Regional Associate Groups

Regional Associate Groups are smaller networking groups in various locations throughout North America. While not official structures of NACAR, Regional Associate Groups collaborate closely with NACAR, including some being supporting members.

Read the latest news from Regional Associate Groups.

Hand holding a globe next to a crossARCAN – Atlantic Religious Congregation Associate Network

Eastern Canada – Maritime Provinces Ontario Network

The Atlantic Religious Congregations Associate Network (ARCAN) consists of associates and sisters from eight religious congregations in Atlantic Canada. (Covering Nova Scotia; New Brunswick; Prince Edward Island; and Newfoundland and Labrador) ARCAN was formed in 2002 to "support the relationship between associates and sisters".

The ARCAN Committee is made up of representatives from each religious congregation – usually one sister and one associate. The Committee meets at least twice yearly to help support, develop and enliven the mission of ARCAN.

ARCAN is run by a volunteer Steering Committee of approximately 24 people representing the congregations and associates.

The Vision and Mission of ARCAN are as follows:


ARCAN's vision is to be a mutually supportive network of associates and sisters in Atlantic Canada living a new and dynamic expression of religious life and spiritual meaning for the 21st Century, supporting and inviting each other to a wider embrace of Gospel values, and living a commitment of Love, in relationship with all creation.


Rooted in Gospel values and inspired by the charisms of our religious congregations, the mission of ARCAN is to provide a supportive network for sisters and associates from Atlantic Canada that is committed to adult learning, inclusive actions, embracing diversity, along with an awareness of the new consciousness that all life is sacred and connected.

Scalloped sea shell surrounded by textBACAR – Bay Area Conference of Associates & Religious, Inc. (Supporting Member)

San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas of California

The Bay Area Conference of Associates and Religious (BACAR, Inc.) is a network of women and men associates and religious who gather together for prayer, mutuality, inspiration, support and friendship. To facilitate these goals BACAR sponsors discussion groups, conferences, and a website. These activities create opportunities for promoting, developing and nurturing lay-religious relationships, community and ministries in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas. Associates and Members of Religious Institutes can remain connected, share information and actively engage on issues that are connected to the many ministries of the Church. BACAR has had a series of events through this pandemic including thoughts about how to keep alert, engaged, prayerful and involved at home and with others. The sharing at each event has been uplifting and encouraging. We continue to invite all associates, religious, and friends to join us.

For more information, visit the BACAR website or the BACAR Facebook page. Contact BACAR.

CARMA over a heart shapeCARMA – Conference of Associates & Religious of Midwest Area (Supporting Member)

Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska

The Conference of Associates and Religious of the Midwest Area (CARMA) is an inter-congregational network of Associates and Religious in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. CARMA was originally formed to provide a biennial conference for Midwest Associates and Religious to meet each other and to have an enriching experience at an affordable cost within easy travel time. These conferences have been held biennially in the Dubuque, Iowa, area since 1994.

As the associate movement continues to evolve, the members of the planning committee recognize a need to meet monthly to support each other as leaders of their respective associate communities. They share ideas and resources, discuss various points of view, and offer mutual support and encouragement to one another in their ministries. This gathering opportunity provides renewal for carrying forward our charisms.

For more information, contact Eileen O’Shea.

IAD – Intercongregational Associate Directors (Supporting Member)

IAD represent congregations of women religious in Eastern Pennsylvania, specifically the Philadelphia area, Reading, and Scranton.

Associate directors from these areas gather four times a year with the purpose of offering mutual support, sharing relevant ideas, praying together, and living in the mystery of how the charism of each congregation is alive and well in associates and companions.

Every two years IAD plans a day of reflection open to all Associates and Sisters.

Midwest Kindred Spirits writing across an abstract green crossMKS – Midwest Kindred Spirits (Supporting Member)

Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Northern Illinois and Wisconsin

Midwest Kindred Spirits is an inter-congregational network of leaders of Associates who assist and challenge each other for growth and development of the associate movement. The group began in March 1988 when four sisters from the Milwaukee Archdiocese met to brainstorm about associate relationships in their communities. A statewide meeting of Associate Directors was the result of that session, bringing together 18 participants from 13 religious congregations. From the start these women were serious about maintaining a strong support system. In 1996 the name of the group changed to Kindred Spirits and again in 1999 to Midwest Kindred Spirits, better reflecting the geographic diversity of a growing membership. Midwest Kindred Spirits continues to meet bi-annually for networking and support.

NEAL – New England Associate Leaders

Eastern Pennsylvania

NERA – New England Region Associates

Upper New England

NERA's mission is to provide a setting for associates and religious from congregations throughout New England to pray, to reflect, to discuss points of view, to gain new insights, and to enjoy the companionship, mutual support, and encouragement of those participating.

Ohio Pennsylvania Associate Leadership  overlaying an opal stoneOPAL-Ohio Pennsylvania Associate Leadership

Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania

Mission Statement

The Ohio Pennsylvania Associate Leadership group is committed to the support and enrichment of Associate Leaders in NE Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Vision Statement

Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we gather to share prayer, ideas, resources and challenges.

Acronym TEXLA with T in the shape of a crossTEXLA – Texas and Louisiana

Mission Statement:

The TEXLA group desires to foster relationships for spiritual growth and enhance the development of the Associate-Religious movement.

Green cros with three dots in corners and Tri-State Conference of Associate Leadership in bottom-left cornerTri-State Conference of Associate Leadership

Kentucky, Ohio, Southern Indiana

The Tri-State Conference of Associate Leadership (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana) has verbally committed to the importance of remaining connected! We count on each other for prayer, support, and future ideas for our Associate Relationships. Although familiar and friendly faces have come and gone over the years, our desire and willingness to stay connected has not wavered. If you would like to connect with the Tri-State Conference of Associate Leadership please feel free to contact the Oldenburg Franciscan Associate Office, Carolyn Meyer 812-933-6457 and or Jane Schaefer 812-933-6439. We gather twice a year dedicating ourselves to the business associated with belonging to an organization followed later in the year by a day of retreat and renewal.

On behalf of Tri-State, we would like to say “Thank You,” to all those past and present, who have served on the NACAR Board. May God’s Blessings be upon you!

News from Regional Associate Groups

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  • 05/20/2022 8:39 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Upcoming Event:

    Wednesday, June 22, 2022 @ 4:00pm-5:15pm PT

    “Responding to the Cry of the Earth - Climate Change: Brother Fire”


    Dear Friends of BACAR,

    BACAR wishes you a fruitful and blossoming springtime! We are looking forward to our next BACAR Event with YOU – Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at 4:00pm PST – registration link here. We continue to keep in mind and be in solidarity with the events of the day particularly the struggles in Ukraine.

    The theme for this event will explore Climate Change and A Response to the Cry of the Earth with an emphasis on the effects of fire and energy necessary for all God’s creation. Fire, one of the four basic building blocks of the universe, is a chemical reaction between the air, heat and a flammable wick that consequently serves as both a benefit and downfall to the earth. We will see how in Laudato Si, Pope Francis reminds us, “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation” (LS 14).

    We wish you safety and good health, and look forward to your continued participation in our collaborative discussions through BACAR!

    Judy Borland and Kathy Noether, Co-coordinators of BACAR

  • 03/21/2022 9:31 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Title: “White Supremacy and American Christianity”

    Date: Saturday, April 9, 2022

    Time: 12:30 pm ET/9:30am PT - 3:30 pm ET/12:30pm PT


    Donation: free will offering or $5.00

    BACAR, Inc., along with many other organizations and congregations support your participation with Network Lobby’s presentation on “White Supremacy and American Christianity”. Please register and join this engaging conversation with Father Bryan Massingale, S.T.D., Robert P. Jones, Ph.D., and Dr. Marcia Chatelain, Ph.D.

    Questions or concerns: please email Kathy Noether –


  • 02/17/2022 9:42 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    March 9th, 2022

    4:00pm-5:30pm Pacific Time

    Via Zoom





    Synod on Synodality- All You Need to Know (through Sketches and images) || Rahai

    Questions to ponder, in preparation for our meeting:

    1. Where and how do you personally experience Church today?

    2. What joys do you experience?

    3. What pain, difficulties, and obstacles have you encountered?

    4. What is your dream or vision for our church in the future?

  • 01/18/2022 9:52 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Responding to the Cry of the Poor - Water

    BACAR wishes you a very blessed and Happy New Year! We are looking forward to our next BACAR Event with YOU - February 9, 2022 at 4:00pm PST – registration link below. Remembering what Paul said that, “All things were created by him and for him” (Col.1:16), invites us to pause and look forward to what God’s Creation has meant to us, how we are keeping this Creation legacy, and trust for its continuance for future generations.

    The theme for this event will continue with Responding to the Cry of the Poor with an emphasis on the access of water necessary for all God’s creation. In Laudato Si, Pope Francis cautions us, “Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right in which we have a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity” LS 30.

    We wish you safety and good health, and look forward to your continued participation in our collaborative discussions through BACAR!

    Judy Borland and Kathy Noether, Co-Directors of BACAR


    Suggested reading for this BACAR event:

    We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

  • 12/15/2021 7:05 PM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Already we are midway through the season of Advent and in preparation for a new beginning, a new coming, a new hope for our future. What will this time reveal? Although we have approached this season many times before, this coming seems even more radically in need of our faith and hope in light of the state of our country and world today. Paul said, “All things were created by him and for him.” (Col.1:16) This invites us to pause and look forward to what God’s Creation has meant to us, how we are keeping this Creation legacy, and trust for its continuance for future generations.

    Our next BACAR Event will be February 9, 2022 at 4:00pm PST. Please note the change of date! We hope to see you as we explore what this new year might bring to us in light of Pope Francis’ words referring to actions for Advent and Laudato Si, “Today there is a need for people to be witnesses to the mercy and tenderness of God, who spurs the resigned, enlivens the disheartened, [and] ignites the fire of hope.”

    We want to thank all of you who have made donations to BACAR in 2021. These donations have made it possible for us to have an outside presenter, Sr. Eleanor Rosenblatt, RSM. Sister Eleanor presented on women in scripture on a theme of ‘me too’. We hope to have another presenter in 2022. Our only source of income is from donations. All donations are tax deductibles because we are a non-profit 501(c)(3). If you wish to make a donation, please make checks payable to BACAR, Inc. and send them to Kathy Noether, 4246 Meg Drive, San Jose CA 95136.

    We wish you the happiest of times over the next few weeks and look forward to your continued participation in our collaborative discussions through BACAR!

    FEBRUARY 9, 2022
    4:00pm-5:15pm PST
    Via Zoom

  • 11/17/2021 7:23 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Laura Brink OP

    Becoming Friends of God and Prophets: The Biblical Foundations of Friendship 

    Laurie Brink, OP, Dominican Sister of Sinsinawa, WI. 

     We are pleased to welcome Sr. Laurie as our presenter for the 2022 CARMA Gathering. 

    Her presentation makes two extraordinary claims: that our life’s ultimate goal is friendship with God and that the Scriptures provide the road map. 

    The day includes presentations, reflection and small group sharing. 

    CARMA Logo (Heart with CARMA on it)

    Saturday, April 2, 2022

    Best Western Plus Hotel, Dubuque, IA

    7:45A.M. – 8:45A.M. Registration and Breakfast
    9:00A.M. – 3:00P.M. Conference and Lunch
    Watch for more information in January 2022

  • 10/14/2021 10:06 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    November 3, 2021

    4:00pm-5:15pm Pacific Time

    Hand holding up a glowing earth

    On 14th of November, The World Day of Prayer for the poor, the dicastery for promoting integral human development will begin offering Laudato Si Planning Guides. BACAR will take this journey on November 3, 2021 at 4:00pm PST aligning with the goals set out in Laudato Si by Pope Francis. Fore more information: HTTPS://LAUDATOSIACTIONPLATFORM.ORG/

    Join By Registering Here

  • 09/30/2021 10:44 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Opal Stone

    Presenters: Sr. Janet Mock, CSJ

    Cathi Duffy – Director of Associates, Society of The Holy Child Jesus

    “Exploring the Unfolding Associate Path in a Change of Era: God is Calling Us From the Future”

    Time: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

    There is no charge for this conference

    Download the registration form here.

  • 08/01/2021 7:43 AM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Join BACAR’s Upcoming Virtual Event…

    Wednesday, September 1st @ 4:00pm Pacific Time

    (please note change of time)


    Three people on mountaintop with hands raised together

    Women of Hebrew Scripture: Crucial Moments that Change the Community’s Destiny

    Sr. Eloise Rosenlatt

    Join us for this engaging presentation with Sr. Eloise Rosenblatt, RSM, a Sister of Mercy, a Ph.D. theologian and an attorney in private practice. This presentation and discussion will turn to 3 women in Hebrew Scripture - Abigail, Susanna and Judith - whose stories embody the vulnerability and power of women who change the destiny of their faith community. A spirituality needed for church and society now.
    Suggested readings for preparation of this event:

    Wednesday, September 1st@ 4:00pm Pacific Time (please note change of time)


  • 05/08/2021 11:40 PM | Fred Goddard (Administrator)

    Please join us on June 2nd at 10am Pacific Time for our tenth zoom event entitled "A Fire In Our Hearts"!

    Come with us as we recall the presence of our God within us, and as we walk together in prayer and much hope. We invite you to share your thoughts of what makes you burn inside with the Goodness of God as we walk our journey through life. Register today!!


    Coming Up: September 1st

    Sister Eloise Rosenblatt, R.S.M., will be presenting for the 11th BACAR Forum in September 1, 2021. Eloise Rosenblatt, R.S.M., is a Sister of Mercy, a Ph.D. active theologian, a JD Law Degree with a private practice in family law, and former seminary professor. Sr. Eloise has been an author for many publications and editorials including Global Sisters Report and Catholic San Francisco. She lives in San Jose. Sister Eloise's presentation will be on the Women of the Old Testament .

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