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  • 06/28/2022 10:00 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    In October 2021 Pope Francis invited the People of God to join in a synodal journey. He describes synodality as “the way of being the Church today according to the will of God, in a dynamic of discerning and listening together to the voice of the Holy Spirit.” Pope Francis reminds us that we “belong to a people walking, journeying through history together … we are not alone; we do not walk alone.”* It is in this spirit of journey and togetherness, animated by newness and hope, that the NACAR Board invites you into a different but remarkable moment in the life of the Associate Movement.

    Since last autumn, even as we addressed the work required to bring NACAR to fulfillment, we have explored ways and means to keep the flame of our mission burning. To this end, the Board has been in conversation with like-minded organizations receptive to the furthering of the Associate Movement. Today, we are delighted to announce some of the decisions we have made and identify the legacy partners with whom we will journey for the sake of our mission, the church, and the world.

    Communicators for Women Religious logoCommunicators For Women Religious (CWR) is an international network of almost 300 professional communicators in the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, and Ireland and represent more than 160 religious congregations throughout the world. The organization identifies 17 geographic regions and provides opportunities for professional networking and education, encouraging members who are in specific areas to meet regularly, share information, and collaborate on projects when appropriate.

    WHY CWR? Effective and appropriate communication has always been part of NACAR’s mission and mandate, and we have for some years now, on your behalf, supported the annual CWR conference. We recognize CWR’s success in encouraging and developing the knowledge, skills, and connections that foster good communication, including the particular challenges posed by the rise of social media. CWR has expressed a commitment to support associates and to develop a relationship with associate leaders around your particular communications needs. We invite you to visit their website for more information about their current work: https://c4wr.org

    The Leadership Collaborative logoThe Leadership Collaborative (LC) was birthed in 2012 with a commitment to developing the capacity for transformational leadership among women religious and their associates now and into the future. More than 700 leaders (of all kinds) have been part of the Leadership Collaborative. The Leadership Collaborative offers formal courses, virtual workshops, and retreats in Spanish and English and is international in scope. LC desires to continue to create programs that capture our hearts and minds, create space for the conversations needed, and explore what is emerging in religious life (in its broadest sense) today. They are looking forward to companioning Religious and Charism Carriers (Associates, Affiliates, etc.) as we venture into the unknown and unknowable future.

    WHY LC? NACAR’s mission and mandate have always been about connection and collaboration, and education and ongoing formation, with a focus on leadership development and support. The Leadership Collaborative is committed to supporting and furthering the spiritual growth and personal development of charism carriers through learning and networking opportunities. NACAR has previously partnered with LC to provide such an opportunity, and today, we are sharing their invitation for you to participate in an upcoming free session this summer. You may download the invitation flyer here. Please visit their website for more information about their work and programs: https://thelc.global/about-us/

    Santa Clara University LogoSanta Clara University (SCU): In addition, upon final dissolution, the NACAR Board will be depositing our historical documents, manuals, and other resources in the archives at Santa Clara University, a private Jesuit university in Santa Clara, California. This will ensure that the story, experiences, and present resources of the North American Conference of Associates and Religious will be available to associates, their leaders, and their congregations, as well as to interested research scholars. We will provide details about accessing the archived material at a later date.

    What is Next? Over the next several months the Board will finalize the details of each of the relationships noted above. These are the details necessary to file our final dissolution documents with the State of Illinois. Between now and then, we would like to share your email contact information with our legacy partners. This will provide CWR and the Leadership Collaboration the opportunity to communicate with you directly and invite you to join their mailing lists. You will not be automatically added to their mailing list but will be given the opportunity to do so if you choose.

    To be sure that you receive these invitations, we encourage you to update and/or confirm your contact information on nacar.org now or ask your community's Primary Contact to do so. If you are unsure who your primary contact is or how to check your information on the NACAR website, please contact Carla Rush or Fred Goddard. Mutuality is important in any healthy relationship, and we desire to facilitate these connections.

    As we continue to finalize details, we will communicate with you again to share more information on accessing archives, the NACAR website, and the ongoing work with our legacy partners. We remind you again that you may want to visit the CWR and LC websites and inform yourself about the wonderful services and opportunities they provide. For other inquiries or questions about the process, please contact Board President Jeanne Connolly or 630-909-6638.

    Today we write to you confident in the Spirit alive within the associate movement and confident that our different gifts serve the same God. As we move together into a new and different future, one that holds hope and possibility, we open ourselves to the God of surprises and find strength together in an unfolding that is rooted in faith.

    We are deeply grateful for your continued prayers and support.

  • 09/27/2021 10:45 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    As promised, we are keeping you informed on the work of the board of directors as we move toward dissolution of the corporate structure of NACAR. Although NACAR’s active programming stopped on June 30, 2021, ways of connecting and supporting one another continue.

    VLCFF - Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation

    Discounts remain available to NACAR members through November 2021. There is still time to register for the VLCFF Cycle #7. For more information visit https://vlcff.udayton.edu/.

    Cycle 7: October 10 - November 13

    (Registration closes October 6)

    If you would like to continue to receive information on VLCFF offerings beyond November 2021, we encourage you to register directly with VLCFF at https://vlcff.udayton.edu/.

    Website

    • Member Only Resources – On June 30, 2021, access to the Member Only resources opened to ALL associates and religious of member communities. Primary Contacts may add as many people as they choose. This is a wonderful opportunity to share NACAR resources with your community. Although the Member Only section is open to all associates of current community members, the individual names must be added to receive access. A tutorial is available on the NACAR website to assist you in adding additional members.

    • Tutorials – Several new tutorials have been added to the website to help you navigate and maximize the website. For Primary Contacts, this includes adding, changing, and removing members from your Community Listing. The tutorials for the Primary Contacts are available at https://nacar.org/Guide-for-Primary-Contacts.

    • Members Forum – The NACAR website is active and will remain active at least through June 2022. A new feature has been added to encourage ongoing collaboration, information sharing, and support. We urge you to share with one another through the new Members Forum. The NACAR Member Forum is an online space for conversations and information sharing to occur regardless of geographic boundaries. You must be logged in as a member. Once logged in, click the “member pages” button and scroll down the page to find the Member Forum. On the Member Forum page, you will have the option of subscribing to receive updates on topics/conversations that have been started or starting a new one.

    • Consultant/Speaker Directory – The NACAR Consultant/Speaker Directory is also still active. If you offer retreat or workshop facilitation and/or other consulting services to Associate communities, please add your information to the NACAR Speaker/Consultant Directory. This is another way that we can continue to support one another and the Associate movement in our world today.

    • Regional Groups – Regional Associate Groups, we encourage you to share your regional activities and events. Send information to info@nacar.org and NACAR will post your event or update on the website. Please assist us by keeping your regional group information updated.

    Last Call - Leading With The Spirit Leadership Manual

    A limited number of copies of some of the chapters of the Leading with The Spirit Leadership Manual are available for purchase. The website https://nacar.org/Leadership-Manual is updated to reflect what is currently available. The copies are available on a first come-first served basis.

    We also have a working copy of a Spanish version of the leadership manual. If your congregation is interested in working with it, please contact Jeanne Connolly at jconnolly@wfsisters.org.

    Collaborative Event

    We are excited to announce a virtual event, Emerging In Chaos, sponsored by NACAR and the Leadership Collaborative. This special event will take place January 20-23, 2022, on Zoom.

    Emerging In Chaos invites participants to explore the interconnections among one’s deepening interior journey through contemplation, our evolutionary journey, and the development of integral consciousness needed at this time. The four-day workshop is structured to provide the time necessary to learn the conceptual framework and integrate the practices and skills which can contribute to the interpersonal and cultural transformation that is emerging at this time.

    Registration will be open mid-October through the NACAR website. More information coming soon.

    Archive Partner Selected

    At the September 14, 2021, meeting the NACAR Board of Directors agreed to enter into a partnership with Santa Clara University, San Jose, California, as the designated recipient of NACAR archives. Details of the agreement are still in process.

    Thank you for your continued support and belief in the associate movement.


  • 06/01/2021 8:23 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Alle!uia

    As I write this final reflection, my heart is full of sadness, confusion, fear, and perhaps a tad bit of anger that it “didn’t have to be this way.” My heart is also full of joy, excitement, curiosity, love, and profound gratitude. My sense is that many of you may be feeling a heart full of mixed emotions.

    In their book, Uncommon Gratitude: Alleluia for All That Is, Joan Chittister, OSB, and Archbishop Rowan Williams invite us to sing alleluia to the changes that free us from the predictable. They write, “Alleluia means simply ‘All hail to the One who is.’ It is the arch-hymn of praise, the ultimate expression of thanksgiving, the pinnacle of triumph, the acme of human joy. It says that God is Good—and we know it.” (p.xi) This reflection is an alleluia to what was, is, and what will be.

    This alleluia expresses deep gratitude and praise for

    • NACAR’s Community/Congregational members who have supported the organization faithfully since its inception. Your support and belief in the associate-religious movement have made the work of NACAR possible.
    • our collaborative organizations and regional associate groups supporting the associate way of life.
    • all current and former board and committee members who planned, guided, and nurtured NACAR’s member services and communication.
    • our contractors Lisa Olson, Fred Goddard, and Mary Jo Mersmann who provided superb professional services for small stipends, and to Cathi Duffy for volunteering her time and talent.
    • each of you reading this message. YOU are the associate movement!

    In June, the NACAR Board of Directors will focus on wrapping up the current fiscal year activities and preparing for the year of dissolution. We ask for your patience as we work through these details. Remember that the website and its vast array of resources remain available. Look forward to the final issue of The Associate. It will be a keepsake issue celebrating NACAR’s 25 years of service.

    Above all, remember that we are all connected, and “together we can continue to share our charisms for the sake of all creation.” Alleluia!

    VLCFF Logo Cross and Person Graphics on a globe

    VLCFF is not going away!

    NACAR's collaboration with The Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation is paid through December 2021. You can continue to register for online courses at a discounted rate through that time. After December, courses will still be available but not at a discounted rate unless your diocese is a collaborative member.

    Interrupted Presence book coverInterrupted Presence features the writing of young adults from a variety of backgrounds—many, but not all, practicing Catholics—who discovered the presence of grace in the process of having their daily lives interrupted by something to which they had to respond. This collection was conceived, compiled, and edited by Mark Evans Piper, an Associate of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and former NACAR Board Member.


    Photos from the online retreat, Charism Carriers, are available here.

  • 05/01/2021 10:00 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Icon style of St. Joseph with the child JesusMay 1st is the Feast of St. Joseph the Worker.

    In his letter, With A Father’s Heart, Pope Francis draws a parallel between Joseph and the ordinary, usually overlooked workers: shopkeepers, cleaning crews, nurses, transit and delivery drivers, who have played such an important role in our survival this past year. The Pope writes:

    Each of us can discover in Joseph—the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet, and hidden presence—an intercessor, a support, and a guide in times of trouble. Saint Joseph reminds us that those who appear hidden or in the shadows can play an incomparable role in the history of salvation. A word of recognition and of gratitude is due to them all (PATRIS CORDE).

    In this year dedicated to St Joseph, when workers everywhere have struggled because of the pandemic, we have an even greater need of Joseph’s intercession.

    So today let us pray that all workers may find satisfaction and economic security in their jobs and that workplaces become safe, healthy, and inviting environments. We ask St. Joseph who “did not look for shortcuts, but confronted reality with open eyes and accepted personal responsibility for it” (PATRIS CORDE) to pray for us as we recover from the pandemic. May we imitate Joseph’s virtues and zeal by cooperating with God to build a new society that is just and in right relationship with all of creation.

    So today let us pray that all workers may find satisfaction and economic security in their jobs and that workplaces become safe, healthy, and inviting environments. We ask St. Joseph who “did not look for shortcuts, but confronted reality with open eyes and accepted personal responsibility for it” (PATRIS CORDE) to pray for us as we recover from the pandemic. May we imitate Joseph’s virtues and zeal by cooperating with God to build a new society that is just and in right relationship with all of creation.

    This striving to become co-creators with God has always been part of the mission of the North American Conference of Associates and Religious. Like Joseph, in the face of the many challenges of our own reality, we accept responsibility rather than seek shortcuts. During these times of dissolution and transition, his example “teaches us that amid the tempests of life, we must never be afraid to let the Lord steer our course. At times, we want to be in complete control, yet God always sees the bigger picture” (PATRIS CORDE).

    “The spiritual path that Joseph traces for us is not one that explains, but accepts … Joseph is certainly not passively resigned, but courageously and firmly proactive. In our own lives, acceptance and welcome can be an expression of the Holy Spirit’s gift of fortitude. Only the Lord can give us the strength needed to accept life as it is, with all its contradictions, frustrations and disappointments” (PATRIS CORDE).

    Pope Francis has reminded us that we will not always understand the meaning of particular events but we need to be able to set aside our own ideas about how life should unfold. “Unless we are reconciled with our own history, we will be unable to take a single step forward, for we will always remain hostage to our expectations and the disappointments that follow…Only as a result of this acceptance, this reconciliation, can we begin to glimpse a broader history, a deeper meaning" (PATRIS CORDE).

    Today, God’s bigger picture for the Associate Movement requires from us the courage and faith of St Joseph.

    After July 1, 2021, all communities who are now members will have an unlimited number of contacts available to them. The Primary Contact (Bundle Administrator) may add as many associates and religious to the community list as they want. They must add the name, congregation, and email address for each contact they wish to include. The Primary Contact should log in using their email address and password and then click on their name in the upper right-hand corner. This page will then display the contact list. In order to add another person, click Add Member and then type in the information. For detailed information, see the Guide for Primary Contacts.

    Leadership Manual orders will be accepted until June 30, 2021. Limited numbers of some chapters are still available. Don't miss out on completing your manual. Click here to go to Resources and place your order before they are all gone.

    Associate Leadership Retreat registrations will only be accepted until May 10, 2021.

    Image: Public Domain under the Creative Commons license.

  • 04/01/2021 10:00 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Sapling emerging out of a tree trunkJoin us in this vigil
    and you will know what it is to dream!
    Then you will know how marvelous it is
    to live threatened with Resurrection!
    To dream awake,
    to keep watch asleep,
    to live while dying,
    and to know ourselves already
    resurrected!1

    We could not have a more hopeful moment—liturgical, seasonal—to embrace the news about NACAR:

    Knowing deep in our bones that resurrection is coming as we go about the work of ending

    Imagining a fresh canvas for dreaming as we clear out our gardens

    Recognizing the soil teeming with life, a hidden neural network like ours

    Anticipating the Emmaus experience of rejuvenation

    And ah! Pentecost!

    A Free Webinar presented by Elizabeth Allen, Director of Affiliation for the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, based on her new book, The Way in the 21st Century.

    Wednesday, April 21, 2021

    The Way in the 21st Century book cover spiral of stained glass windows1:00 PM Eastern, Noon Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific

    Click here to register



    1 From They Have Threatened us With Resurrection, Julia Esquivel, translated by Anne Woehrle

    Image by jggrz from Pixabay

  • 03/22/2021 10:00 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    There is a time for everything
    A time to begin and a time to step aside
    A time to roll up one’s sleeves and work harder than ever and a time to admit it is beyond us
    A time to pursue new visions and a time to stop chasing after them
    A time to let go and a time to let come…
    At no time do we stop praying,
    At no time do we cease giving thanks!

    Dear NACAR members, collaborators, supporters, and friends,

    After 25 years of faithful stewardship of NACAR’s mission, it is with heavy hearts that we report to you that on Thursday, March 4, 2021, the NACAR Board of Directors affirmed the decision to move away from the present NACAR corporate structure and to begin the process toward the dissolution of the corporation effective June 30, 2022.

    For many years, the board of directors has worked to meet the challenge of limited human and financial resources. We have consistently communicated our concerns, listened for the voice of God, and have now discerned that God is calling us to let go and to accept that this form of independent structure no longer serves the current reality.

    Based on this decision, we will not collect dues for 2021-2022. Except for the NACAR website (nacar.org), all member services will be suspended effective June 30, 2021, including the sale and distribution of the Lead with the Spirit leadership manual and Rookie’s Rock.

    We will continue to offer the following as planned:

    The next issue of The Associate

    April 2021

    April 21, 2021

    Webinar (free for members): The Way in the 21st Century - Beth Allen will speak about the associate way of life within the framework of universal values, as featured in her recently published guidebook.

    May 18-20, 2021

    The final issue of The Associate

    June 2021

    Between now and November 30, 2021, the current board of directors and trusted advisors will develop and begin implementing a formal plan for dissolution of the corporation, including a plan for distribution of assets.

    At the board meeting in November 2021, the board of directors will take all appropriate actions necessary to prepare Articles of Dissolution with the State of Illinois. From November 30, 2021,

    through June 30, 2022, the remaining board members will complete the process, including transfer of or discontinuing the nacar.org website as identified in the plan for dissolution.

    The board of directors has created a FAQ document to provide you with additional information and context around this decision. Please spend time reviewing this document. If you have questions that have not been addressed, please send your question to the board here.

    We are confident that the Spirit of God is in this hard decision and that something new is waiting to be born. Believing that the Associate way of life is a transformational presence in the church and world, let us join together in prayer and thanksgiving for 25 years of committed service and openness for what is yet to be.

    Sincerely,

    Jeanne Connolly, President
    On Behalf of the NACAR Board of Directors


  • 03/01/2021 10:00 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    ‘Revolutionary love’ is the choice to enter into wonder and labor for others, for our opponents, and for ourselves in order to transform the world around us.In my September 2020 NACAR Board message, I began to “wonder.” I find it a delightful word. The Oxford dictionary defines it as a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable (noun); a desire or be curious to know something; to feel doubt or uncertainty (verb).

    I am striving to make wonder (the verb) my practice this Lenten season and to fully enter the grace of mystery with curiosity and openness. I don’t know about you, but I find it easier to preach the words rather than feel uncertain and be curious. Author Valarie Kaur writes in her book, See No Stranger, that “‘Revolutionary love’ is the choice to enter into wonder and labor for others, for our opponents, and for ourselves in order to transform the world around us.” (p. xv. Kindle edition)

    I believe that the call and desire of associates and religious is to “transform the world around us” by living “revolutionary love.” Is that not what Jesus asked of us? Is that not what all great spiritual leaders have asked of their followers? There is inexplicable wonder in this love.

    The pandemic, social and political unrest, and climate change have heightened the sense of uncertainty and brought into the light the need to question engrained patterns of behavior. Lent invites us to metanoia: A transformative change of heart that requires us to make the “choice” to “be curious” and to desire to listen to and learn from voices different from our own.

    As so many authors have noted, we have “given up” a lot this past year. Perhaps we could use this Lenten season to take up Pope Francis’ invitation “to listen” to the voice of God by listening with wonder to the voice of nature, the poor, the young, the elderly, and most especially to those voices that challenge our status quo. Let us be examples of “revolutionary love” by working together to “transform the world around us.”

    May you be blessed with wonder this Lenten Season!

    Creative Conversations #22

    Ongoing Formation

    Wednesday, March 17, 2021

    Click here to register

    Connection in pandemic: Associates and sisters nurture spiritual bond virtually

    Nancy Bick Clark, an associate with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati, Ohio, plays the harp during a Zoom commitment ceremony

    In a recent article in the Global Sisters Report, Dan Stockman writes how associates are connecting with the religious in their communities during a pandemic. Read the full article here.


  • 02/10/2021 8:16 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    On many fronts, and in many ways, 2020 will go down as a year of challenge, change, hope, and resilience. The pandemic, systemic racism, and social and political upheaval framed the year in ways we may not have imagined. The NACAR Board of Directors and committees have been busy amidst this apparent chaos and uncertainty.

    In December 2019, we shared with you the contextual realities faced by the Board as we consider the future viability of NACAR as an organization. In our letter, we identified two significant realities … financial limitations and human resources.

    The reality of our financial limitations as a predominately dues-based organization continues to be a concern. It is a concern felt by many religious and not-for-profit organizations. As promised, the NACAR Board of Directors identified and focused on essential services. With careful stewardship, we have continued to provide excellent programs and resources, including Creative Conversations, the monthly reflections, and the quarterly Associate newsletter. As we transitioned into our new fiscal year in July 2020, we added webinars as an additional service.

    We continue our collaboration with Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) to offer religious education and faith formation for adults. We are also actively collaborating with the Religious Formation Conference (RFC) and the Leadership Collaborative. We are excited about these collaborative relationships and look forward to bringing you more information in the coming months.

    Behind the scenes we have made changes to more fully utilize the benefits of the Wild Apricot Membership Management software initiated in early 2019. This includes movement of the website and fee payment system to Wild Apricot. We have also made changes in our accounting practices to simplify the reporting process and updated the contractual agreements with our “consultants” for Member Relations/Office Administration, Web Administration, Graphic Design, and Bookkeeping.

    NACAR 2020 Annual Report CoverFor an overview of our previous year, please download the 2019 – 2020 Annual Report.

    The More Serious Reality

    The challenges related to human resources, that we identified a year ago, specifically finding new board and committee members, has become our most serious and immediate concern.

    Service at the NACAR level requires a commitment to the Associate-Religious movement in the broadest sense. Increasingly, we have experienced that Associate-Religious communities are less able and/or willing to share the time and resources necessary for a qualified associate or vowed religious to serve NACAR, particularly at the Board level. This is due primarily to the focus on internal community issues and relationships.

    Transitions naturally occur. In 2021, three of the six Board terms will expire. Mary Jo Mersmann, our remarkable Member Relations/Office Administration Coordinator, who has brought a wealth of history and relationships to this role, is also retiring in the coming months. Seeking qualified Board members and a new Member Relations/Office Administration Coordinator is the most critical work facing the Board at this time.

    Looking Ahead

    We still believe that God is serious about the future of the Associate way of life as a transformative presence in the church and the world.* Our hope is that you share in that belief and will continue to support our efforts.

    Although God may be calling us to a new way of living out the mission of NACAR in the future, we believe that for now NACAR is to continue as an organization committed to ensuring that the Associate-Religious movement remains strong and dynamic. As the NACAR Board of Directors, we remain committed to supporting leadership through ongoing development and leadership training; offering opportunities to connect, network, and share wisdom with religious congregations of various sizes, charisms, and missions; and collaborating with regional partners and other organizations committed to faith-development and sharing of religious charisms in our world today.

    That said, to continue to serve you, we need your help. Without qualified and committed Board and Committee members, NACAR will not be able to meet its legal and fiduciary responsibilities. You may download the following information packets:

    Without committed volunteers, we will not be able to continue to offer quality programs and resources. We need you to continue as members and supporters of NACAR so that together we can continue to support leadership within the Associate-Religious movement.

    On our website you will find specific ways to support NACAR and ways you can volunteer at this time. Please download this infographic to see how you can help us meet our members' needs.

    We are also are seeking help with our search for a new Member Relations/Office Administration Coordinator. You may download the announcement for position of Member Relations/Office Administration Coordinator (part-time contract role).

    With your continued support we will continue do everything possible to offer the amazing resources that NACAR has always provided. We are deeply grateful for your membership and support. We look forward to the hope and promise of this new year.

    *NACAR We Believe Statements

  • 02/01/2021 10:00 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Man with arms raised next to pine tree on mountain at sunsetTherefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

    2 Corinthians 5:17

    When I reflect on NACAR and our world in general, the word that echoes in my head is transitions. Transitions are a recurring aspect of life and they can bring anxiety and trepidation but also excitement and hope. Transitions carry an opportunity for us to be vulnerable because the future is uncertain and brings a feeling of unsettledness. Transitions can usher in a feeling of loss and they can also guide us on a path to something new.

    We are all experiencing transitions due to COVID and are trying to find our “new normal” (the phrase I hear so often these days!). Through this transition, we have found newness and hope through loss. I had a wonderful experience of renewing my associate vows through zoom and connecting with associates from across the continent. It was a beautiful and life-giving encounter that I am thankful to have had. I have watched my children adapt to virtual learning then back to in-person school with masks and social distancing and still see them joyful in their lives. What a blessing for them to overcome change and adapt to this “new normal”!

    NACAR is also undergoing a time of transition. Jeanne Connolly, our board president, will soon be sharing a member update with the changes that have occurred and the new transitions on the horizon. Our long-time member relations/office administration coordinator Mary Jo Mersmann will be retiring this spring, and she carries a wealth of NACAR knowledge, history, and relationships that will be missed by all. Another transition for NACAR is the retirement of board members and our continued request for new board members to bring new ideas and excitement to our organization. NACAR will be experiencing feelings of loss and uncertainty with these changes, but I pray that we will find newness and growth in these changes as well.

    Be sure to join us for:

    Creative Conversations #21 Essential Steps in Associate Initial Formation

    When: 02/17/2021

    1:00 PM Eastern, Noon Central, 11:00 AM Mountain, 10:00 AM Pacific

    Facilitators:

    Terri Butel, Director of Associates, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth

    Anne Carey, Co-Director of Associates, School Sisters of Notre Dame, Central Pacific Province

    Members may also view the video from the previous Creative Conversation, Lead with the Spirit, Fundamentals of Associate Leadership. This Creative Conversation was facilitated by Terri Butel, Director of Associates, Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, and Lori Ritz, Director of Life and Mission, Sisters of Charity of Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Log in and view it here.

  • 01/01/2021 10:15 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Mary's face within a circleOur New Year’s liturgy offers us the image of a pensive Mary, pondering in her heart all that had happened. As associates and religious of our various congregations, we are invited to do the same. The trouble and the beauty of the past year have much to reveal to us about the invitations before us, invitations to say yes to God in a world we never could have imagined, let alone chosen.

    We enter the new year soberly, anchored in the kind of trust Mary had in a steadfastly faithful and loving God. Like her, we seek to be attentive to the surprising and often confounding invitations: exile, homecoming, returning to ordinary life with no clue to when and how God would accomplish those great promises.

    NACAR has been pondering and planning about how best to support you in that adventure. We invite you to save the dates May 18 – 20, 2021, so you can join in the virtual retreat - Associates as Charism Carriers: Embracing the Call to Leadership. Carol Zinn SSJ, the executive director of LCWR, will keynote the gathering, and Associate Leaders Amy Kulesa and Linda Mastro will guide in prayer reflection and contemplative conversation.

    We also invite you to use these winter days to increase your knowledge and hone your skills by taking advantage of NACAR’s partnership with the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation (VLCFF) and enroll in one of the high-quality online courses at reduced rates.

    Finally, NACAR has also been pondering its future as an organization.

    One thing is clear:
    We need some fresh faces and voices on the NACAR Board.

    Please consider prayerfully as a New Year’s resolution the possibility of serving for yourself or inviting someone you know who is a committed associate leader. We ask Mary to open your heart to this unexpected call!

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