NACAR Board Messages

NACAR Board Messages

Each month, the NACAR Board President or another member of the NACAR Board of Directors sends a brief message to all members of NACAR. You may read those messages here.

Christ with crowd and hands raised to sunNovember ushers in a month of remembrance and gratitude.  As persons called to carry the spirit and mission of our various congregations, we remember on whose shoulders we stand.  Those visionary and prophetic women and men intercede for us and continue to inspire and guide us. The miseries of our day cry out to us for a response, much as they did to our founders. Persons who are poor, oppressed, marginalized and a ravaged Earth still lay claim to our love and deeds of justice.   
 
Our remembrance is not marked by feeble nostalgia, a mere return to some “good old days.”  Ours is robust Biblical remembering.  The God who did great things in the past will do newer and greater things in our day, this time through us. We are called to be people of open minds, open hearts and open wills, living the Associate Call: Alive Today, Co-Creating God’s Dream for Tomorrow.   Our gratitude rests in our call to continue seeding our world with our various charisms, relationship by relationship. We are humbly grateful for the gift of consciously being the hands, feet, face, voice, eyes, ears and heart of Christ made visible.
 
And I believe if we peek at our Founders we will see and sense their gratitude to us for saying “yes” to our call as they did to theirs.  In her song “The Circle’s Larger,” Colleen Fulmer writes,

If not us, then who?
If not here, then where?
If not now, then when?
The Circle’s larger than when it began.

Hurricane Irma view from aboveSitting in Florida having breakfast with my husband and seeing all the damage done by Hurricane Irma makes me wonder how recovery from traumatic experiences happen.

The drive back home was riddled with felled trees and mountains of debris that were left in the wake of this category 4-5 hurricane. Observing where the worst destruction happened I could see that landscaping, fences and trees that were not supported by smaller shrubs and smaller trees were the most vulnerable and were more easily destroyed.

This phenomenal event is predicted and prepared for every year but only hits occasionally. The diligence of each person to board up, to stockpile food and water, to get a generator in order is constantly broadcast on all media. Some do not prepare. Most do!

Sounds a lot like the Gospel announcements and pronouncements to prepare, be ready, you do not know the hour when the Lord is coming! Some do, some don’t!

Coping with life in season and out of season has always been a challenge. I see that being surrounded by people who support the values I value, those who are looking for ways to prepare for the already here and not yet and to sustain a level of joy throughout is a defined response to that challenge.

As a Lifetime Sinsinawa Dominican Associate I do find that support, I do find that value system, I do find that visioning and that happiness I seek.

After the storm, our associate group met, prayed, and shared the experience. We did a mindfulness exercise together and we felt relief. We are supported by each other and by the many messages our sisters and associates constantly sent to us.

As we continue to stay alert, we will also continue to be here for one other, in season and out of season.

Let us continue to pray and offer our support to all of those affected by the many recent natural disasters in our world.

Summer Beach with umbrella and surf board and sand castleAs the North American summer hits mid-stride, it is easy to think of the leisurely change of pace that many of us look forward to every summer. July 4th celebrations, afternoon games at the ball-park, a visit to grand-parents for the kids, and vacation from work. 

While it may be true that we in the world of Religious Life also take time over the summer for retreat and vacation, at NACAR the summer's “to do list” looks an awful lot like it does throughout the year.

First and foremost, our Member Relations office keeps the renewal information up to date, and encourages those who have not yet responded to consider how NACAR serves the Religious/Associate movement through its resources and communication network.  If you have not yet sent your dues for 2017-2018, I hope you will do so very soon.

Being the Presence of Love: The Power of Transformation LCWR 2017 Logo"Being the Presence of Love: The Power of Transformationwas the theme for the August 2017 LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious) Assembly in Orlando. The participation of over 600 congregational leadership team members was a remarkable presence of ‘love with transformative thinking’ on many topics throughout the assembly.  It was a perfect opportunity for NACAR board members to interact with many leadership teams at our exhibit table and at other times of both informal and ‘deepening group’ conversations.

It was evident that many sisters knew of the 2016 CARA Report, our NACAR website, social media and print resources, and the outreach that members are doing to promote NACAR. They asked questions about our strategic goals and requested advice on issues about supporting and enhancing their associate groups. Our attendance as an exhibitor for the last three years and the active engagement of NACAR members in various ways is providing tangible recognition with the leadership teams across the country.

Thus, as the NACAR membership moves into the autumn season with regional meetings and local group prayer, service and educational activities, we should be enthusiastic as we move forward.  We understand our important role of collaboration with congregational leadership teams and dialog with other religious and lay institutes.

LCWR President Mary Pellegrino CSJ described “the emerging narrative of communion within the diversity and universality of the Church.”  She said “Consider what God and humanity are asking for today?” Let us discuss this question as we explore our leadership role and determine our future communion with God and one another.

FireworksIn Canada and the States, we begin July celebrating our self-governance and the freedoms available to us all. We are truly blessed!

There is a lightness about Summer as we are encouraged to relax, rejuvenate, and recreate. As we step away from packed calendars of deadlines, meetings, and projects, let’s take the time to re-energize our commitment to the charism and mission that grounds us in God’s Love. Let us reflect at leisure on the joys of the associate relationship and how it shapes our perspective and actions. Let us open ourselves to the possibilities of sharing our blessings by inviting others to experience their own call.