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.”

Advent WreathAnother Advent! With this year’s “coming” we are faced with so many challenges to our sense of values and our pursuit of ideals.

In November, at the Consistory creating new Cardinals, Pope Francis chose to put forth as a dynamic symbol the time that Jesus brought his apostles down off the mountain of their election into the plain, where the people were gathered (Lk 6:27-36). Pope Francis said "Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus never stops 'coming down from the mountain'. He constantly desires to enter the crossroads of our history to proclaim the Gospel of Mercy. Jesus continues to call us and to send us to the 'plain' where our people dwell.”

Those who are engaged in the Associate-Religious relationship fully represent the people on the plain. Our memberships, whether as religious or associates, have drawn on the gifts and energies of old, young, and in-between to witness to the gospel values we espouse throughout our community and family circles.

Autumn Leaves

Leaves are staring to change color and will eventually fall to the ground. The temperatures are beginning to drop as well, and there is the smell of Fall in the air, too, except in areas that are witnessing many acres of fires burning, as in California where I live. The many sections of the country that have witnessed flooded streets and neighborhoods has caused much sadness to those affected. The many shootings we hear about on TV and read about in the newspapers have caused much unrest everywhere.

There is much need for prayer these days. Besides praying for the strength to get through hardships, we can also be grateful for the many blessings that have come our way. We, members of NACAR, have much to be grateful for. We are celebrating 20 years of service to Associates throughout North America, both in Canada and in the United States. We are grateful for the many congregations who have welcomed Associates into their families by sharing their charism. We support each other by attending and participating in the planning of meetings, liturgies, celebrations, and even funerals. There is a genuine feeling of graced mutuality.

Cross of peopleNovember – a time to remember and pray for our deceased loved ones and for all who have gone before us.

We at NACAR have spent 2016 looking back, recognizing, and celebrating many who have shepherded the associate-religious relationship over the past several decades. We have been blessed.

With the release of the CARA research reports this summer, we celebrate the present while listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit for our future. The associate-religious relationship is personally meaningful as well as gift to the Church. Let us all be open to how the Holy Spirit calls us forth to be light for the world through our associate-religious relationships.

As you study the CARA reports and how it frames your future plans, please share what your Calls to Action are with NACAR. We hope that the folder Study Guide  will bring associate communities to a new awareness of the gift and the calling, of community, of empowerment, and of leadership for creating a future for which ‘we could not ask or imagine.'

Our deepest sympathies are extended to Associates and Religious of the communities who lost two very special women this past week - the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and the School Sisters of St Francis. Our hearts and prayers are with you during this most difficult time. May Sr. Paula Merrill and Sister Margaret Held rest in peace.

Sister Paula MerrillSister Margaret Held

At this present time I am the 'long-standing' NACAR board member. I am soon to go off this board, but with my 9 years of experience, I wanted to share with all our members the growth and advancement I have witnessed over these years. Presently, we are launching the results of our CARA study, which is rich with information to help lead our relationship into the future. Also now available is the " folder CARA study guide ," which will be a great tool for our user(s). There will also be webinars on this topic plus other topics.