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Millennial sisters get their 9 minutes of fame on Tamron Hall!

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Wednesday 18, September 2019 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Consecrated Life,Catholic culture

Millennial sisters with many doors open to them chose religious life. That was the theme explored on a recent Tamron Hall Show, a new daytime talk show. The Catholic sisters featured on the show, Sisters Anne Marie Findlay C.S.S.F.; Elizabeth McGill, I.H.M.; Rachel Lauritsen, F.M.A.; and Boram Lee F.M.A. were brought to the attention of Tamron Hall producers by VISION publisher Patrice Tuohy, who worked closely with the show's producers to provide information on the contemporary religious life, Two of the sisters are also recipients of grants from the National Fund for Catholic Religious Vocations, established by the National Religious Vocation Conference to help alleviate the obstacle of educational debt to religious life. Patrice Tuohy and Phil Loftus, Executive Director of NFCRV, were in the audience to cheer the sisters on.

Millennial Sisters
NFCRV Executive Director and VISION Publisher Patrice Tuohy in the audience of the Tamron Hall Show featuring millennial sisters.

Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

New Jersey convents attract new sisters

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Wednesday 11, September 2019 Categories: Consecrated Life,Catholic culture
Millennial Sisters in New Jersey
Caption Here

Serveral VISION sponsoring communities from New Jersey received a nice writie up in the North Jersey Record article "Number of nuns are dwindling, but these Jersey millennials are still hearing the call" by Deena Yellin.

And VISION got a mention too! 

As many orders are dwindling, some remain strong. The Salesian Sisters of Saint John Bosco . . . is among the largest women's orders in the world, with more than 13,000 sisters in over 90 countries. It is also among the few orders that are growing. This year, three new women joined the order in New Haledon.

Some women continue to feel the pull to the religious life, offering hope that nuns will continue to serve, perhaps in new ways.

The Felician Sisters in Lodi have four women in different stages of discernment, the multi-years process of considering religious life. The Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace in Englewood Cliffs had six women take vows over the past 15 years. The Discalced Carmelites in Flemington has two candidates this year, and Sisters of Christian Charity in Mendham has 12 women in various stages of formation.

Patrice Tuohy, publisher of Vision Vocation Guide, which provides information about religious communities, says an average of about 3,000 women fill out profiles each year, seeking to be matched to a religious community, but that number rose to 3,500 last year. "That surprised me," she said. "They were predominantly people under 30. There's definitely been an uptick of inquiries into religious life."


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

Africa takes the lead in the future of Catholicism

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Tuesday 03, September 2019 Categories: Mission & Evangelization,Catholic culture
Catholics around the world
Catrpolic Populations around the world

In September 2019, Pope Francis will make his fourth visit to Africa. Among the key reason's for the Popes special attention to Africa: Africa is the fastest growing Catholic population on the planet. Read more in a recent BBC report.

Related to the growth of Catholicism in Africa, is the rise of African priests in the U.S. Martin Emehs, former president of the African Conference of Catholic Clergy and Religious in the U.S., estimates that in 2013, "there were about 700 African priests in the country and believes the number is much higher today." African priests are serving as "reverse missionaries," doing what their Global North counterparts did for several centuries: "taking God’s word to people across the ocean." 




Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

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Benedictine Sisters introduce a virtual open-door policy

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Tuesday 09, July 2019 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Consecrated Life,Catholic culture
 
Virtual tour of St. Mary Monastery
Virtual tour screen capture of the Chapel at St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island, IL.
Ever wonder what life in a modern-day monastery is like? Here's your chance to get a sneak peek without leaving home. The Benedictine Sisters of St. Mary’s Monastery in Rock Island, IL have introduced a Virtual Monastery Experience that combines aerial footage and 360 photography of the monastery with information and resources about their way of life. The virtual tour gives discerning women, who may want to become Benedictines themselves, a way to experience life at St. Mary’s before they visit.
 
“People use the internet to gather information about a school or a vacation spot," says Sr. Stephanie MacDonald, O.S.B., vocation director of the monastery. "So we thought to offer a virtual tour of our monastery as a helpful guide and for those discerning a vocation. It would provide an excellent word of welcome from St. Mary Monastery.” 
 
 
 

Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

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Four women named by Pope to serve as consultors to bishops

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Tuesday 28, May 2019 Categories: Pope Francis,Church History,Catholic culture
Women name consultors to Synod of Bishops

The Pope has named four women, three religious sisters and one laywomen, to serve as consultors to the secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, an important Vatican department. According to Sister Nathalie Becquardt, xav., one of the women named, the move reflects Pope Francis' desire to be more inclusive and provide greater leadership roles for women in the church. The other women named are Sister Alessandra Smerilli, F.M.A,. Sister Maria Luisa Berzosa, F.I. and Professor Cecilia Costa.

https://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/11724/pope-appoints-four-women-to-top-synod-jobs-

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pope-women/pope-names-women-to-key-vatican-department-for-first-time-idUSKCN1SU1TJ


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

Prepare for consecrated life

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Wednesday 20, March 2019 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Consecrated Life
Praying at mass
Morning Mass

Thinking of consecrated life? Prepare for vowed life by incorporating simple practices into your daily life today. Read more here.


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

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VISION's Four Steps to Vocation Discernment display big hit in Panama

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Sunday 17, February 2019 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Prayer and Spirituality,Catholic culture
 
2019 World Youth Day in Panama VISION Vocation Networ
VISION Vocation Network booth at 2019 World Youth Day, Panama
 

Our banner display at World Youth Day Panama on the Four Steps to Vocation Discernment was a big hit. An article (in English and Spanish) and pdf of "Four steps to vocation discernment" now available. Click here for more.

The VISION crew met thousands of World Youth Day pilgrims at the Vocation Fair in Panama City's Omar Park. We passed out prayer cards and VISION bookmarks and signed up pilgrims to receive daily "Take Five" meditations and stay connected with VISION. One lucky pilgrim won our Fit Bit door prize.

We look forward to the 2022 World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal. Hope to see you there!


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

VISION at World Youth Day! Join us at the Vocation Fair

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Wednesday 09, January 2019 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Pope Francis,Prayer and Spirituality,Mission & Evangelization,Catholic culture
2019 World Youth Day in Panama VISION Vocation Network
Caption Here

Join VISION Vocation Guide in Panama City, Jan. 22-25, in the Vocation Fair

Parque Omar, Section A, booths 23, 24, 25.

Walk through our "Steps to Discernment" display and enter to win a fitbit! 


Other World World Youth Day events

Fiat International Festival for Youth and Young Adults, hosted by the U.S.A.

Sponsored byKnights of Columbus, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Fellowship of Catholic University Students

Wed., Jan. 23, 2019, 2 p.m. - midnight

Centro de Convenciones Amador (Figali Convention Center)

Recognizing the context of the Church this year (including the crisis, the Synod, the Encuentro, the National Dialogue, etc.), the conversation will center on “What is the role of young people at this moment in the life of the Church?” 

Featuring music, witness talks, prayer, dialogue. Learn more here.  



Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

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I will not work in a segregated dining room, obedience or no obedience . . .

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Thursday 06, December 2018 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Consecrated Life,Church History,Catholic culture

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth featured Sr. Pat Haley, S.C.N. in a recent newsletter. This line caught our attention: "I will not work in a segregated dining room, obedience or no obedience . . ."

Sr. Pat explains, "When we got to Nazareth as postulants we were assigned duties. I was assigned to the white men’s dining room. I thought, ‘There’s no way I’m gonna do that.' Mother Lucille was coming down the hall, and although I knew I wasn’t supposed to, I stopped her. I asked for a meeting with her and her Council ‘because I am assigned a duty I simply will not do.’ The next day Sister Constance said that the meeting would take place that afternoon. I told the Council, ‘It is not right to be segregated in a place like this. I just spent my years in high school and earlier fighting segregation. I know I was coming into a white world, but there is no excuse for this.’ Sister Mary Ransom Burke, bless her heart, said, ‘What would you suggest we do?’ I looked at her and said, ‘It’s just a partition between two dining rooms. If you have a ladder and screwdriver, I’ll take it down….Mother Lucille said, ‘We will have to have a conversation with the workers.’ I said ‘You didn’t have a conversation with them before. It was decided by the Council. I will not work in a segregated dining room, obedience or no obedience.’ Nothing else was said but in a week the partition was down and I took the duty. Many of the workers did not like it but it was down. In the hallway there was a white water fountain and a colored fountain. I said you also need to do something about those two fountains. So they did. Sister Mary Ransom later said ‘Thank you’ to me and so did Mother Lucille.”

Learn more about the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth here.

Sister of Charity of Nazareth Pat Haley

Sister Pat Haley (left) and Betty Collier, newly graduated from Holy Family Mission School, were featured in a local paper for their plans to enter religious communities.


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

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Our gift to you in honor of Giving Tuesday and the season of giving

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Monday 26, November 2018 Categories: Catholic culture

VISION has a gift for your in honor of Giving Tuesday: Our VISION Giving Calendar!

Giving Tuesday VISION Giving Calendar

Click here to download. 

Find great ideas on the VISION Giving Calendar. Make every day of December a day of giving. 

Enjoy and thank you for giving! Feel free to share with others! 

#GivingTuesday

#ActLocally

#VISIONGivingCalendar

Donate to support VISION Vocation Network.


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

You talk. We'll listen. A conversation with young Catholics

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Tuesday 20, November 2018 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Mission & Evangelization,Catholic culture

The National Religious Vocation Conference, VISION's parent organization, hosted a conversation with young Catholics recently about their faith, their challenges, and how older Catholics can be of service to them. One youung person's advice to all Catholics: "Speak less. Pray more. Be faithful."

Find more highlights here:

Full session


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

Olympic-sized theatrics add another dimension to the Sistine Chapel

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Tuesday 13, March 2018 Categories: Church History,Catholic culture
 

“Universal Judgment: Michelangelo and the Secrets of the Sistine Chapel," a new multimedia production celebrating the Sistine Chapel opens March 15, 2018 in Rome, according to Elisabetta Povoledo writing iin the New York Times. Notwithstanding a renowned artistic director, Marco Balich, and the theme song written by Sting, the shows choregrapher Fotis Nikolaou admits that "we can’t do anything bigger than Michelangelo, it’s like committing a sin to suggest that. We’re dialoguing with this masterpiece in the new forms of art, video, dance, theater. It’s like saying thank you to a masterpiece like the Sistine Chapel.”

According to the Times report, "As most sightseers to the real Sistine Chapel know, the visit isn’t always edifying. The hall, though large, is almost always packed, and even though silence is mandatory it can be noisy experience. Ensuring that visitors have a positive experience there 'is constantly on my mind,' said Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums, and a problem that still has to be resolved.

Ms. Jatta saw a rehearsal of the 'Universal Judgment' by artistic director Marco Balich and gave it a thumbs up. "It’s a delicate way to tell a beautiful story of faith, art and history," she says. And it communicates the Sistine Chapel "in a way that many generations can understand."

Asked whether she thought it could replace going to see the real thing, "No, sorry," she said.


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.


Sisters and priests make beautiful music together

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Thursday 01, March 2018 Categories: Consecrated Life,Mission & Evangelization,Clergy,Catholic culture

Daughters of Charity Sister Liz Sjoberg and Sister Brenda Fritz love making music together. They've enjoyed themselves so much that they decided to invite other musicians to join in on the fun. Thus, after one week-end long session and lots of laughs, "Music Inspires: Beautiful Name" was born.

 

Musicans at Flatlander Studios (clockwise): Sr. Brenda Fritz, D.C.; Sr. Liz Sjoberg, D.C.; Sr. Stephanie Spandl, S.S.N.D.; Sr. Danielle Jacob, C.S.F.N.; Friar Thomas Fetz, O.F.M.Conv.; Bill Creamers, Diocesan Seminarian; Sr. Krystal Funk, A.S.C. (not shown).


The documentary video attests to the joy and inspiration that went into this faith-filled work of art.

Sister Liz said in an interview that she "would love for other groups of religious sisters, brothers, and priests and young people to carry on the spirit of artistic collaboration." Consider this your invitation to let the music inspire you to act. 


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

Discernment Matters: The choices of a lifetime - A LITTLE KNOWLEDGE

Posted by: Alice L. Camille 🕔 Sunday 31, December 2017 Categories: Vocation and Discernment
Teacher & student
It’s time to restore respect for the unifying power of learning

SOMETHING RATHER SAD happened to 100 percent of U.S. citizens in the 2016 election. No one felt heard or taken seriously. Half the nation wanted more attention paid to the facts. The other half wanted more attention paid to them. 

Must we choose between ideas and people? Is it impossible to respect both? Social tensions stem from the reality that many people no longer trust the ideas. Facts have become “facts” that mutate dramatically depending on our sources. Experts are now “the elite”—a despised bunch if ever there was one. 

Americans were once keen on developing expertise. This country created the broadest public school system ever attempted. The Old World scourge was privilege defined by dynasty. The American experiment was to invent a nation leveled by literacy. Equal educational access would produce a citizenry of “elites,” fueling progress and prosperity. John Carroll, the first U.S. bishop, recognized an opportunity and rushed ahead to establish the parochial school system. Religious communities were founded to provide the empowering ministry of education. 

Catholic schools were frequently the only schools on the frontier. In the century that spawned the virulently anti-Catholic institutions, Protestants and others still didn’t hesitate to send their children to the sisters for an education. Book learning meant an equal share in the national conversation. It’s time to restore respect for the unifying power of learning. Education must again become the bridge to opportunity, not a source of division and suspicion.


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

Discernment Matters: The choices of a lifetime - LARGE AND IN CHARGE

Posted by: Alice L. Camille 🕔 Tuesday 26, December 2017 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Doctrines & Beliefs
Christ the King
The sovereignty of God is by definition the biggest superpower there is.

GOD IS THE ALMIGHTY. Jesus is Lord. Christ is King. We use these phrases liberally in our tradition, but what are we really saying? The message is one of sovereignty—a creaky multisyllabic word that sounds at once old-fashioned and formidable. Sovereignty is the original superpower. No one is above the sovereign. No authority can limit and no voice overrule such a person. Sovereignty gets its way. 

Grandiose statements are generally the hallmark of arrogant individuals. Nations can be arrogant, too. Some claim that God, by one name or another, is on their side, blessing all their deeds and rooting for their success. To be honest, we may hear some of our neighbors say “God Bless America” in a tone that’s aggressive toward and dismissive of the fate of other nations. This possessive attitude about God’s favor is as old as the Bible. “God Bless Israelites,” some ancient stories positively recommend, “and divine wrath befall the rest of you!” 

The sovereignty of God, however, is by definition the biggest superpower there is. It can never be a gun in your arsenal or mine, pointed at our opponents. God can’t be controlled. Those who imagine they have the wrath of God on a chain, to be unleashed on their enemies at the appointed time, are kidding themselves. God is always large and in charge. No earthly authority, no army, no superpower nation merits our ultimate allegiance.


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

Discernment Matters: The choices of a lifetime - BE NOT AFRAID

Posted by: Alice L. Camille 🕔 Tuesday 12, December 2017 Categories: Vocation and Discernment
Be not afraid
Is there any reason for courage? For people of faith, certainly!

THERE IT IS AGAIN. That nagging in your brain, gnawing in your gut, heightening your emotions and making you want to fight—or run. We’re biologically bred to fear, and it’s not something we can pretend away. But we don’t have to be enslaved to it, to come out swinging or fleeing whenever fear rings the bell. 

This generation is awash in fear, and with good reason. Every age has its violence, but this age has turned its genius toward inventing more ways to express it. We mount wars over dwindling resources. Terrorism brings the front of any far-off conflict to local churches, movie theaters, and street marathons. The world economy teeters on a mismanaged financial industry and poorly considered backroom deals. The environment, our vital cocoon, is under assault in every direction. 

And of course, we haven’t resolved the more pedestrian forms of violence: racism, sexism, child abuse, domestic abuse, and prejudice based on orientation, class, ability. The volume has ramped up on hate speech all around us. It’s now civil to be uncivil. 

All of which is reason to fear. Is there any reason for courage? For people of faith, certainly! The admonition not to be afraid is repeated often in Scripture—because people tended to freak out as regularly in those days as now. Fear is useless, Jesus tells us. What is needed is faith; that is, confidence in God’s faithfulness. When God is for us, as Paul says, who can be against?


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.


#GivingTuesday: A day to give back by paying forward

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Sunday 19, November 2017 Categories: Vocation and Discernment,Consecrated Life,Mission & Evangelization
 
 

#GivingTuesday is a global effort to help others through charity and service. Over the years, you have assured us of the benefits you received from the resources provided by VISION Vocation Network and its annual VISION Guide and Vocation Match service. 

During this season of gratitude, we invite you to give back by paying forward with a contribution that helps us continue our ministry's reach. 

For the past 30 years, VISION has helped more than 5 million people find their place in the church, and we've connected thousands of men and women to vocation directors and religious communities around the world. 


The church needs our help, and we need yours to continue our important mission. 

Your donation will allow us to assist the next wave of spiritual pilgrims in their discernment journey and ensure a hopeful future for religious life. 

Please remember VISION Vocation Guide on Giving Tuesday and any other day of the year! We rely on the generosity of donors like you to support our work in providing vocation-related education, awareness, resources, and services. 

Please partner with us through prayer, engagement, and financial support in encouraging men and women to invite God into their decision-making and consider a vocation to religious life.

When you give back by paying forward in support of VISION, you become part of this great calling and mission to help others find their way to lives filled with joy and love. What a perfect gift!

 
Donate now
 Vision Vocation Guide and VocationNetwork.org are resources of the Natiional Religious Vocation Conference, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
 
 

 


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

Discernment Matters: The choices of a lifetime - CONVERSATION STARTER

Posted by: Alice L. Camille 🕔 Monday 06, November 2017 Categories: Vocation and Discernment

HOW CAN WE SAY that conversation is a lost art when people hold forth everywhere and no one appears at a loss for words? Well, chitchat isn’t conversation. Nor is blogging, with its counter-jabs and grandstanding rebuttals. Tweeting isn’t dialogue. All the misinterpreted e-mails and texts should be enough to convince us that, while words fly in all directions, they’re not exactly "smart" bombs.

Conversation is rooted in two Latin words meaning “to associate with” and “to turn around.” We gather in friendly dialogue to turn words around: first one speaking, then another, until the exchange of words turns US around. We should all expect to arrive at a new place in the end. That place will most definitely not be on opposite sides of a wall.

When Socrates taught his students to dialogue, he insisted one speak and the other listen. The listener could reply only after he (always he) repeated the first person’s position. The first speaker had to agree this was a faithful rendering of his ideas before the second person could advance the discussion. In this way, both listener and speaker remained attentive, respectful, and engaged.

Conversation, understood this way, is a truly moral activity. Most talkers simply want to have their say, to talk past whatever was just offered. We don’t engage others in search of truth; we blast one and all with “our” truth. What if we regarded each person, especially those with different perspectives, as a potential source of wisdom? What might we learn?


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

Documentaries on "martyrs of charity" to be released on 25th anniversary of their deaths

Posted by: Jennifer Tomshack 🕔 Monday 28, August 2017 Categories: Consecrated Life,Mission & Evangelization
Martyrs of Charity
In October 1992, five American missionary sisters were killed by soldiers in the army of Liberian warlord Charles Taylor during a civil war that left hundreds of thousands dead.

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ, a vowed religious community of Catholic women, are preparing for the 25th memorial anniversary of the deaths of five of their American missionary sisters in Liberia. In October 1992, these "martyrs of charity" were killed by soldiers in the army of Liberian warlord Charles Taylor during a civil war that left hundreds of thousands dead. This coming October, the sisters are releasing two mini-documentaries about the martyrs.

Sisters Barbara Ann Muttra and Mary Joel Kolmer were killed as they drove the convent’s security guard home to a neighboring suburb. Three days later, soldiers shot and killed Sisters Kathleen McGuire, Agnes Mueller, and Shirley Kolmer in front of their convent.

“We remember them as fellow sisters radically committed to their ministry. Their lives and martyrdom have left an indelible mark on us,” the community said in a statement. One current Adorer, Sister Elizabeth Kolmer, had a biological sister and a cousin who were among the five. Another current Adorer, Sister Mary Ann Mueller, had a biological sister in the group.

The Adorers of the Blood of Christ were founded in 1834 as a teaching order by Saint Maria De Mattias in Italy. The Adorers strive to be Christ’s reconciling presence in the world by responding to the needs of individuals and society. Diverse in their ministries and singular in their mission to be a compassionate presence wherever they are, Adorers serve as educators, justice advocates, health care workers, pastoral ministers, spiritual directors, and more. Worldwide they are 2,000 women strong, including more than 200 in the United States.

Read bios of the martyrs of charity.

Watch the final letters of the martyrs read by their sisters.

Watch a Frontline news segment on the martyrs: “Who killed the nuns?”


Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

TV series on Catholic sisters worldwide

Posted by: Patrice Tuohy 🕔 Tuesday 25, July 2017 Categories: Consecrated Life,Mission & Evangelization
Salt and Light TV series on Catholic Sisters

Sisterhood, a special, seven-part series produced by Canadian Salt + Light TV in collaboration with Loyola University New Orleans, gives viewers an exclusive look into the daily lives of sisters from around the world. As Salt and Light decribes the focus of the series: "Day in and day out, in every country, religious sisters provide an enormous service to the Church, giving life to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Without their prayer, their wisdom or their charity, the Church could scarcely begin to achieve its mission. Yet, the number of sisters in North America and in other countries is dwindling, and at a time when the world desperately needs their charisms."

The series, which already aired in Canada, is available for streaming  at  Salt + Light.




Reprinted with permission from PrepareTheWord.com. ©TrueQuest Communications.

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