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?
Yes, when applicable, NET Ministries will provide your son/daughter with medical insurance. However, if a missionary is 26 years of age or younger, and they stay on their parents’ insurance, NET will offer them a one-time $100.00 incentive if they remain insured under their parents’ plan. We invite you to consider this possibility.
Please contact our Director of Administration, Deacon Dan Brewer (firstname.lastname@example.org, 651.450.6833 x104) if you have any further questions regarding insurance.
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 email@example.com 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?
Yes. Assuming your son/daughter signs on as a NET missionary, beginning in September, your son/daughter will receive a monthly stipend of $125.00, which will be directly deposited into their bank account.
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.
Important Dates 2020-21
August 17 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 15 Commissioning Mass at the NET Center at 7:00 PM
September 19 Discipleship Teams depart for diocese
September 26 Retreat Teams depart for first 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 2 By 5 pm All team members arrive for January Training
January 9 Teams depart for diocese
May 8 Teams return to St. Paul for Wrap-up Week
May 14 Families arrive in St. Paul / join up with team members at 4 PM
May 15 NET Closing Celebration and Luncheon from 9 am to 4 pm
All parents & families are especially welcome to attend our Commissioning Mass on September 15 and our Closing Celebration & Banquet on May 15. Both events are held here at the NET Center in West St. Paul, MN.
Staff Contact Information:
Meet our Recruiting Team! Please feel free to contact them if you have any questions, we are here to walk with you and your child through the discernment process!