A comment was recently posted to this blog asking about our Lay Associate group. The comment was made to an older post so I thought I'd fill everyone in on the information.
Our Associate group has been sharing in the spirit and charism of our contemplative community and generously sharing with us their prayer life, wisdom and practical assistance for over twenty years. I was a member for eight years before I entered. Most of the women are mothers or grandmothers, busy with their families, active in their parishes, and ministering in various ways (prison ministry, spiritual direction, retreat work, catechises, etc.)
We meet in the afternoon of the second Sunday of each month. A brief catch-up/business meeting is followed by some kind of program: a presentation by one of our nuns or one of the associates, guest speaker (recently a representative of the local chapter of Pax Christi), viewing a film (this week a documentary about Sr. Thea Bowman), and once a year discussion of a book read in common. At then end of the meeting the Associates join the community in singing the Office of Vespers. Then it is time for refreshments and conversation.
New members are welcome at any time. If they have come to a few meeting and find that they want to deepen their understanding of the Redemptorisine charism, they can ask to come before the regular meetings to meet with the sister in charge for special instruction. Often, after about a year, participants will ask to make a prayerful commitment to the contemplative charism of prayer and the Redemptoristine ideal of becoming a "living memory" of Jesus Christ.
Our associates tell us that they are very grateful for their relationship with us, for the atmosphere of prayer, for the opportunity to meet with like-minded people of faith, to get to know this community of contemplative nuns. When their busy lives allow, some will come to make retreat with us or even just to spent a quiet day in the monastery.
The current director of the program is Sr. Moira Quinn whose e-mail address is email@example.com. She would be delighted to hear from anyone who is interested in this way of growing in faith and getting to know our spirituality.