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.

Happy August!

I find myself churning with excitement, and it isn’t because August is my birth month. I am no longer at that age where I anticipate a birthday with excitement. Instead, I am reflecting with gratitude for all that I have received. I am grateful for another year of life. I am grateful for family, friends, my Wheaton Franciscan community, and the extended NACAR community I have had the privilege to meet and work with. I am grateful to be a part of the associate movement at this point in the evolution of this committed way of life.

I am excited about the CARA report and all of the ways that it might inform the future of the associate way of life. I am looking forward to exploring opportunities for personal growth and community/congregational collaboration.

I am honored to be representing NACAR, and by extension all associates, at the LCWR Assembly in Atlanta, August 9-11 at Booth #101. I look forward to visiting with congregational leaders, listening to their stories, and sharing information about the many resources NACAR has to offer. In this political season of divisiveness and fear it is a unique opportunity to be in the presence of leaders who are committed to embracing mystery and living transformation for the sake of the world.

We are blessed with a call to live the charism of our congregations. Charisms are always given for the sake of God’s creation. Oprah Winfrey wrote, “There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling. It’s why you were born and how you become most truly alive.* As associates and vowed religious, we have each been called to live an expression of our congregational charism. In these topsy turvy, uncertain, and sometimes crazy times we live in, we have been given the greatest gift of all ... the opportunity to share God’s love through our call. I hope you will join me in celebration!

Things often come full circle. I became the director of the Bon Secours Associates nearly nine years ago, and at the time knew nothing of NACAR and its work promoting the Associate-Religious relationship. My predecessor at Bon Secours, Jean Sonnenberg, was one of the foundresses of NACAR, 10 years earlier.

Now, in 2016, I find myself serving on the Board! It is an honor to do so, and to be serving with such dedicated fellow Board members, representing both Associates and religious life. As we celebrate 20 years of NACAR’s presence as a catalyst for the Associate movement in North America, I find myself reflecting on the many beautiful and committed people I have met while serving in this ministry. It is a privilege to work with the Associates and Sisters of my congregation, and to collaborate with others of many other congregations expressing diverse charisms, all of whom inspire me in both my life of faith and commitment to serving God’s people.

The North American Conference of Associates and Religious (NACAR) gives the small voice of individual associates and religious the ability to be clearly heard, through an organization built upon shared leadership. Our mission and vision statements communicate the integrated relationship of associates and religious with the simultaneous common bond of associates with each other. The collaboration is described and articulated by our organization on our website, in-person gatherings and social media. This increased communication has established our collective identity. NACAR facilitates the presence of our voice in the church today by naming and identifying the work of talented associates and religious in the United States and Canada.

The board of directors proudly presents this  pdf 2014-2015 Annual Report (2.14 MB)  to describe the webinars, workshops, retreat, publications, and join program planning with regional groups. In our online publication, The Associate, the articles and reflections by NACAR members give evidence of the depth of thinking and compassionate involvement with ministries happening throughout North America and beyond.

Please read this report and then determine where you can contribute to the activities and new visioning for the associate-religious relationship. This successful year was the result of personal commitments to our NACAR mission. Let us enjoy the year-end review and eagerly anticipate the new opportunities we can plan together for the 20th anniversary of NACAR in 2016.

(The Annual Report is a members only document. Be sure to login and then  pdf download it here (2.14 MB) .)

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NativityTo NACAR members, supporters and friends,

We are grateful for your continued support this year.  We wish you peace and joy during the Christmas season and throughout 2016.

Enjoy this year of video memories from 2015 as a gift to you!

Merry Christmas!
NACAR Board of Directors and Staff

Clipart from

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Pope Francis riding his Pope MobileOur North American shores have been blessed to welcome and host a three-city pilgrimage of peace, and prayer under the inspirational leadership of Pope Francis. Who can forget the images of huge, armored SUV's riding escort for the small, black Fiat 500 that carried Pope Francis?

Among the themes which he addressed in speaking to the joint session of Congress in Washington DC was that of seeking dialogue rather than territorial supremacy. While we might think first of the political or military realms, it is also a call to religious bodies to seek dialogue rather than suppressing dialogue in the name of authority, traditions or pre-eminence.

We, of NACAR, are engaged in that dialogue daily. We wish to encourage bridge-building between the laity and the religious congregations who both share in the call to holiness we name as our charism. We want that dialogue to serve the Church in North America, and we are eager to have new member Congregations and individuals come aboard to help fulfill Pope Francis' model of an evangelizing Church that evangelizes joyfully.

Sr. Catherine McNamee, CSJThis month we wish to thank Sr. Catherine McNamee, CSJ, for two years of service to the Board of Directors of NACAR. Other obligations make it difficult for her to continue as a member of the Board, but she has offered to step in and assist as needed. We appreciate her sharp mind, and her long experience in leadership as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

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