|Associate relationship is a way in which adults outside of
the vowed membership can share in the mission and goals of a religious congregation. The
relationship is mutually creative, enriches, supports and challenges both associates and
vowed members in their response to the Gospel. The essential element of association is to
widen and strengthen bonds with others who affirm the goals and mission of a religious
congregation. Associates do this while maintaining their independent life style.
Today, the North American Conference of Associates and Religious finds itself
actively involved in the growth of the associate movement throughout the United States and
Canada through assistance in the following priority areas:
- Networking and mutual support for associates and
- Identifying and exploring new issues relevant to the associate/religious
- Serving as a clearinghouse for the sharing of resources and talents for associate
- Visioning for the future of associate/religious relationship as the People of God
- Assisting religious congregations in policy and guideline development for associate
Arising out of a need to network and dialog, the
Conference was established in 1996 by affirmation of the national gathering
of associates and religious held in Marriottsville. Since then NACAR has
published The Associate, which
shares ideas among religious and associates about aspects of their life in
NACAR also plans a bi-annual conference held in various geographic areas of the U.S. and Canada.
Originally held in Marriottsville, Md., it has been held in successive years
in Convent Station, NJ, Cincinnati, OH, St. Louis, MO, San Jose, CA, Milwaukee, WI,
and New Rochelle, NY.
The international conference gathers up to 400 associates and vowed religious.
NACAR offers workshops
on the associate movement and on leadership in associate programs. It
publishes a membership directory for its members.