Frequently Asked Questions
What is the time commitment my son/daughter will be making?
Our missionaries commit to nine months of service, from August 2020-May 2021. The first five weeks of their commitment begins with our fall training program on August 17. Following this training, they and their team would do mission work from September until December, where they will then get two weeks off for Christmas. Missionaries return in January for a week of training, and then continue mission work until May, where their time with us concludes with a week-long wrap up and our Closing Celebration.
What happens during training?
The NET year begins with an intensive five-week training program conducted by the NET staff, a dedicated and talented group of young professionals. They are assisted by priests from several dioceses and religious orders as well as several NET alumni priests and religious. Both Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda and Bishop Andrew Cozzens will be joining us to preside at special liturgies.
The first two weeks of training are conducted at Lake Wapogasset Lutheran Bible Camp, in Amery, Wisconsin and the last three weeks are held at the NET Center, our West St. Paul headquarters.
As mentioned, the first two weeks of training are conducted at a camp in Amery, Wisconsin. We have found it invaluable to get team members away from the noise of the city so they can concentrate on deepening their personal faith and work on developing strong relationships with the men and women with whom they will be serving. Toward that end, we will be asking all the team members to leave their cell phones at the NET Center while we are away at camp. Consequently, they will not be able to call or email you during their time at camp. (Of course, if there should be an important reason for them to contact you, we will make sure they receive access to a phone.)
Family Emergencies during training:
In the event that you must reach your son/daughter while at camp, please contact David Rinaldi, NET’s Program Director: 651.460.9294 or David@netusa.org. David leads the training for the NET team members and will check for messages several times a day.
Once we are back at the NET Center, you may contact your child’s Team Supervisor. You’ll be receiving his or her contact information after teams have been announced at camp.
Will my son/daughter have medical insurance when serving with NET?
NET Ministries remains committed to providing quality medical insurance for its team members who are unable to secure medical insurance through their parents. To help keep our costs low, NET has chosen a “Partially Self-funded” medical plan in which the ministry absorbs the first $40,000 of covered medical bills for each team member while purchasing insurance for amounts in excess of that. While this system has worked well, it is still expensive, and thus, it is extremely helpful if team members are able to remain on their parents’ plan.
We invite you to consider this possibility. Recent federal legislation has mandated that children be allowed to remain on their parents’ medical plan until age 26. Please contact our Director of Administration, Deacon Dan Brewer (email@example.com, 651.450.6833 x104) and let him know if your son/daughter will need to use NET’s insurance or if they can remain on your medical plan. Our goal is to not have you incur additional costs by keeping your son/daughter on your plan. If keeping your son/daughter on your plan results in additional costs to you, please talk with Deacon Dan regarding how NET can assist with those additional costs. If your son/daughter is able to stay on your medical plan, please have him/her bring a copy of your medical card to training.
NET offers a one-time $100.00 incentive to any missionary who is able to remain insured under a different plan.
What if my child has specific health needs?
If your son/daughter is taking any regular medications, please have them talk to their physician about getting enough medication to last until Christmas. Some of the teams will be serving in rural areas where it can be challenging to get prescriptions filled quickly.
If there are general concerns about your son/daughter’s specific health needs (asthma, allergies, etc.), he or she should talk with their physician to get advice regarding how to manage their health needs prior to coming to NET. Many of the team members will find themselves in a variety of geographic settings and a little pre-planning can make a big difference.
Why do the team members have to raise money and how can they be successful?
To help cover the costs of training, meals, transportation, a monthly stipend, and other expenses, your son/daughter has been asked to raise a minimum of $6,000 in personal support. It costs NET approximately $20,000 to send out a missionary, and funding comes primarily from three sources: 25% from team member sponsors; 40% from retreat program fees; and 35% raised in the Development Department of NET. The Partnership Program at NET Ministries is coordinated by Paul Ives and he will be providing your son/daughter with initial training (2 webinars) and ongoing support and coaching to help them reach their goal. Our own experience with support raising has shown that any team member who prays, plans, and executes the strategies we teach them will easily reach or exceed their goal.
Click here for a personal letter from Paul Ives to parents of NET support raisers. If you have any questions about support raising for serving with NET Ministries, please contact Paul Ives at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651.450.6833 ×125 and he would be happy to speak with any parents about the process.
Will my son/daughter receive a stipend? How do I get our direct deposit information to you?
Beginning in September, your son/daughter will receive a monthly stipend of $125.00 into their bank account. Please ensure that either you or your son/daughter send us the account information as soon as possible. You can either send NET a voided check (NOT a deposit slip, as this does not have the complete information that is needed), or call us with the information. Please indicate if you are submitting information about a savings account instead of a checking account. Know that this information will be kept confidential and secure, and then destroyed at the end of their NET service.
You can send this voided check to:
Deacon Dan Brewer
110 Crusader Avenue W.
West St. Paul, MN 55118-4427
Or, contact him at 651.450.6833 x104; DanB@netusa.org.
What about my son/daughter’s safety?
Your child’s safety is a top priority for us! Let’s take a look at a few important aspects of NET Life:
Host Homes: NET team members stay in host homes provided by the parish or school where they are serving. Retreat teams will usually stay in each home for one or two nights while the home team and Discipleship Teams stay in the same host homes for two to three weeks. All of our host homes are vetted by the leadership of local parish or school where the team is staying. Team members always stay at a host home with at least one other team member – they’ll never stay alone. If a team member ever senses he or she is in an unsafe situation, they are instructed to leave the house, contact NET staff, and we will get them to a new home immediately.
Driving Safety: NET teams have driven over 5 million miles in the past 36 years and while we’ve had an occasional fender bender, we’ve had less than a handful of serious accidents. Here’s the reason: only selected team members are chosen to be drivers based on a DMV background check, age, and experience. All of our team members are trained by professional instructors and our vehicles are maintained using the same standards used by professional bus companies. While the mission of evangelization is important, safety comes first. Thus, our teams are instructed not to travel during dangerous weather. If, by chance, a team gets caught in a storm, they are instructed to get off the road and contact our staff. We have a network of thousands of supporters across the country who are ready to offer shelter and additional help. Also, each team has NET-provided credit cards for emergencies.
How and when can I talk with my son/daughter?
Team members are allowed to bring a personal cell phone, which they can use for a limited amount of time per day when they are not conducting ministry. Once the missionaries are placed on teams, parents will also receive an email from our office with emergency contact information particular to that team.
Please see the section on Fall Training for further information on phone/media use.
What if my son/daughter has already been accepted to college, has been offered a college scholarship, or has student loans or car loans?
While we cannot guarantee their success, we do offer official loan and scholarship deferment letters for your son or daughter that have been successful in many cases. In addition, we provide a letter for acceptance forbearance in the case that your child has been accepted to a college or university.
What if there’s an emergency?
Though emergencies are not likely during your child’s year of service, in such a case, on top of their personal cell phones, each team has access to a team cell phone that they can use to contact the appropriate authorities if necessary. The teams also have a number to a direct cell phone line that, at all times, is in the possession of an on-call staff member.
Your child’s safety is a top priority for us. If you have any questions about our emergency precautions, please contact David Rinaldi, NET’s Program Director: 651.460.9294 or David@netusa.org.
Where do I send mail for my son/daughter?
During our initial five-week training, please send all letters and packages to our National Office and we will deliver them to your son or daughter:
110 Crusader Avenue W
West St Paul, MN 55118
Once the teams complete training and “hit the road,” the process is different depending on what type of team your son or daughter is on.
For Discipleship Teams, you will receive an email with the address where you can send all mail and packages.
For the “Home Team,” you can continue to send all mail and packages to the National Office listed above.
For Retreat Teams: You can send all letters to the NET office at the address listed above. Our receptionist bundles up all letters for each team and sends them via UPS to the teams every Friday. So, the teams receive mail once a week.
Please note: we cannot forward packages. If you’d like to send your son or daughter a package, here’s the procedure:
- Our office will send you a schedule on a regular basis of where your son or daughter will be every day of the year.
- Call the contact person listed on the schedule for where your son or daughter will be one week from when you’ll send the package. She or he will give you the best address where you can send the package.
Example: Suppose you want to mail your child a package on October 1. Look on the schedule and check where your child will be on October 8. Call the contact person listed, tell them you’d like to send a package to your child who will be doing a NET retreat at their parish on the 8th and ask what is the best address to use to send the package.
Will my son/daughter need winter clothes?
After team members are placed into their teams, they will be assigned a route for the fall. There is no way to know before team members arrive in August if they will be on a northern route and will need appropriate winter clothing.
If your son or daughter has winter clothing, they are encouraged to bring it to training and store it in their locker at the NET Center. If they don’t have the appropriate attire, we recommend waiting until they receive their routes during training rather than purchasing something they may not need. There will be time for you or your son/daughter to attain the appropriate winter clothing before they “hit the road”.
Please keep in mind that every NET team member will spend a week of January in Minnesota for January training.
Important Dates 2020 – 2021
August 17 Musicians Arrival Day
August 20 Between 7 am-5 pm; by 3 pm if by car | Team members arrive & training begins
August 23 Team members & staff depart for Camp Wapo
September 5 Teams return to the NET Center in West St. Paul to continue training
September 17 Commissioning Mass at the NET Center at 7:00 PM
September 18 Retreat Teams depart for first diocese
September 19 Discipleship Teams depart for diocese
December 15 Teams arrive at NET Center for December Retreat
December 18 After 8 am NO EXCEPTIONS Team members depart for Christmas break
January 9 By 5 pm All Team members arrive for January Training
January 15 Teams depart for diocese
May 8 Teams return to St. Paul for Wrap-up Week
May 14 Missionaries are dismissed at 4PM (No flights before 6pm). Housing will be available on May 14 and transportation provided to the airport on May 15.
May 15 NET Closing Celebration and Luncheon from 9 am to 4 pm
All parents & families are especially welcome to attend our Closing Celebration & Banquet on May 15, held here at the NET Center in West St. Paul, MN.
NET Training Overview
Loving God First
Communal & Personal Prayer
Union with God in Prayer
Decision to Love
Obstacles to the Christian Life
Finding Our Identity in Christ
Handling Our Emotions
Keynoting and Faith Sharing
Ice-breakers and Mingling
Small Group Dynamics
Training Youth Leaders
Music and Drama
Praying with Young People
Large Group Games
Responding to Welfare Concerns
Being Brothers and Sisters
Correction and Encouragement
Having a Servant’s Heart
Dealing with Differences
Showing Honor and Respect
Attitude of Gratitude
Dealing with Attractions
Team Leader Training
Nurturing Catholic Life
Understanding the Sacraments
Prayers of the Church
Appreciating the Saints
Eucharistic Adoration/Holy Hour
Our Blessed Mother
Content of Evangelization
Call to Evangelize
Preparing Your Witness
First Encounter Evangelization
Basic Gospel Message
Witness of Life
Catholic Answers to Key Questions
Average Training Day Schedule
6:30AM Wake Up
7:30AM Personal Prayer Time
10:30AM: Presentation #1 This presentation spells out for the team members the Christian ideal. It includes such talks as Loving God First, Union with God in Prayer, Morality, Understanding the Eucharist.
11:30AM 15 min Break
11:45AM Presentation #2 This presentation focuses on the practical application of the ideal. Included are talks like Practical Prayer Advice, Relating as Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and Reconciling Relationships.
12:30PM Lunch and Afternoon Break. Options include recreational activities, reflection time, one on one care by staff, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
2:30PM Presentation #3 This time includes the skill development of the individual and the team. This would be the time to work on preparing presentations, learn how to lead a small group, drama training, etc.
4:45PM Small Group Discussion
7:30PM Evening Activities These include everything from the practical (laundry nights), to social events (talent shows), to prayer times and Holy Hours.
9:45PM Socializing and Wind Down
Staff Contact Information:
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to the Program Director at NET, David Rinaldi. You can reach him at:
P: 651-450-6833 ext. 121