The Associate Program in the United States started in 1985. Today, the United States province has approximately 70 Associates, both men and women. Most of our Associates live in Connecticut, but we do have Associates that are living in Florida and a large Associate group in Alaska, under the direction of Sister Marita Soucy.
As the reality of aging set in, we realized there was a need to be creative in our options for Associate membership. As a result, we offer two forms of membership – Active and Prayerful. As an “Active” member, the expectation is that an Associate will join a prayer group and be present at the monthly meetings, as well as participate in the on-going formation offerings and the annual retreat, or recollection day, and the commitment ceremony for new Associates members. “Prayerful” members, usually older in age and limited in travel, are united with us in prayer, and when it is possible for them, they join in celebrations, programs and social justice activities. Regardless of the type of membership chosen by the Associate, they are always welcome and invited to participate when they are able to do so.
«Our Associate Program started some 30 plus years ago. It has grown considerably since then. We now have five different groups in the Hartford and a group in Alaska. We differ in age and sex, our backgrounds are varied, some of us are still working, some are retired. We play an active role in community events, community ministries. Many of us volunteer at the annual Pasta Dinner. We have a commitment service whenever there are associates who are interested in making the relationship with the program more final. We have an ongoing formation and spirituality program, not only for new associates but also for those active associates. We have a yearly retreat, sometimes a weekend at a retreat centre or a day of prayer at the Mother House. Throughout the year we also have speakers come in for a presentation or one of our own sisters who may be in a ministry that we think the associates would benefit hearing from. We have an Associate office at Parkville. Some of our Associates are former members of the community, some were religious in other communities, some are people of other faiths». (Nancy)