BE CREATIVE

Promote Vision as one of the best (Christmas/Birthday/Confirmation/ Graduation) presents a parent or grandparent could give.

PROVIDE INFORMATION

Keep Vision information on-hand for interested youth. Display flyers in prominent areas such as church vestibules, campus ministry offices, youth ministry room, and other gathering spaces. Post digital flyers on social media.

ASK FOR SUGGESTIONS

Contact teachers, campus ministers, youth ministry leaders, catechists, coaches, principals, pastors, school counselors, parish leaders and parents for names of youth to personally invite. When reaching out to the students, be sure to share that someone nominated them for the program.

HIGHLIGHT THE BENEFITS

Post a countdown of the top reasons to attend Notre Dame Vision leading up to an information night or deadline to generate excitement and interest:

  • Make friends from across the country
  • Engage in meaningful conversations
  • Explore how God is calling you
  • And WHY
  • Discover your gifts
  • Consider how to respond to God’s call
  • Live in the dorms
  • Eat in the dining hall
  • Learn from the college student leaders
  • Sing, dance, and celebrate in a lively, reflective, genuine community

HOW DO I PREPARE?

Ideas for Sharing Information and Raising Funds

COMMUNITY

Foster a sense of community within your group before the trip through holding a retreat, dinner, or meeting(s) to share in fellowship and prepare for the experience. In previous years, groups have reflected on the themes of the program, shared hopes and expectations, and developed prayer partners among participants.

LOGISTICS

Develop a method for sharing information on dates, travel, expenses, registration paperwork, packing lists and fundraising opportunities. Regular email updates work well in addition to text message reminders of deadlines. Some Group Organizers have set up a Facebook Group, Google Drive or other digital methods to share information.

PARENT MEETINGS

Host a meeting of parents and youth participants after the initial application to discuss any questions or concerns about the program. Invite previous participants and their parents to share reflections on the experience from both perspectives.

FUNDRAISING

Raising the money for travel and program fees takes creativity and determination. In addition to the standard sales (bake, yard, plant, coupon) and meals (fish fry, pancake breakfast, soup supper) groups have also asked people to “purchase” a stock certificate (donation). The youth pray for their “stockholders” and send thank you postcards while at Vision.

COMMUNICATION

As the main point of contact with the Vision Office, it is the role of the Group Organizer to communicate the important deadlines and the details of the registration process with your group.

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

For those who face financial difficulty, encourage them to take advantage of the Emerging Leaders Scholarship and Financial Assistance Fund as needed.

HOW DO I PROCESS?

Ideas for Reflecting and Sharing the Experience

DURING TRAVEL

On the trip to Notre Dame, invite youth to share why they are going to Vision. On the return trip, ask questions like:

  • What most surprised you?
  • What hit home the most for you?
  • How are you going to make a difference?
  • What do you want to share with others back home about the experience?

WRITTEN REFLECTIONS

Encourage youth to write reflections about their experience to be shared through the bulletin, in the school paper, at youth ministry meetings or in class. Offer the reflections to the wider community at a mass or prayer service, and with those who supported fundraising for the trip.

GATHER TOGETHER

Host a gathering in the fall for those who attended Vision to share how they have lived out their experience in their parish, school, family, friendships and wider community.

GOALS

Ask youth to write a letter to themselves detailing what they want to take away from the experience. Collect the letters and return them to the youth in a few months.

WITH PARENTS

Invite parents to a dinner with all participants to share reflections and celebrate their return. Provide parents with suggested questions to ask their children about the experience.

COLLECT MEMORIES

On the trip home, make short videos of each youth describing a memorable moment or insight from the week. Play the videos at a future meeting and ask the youth to reflect upon how they have grown since the summer.

SHARE PRAYER

Pass out cards to the youth and ask them to write down prayer intentions from their week - people they met, stories they heard, hopes for the future - and gather the cards to create a prayer list for the group to share throughout the year.

“I have often been surprised by the leadership roles our young people take after their Vision experience. Sometimes, they do not have the courage to show their leadership potential before Vision, but after, they definitely do. When the invitation is extended to anyone, I am surprised and pleased with their response.”

HOW DO I INTEGRATE?

Ideas for Empowering and Nurturing the Response

ENVISION THE POSSIBILITIES

Invite them to consider Vision as a door to a deeper response to God’s call. Encourage them to share what they have learned and discovered about themselves and their relationship with God to others.

DEVELOP LEADERSHIP

Upon returning, invite youth into positions of leadership as peer ministers, retreat team members, confirmation leaders, liturgical ministers, catechists and campus ministry leaders. Utilize the resources provided on the Mentor Formation process to enhance your leadership training.

CONNECT WITH MENTORS

Pair up each youth with an adult or older youth to focus on their continued growth in leadership and discipleship. Provide the “mentors” with questions for ongoing discussion.

GIVE WITNESS

Share with youth your own stories of growth and discipleship. Invite other adults in the parish or school to offer their witness and response to God’s call in their lives.

IDENTIFY GIFTS

Help youth recognize and share their gifts through letters of affirmation, gift inventory exercises, and personal reflection. Direct them towards opportunities that will fit their gifts.

FACILITATE STEWARDSHIP

Provide youth with a list of the various opportunities to serve in the parish or school and gauge their interest in the different areas. Forward the names of youth to the appropriate ministry leaders to personally invite them to be a part of that ministry. Work with ministry leaders to incorporate the youth in the ministry and follow up with the youth to support their participation in the ministry.

INTEGRATE NEW IDEAS

Incorporate activities experienced at Vision into your ministry. Groups have adapted the Emmaus Walk as part of a retreat (lead by youth who participated in Vision) and as a way for Confirmation candidates and sponsors to share their journey of discipleship.

GROUP ORGANIZERS

Step-by-step instructions for Group Organizers

Notre Dame Vision offers a discount of $25 per participant for those who apply for a summer conference as part of a group. Groups are made up of at least five (5) high school participants who apply to the program together, though they do not need to attend the same conference session during the summer. Each group must have one and only one Group Organizer with whom Notre Dame Vision will communicate which streamlines the administrative process. Thank you for considering organizing a group of high school students to attend Notre Dame Vision in 2022.

A “Group Organizer” might be any of the following:

  • High school student
  • Parent/guardian of a high school student
  • Diocesan Leader
  • Parish Youth Minister, Pastor, or other parish ministry person
  • Campus Minister, Religion Teacher, or other high school staff member

IMPORTANT INFO FOR GROUP ORGANIZERS:

  1. ALL GROUPS OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS MUST HAVE ONE AND ONLY ONE “GROUP ORGANIZER.” Our office will communicate with only the “Group Organizer.” This streamlines the process and thus why we give the $25 discount.
  2. THE “GROUP ORGANIZER” IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PAYING THE DEPOSIT AND BALANCE FEES FOR THE ENTIRE GROUP. Your group will be treated as a whole, which means that the deposit money for your entire group ($100 multiplied by # of group members) must be received with the group members’ applications to be processed. Notre Dame Vision will create one account for your entire group. Balance payments will likewise be for the group as a whole, rather than for individual members. Payments from/for individual participants will not be accepted.
  3. “GROUP ORGANIZERS” SHOULD FIELD ALL QUESTIONS ABOUT GROUP MEMBERS’ APPLICATIONS, REGISTRATION, AND BALANCE PAYMENTS. After doing so, they should contact the Vision office when necessary.
  4. IN ORDER TO CREATE A GROUP, THERE MUST HAVE AT LEAST FIVE (5) HIGH SCHOOL PARTICIPANTS. Grouped students do not necessarily have to attend the same session of Notre Dame Vision. Additional students may be added to the group at a later date provided that space is available. However, if a group is formed prior to the March 26 priority deadline and thus receives the early application discount, any members who are added on or after March 27 will only receive the group discount ($25), not the early application discount ($25). Students who have already applied to Notre Dame Vision as individual applicants may not be included in a group.
  5. IF A GROUP MEMBER MUST BE REPLACED, “GROUP ORGANIZERS” MAY SUBSTITUTE ANOTHER STUDENT OF THE SAME SEX FOR THE SAME SESSION AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE UNTIL MAY 14, 2022. For example, if a female student from your group withdraws from Session #1 (June 20-24), you may substitute another female student for that same session. If you wish to replace a student with someone of the opposite sex or with someone who wishes to attend another session, then another $100 application fee will be required (and only as space allows). All group rosters are deemed finalized on May 14, 2022 — no substitutions are permitted.
  6. GROUP ORGANIZERS CAN ALSO MAKE A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO BRING STUDENTS TO VISION FOR 3 YEARS. In return for the remittal of a full deposit, Group Organizers receive a discount on each student’s registration above the normal discounts for the Vision conferences. See more information on the previous page.

WHAT DOES IT COST?

Every application requires a non-refundable, non-transferable $100 deposit. The balance due is as follows:

Applications submitted on or before March 26, 2022 (Early Deadline)

  • $325: HS participant in a group of five or more ($425 total)
  • $350: HS participant without a group ($450 total)
  • $350: CYM participant ($450 total minus $20 per HS participant)

Applications submitted on or after March 27, 2022

  • $350: HS participant in a group of five or more ($450 total)
  • $375: HS participant without a group ($475 total)
  • $375: CYM participant ($475 total minus $20 per HS participant)

DEADLINES

March 26 - Early Application Discount ($25 off)

May 14 - All Applications & Full Payment applications due

DISCOUNTS

  • $25 off for early applications & deposits submitted by March 26
  • $25 off for 5 or more applying together with one Group Organizer

LONG TERM PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITY

For those groups wishing to make a long-term commitment to Notre Dame Vision, Group Organizers commit to bring a minimum number of participants for three years.

What we ask from the Group Organizer:

  • Identify the total number of students you will bring to Vision each year.
  • At outset of partnership, pay the deposit amount in full to Notre Dame Vision for the number of students you wish to bring. (each student x $100 deposit x 3 years)

What the Group Organizer receives:

  • Substantial discounts on the conference registration for each student
  • For the next two years pay only the Registration Fee for each student at reduced rate (spots will be held by prepaid deposit).

Registration Fee each year for 3 years

  • 5-9 students: $325 (normal group rate)
  • 10-19 students: $300
  • 20-29 students: $275
  • 30+ students: $250

HOW DO I PRAY?

An Examen Prayer Used in Vision Formation Meetings

STEP 1: THANKSGIVING

Lord, I realize that all, even myself, is a gift from You. Today, for what things am I most grateful?

STEP 2: INTENTION

Lord, open my eyes and ears to be more honest with myself. Today, what do I really want for myself?

What am I hoping to gain from the Notre Dame Vision experience?

STEP 3: EXAMINATION

Lord, show me what has been happening to me and in me this day.

Today, in what ways have I experienced Your love? How can I give of myself to those who I interact with during the Notre Dame Vision experience?

STEP 4: CONTRITION

Lord, I am still learning to grow in Your love.

Today, what choices have been inadequate responses to Your love? Where have I experienced moments of desolation? With great anticipation, how can Notre Dame Vision be a moment of consolation?

STEP 5: HOPE

Lord, let me look with longing toward the future.

Today, how will I let You lead me to a brighter tomorrow? How I am going to prepare myself spiritually for the upcoming Notre Dame Vision experience?

Contributed by Elliott Gualtiere

Director of Campus Ministry, Fairfield College Prep

Fairfield, CT

Questions? Ideas to share?

Contact Megan Shepherd, Program Director of Notre Dame Vision at mshephe2@nd.edu or (574) 631-8290.