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 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 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.