NACAR North American Conference of Associates and Religious

Geographic Networking Groups

Region 1: New England

Contact: Ellen Lynch, CND Associate

Most associate groups in this geographic region are in infancy or toddler stages, although there are some exceptions. We recognize a growing desire to share with other communities but the energy isn't always available. We meet yearly, usually with an invited speaker in the associate movement.

Region 2: Upstate New York

Contact: Sr. Marise May,OSF

There is a strong awareness that the associate-religious relationship is helpful, positive, nurturing, supportive, necessary and growing. The Buffalo area is interested in meeting about Associate issues.

Region 3: New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, Downstate New York

Contact: Pat Lynch, SC Associate

Participants believe that there is not only a great value but both a need and desire to have ongoing communication among associate intercongregational groups. Named "I AM" or Intercongregational Associate Membership, the group meets twice a year with twenty-three religious congregations represented.  I AM sponsored the 2004 National Conference at Iona College.

Region 4: Mid-Atlantic States

Contact: Sr. Muriel Curran, SSND

People thought it would be beneficial to meet nationally every other year and regionally every other year, with surrounding states on the off year.


Region 5: South Eastern States, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands

Contact: Judith Gomila, MSC

The group is in contact with each other and learns from each other. Associate groups include high school students who plan service projects and meet to pray.

Region 6: Southern Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee

Contact: Elaine Schneider, RSM Associate

The tri-state group planned and executed a successful national NACAR Conference in 1998 and is planning the 2006 National Conference. The tri-state conference, which gathers in Cincinnati, meets the needs of the geographic region. Northern Ohio has the option of networking with northern Indiana.


Region 7: Northern Indiana, Michigan

Contact: Gay Fiwek, PHJC Assoc.

Members believe that there is a need to develop boards of associates and vowed religious for leadership in associate programs. Leadership development training is a definite need. Another issue identified by this group is the need for continuing dialog on associate identity for both vowed religious and associates. Recently the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ hosted an intercongregational leadership workshop sponsored by NACAR.


Region 8: Illinois, Southern Indiana

Contact: Gay Fiwek, PHJC Assoc.

There is strong interest in developing geographic meetings, not necessarily by state. Presently there is no inter-community networking, although those interested connect with St. Louis or Midwest Kindred Spirits. Meetings will be held on November 15, 2000 (Providence Center), February 21, 2001 and May 16, 2001.

Region 9: Wisconsin (click here)

Contact: Marci Madary

Midwest Kindred Spirits meets to support and collaborate with each other and with associate leadership in order to further the evolution and transformation of associate relationship within our respective congregations, intercongregationally and within the universal Church. Kindred Spirits has been meeting for about twelve years.

Region 10: Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska (click here)

Contact: Barbara McMullen, CDP

This is a geographically spread-out region. Presently associate members are few. The associates and vowed religious of the St. Louis area, however, have come together and produced the national NACAR Conference of 1999. They feel greatly strengthened by this event. Pockets of associates, such as the Alexian Brothers Co-members, have strong ties although they are few in number.

Region 11: Minnesota

Contact: Carol Gariano, CSJ Assoc.

The Minnesota Associate Directors is a gathering of Inter-Congregational Associate Directors whose purpose is to:

  • Grow in understanding of the associate movement
  • Learn current trends in the light of theological and cultural changes
  • Develop partnerships as we journey together into the future.

We welcome and encourage other associate directors in Region 11 to join us. We meet alternate months and sponsor a regional conference in the years opposite the NACAR Conference. For more information contact Carol Gariano, Consociate of the Sisters of St. Joseph.


Region 12: Arizona, Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas

Contact: Florence Carvajal

There were ten participants from this region at the NACAR national conference in 1999, all from the state of Texas and the diocese of San Antonio. There is a desire to network with other congregations of associates in the area. The group decided to contact the Vicar of Religious for information about congregations in the area that have associate groups. After they have been contacted, an exploratory meeting will be held to see if other groups would like to meet and how they can support each other and strengthen associate programs in the area. Two members of the group volunteered to see this task to completion.

Region 13: Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma

Contact: Betsy Voss, BVM

There is a desire on the part of participants to form a leadership group of associates and religious to talk about common concerns. The value of sharing spirituality was also agreed upon. There is a need for mutual support for the associate groups as well as for sharing ideas about ministry and enrichment for associates.

Region 14: California, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah

Contact: Kathy Herrington, HNJM assoc.

Region 15: Northwestern States (click here)

Contact: Catherine Hertel SSMO

This region is scattered over a large area: five from Oregon, around Portland; five from Western Washington; four from Eastern Washington; one from Idaho; two from Montana; one from Colorado; two from Wisconsin; and one from Illinois. It would be interesting to know how many folks we represent in the Region 15 area of the 27,400 Associates in North America and to share the programs we have for these people. How they come to us and live their ministry in light of our charisms seems so much the work of God, pure gift!


Region 16, 17, & 18: Canadian Provinces

Contact:   Arleen Brawley PBVM
                Alexa Smith              
                Joyce Lorentz           

There is great diversity of ages in the programs in Canada, ranging from three programs that are in their first year of growth and four that are twenty or more years of age. The issues also are varied. The now reality is that associates must assume shared responsibility for the initiatives and movements of the programs. The goal here is a healthy, mutual empowerment of associates and vowed religious. There is also a need for development on the part of congregational leadership of an understanding of how associate relationship is growing. Involvement of associates in chapters and assemblies continues to develop in significant ways, including participation in year-long chapter preparation. Some issues exist around the need for paid part-time and full-time personnel. There is a national associate gathering every two years in different parts of Canada.

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Last modified: April 10, 2007