NACAR Mission Statement

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

NACAR Vision Statement

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

November 2013

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A roseSummer, generally a time for frivolity, hasn’t quite had the same cadence for me this year. There have been thorns and roses, ups and down. “This is your life,” Catherine McAuley, founderess of the Sisters of Mercy wrote, “joys and sorrows mingled, one succeeding the other.”

A good day with my kids followed by the news of the separation of children from their parent’s seeking asylum at the southern border. In early June I paid off my last student loan and learned that NACAR could launch its educational partnership with the University of Dayton – VLCFF thanks to a grant from the Sisters of Mercy. This education/leadership news proceeds a school shooting in Palmdale, CA (May 11), Santa Fe, Texas (May 18), and Noblesville, Indiana (May 25), and the dozens of other school shootings between January and May. NACAR board president Jeanne Connolly and I meet with the Religious Formation Conference to see how we can support each other and build bridges and collaborate, and then there’s the news of people burning bridges and going it alone rather than building consensus we see all too often.

It has proven difficult to rejoice in daily dabblings or triumphs at work or at home in the shadow of sins both national and personal. Where and what is my voice, participation, and relationships in all of these joys and sorrows? Ecclesiastes (Chapter 3) seemed so cut and dry. There would be an appointed time for everything, just like the separate seasons. A time to give birth and a time to die; to plant and to uproot; to purge and to heal; to tear down and to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh, to mourn and to dance. Dance?

But as members of the Associate movement, whatever our congregations or charism we know that things aren’t cut and dry. They’re dynamic. That which is dynamic has risks, and that entails both excitement and trepidation.  From the CARA report a few years ago to survey feedback from Creative Conversations a few weeks ago we know the promise and desires, excitement and fears, concerns and angst all mingled about our future, which is yet filled with hope.

Ecclesiastes said there was a time for mourning and a time for dancing. Catherine McAuley wrote that her Sisters should dance every evening. She saw thorns and roses, sins and suffering along the streets and on the faces of the women she served in Dublin. If she was able to instruct a time for dancing every evening—to focus on the joys more than the sorrows—I will too. The summer sun does make that a bit easier. After the verses of opposites in Ecclesiastes we get this observation, “I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life.” I hope we’re all doing summer well—joys and sorrows mingled; rejoicing always.

Become a Community Member

Become a Community Member

Community Membership provides your community the opportunity to be part of the larger Associate-Religious movement across North America and to witness to the work of the Holy Spirit in our world today.

Become an Individual Member

Become an Individual Member

Individual membership is designed for any individual who has a desire to keep informed of trends, information, and resources regarding the Associate Movement in North America and who desires to support the efforts of NACAR and the Associate-Religious movement. 

Become a Supporting Organization

Become a Supporting Organization

Supporting Membership in NACAR is available to organizations and groups who are also working to support and/or advance the Associate-Religious movement.

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Donate to NACAR

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