First Religious Sister appointed as director of the National Office for Vocations 


Members of the Conference of Religious, meeting on the first day of their Annual General Meeting in Derbyshire, have expressed congratulations to Sr Elaine Penrice FSP, who has been appointed as the new Vocations Director for the Catholic Church in England and Wales. 

Sr Elaine has worked as Religious Life Promoter with the National Office for Vocation for three years and is also Productions Coordinator at Pauline Books & Media, as well as serving on the leadership team of her congregation, the Daughters of St Paul.  

Sr Elaine commented on her appointment : “I am delighted that the Bishops’ Conference has invited me to take up this role. It is of course, both exciting and challenging to be the first woman to take up the position and I thank the Bishops Conference for their support and confidence in me. In my time at the National Office for Vocation, I have very much enjoyed being able to support both enquirers and vocations directors, and I look forward to developing the work of the office to meet the needs of the Church in England & Wales. I would also like to thank the Conference of Religious in England & Wales, for their support in these past three years, and I know they will continue to be my close collaborators.” 

Bishop Terence Drainey, Chair of the Management Board of the National Office for Vocation, said he was delighted to be able to announce the appointment.  

“I have worked with Sr Elaine in her role as Religious Life Promoter and as the acting Director of the National Office for Vocations over the last few years and I am sure she will continue her innovative work into the future.”  

Daughters of St Paul at the CoR AGM: l to r: Sr Angela Grant, Sr Elaine Penrice, Sr Bridget Ellis

Daughters of St Paul at the CoR AGM: l to r: Sr Angela Grant, Sr Elaine Penrice, Sr Bridget Ellis

Sr Elaine was born in Motherwell, Scotland in 1972 and after completing her studies in Art & Design at the University of Dundee she entered the Daughters of St Paul, an international congregation of consecrated religious founded to evangelise with the modern means of communication. Sr Elaine spent much of her formation years in Rome, and then in St Louis, USA, where she completed her theological studies at St Louis University.  

Sr Elaine added: “To embrace one’s vocation, is the road to profound peace. It colours everything in our life. Whether we are called to religious life, holy orders, marriage, or single discipleship, the Church needs us all to witness to “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ” (Col. 1:27).