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.

Have you ever stopped in the middle of something and puzzled over what you are doing and asked why?  I can get so caught up in daily projects and a narrow mentality just robotically doing things.  I lose a sense of direction on what is becoming in the grander scheme of things—the big-picture perspectives of purposes and whys.   

Organizations, no matter what their size, customarily ponder similar questions.  You see them discussed at retreats, workshops, meetings and other occasions when people come together to take a deep breath, refocus and reenergize.  Amid these structured activities, leaders urge their groups to keep in mind the fundamentals of their organization like core values, mission and vision as easy ways of keeping centered on purposes and whys.  Take NACAR’s dedicated activities, for example:


The North American Conference of Associates and Religious is a membership organization that acts as a catalyst to serve, empower and promote the Associate-Religious relationship.


Becoming a vibrant, viable organization that collaborates with regional partners to promote association in all its forms.

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Sisters of St. Dominic of Tacoma 125th Anniversary Logo On behalf of my board colleagues, permit me to be among the first this day to wish you that this New Year be filled with hope, happiness, and success for your leadership.

My particular hope for all of us who are affiliated with NACAR is that during this New Year, we will come closer towards achieving our vision:

A vibrant, viable organization
that collaborates with regional partners
to promote association in all its forms.

Here are a couple of announcements for your consideration:

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Tree in the fall with changing colorsI was vividly reminded of the fall season about two weeks ago when my board confrere Conni Dubick and I traveled to Wisconsin where we met with a group of Midwest Kindred Spirits associate leaders in Fond du Lac. While "back there," I noted the amazing variety of fall colored leaves ever so beautiful. "Out here" where I live, urban Californians the likes of me don't experience the richness of fall colors; rather, the landscape is more like dead-looking brown leaves cluttering the ground, or trees simply remaining forever green.

My goodness! The Thanksgiving holidays are just around the corner.

Have you had an opportunity to review the results of the 2013 Associate Leadership Survey published last month? The full report provides data around roles and compensation for those in associate leadership positions within religious congregations. pdf Registered users can download it here (210 KB) .

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Advent WreathToday marks the beginning of Advent! It's the start of a new liturgical year and twenty-four days of preparation for the celebratory coming of Jesus—an occasion for peace and renewed hope through the feast of the Nativity of Our Lord on Christmas Day. And so we prepare ourselves for rejoicing.


The board of directors had its fall gathering last month to begin formulating a strategic plan. We agreed NACAR's Mission statement adequately describes our purpose and mission activities. Next was attention given to the question, "what does NACAR want to become as a result of its mission?" In other words, what do we want NACAR to look like at some point in the future? This is what we came up with:

A vibrant, viable organization that collaborates with regional partners to promote association in all its forms.

The statement's words/phrases such as vibrant, viable, collaborates, regional partners and promote association provide excellent substance for planning goals. For starters, we brainstormed these: resolving the need for an executive director; broadening benefits and services; outreach, development, and recruitment of members; promoting relationships among regional associate groups; expanding board and board committee memberships to include regional representation; and exploring fundraising prospects.

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United States Province of the School Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis LogoShout out a big WELCOME to another new congregational member of NACAR: the United States Province of the School Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis! Besides the U.S., community members and associates are located in South Africa, Chile, Czech Republic, India, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Slovakia. The Institute’s charism is “ … intimate union with God in the midst of apostolic service” which is “rooted in the Franciscan penitential tradition of Gospel living.” Once again: WELCOME Sisters and Associates to the North America Conference of Associates and Religious!

We bring to your attention two recently published documents. The first is the pdf results of the 2013 Associate Leadership Survey (210 KB) , and the second is pdf NACAR’s 2012-2013 Annual Report (349 KB) . Members need to be logged into the website to download the documents.

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NACAR Community Members Directory Map Search

To utilize the map search, you may either search a location by entering as much of the addess as you want and the distance from that address or a combination of location and any part of the name of a community in the seach box. For example, you can enter "United States" for the location, "Notre Dame" in the search box and 5000 miles for the distance and the map will show all communities with "Notre Dame" within 5000 miles of the center of the United States.