Associates in Mission
Associates in Mission of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati are women and men, young and old, married, single, widowed, divorced, ordained, who share in the mission and spirit of the community.
These women and men seek to express in their lives, a spirituality of attending to God in prayer, in each other, and wherever God’s love is made visible. Associates in Mission commit to explore a new dimension of Christian life, one that calls for a deeper fidelity to the gospel. Associates commit to a relationship centered upon living and spreading the gospel message, serving the spiritual and corporal needs of God’s people and sharing friendship, faith and action with the Community.
They offer one another, and the Sisters of Charity, mutually enriching relationships with the opportunity to share faith and the awareness of how the gospel impacts our lives and our world.
Associate Mission Statement:
We Associates of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
are women and men striving to live the Gospel values.
Called by God, we choose to be in mutual relationship
with the Sisters of Charity guided by their Mission Statement.
We commit ourselves to participate in this mission
through our individual life situations.
SC Mission Statement:
Urged by the love of Christ
and in the spirit of our founder, Elizabeth Ann Seton,
we Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
strive to live Gospel values.
We choose to act justly, to build loving relationships,
to share our resources with those in need,
and to care for all creation.
Associates in Mission strive to integrate the mission and spirit of the Sisters of Charity into her/his role, position or ministry. Associates try to live in a way that makes visible the virtues of humility, simplicity and charity which are the foundation to the spirituality of the community.
There are as many ways to be an Associate as there are Associates. Each one finds the best way that she/he can share this charism (spirit) with others. This could be through their work in a business setting, educational facility, in health care or a non-profit organization. Associates may volunteer at one of the SC ministries or serve in a parish. Their service may be within their own family, caring for children, a spouse or an elderly relative. A life of prayer may be the way they support the community’s efforts. They may find that advocacy for the poor or work as a full-time volunteer is how they express the Gospel message.
However they choose to serve, being an Associate is more about “being” rather than “doing”. Associates’ lives mirror the way they experience the relationship with individual Sisters and/or other Associates, sharing the love of Christ with others in their every day situations.
Associates pursue avenues with the congregation which encourage personal spiritual growth and development. They receive and give support to other community members by participating in gatherings for prayer, discussion and socializing. They keep informed of community events and functions and respond to and initiate communication with other Associates and Sisters.
We maintain viable communication in several ways - through the community’s bi-weekly Newsletter Update, through Intercom a quarterly magazine and through frequent email, letters, phone calls and personal visits.
We support one another through our communication and through our prayer. Every year, each Associate and Sister receive the name of another member of the community to keep in prayer in a special way throughout the year.
Shoulder to shoulder Associates in Mission walk with the Sisters of Charity to spread the charism of the community. These women and men - married, single, widowed, divorced, clergy, people of all ages - selflessly serve in cities and towns from Alaska to Florida, from Texas to Michigan and of course, in Cincinnati. They serve in offices, churches, homes, profit and non-profit venues – serving the poor, caring for the earth, advocating for peace and justice, visiting the sick and dying, praying, educating, leading, organizing, listening - all of them committed to forwarding the mission of the community.
Mary McHale began an organization for divorced, single and widowed women at St. Agnes parish in Ft. Wright, Ky. The group, named “Dinglewids” – divorced, single or widowed – started with 14 women and has grown to include more than 30 participants. "We help each other out, act as sounding boards for frustrations, console each others hurts, take walks and day trips together, learn new recipes and games, share pictures of our grandchildren, we share all aspects of our lives," Mary said.
Carmen Ferguson is a fitness center specialist at The Fitness Club at the Community Wellness Center in Bayley Place. Carmen’s job entails good listening skills. “Even though I am helping people with their physical issues, I listen to their emotional stories, too,” she said.
Constance Trollan is the director of Wellspring Integrative Medical Center in Juneau, Alaska. As director of a facility that employs private nurse practitioners, midwives, physicians, massage therapists and counselors, Connie provides holistic health care to patients, treating the individual as a whole person, physically and emotionally. “Every day I put my Elizabeth Seton medallion on and ask how I might give my heart to God,” Connie said.
As an OB-GYN in Dayton, OH, Dr. Evangeline Andarsio, has been in private practice since 1990. “There’s not a day that goes by, especially in my medical practice caring for women and children, that I don’t realize the mission of the Sisters of Charity,” she said. “Their ministry is part of my life.”
It would be quite a task to name every associate and the ways they share the charism but no matter where they live and work, no matter what they are asked to do, no matter how they are called to serve, associates believe in the mission and vision of the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati and do all that they can to make it a reality.