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.
ARCAN – 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.
BACAR – Bay Area Conference of Associates & Religious, Inc. (Supporting Member)
San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas of CaliforniaThe 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.
CARMA – 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.
MKS – 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
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.
OPAL-Ohio Pennsylvania Associate Leadership
Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania
The Ohio Pennsylvania Associate Leadership group is committed to the support and enrichment of Associate Leaders in NE Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we gather to share prayer, ideas, resources and challenges.
TEXLA – Texas and Louisiana
The TEXLA group desires to foster relationships for spiritual growth and enhance the development of the Associate-Religious movement.
Tri-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!