The Sister/Associate relationship was established in 1972 so that individuals – lay women and men – could partner with the Sisters in responding to the Gospel in the spirit of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Close to 200 Associates reside throughout the US; in 2014 we will take the opportunity to get to know a few of them.
Associate Spotlight – Anne Shaffer
By Megan Moore, Communications intern
It was Associate Anne Shaffer’s daughter April who suggested that they become SC Associates in Mission together. According to Anne, making her commitment to the Sisters of the Charity of Cincinnati on June 5, 2005, was “the best thing I ever did.”
Though Anne retired from her position as health manager at Hamilton County Early Learning Program (Head Start) in June 2012, she is by no means stagnant. Living in Cincinnati, Ohio, she still assists the program with its vision and hearing screenings on the children. She also volunteers weekly at City Gospel Mission taking blood pressures, checking glucose levels and providing a listening ear.
“I am involved now with the Ignatian Spirituality Project,” she added. “I help facilitate retreats for women in recovery from alcohol and/or drugs.”
Along with volunteering and helping those in need, Anne spends her time listening to music and walking almost every day, weather permitting. She has six children and nine grandchildren. Two of her daughters are also Associates: April Vale and Katie Klus.
“As April and Katie’s mother, it is very heartening to know that they believe in the charism and mission of the Sisters of Charity,” said Anne, who first met the Community in the 1980s as a participant in the Spirituality Center’s programs. “What more could a mother desire for her children than to know that this is how they choose to live their lives? I am truly blessed!”
When asked how she feels she carries out the spirit of Elizabeth Seton, Anne said, “I strive to find the grace in every moment. I love ministering to the poor and often neglected in society. [Elizabeth] is the perfect example of how one person can make a difference. I hope I am.
“I try to live my life as God’s instrument, relying on God’s grace to give me what I need, as I answer God’s call,” she concluded.