News and Info


News related to events and activities of NACAR.

Sister Grace MannionSr. Grace Mannion, RSM, passed away on Thursday, October 19, 2017. Sister Grace served on one of the first NACAR Boards. Her wake will be from 3:00 to 5:00 PM followed by her funeral at 5:00 PM on Thursday, October 26, at St. Joseph University in West Hartford, CT.

Sr. Grace directed "the Mercy initiative, inviting and involving the laity to participate through voluntary annual covenant and commitment as partner Associates, to forward the spiritual and active ministries of the Sisters of Mercy called Extended Mercy. Sister Grace was a deeply compassionate, caring director from its 1995 origins until her recent retirement at which time she volunteered continuing service. Sister was indefatigable in her dedication to Extended Mercy. She lovingly developed the highly successful Associate program. Its growth is tenfold of the original group of women and men actively engaged to serve God's people through Mercy mission and works of social concern" (Grace Mannion Obituary).

Please hold Sister Grace and her community in your prayers.

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Contact: Jonathon Holland
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CARA NACAR Special ReportA new study from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) for the North American Conference of Associates and Religious (NACAR) reports more than 55,000 associates in 378 religious institutes, eight in ten of them in the United State, a significant increase from the 25,500 associates reported fifteen years ago in the United States. Associates are lay people who live out a religious charism and largely connect with institutes of vowed religious in order to live out the charism together. This study builds on a previous study done in 2000 and 2002 on associates’ relationships with vowed religious and was commissioned by NACAR in recognition of its 20th anniversary.

In addition to the 378 religious institutes that responded to a survey on associate leadership, over 10,000 vowed religious and associates responded to a survey about the associate-religious relationship. Both surveys asked about current realities and future expectations.

Cathi Duffy, Conni Dubick, Kathy Herrington and Jeanne Connolly

At the Board of Directors meeting in Chicago, Illinois, March 13 - 15, 2014, four new officers were elected.

Congratulations to: (from left to right in the photo)

Treasurer - Cathi Duffy, Associate of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus
President - Conni Dubick, Associate of the Dominican Sisters of Peace
Secretary - Kathy Herrington, Associate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
Vice President - Jeanne Connolly, Covenant Member of the Wheaton Franciscans

We are grateful for their willingness to lead NACAR in its mission to serve, empower and promote the Associate-Religious relationship in North America.

Check out the pictures from the recent NACAR Board meeting on our Facebook page.

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Laundry machine and folded clotheLove, laundry and living the mission as an associate is an article written by NACAR member Ryan P. Murphy. Ryan is an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and works as Director of Service-Learning at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia. Ryan is also a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Temple University where he is researching the experiences of American Women Religious in the years of renewal after Vatican II.

The article appears in Global Sisters Report. You can read the entire article here:

Clipart from

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We just received the following news from Amy Kulesa, Director of Associates, Sisters of Bon Secours USA:

Jean SonnenbergIt is with sadness that I write to share that former Director of Bon Secours Associates (1995 - 2006), and one of the founding members of NACAR, Jean Sonnenberg, passed away Saturday afternoon, around 3:30 p.m. She died with her daughter at her side, who was holding her hand and singing Amazing Grace. She received a visit from three Baltimore-area Bon Secours Associates earlier that day. Jean shared so much of her deep spirituality during her many years as Director and treasured the years she served the Associates and Sisters of Bon Secours. In addition, she was instrumental in the founding of NACAR and its early development as a member organization (see NACAR History).

Her daughter has communicated that a memorial service will be held in two weeks or so. As we receive those details we will be sure to pass those on to you.

Please pray for Jean, as she passes into Eternal Life, and for her daughter and extended family and those who mourn her passing from this life.

Cards could be sent to her daughter, Kaiya.

Kaiya Larson
2815 Sagewood Drive
Glenwood  MD  21738

Read Jean's Prayer for a Labyrinth Walk here.

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