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.

“And suddenly you know: it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

Meister Eckhart

New Year FireworksEach January there is a start of something new and the magic of beginnings as the new year is ushered in with celebration and cheers. It’s a time to exuberantly make new year’s resolutions and anticipate that life will continue to unfold with new promise.

Thus it is the time for the NACAR Board first to thank you for your personal and financial support in our twenty year history. And second, to pledge that we are determined to fulfill the 2017 NACAR theme Associate Call: Alive Today, Co-Creating God’s Dream for Tomorrow. It is evident from the CARA Study that the work of the Holy Spirit is in the persistent growing presence of associates in mission with the religious congregations.

But as with all new year’s resolutions, there must be the action steps to implement the ideas. With your assistance and participation in sending us your insights, reflective thinking, scholarly research as well as analysis with photos of your local/regional activities and events, NACAR will continue to be your voice. We will be able to reflect and respond to the needs of the evolving associate movement in co-creating God’s dream for tomorrow. NACAR will be the common voice to articulate the associate-religious relationship over the time and space of this new year. Suddenly we know “it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”

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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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  2014-2015 Annual Report  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  download it here .)

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Juggling ClownThis past week I attended a conference at the University of Notre Dame entitled “To All The World: Preaching and the New Evangelization.” Presentations by Dominicans Timothy Radcliffe, Jamie Phelps, Gregory Heille and Theresa Rickard invited the gathering of participants to ponder the dimensions of  “preaching” available to all of us not only in our churches but in work sites, communities and families. Diocesan Priests, Sisters, Associates and other lay ministers from across the country shared their visions of the new evangelization alive in our Church today.

One session by Dr. Susan McGugan and Dr. Deborah Organ focused on “Mighty Words from Creative Spaces.” They told the story of Sr. Dorothy Fabritze, who chose a ministry to work with the circus as a “biblical presence amid the glitzy backdrop and colorful characters, from acrobats to clowns to animal trainers.” An initial effort to meet the workers, who were always in a hurry, was to put a soft padded chair next to her ticket booth. Sure enough, workers began to stop, sit and share their thoughts and lives with her. She also worked closing the curtain and in the quiet dark time before she did her curtain task, “there were ‘God moments’ where wonderful spiritual things happened in conversations, just because she was there” (See This family DOES live in a circus at

As NACAR members and friends, I’ll bet we could all share stories of  “mighty words from creative places” about those unexpected places where ‘theological values’ find voices which are powerful, important and essential for proclamation of the Word. Since NACAR is seeking reflections and responses to our website, online magazine and these President/Board messages, please send us your stories and examples of “mighty words from creative places.”

And, speaking of NACAR members, please remember that membership renewals and new membership applications are due by July 15. If you need an extension on that date, please let us know. 

Also please notice something new on our website. We now have a Consultant Directory with a listing of those NACAR members who are interested in offering presentations, workshops, etc.  You will find it listed under the Members menu (you have to be logged in to see this menu item as it is a benefit for NACAR members). We are hoping to add more consultants, so if you, or someone you know, is interested in being listed in this directory please contact us.

Happy summer to everyone, Conni!

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