SCN Associates: A 50 Year History 1972-2022

Posted by Kelly McDaniels

July 15, 2022

Introduction
Throughout the more than 200 year history of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (SCN), friends from the broader community have walked beside the Sisters in their call to follow the charism of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. From the earliest days, these partners have been integral to the SCN mission, whether through working directly with the Sisters in ministry; providing donations of goods, money, or services; or offering prayers. During the time of upheaval and renewal following the Second Vatican Council, there was a growing desire to add a layer of formality to these friendships and strengthen the ties already in place. Over time, this movement culminated in the establishment of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Associates (SCNA).

Records from the days of Mother Catherine Spalding and the founding Sisters of the Congregation in the early 1800s show examples of those who walked with the Sisters from the very beginning. In the early days at St. Thomas, a Mr. Morgan aided the Sisters through his notable ability to weave and a Mr. Wesley spent much time in prayer for the fledgling Congregation. The two lived at St. Thomas in an old cabin renovated for their use.[1] As the Sisters branched out in ministries away from St. Thomas, they were aided by many new friends. Mr. Gough of Lexington, Kentucky provided a house for the newly founded St. Catherine Academy.[2] Merchants in Bardstown provided groceries and other supplies to the Sisters on credit while they began anew after moving from St. Thomas to Nazareth, with the understanding that the Sisters would pay when they were able.[3] Many aging women came to live their last years at Nazareth, assisting with tasks such as sewing habits for the Sisters, joining the Sisters at Mass, and praying for the Congregation, and an elderly man named Mr. Lowe spent some time at Nazareth, being “generally useful about the place”.[4]

The Sisters continued to cultivate such friendships throughout the decades. With the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) came a call for greater and more formal inclusion of the laity in the work of the Church.[5] The SCNs embraced this call, wanting to connect more with their sisters and brothers outside of religious communities. With the goal of greater connection with the laity in mind but no clear path or idea of what that connection might look like in its final form, the Sisters embarked upon a winding path that ultimately led to the formal creation of the SCN Associates. The journey toward a formal Associate relationship was rarely clearly defined or simple. Sister Barbara Thomas may have put it best when she said, “The [Associate] program came out of life; we claimed it, and gave it a name.”[6]

Considering Associates
The earliest recorded discussions about a formal Associate relationship arose from the desire of former postulants, novices, and vowed members to retain ties with the Community. At the June 1970 General Assembly, after a discussion regarding those Sisters wishing to postpone vows or make promises instead of vows, Sister John Mary Hurley mentioned having given thought to the idea of “associate sisters”.[7] The term “Associate Member” was also briefly used to describe Sisters who transferred to the SCN Congregation from another religious order. The first recorded time that anyone was referred to as an Associate Member of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth was when Sister Barbara Houston made promises for one year as a transfer member, before formally transferring her vows from the Sisters of Notre Dame to the SCN Congregation. On the 19th of October, 1970, the Executive Committee minutes report that, “Sister Barbara Houston, who has been a member of another religious congregation for the past four years, has been accepted as our first ‘associate’ member.”[8] This was clearly a different use of the term “Associate Member” than the Congregation utilizes today. As the Congregation drew closer to a formal Associate relationship and began to define what it meant to be an SCN Associate, the term “associate” was used in a variety of ways, including describing former members wishing to maintain a relationship with the community, potential members contemplating vowed life, transfer members like Sister Barbara Houston, and dear friends of the Community who stood in strong support of the SCN charism and craved a deeper relationship with the SCN Congregation.

The advocacy of lay people, former members, and Sisters for an Associate connection to the SCN Community served as a notable impetus for the eventual founding of the SCN Associate relationship. When former member Janet Mader requested associate membership at the end of 1970, Sister John Mary was called upon by the Executive Committee to research associate membership in religious communities.[9] The calls for this kind of relationship with the SCN Community increased when, in 1971, Martha Cullen, a good friend of the Community, began discussing associate membership with Mother Lucille Russell and requested that the Sisters create an associate program.[10] At one of the four sessions of the 1971 General Assembly, most likely the April session, Mother Lucille proposed that the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth begin a formal associate membership program, declaring that, “These friends should be recognized and acclaimed associates in our ministry.”[11]

Sister Gracia Goyette and Sister Rose Elizabeth Griffin with SCN Associate Martha Cullen

In May of 1971, the Executive Committee discussed the request of Mary Elizabeth Bindner, another Sister not planning to renew her vows, who wished to become an associate member.[12] Four days later, on May 24th, the Executive Committee stated that, “an interim policy on associate and affiliate membership, and transfer of sisters from other communities is being sent to the Task Force on Continuing Development.”[13] By December of 1971, the Executive Committee reported that, “We have two active associate members at present — Lynda Dwyer and Marie Ferretti. Perspective [sic] members are Janet Mader, Martha Cullen, Sharen Snook. It was agreed the Congregation should know who these people are and where they are, and that perhaps those in the area could invite them to local functions. It was thought that in the future their names could be included in the Directory. It was agreed that Catherine Maher should be included posthumously.”[14] With the participation of these individuals, the SCN Associate relationship, as we know it today, was beginning to take shape.

Mother Lucille’s Proposal Approved
On January 25, 1972, Mother Lucille’s proposal was approved by the Executive Committee, thus formalizing the SCN Associate relationship.[15] A few days prior, at a meeting that ran January 20-23, the Board of Trustees accepted Martha Cullen as an Associate member and Marie Ferretti as an Affiliate member, shifting from her position as an Associate to an Affiliate. (Affiliates, at this time, had the ultimate goal of joining the SCNs in vows).[16] Over the next two years, the Sisters and the SCN Associates took small steps to formalize and develop the Associate relationship. A membership card for Associates was discussed at a March 1972 Executive Committee meeting.[17] Paula Henkel was admitted to Associate membership in April of that same year.[18] By the summer of 1972, the “SCN Associate Member Program” was loosely defined as having the goal of “effective collaboration in the Spirit by sharing in the spirit of the SCN Community, [and through] support for [the] associate’s personal call from Christ.” Membership was open to, “former SCN members and other committed Christians.” SCN Associates of this era could expect to be in relationship with the Sisters through communal prayer, personal contact with Sisters, access to SCN newsletters and other communications, and by assisting in ministry. In some cases, Associates also supported the work of the Congregation through financial contributions.[19]

At the end of 1972, on December 1st, Sister James Ellen Huff expressed a particular interest in the fledgling Associates.[20] A month later, she submitted a proposal to the Executive Committee, offering to create a more structured program for the SCN Associates.[21] She was encouraged to move forward with this proposal, in addition to her other duties. Sister James Ellen’s progress with an Associate program was somewhat hampered by her fulltime ministry as librarian at La Salette Academy in Covington for one year, but by August 1973, Sister James Ellen was back at Spalding College (now Spalding University). In January 1974, she was joined in her efforts by Sister Marilyn Spink, who was equally determined to create a program for the SCN Associates.[22]

The First Associate
On the 15th of February 1974, Toni Vano made her first commitment as an SCN Associate at St. Patrick Church in Brockton, Massachusetts; she was the first SCN Associate from the East Coast.[23] By this time, approximately six people had been named SCN Associates, beginning with Barbara Houston, though she was an Associate of an earlier understanding. As a result of the organic and winding path the SCN Associate relationship took as it came into being, there has been some confusion over the years regarding who, exactly, was the first SCN Associate. Different sources and different individuals assert different views. The Executive Committee minutes of the 19th of October 1970 clearly refer to Barbara Houston as the “first associate.”[24] By the end of 1971, the Executive Committee reported two active Associates – Lynda Dwyer and Marie Ferretti.[25] Three days before the Executive Committee approved Mother Lucille’s proposal for a formal Associate relationship, Martha Cullen was approved as an Associate – the fifth Associate, according to the records that we have available.[26] In April 1972, Paula Henkel became the first recorded Associate after the formal approval of the Associate proposal.[27] Sister Barbara Thomas, in an address given at the first SCNA Core Council meeting in 1982, referred to Toni Vano (made Associate in February 1974) as the first Associate.[28] This, at least, it seems safe to say, was done in error. The individual most consistently referred to as the “first SCN Associate,” is Martha Cullen. A brief list of historical facts about the SCN Associates and the caption on a photo of Martha Cullen, both located in the Nazareth Archives, state that she was the first SCN Associate. Sister Mary Ransom Burke also stated that Martha Cullen was the first Associate.[29] It would be easy to say that Martha Cullen was the first Associate under the new, formal relationship, but for the fact that she was named an Associate three days before that relationship was formalized. In which case, one could argue, based on the records, that Paula Henkel was the first formal Associate. While confounding for timelines (and desperate archivists), the ambiguity surrounding the “first Associate” aligns well with the reality that the SCN Associate relationship grew out of life and the SCN family merely claimed it and gave it a name. Perhaps it is fair to say that Mr. Morgan and Mr. Wesley of Old St. Thomas days were the first SCN Associates. Regardless, it is clear that for nearly as long as there have been Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, there have been loyal friends and associates of the Congregation.

Sister Barbara Peterson and Emily Pugh help Toni Vano celebrate becoming an SCN Associate on February 15, 1974.

First Associate Director, Sister Donna Kenney
Thanks to the efforts of Sisters James Ellen Huff and Marilyn Spink, the Associate relationship gained valuable structure. In June 1974, at the SCN General Assembly, Sister Donna Kenney was named the first Director of the SCN Associates, a part-time position in addition to her many other responsibilities.[30] Sister Donna was enthusiastic about the opportunities presented by this new Associate relationship.

Sister Donna Kenny, first SCN Associate Director

By the mid ‘70s the membership in the SCN Community was declining. An actuarial study showed that this decline would continue. The Community had set a direction for the Sisters: They would continue to meet the needs of the times by starting new ministries, but instead of those ministries being staffed indefinitely by the SCNs, the Sisters would initiate the new work, plan for its success, assure that this ministry would move the Community toward its mission – its very purpose, then leave it in the hands of competent lay women and men to continue it. I saw the SCNA program as a tremendous opportunity to live out this vision.[31]

In addition to leadership, the 1974 General Assembly also gave the Associate relationship greater definition. A detailed proposal with an updated description of the SCN Associates, an admission policy for those interested, and a suggestion to conduct annual evaluations of individual Associate relationships was submitted to the Assembly delegates for review.

This is an association for individuals, men and women, who wish to give expression to their relationship with the religious community of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. The primary bond is one of mutual support through prayer. Visibility can also be given to the relationship on the part of the Associate by involvement in the SCN apostolic works and on the part of the Community by openness to such involvement and co-responsibility. Other expressions of the relationship may be the sharing of facilities and time on the part of the Community to allow for opportunities for mutual support, for the exchange of ideas and the sharing of faith with Associates.[32]

The proposal went on to describe how interested individuals should be referred to the area Provincial, who, in turn, recommended the person for acceptance. If recommended for acceptance, the Associate Director and area Associate Coordinator worked with the interested person, until the process culminated in the submission of a “contract” by the aspiring Associate to be approved by the Executive Committee. Once approved, Associates could subscribe to the SCNews and participate in community functions.[33] While this definition would undergo revisions in the months and years to come, it was a notable step in laying the groundwork for a more stable, structured Associate relationship. Sister Barbara Thomas spoke to the 1974 General Assembly of the Community’s ability to recognize and respond to, “the apparent need for this type of membership,” and looked forward to the General Assembly’s decision regarding the details of the “program,” which would, “enable the Executive Committee to share plans for this program with the entire Community and with prospective members.”[34] The SCN Associate “program,” as it was called in its early years, was gaining momentum.

The growing number of Associates related to the Congregation in different ways. Some actively joined the Sisters in ministry while others wished to join in relationship with the Sisters, but were unable to directly participate in ministry. Many of the latter were the aging, close relatives of the Sisters. In addition to the desire for these loved ones to be a part of the Associate relationship, there was an added incentive. In the early 1970s, the state of Kentucky only permitted the Sisters to care for members of the SCN Congregation in their nursing home facilities.[35] As Associate members, these close relatives of the Sisters could receive care at SCN nursing home institutions.[36] Eventually, a distinction was made between “active” and “designated” Associates. Active Associates were those able to be active participants in SCN ministry, while designated Associates was a title given to those close friends of the Community – typically the parents of SCNs – many of whom needed the care offered by Nazareth Home and were unable to participate in SCN ministry outside of prayers and the occasional financial gift.

Sister Barbara Peterson hands the community’s newest SCN Associate, Carol Desrosier, a ring as a symbol of her commitment to the SCN community in 1975.

Area Representatives
By March of 1975, area representatives had been appointed in the United States to serve as contacts for existing and potential Associates. Sisters Julie Driscoll and Mary Angela Shaughnessy were the contacts in St. Joseph Province (Massachusetts, Maryland, and Virginia); Sister Marian Haney in Immaculate Heart Province (Covington Kentucky; Columbus, Ohio; and Steubenville, Ohio Dioceses); Sister Ann Margaret Boone in St. Vincent Province (Western Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana); Sisters James Ellen Huff, Ann Murphy, and Margaret Naber in Holy Family I (this province included Russell Hall and approximately half of Louisville and surrounding areas, except those at Nazareth Home who were part of the Quasi Province); Sister Suzanne Hackmiller in Holy Family III (the remaining half of Louisville and the surrounding areas, excluding Nazareth Home); and Sister Gabrielle Branscome in the Nazareth Province (the Motherhouse and the infirmary at Nazareth).[37] The first meeting of the area representatives was held at Nazareth Home. The group decided to change the terminology of an Associate “contract” to a “covenant” or “agreement.” They also approved a design for a ceramic Associate pin and SCN Associate stationary.[38]

By April of 1978, the number of Associates had grown such that it was possible to convene a “core group” of Associates to discuss the future of the active Associates. Four Associates, Trudi Maish, Mary Frederick, Liz Barry (a former SCN who later re-entered the Community), and Janice Smith, met informally with Associate Director Sister Donna Kenney to discuss future plans and nominate a temporary representative to serve as contact between the core group of Associates and the Associate Director. (Joan Sauer, SCNA, was also a member of this core group, but was unable to attend the meeting). Mary Frederick was chosen as the temporary SCN Associate representative until such time as a permanent representative could be selected from the entire Associate membership. This was the beginning of a long-term movement to place more responsibility for the Associate “program” into the hands of actual Associates. As Sister Donna Kenney said to those at the meeting that day, “I cannot say what the Associate Program will become because I am not an Associate member, I do not have the same ideas that you (Core Group) and other Associates have.”[39]

Official counts show that the number of Associates had grown to 158 by May of 1978. At this time, the differences between active and designated members had been further clarified. As before, designated members were those who sought a deeper bond with the SCN Congregation but who, for various reasons such as poor health, were unable to be actively involved in SCN ministries and so primarily joined with the Congregation through prayer and occasional financial contributions. Many of the designated Associates lived at Nazareth Home. Active Associates, like the designated Associates, joined the SCNs in prayer and occasionally made financial contributions, but were also actively involved in a wide range of ministries including volunteering at Nazareth Home, SCN hospitals, typing or driving for the Sisters when needed, visiting with the sick, and sitting with the dying, among other things. All Associates, whether Active or Designated, had an SCN contact person.[40]

1978 General Assembly
A notable step in the inclusion of Associates in SCN Community life was the invitation that all sixty Active Associates received to attend the 1978 General Assembly.[41] Associates were given the same role as non-delegate SCNs to listen to and discuss proposals and other matters presented over the course of the Assembly. Associates were grouped with SCNs and their comments, questions, concerns, and feedback were recorded and reported to the delegates. The opportunity to participate in a General Assembly provided a new way for Associates to learn more about the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Ann-Marie Houghton stated that, at the 1978 General Assembly she, “…woke up to being part of a community that was international.”[42] Associate participation in the Assembly also gave the SCNs a unique opportunity to learn more about the Associates. One of the programs videotaped during the 1978 Assembly was a panel discussion in which Sister Carole Kaucic interviewed six Associates. Associates Ann-Marie and George Houghton, Mary Frederick, Liz Barry, Marian DiFiore, and Toni Vano answered questions on the subjects of why they wanted to be SCN Associates, where they saw the Associates in the future, and positive experiences they had enjoyed as the result of being Associates. During the interview, Toni Vano expressed that, “The experience of the whole week has made me feel a part. I was attached to the circle. Now I am in the middle of the circle.”[43] The entire experience served to strengthen the nascent bonds of community between Sisters and Associates.

Sister Carol Kaucic interviews a panel of SCN Associates Ann-Marie and George Houghton, Mary Frederick, Toni Vano, Marian DiFiore, and Liz Barry during the 1978 General Assembly.

The Sisters and Associates grew closer in a new way when Ann-Marie Houghton became Director of the Hospitality House (today known as the Guest House) at Nazareth. When Ann-Marie began work in her new role, she and her family – husband and fellow SCN Associate, George, and their children Geo, Maria, and David – moved into an apartment in the Hospitality House, leaving their home in Newburyport, Massachusetts.[44] The family arrived at Nazareth in January 1980, eager to be in full-time ministry with the SCNs.[45] For one year, they lived and worked at Nazareth. Ann-Marie spoke of the richness of the experience, all the many people that they got to meet working in hospitality at Nazareth, and the, “…range of opportunities for service when I was there. I loved it.”[46]

Conversion in a Community of Mission
While the Houghtons served with dedication in the role of hospitality, diligent work was also going on within the SCN Community to update the SCN Constitutions. This resulted in a series of booklets, entitled Conversion in a Community of Mission, which served as interim Constitutions while the Sisters finalized their new Constitutions and waited for Rome’s approval. Featured in these booklets was a clear definition and explanation of the Associate Membership Program, carefully honed over the years since the Congregation first began to consider having formal Associates. Following a description of canonical membership was a section on members of the Congregation who do not make a profession of vows. A revision of the description from the 1974 General Assembly proposal describing Associates, the relevant pages in Conversion in a Community of Mission read: “This is an association for women and men who wish to give formal expression to their relationship with the religious community of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. The primary bond is one of mutual support through prayer. Persons who seek a deeper experience of union with God through communication with the SCN Community are eligible for membership.”[47] The booklet went on to describe ways in which visibility can be given to the relationship on the part of the Associates and on the part of the Sisters which include things such as sharing in ministry and prayer, receiving and reading SCN communications, an official Associate membership card and pin/ring, prayer partners, inviting Associates to attend province meetings, etc.[48] In addition to providing greater clarity on what it meant to be an SCN Associate, this publication marked a historical moment for the Associates: For the first time, the SCN Associates were included in the constitutions of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

Sister Margaret Rose Griesbaum

Associate Directors Sister Margaret Rose Griesbaum and Sister Anne Rita Mauck
Rounding out a year of historic moments for the Associates, Sister Donna Kenney retired from her position as Associate Director and Sister Margaret Rose Griesbaum was named the second Associate Director in September 1980, in addition to continuing in her role as Novice Director.[49] Sister Margaret Rose was destined to serve as Associate Director for only one year, as she left Nazareth for full time study at Fordham University in August of 1981.[50] With Sister Margaret Rose’s departure, Sister Anne Rita Mauck became the third Director of the SCN Associates.[51]

Sister Anne Rita Mauck

First Associates in India and Belize
During Sister Anne Rita’s time as Director, aided by the groundwork that had been laid by Sister Donna Kenney and Sister Margaret Rose, as well as the many others who believed strongly in the Associate relationship, the SCN Associates truly started to flourish. In January of 1982, an article in the SCN India News welcomed the first Indian Associate, Father Edmund “Pat” Rebeiro, SJ.[52] His brother, Father Cyril “Tim” Rebeiro, SJ, would join him as the second Indian Associate in 1984.[53] Fathers Pat and Tim worked closely with the SCNs in the Sokho mission and felt called by the SCN charism. Though India did not have a formal Associate formation process at that time, the brothers were considered SCN Associates by the SCNs and in their own Jesuit province.[54]

At roughly the same time, the Associate relationship was taking root in Belize as well. Sister Mary Lynn Fields’ Ministers of the Word program drew many in Belize closer to the SCNs and she invited those in the group to consider becoming SCN Associates.[55] By the fall of 1982, the first Belizean Associate, Philip Nicasio, was listed in the SCN Associate section of the SCN Directory.[56] Philip was the uncle of Irene Locario, who entered the SCN novitiate in September of 1982. He remained a faithful SCN Associate until his death in 2009.

Sister Mary Lynn Fields with Associates in Belize

As the SCN Associate relationship began to take root in other countries, the foundations grew stronger in the United States. Sister Anne Rita Mauck reported 324 Associates with an additional thirty in the process of becoming an Associate. Two Associates had become SCNs. Eight congregations had reached out to the SCNs in as many months to inquire about the SCN Associate relationship with the goal of initiating a similar program of their own.[57] The SCN Associates were growing in number and becoming a multi-faceted group. The need for greater direction and more explicit input from the Associates themselves was becoming more apparent every day. In April of 1982, the SCN Associate Core Council was established to serve as an advisory board to the Associate Director, assisting with the leadership and formulating objectives and policies as the Associate relationship became more structured.[58]

The First Core Council
Sister Anne Rita chaired the first meeting of the SCNA Core Council at Nazareth on September 17-19, 1982. The original Core Council consisted of one SCN and one Associate from each of the six SCN provinces in America at the time. The first SCN Associate Core Council consisted of Sister Thérèse Arru and Ms. Beth Stock of the Nazareth Province; Sister Alice Hofmann and Mrs. Connie Lusher of the Louisville I Province; Sister Anne Magruder and Mr. Edwin Green of the Louisville II Province; Sister Barbara Spencer and Mr. Tom Riley of the Southern Province; Sister Patricia Norton and Mrs. Ann-Marie Houghton of the Eastern Province; and Sister Louis Catharine Kennedy and Mr. Louis Buschermohle of the Central Province. (Sisters Alice Hofmann and Patricia Norton were unable to attend the first Core Council meeting). Sister Barbara Thomas opened the meeting with a presentation on the history of the SCN Associates up to that point. With the history of the Associates in mind, the Council members and Sister Anne Rita looked to the future, discussing many questions regarding the nature of the Associate relationship. Among the topics discussed were the need for formation and education programs for new Associates, clarification of the types of Associate membership, ways that the Sisters and Associates could better connect through news and gatherings, and ways that SCN Associate talents could be utilized for the good of the SCN mission with proper networking. By the end of this first meeting, the Core Council decided to create an education program for those interested in becoming Associates who were newly introduced to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, which would give them a greater understanding of the history of the SCNs and their charism. In addition to the education program, the Core Council set a goal of crafting a formation process for all those wishing to become Associates.[59]

By May of 1983, the Core Council and Sister Anne Rita Mauck made the decision to eliminate the distinctions of “active,” “semi-active,” and “designated” membership types. They published a clarified explanation of Associate membership and set down guidelines for renewal of Associate membership and a process for seeking permanent membership. Associate membership could be renewed annually for a period of three years, at which time the Associate could request permanent membership if they chose.[60] By the end of Sister Anne Rita’s time as Associate Director, the Associate relationship was better defined than ever before, and major advancements in structure were in progress.

Sister Rosemarie Chase

Fourth Associate Director, Sister Rosemarie Chase
Sister Rosemarie Chase’s sharp mind and background in theology were uniquely suited to guide the SCN Associates to the attainment of one of the Core Council’s major goals. Soon after Sister Rosemarie was appointed Associate Director in August of 1984, the Core Council met to hear her proposal for initial and continuing Associate formation. The goal of religious formation is to form a deeper connection with one’s faith. In the context of the SCN Associates, the goal of formation is to deepen the Associates’ connection with their Christian faith and with the specific charism of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, which the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth follow. Sister Rosemarie proposed a formation program modeled after the Catholic Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). Her plan called for, “…small groups of interested SCNs, SCNAs, and potential SCNAs to meet once a month according to a specific format of shared prayer, shared faith and ministry experience and input about the SCN community.”[61] Those interested in becoming Associates would join one of these groups for a year and, at the end of that year, could discern with their group whether or not they were ready to make a commitment as an Associate. All those choosing to make a commitment would then be received in a commitment ceremony on September 27, the feast of St. Vincent de Paul.[62]

As Sister Rosemarie guided the Associates to a more structured formation program, Sister Barbara Spencer (Southern Province SCN Associate contact person) was building a stronger foundation for the Associates in Belize. On July 6, 1986, Sister Barbara Spencer, conducted the first formal SCN Associate orientation meeting in Belize at the SCN House in San Ignacio. Four people, Nea and Ycela Church, and Olga and Lourdes Smith, attended this first meeting. The next day, Sister Barbara held a second meeting across the river in Santa Elena which was attended by an even greater number including Maria Andrews, Francesca Jones, Teodi Ruiz, Silvestra Zepata, Catalina Allen, Magdalena Rodriquez and Louise Lewis all of Santa Elena. Inez and David Cabb and Digna Tun from Santa Familia Village also attended.[63] By the fall of 1986, two more Belizeans, Jerris and Lorraine Valentine, had made commitments as SCN Associates.[64] The following year, Simeon and Juanita Joseph of Dangriga joined the growing number of SCN Associates in Belize.[65]

Sister Mary Angela Shaughnessy, interim SCN Associate Director

Interim Director, Sister Mary Angela Shaughnessy, and Fifth Associate Director, Sister Mary Lynn Fields
In June of 1987, when Sister Rosemarie was called to minister as RCIA Director in Ohio, Sister Mary Angela Shaughnessy stepped up to serve as interim Director of the Associates until a new director could be chosen.[66] A few months later, on September 1, 1987, Sister Mary Lynn Fields became Associate Director. The September 18-20 Core Council meeting welcomed both the new director and two new Council members: Sisters Pat Kelley and Kay Winfield. The group was once again faced with the perennial issue of types of Associate membership. The difference in how each Associate carried out their Associate relationship confused many. The Council identified four separate levels of membership, in practice if not in name: those who supported the Congregation through prayers and donations, those active in ministry but not directly involved with SCN missions, those active in Faith Groups or otherwise visibly a part of SCN ministries, and those who wished “to make a temporary commitment to share life and ministry in community.”[67] A committee was appointed to determine the best way to handle the variety of Associate membership types. The Council also discussed and approved plans for the formation program, implementing a formation day in the spring, and redesigning the SCN Associate brochure. They also elected new officers: Pat Crivelli, SCNA was elected vice-chairperson and Sister Mary Angela Shaughnessy was re-elected secretary. The meeting included a retirement party for Sister Barbara Spencer, who was retiring from her role on the Core Council after nine years of ministry.[68]

Sister Mary Lynn Fields

By January of 1988, there were approximately 375 SCN Associates in India, Belize, and the United States.[69] In an effort to promote greater connection amongst the scattered Associates and Sisters, a temporary newsletter, the SCN/A Connector, was mailed out every six weeks.[70] The Ad Hoc Committee appointed to address the confusion of Associate membership styles, consisting of Sisters Mary Lynn Fields, Mary Ransom Burke, Mary Ellen Doyle, Patricia Huitt, Mary Eula Johnson and Patricia Worley and Associates James and Pat McGrew, had been hard at work.[71] They had observed two ways to fulfill an Associate commitment, which the committee named “participative” membership and “affiliate” membership and proposed that the Core Council make them official membership types. Affiliate members were those who participated primarily through prayer and financial support (and in ministry when possible), while participative members were more active in ministry alongside the Sisters. The type of membership an Associate wished to have was to be specified in their commitment statements.[72] These membership types as well as policies and procedures were approved by the Core Council at a meeting held at Nazareth on March 18-19, 1988.[73]

SCNA Ministry Corps
One question remained for the Ad Hoc Committee studying the various types of Associate membership and ways that lay people wished to be in community with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth – how to address those who wished to make temporary commitments to share fully in the life and ministry of the Sisters. On January 6, 1988, with full support of the Executive Committee, the SCN Associates founded the SCNA Mission Corps, which would eventually be known as the Ministry Corps. This program was designed to give SCN Associates and others new opportunities to share in SCN community life and mission. The Ministry Corps was specifically designed for those with a temporary commitment to the SCN way of life in mind. Successful applicants would live and minister full-time with SCNs for one to three years. The Mission Corps was open to both men and women aged 21 and older who were recommended by three people (including minister and employer), and able to participate in a thorough orientation.[74]

The summer of 1988 witnessed a milestone for the SCN Associates when the first United States based Associate visited Belize. Carol Toon, SCNA, and six teenagers, of St. Jerome Parish in Fancy Farm, Kentucky spent a month in Belize. They were welcomed by Sister Amina Bejos, the first of many SCN hosts the group had during their stay. Eager to experience life in Belize and minister alongside the Sisters, they first spent two weeks in the village of Seine Bight. After their time in the village, they moved on to travel the country, working in various Bible Schools.[75]

Carol Toon, SCNA, and Sister Mag Riggs with others from St. Jerome Parish in Fancy Farm who traveled to minister with the SCNs and SCN Associates in Belize for several weeks

By the end of Sister Mary Lynn’s time as Associate Director in mid-1990, membership types had been clarified, new policies and procedures had been put in place, and the Mission Corps had been founded. Since 1974, more than 500 people had been received as SCN Associates.[76] The Associate relationship was thriving.

Sister Marilyn Shea, Vice President, becomes Associate Director
In 1990, the SCN Congregation made the decision to combine the administration of several offices under central leadership – the Offices of On-going Formation, Social Justice, and Director of Associates. These duties became part of the responsibilities of the Vice President for Community Life and Mission. Thus, when Sister Marilyn Shea was elected Vice President in 1990, she became Director of Associates.[77]

Sister Marilyn Shea

After a lengthy application and orientation process, the first two Ministry Corps participants began serving as volunteers. Karen Anderson, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, spent six months in the fall of 1990 teaching at an alternative school for high school dropouts in David, Kentucky and Laura Thomas, from Houston, Texas, served in multiple locations in India and Nepal from October 1990 through March 1991.[78] The overwhelming number of applicants inspired the Ministry Corps Advisory Board to take a step back in order to add more structure to the program – chiefly in the form of identifying more opportunities for ministry. As a result, only two applications were processed for the year 1991-1992. Jack and Eileen Zuber of Columbus, Ohio wished to serve in Appalachia and arrangements were made for them to minister in Pennsylvania.[79] Not long after this, however, the Ministry Corps Advisory Board made the decision to stop accepting applications until a more structured pool of possible volunteer sites could be organized.[80] While this program never resumed after this time, lay volunteers, including many Associates, continue to work closely with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth through the SCN Lay Mission Volunteer Program, founded in 2003 and currently directed by Sister Luke Boiarski[81].

In 1992, Sister Marilyn conducted a survey of the SCN community, the results of which indicated widespread, enthusiastic acceptance and support of the Associates and their participation in every region. Two suggestions from the survey further aided her in moving the program forward: greater communication regarding the program and the Associates and that the position of Associate Director be made full-time.[82] With this data in mind, Sister Marilyn requested that the Executive Committee appoint a full-time Associate Director. As a result, Sister Marlene Lehmkuhl was named the first full-time Director of the SCN Associates in July 1993.[83]

Sister Marlene Lehmkuhl

First Full-Time Associate Director, Sister Marlene Lehmkuhl
Sister Marlene began her ministry as SCN Associate Director by visiting as many of the Associates as she could in order to get to know them and learn how they viewed the Associate relationship. She then visited other congregations to learn how they managed relationships with lay partners. Armed with the knowledge gained from these meetings and visits, Sister Marlene determined that the SCN Associates needed more orientation into SCN life, a solid foundation in theology and scripture, and greater structure. She began meeting with small groups to provide orientation, but her vision was to have Associate Candidates gather at Nazareth three times a year for two years to learn the history of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, to build relationships with each other and the Sisters, and to learn how they could be in ministry with the Sisters. She ultimately requested that the Executive Committee officially approve a formation process of three weekends a year for two years for all those seeking to be Associates. Her request was approved and Sister Marlene’s vision became the new formation program for the SCN Associates, culminating in making first commitments as SCN Associates at an Associate event near the feast of St. Vincent de Paul.[84] Formation weekends from this point on featured exceptional, often nationally renowned speakers who presented on topics such as the Vincentian Charism, Vatican II, SCN history, and scripture. The gatherings were well attended by those in initial formation, as well as Associates and Sisters. “The outstanding quality of the programs, the opportunities for Sisters and Associates from all over to get to know each other and build community, and the prayerful times together at Nazareth made these formation weekends a special experience.”[85] The vision and dedication of Sister Marlene and Sister Marilyn ushered the Associates into a “golden age” that to this day continues to inform the core tenets of the SCN Associates.[86] In time, this formation program became widely known as one of the best Associate formation programs for nurturing a deeper connection with a congregation.[87]

SCN Associate Simeon Joseph carries streamers into St Vincent Church at the first SCNA Convocation in June 1994
-Photo by Trudi Maish, SCNA

First SCN Associate Convocation
In June 1994, eighty SCN Associates and approximately as many Sisters, spent a weekend at Nazareth for the first SCN Associate Convocation. All Associates were invited to the event and many from distant places attended, including Associates from a dozen U.S. states and Belize. Colman McCarthy, founder and director of the Center for Teaching Peace in Washington, D.C. was the keynote speaker and also hosted a Saturday afternoon workshop on conflict resolution.[88] The convocation featured additional workshops led by both Sisters and Associates, Mass, Centering Prayer, Tai Chi, a nature walk, time for sharing and socializing, and much more.[89] During the Saturday afternoon Mass, a special choir composed of SCNs and SCN Associates joined the regular SCN choir, a beautiful symbol of the, “…spirit of unity manifested throughout the Convocation.”[90] Evaluations of the convocation were overwhelmingly positive from Associates and Sisters alike.[91]

Husband and wife Chet and Lue LeBlanc perform during the talent show at the first SCNA Convocation in June 1994.
-Photo by Trudi Maish, SCNA

That same year, Sister Marlene Lehmkuhl urged the Core Council to collect dues or a similar financial contribution from Associates in order to offset the amount that the Congregation was spending on SCN Associate weekends and other events. At the time, the Congregation was contributing approximately 60% of the funding for Associate events and sometimes assisting with travel expenses as well. In response, Associates Helen Burns and Mary Gene Frank, who assisted with Associate finances and would later become members of the SCN Associate Finance Committee, initiated an annual Associate pledge to support the formation program. The money went to offset expenses incurred during formation events and, occasionally, to assist Associates and Candidates with travel and room and board for events.[92]

An SCN Associate Golden Age
The next three years witnessed the SCN Associates settling into the new formation structure and a stronger, more unified identity. In 1995, the assorted types of SCN Associate membership were combined. All Associates from that point on were to be known as participative Associates.[93] The title of Candidate was given to all of those in the initial formation process who had not yet made their first commitment and Inquirers were those investigating what it meant to be an SCN Associate but who had not yet begun initial formation. Ties between Associates in different countries were strengthened. At the end of 1994, Sharon Cecil visited Belize to minister with the Sisters and Associates there for two months. She grew close to the Associates in Belize and returned many times in later years to minister alongside them again.[94] Sister Marlene traveled to Belize in 1995 and led a meeting with the Associates in Dangriga to train them in the process for Focus Groups.[95] In October 1996, Mary Gene Frank became the first United States-based Associate to visit India.[96] While there she volunteered at Nazareth Hospital and videotaped the Province Assembly. She also met with Provincial Sister Bridget Kappalamackal and the Province Board to discuss how adopting the use of internet and email – neither of which were in use at the time – might benefit the Sisters.[97] In February 1997, Sisters Marlene and Marilyn Shea led an SCN Associate retreat in Dangriga, Belize while they were in the country to attend a memorial for the late Sister Mary Lynn Fields.[98] In July of that year, Nazareth played host to the second SCN Associate Convocation. Associates and Sisters gathered to hear keynote speaker Diana Hayes speak on the subject of confronting racism, participate in workshops, and spend time cultivating stronger relationships with each other.[99] To mark the 25th anniversary of the SCN Associates, Associate Mary Martin researched and published a History of the Associates of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 1972-1997.[100]

In January 1999, Sister Rosemarie Kirwan attended the blessing of a house in Belize. The SCN Associates in Belize had built the house for an elderly grandmother who had raised her grandchildren after her daughter unexpectedly died at a young age. She went on to help her grandchildren care for their children. Through all of this, the woman had never had suitable housing. The Associates worked through the Belizean government to secure her a plot of land. Unfortunately, the land she was given was swampy and overgrown, but this did not stop the determined Associates who cleared the land and brought in landfill. Once the land was made suitable for building, the Associates built a very simple house for the woman and her three great grandchildren. Sister Rosemarie Kirwan recalled Associate Simeon Joseph mentioning at a meeting that the group desperately needed two pieces of plywood to finish the house. Someone at the meeting remarked that they had two pieces of plywood and generously offered them for the project. Though the house was very simple, Sister Rosemarie remembers the woman’s joy and gratitude for her new home as she stood in her doorway and remarked, “This is the first home I have ever owned and you made it for me. I will be so thankful to live here until I die”.[101]

Through Sister Marlene’s six years as Associate Director, working with the Core Council, the SCN Associates grew in understanding and focus. The formation program was re-envisioned and Associate gatherings became more regular as they became an integral part of both initial and on-going formation. Opportunities to live the charism of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac through ministry grew. The first two SCN Associate convocations and other Associate weekends and retreats provided cherished moments for many Associates and Sisters to come together to form closer bonds of friendship. Many recall fondly the time and laughter shared in Russell Hall and Catherine Spalding Center where Associates regularly gathered for retreats and convocations held at Nazareth. On many nights, after the official activities had ended, Sisters and Associates gathered to play games and watch television. Some of those commonly seen around a poker table were Associates Sharon Cecil, Andy Meyer, Jean Denney, Patsy O’Toole, Nora Ballard, Scott Mobley, and Sisters Pat Worley and Ellen Paul McGovern. All of the proceeds from the games were donated to Sister Ellen Paul who used the funds to support poor children in Boston.[102] Through these six years, the Associates, together with the Sisters, grew more confident in their shared relationship and blossomed into unity as a community.

Sister Marilyn Shea becomes Full-Time Associate Director
When Sister Marilyn Shea became Associate Director for a second time in June 1999, many things had changed for the better.[103] Sister Marilyn carried the revitalized Associates forward and set to work providing the structure that would ensure this new vision of the Associate relationship would continue to thrive. Seeking better administrative tools, Sister Marilyn recruited Mary Martin, SCNA, in 2000 to create a customized database application for the Associate Office to track Associates and their commitments, events, resources, and everything else necessary to manage administration of the SCN Associates. The database continues to be an important tool to this day.[104] As the Associate Office gained better organization tools in 2000, so too did each individual Associate. Sister Marilyn published the first official Associate Handbook for the U.S. Regions, which included a wealth of useful information for current and aspiring Associates including the SCN mission statement, brief paragraphs on the history and purpose of the Associates, an overview of Associate leadership structure, the process for becoming an Associate, details of the formation process and commitments, resources available to Associates, and much more.[105] The handbook also proved invaluable to the Associate Office and the Core Council as, for the first time, these important elements of the Associate relationship were clearly documented and available for reference.

An SCN Associate at the United Nations
In May 2000, nominated and sponsored by SCN Vice President Sister Shalini D’Souza, SCN Associate Carmella Vargas spoke as one of three Sisters of Charity Federation representatives at the Peoples’ Millennium Forum of the UN-NGO.[106] An NGO, which stands for non-governmental organization, is generally a non-profit organization speaking in the interest of political or social justice issues. More than 1000 NGOs from more than 100 countries sent representatives to the five-day United Nations meeting. Those gathered worked to, “…formulate a collective vision for the new century, focusing specifically on the role of the United Nations and civil society in the issue areas of peace, poverty eradication, human rights, the environment, globalization and the revitalization of the United Nations”.[107] When given the opportunity to speak, Carmella addressed the concerns of indigenous people including preserving their culture and securing education and healthcare as well as better wages and working conditions.[108]

Sisters and Associates share a laugh at an Associate event in Russell Hall in January 2001

Associates Revitalized in India
The themes of organization and structure were alive and well with the SCN Associates in other countries as well. In June 2000, the Eastern Provincial Council appointed Sisters Bridget Vadakeattam, Vimala Karakattu, Basanti Lakra, and Amrita Manjoly to review the Associate relationship in India and to find ways to adapt U.S. Associate formation and structure to best suit India. These Sisters met on October 27th of that year to discuss what might work best for the Associate relationship in India. Sisters Bridget, Amrita, Basanti, and Vimala felt that it would be best for each locality to manage their own Associates due to the many differences between regions and the difficulty of travel between them. They drafted a letter with an explanation of the Associate relationship and guidelines for cultivating the relationship in their own locality. This letter was sent to all SCN houses and many responses with suggestions and comments regarding how the Associate relationship might thrive in India were received.[109] Plans for fostering the Associate relationship in the many places where SCNs ministered throughout India began to take root.

Changes in SCN Governance Structure
During the year 2002, the SCN Congregation as a whole and the Associates themselves experienced changes in leadership and governance structure. The Core Council founded three committees to assist with the administration of the SCN Associates: the Finance Committee to manage Associate fiscal matters, the Communication Committee to ensure information and news were conveyed to the geographically diverse Associates, and the Formation Committee to review and implement formation procedures.[110] On a congregational level, the SCNs adopted a new governance structure on the 1st of June. The three U.S. Regions were combined into one Western Province. This necessitated a change in the structure of the Core Council. Previously composed of a Sister and an Associate from each Region, the Core Council now began investigating a composition of, “…representatives from specific geographical areas where there is a concentration of Associates.”[111] The change in Congregational government structure also directly affected Belize Associates, as the approximately twenty Belizean Associates who had thus far been counted amongst the Southern Region (now part of the Western Province) Associates, fell under the governance of Central Leadership instead of a U.S. Region or Province.[112] Central Leadership appointed Sister Teresa Rose Nabholz as the first Director of Associates in Belize.[113] In short order, Sister Teresa Rose worked with local Sisters and Associates to found the first Belize Associate Core Council, which consisted of herself as Director, Sister Rosemarie Kirwan and Associates Carmella Vargas and Simeon Joseph.[114] The newly appointed Core Council met for the first time in Dangriga on January 26th of the following year.[115]

Sisters and Associates gather in Maryland in 2003.

Third SCN Associate Convocation
In June 2004, the SCNA community had the joy of celebrating the third SCN Associate convocation. Sisters and Associates from Belize and the United States came together once more for visiting, sharing, and growing in life and mission. Keynote speakers Evelyn and James Whitehead and workshop presenters John Freund, CM, Luke Boiarski, SCN, Carolyn Goddard, SCNA, and Dr. Janet MacLean, SCNA, led Associates and Sisters in exploring the topic of “The Sacred Rhythm of Our Lives.”[116]

Associates pose at the end of a skit during the 2004 SCN Associate Convocation.

Guidelines Established for Associate Relationship in India
While the Western Province and Belize participated in the third SCN Associate Convocation, India was making strides in establishing a more secure foothold for their Associates. Guidelines for starting an Associate relationship were completed and sent to each local community along with resources for use once they had Candidates. The responsibility for inviting individuals to consider Associate relationships with the Congregation was placed with each local community. Also in June 2004, Sister Rita Puthenkalam was appointed SCN Associate Coordinator for all of India. In addition to Sister Rita, the SCN Associate team in India now consisted of Sisters Amrita Manjoly, Vandana Velleringatt, Suma Muthukattuparampil, Agnes Tudu, and Bridget Vadakeattam.[117] This team soon decided to translate the SCN Associate application form into Hindi to make it more accessible for many people in India. Their efforts resulted in the founding of a Mumbai-Vasai unit of the SCN Associates in 2004. The initial Candidates in the Mumbai-Vasai unit consisted of former SCNs as well as school staff members who were close to the Sisters.[118]

Sisters and Associates paused during the 2004 SCNA Convocation for an evening of fun and relaxation with Elvis at SCN Associate Sharon Cecil’s home in Bardstown. Pictured are SCN Associates Carmella Vargas, Sharon Cecil, Ermelita Reyes, and Patsy Cain and Sisters Chris Beckett and Luke Boiarski.

First Associate Travels to Botswana
With the Associate relationship blooming in the United States, Belize, and India, one SCN Associate felt called to minister in a new way. In September 2000, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth had begun ministry in Botswana. Virginia “Tootsie” Gish, SCNA, traveled to Botswana in August 2005 as part of a process to determine whether or not she was called to long-term ministry in the African country. She was the first SCN Associate to visit Botswana. She ministered alongside the Sisters until December, when she returned to the United States to complete her discernment by experiencing a cross-cultural program.[119] Tootsie’s call to Botswana was strong. She sold her house and all of her belongings in order to return to live and minister in Botswana for two years. Arriving in June 2006, she lived in Kanye where she was given charge of the preschool in Ntlhantlhe. The Botswana community could not have been more thrilled, “…that the first Associate in full time ministry has come to Botswana.”[120] A few months after Tootsie’s return to Botswana, a second SCN Associate, Pat MacIssac, made her way there to aid in ministry for three months as part of the Global Exchange Program.[121] Tootsie would ultimately stay in Botswana far longer than the initially planned two years, remaining in ministry Botswana until 2014.[122]

Tootsie Gish, SCNA, with children in Botswana.

Progress and Changing Times
Over her seven years as full-time Associate Director, Sister Marilyn Shea embraced the incredible progress made by her predecessors and lifted the Associate relationship to new heights. She continued the formation process established by Sister Marlene, organizing, with the Core Council, several formation events. Sister Marilyn published the first Associate Handbook, providing an incredible resource to everyone involved with the Associate relationship, and, with the Core Council, oversaw and planned for the third SCN Associate convocation. As the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth governance structure shifted, Sister Marilyn guided the Associates through the changes. Towards the end of this second term as Associate Director, Sister Marilyn discussed with the Core Council the possibility of naming an Associate, rather than a Sister, as the next Director. The Council agreed and the recommendation that an Associate be considered for the Director position was submitted to the Executive Committee. Once the recommendation was approved, Sister Marilyn prepared for this change in leadership by holding area meetings with Associates to discuss the process for discerning whether they were called to serve as Director.[123] 

Peggy Masterson (now Ryan), first lay SCN Associate Director

First Lay Associate Director, Peggy Masterson
Peggy Masterson (now Ryan), an SCN Associate since 1992, was among those called to consider serving in the position of Associate Director. She recalled that, “This required serious discernment and prayer. When the Day of Discernment was completed, I felt free to respond and was willing to accept this call if I was selected for it.”[124] Peggy was selected to be the first lay Director of the SCN Associates. She officially stepped into her new role on August 1, 2006, bringing with her all of the experience gained from her degrees in Religious Studies and Psychology, her decades of catechetical ministry in the Archdiocese of Louisville, her role on the Archdiocesan Adult Faith Formation Committee, and many more talents and blessings.[125]

New Associates in India
Sisters and Associates were busy in India as well. The Kalimpong unit of the SCN Associates in India began in 2006 when two priests, Fathers Lawrence Monteiro and John Lazardo, expressed their interest in becoming Associates. In 2007, Sister Rita Puthenkalam led orientation sessions to initiate the Associate relationship in Banakal and Bangalore. Ten people participated in the session in Banakal and six in Bangalore. Sister Rita also held an Associate orientation session for six people in Kathmandu, Nepal, where the SCNs had been in ministry since 1979.[126]

While Sister Rita worked to bring people from multiple locations into the Associate relationship, the Associates in the United States also sought ways to support the Associates in places geographically distant from Nazareth. The annual SCN/A vacation held at Camp Maria Retreat Center in Leonardtown, Maryland took place in July 2007. Those attending included seven from India.[127] Peggy Masterson and Sister Kitty Wilson also led a retreat in Wakefield, Massachusetts on the topic of “Vincentian Spirituality: Integrating Spiritual Growth With Our On-going Call to Mission.”[128] Both Sisters Kitty and Peggy were touched by the warmth and hospitality they experienced while in Wakefield.

Sisters Bridget Kappalumackal, Agnes Tudu, and Beena Chirackal pose for a photo with the first SCN Associate in Gurgaon, Joe Antony, in 2010.

First Botswanan Associates
The energy and momentum of the SCN Associates in 2007 had taken root in Botswana as well. The five Sisters ministering in Botswana, Patricia (Pat) Huitt, Ann Muthukattil, Nalini Meachariyil, Vinaya Chalil, and Prisca Bilung, along with Tootsie Gish, SCNA, had expressed their desire to begin the Associate relationship in Botswana. A planning team consisting of Sister Nalini, Sister Pat, and Tootsie researched the Sodalities in Botswana and how SCN Associates could make an impact in Botswana, completing their investigation by February 2007.[129] On April 28, the first SCN Associate event in Botswana, an orientation session, was held in Kanye.[130] A few weeks later, on June 3, seven women participated in a formation event led by the visiting Sister Marilyn Shea who shared a presentation on “The Laity’s Call to Mission and Holiness.”[131] “Throughout the day, the women demonstrated an eagerness to learn, a hunger for a deeper spirituality, and a sincere desire to use their talents in the service of others. When asked why they accepted the invitation to consider becoming SCN Associates, they immediately cited example after example of the ways that Tootsie Gish, SCNA, and the Sisters had helped them, the sacrifices they had made to come to Botswana, and, most importantly, the great love with which they carried out their respective ministries.”[132] With the founding of the SCN Associates in Botswana and Nepal in 2007, the SCN Associate relationship had been established in all five of the countries where the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth ministered at that time.

Growth in Belize and India
Belize shared in the growth and unity of the SCN Associates at this time. In January 2007, Ann-Marie Houghton, SCNA, and others had traveled to Belize to serve the people there.[133] Later that year, on August 25, the first Associates from Belize City – Sonia Ayuso, Delilah “Alice” Cabb, Virgin and Mathew Martinez, Georgia “Flores” Parchue, and Emelita Reyes – made their initial commitments.[134] In January 2008, Associates Patsy O’Toole, Cathy Lavender, and Father Jim Graf, along with Candidate Evelyn Faldowski and Inquirer Marian Zsigray traveled with a group of SCN Lay Volunteers on an immersion experience to Belize. While there, the group developed close ties with the Sisters and Associates who lived and ministered in Belize and with the country as a whole.[135]

The Associate relationship in India continued to grow, despite challenges such as geographical distance and the fact that many SCNs ministered in non-Catholic areas where it was not feasible to introduce the Associate relationship. By March 2008, each local community of Associates in India had an SCN contact person. Associates from the various units participated in both provincial level and local Congregation celebrations and worked in ministry with the Sisters when possible. Many groups also made time to pray together as often as they could. Given the unique challenges the Associates in India faced, Associate Coordinator Sister Rita felt that the overall response had been, “rather encouraging.”[136]

Merger with the Vincentian Sisters of Charity
In November 2008, the Western Province gained eleven new Associates and three new Inquirers in a rather unique way. On November 15, 2008, the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth merged with the Vincentian Sisters of Charity (VSCs) in a ceremony held at the Vincentian Motherhouse in Pittsburgh.[137] Founded in 1902, the VSCs began an Associate relationship of their own in 1991, after a few years of discernment by the Congregation.[138] The Vincentians defined their Associates as “…a group who through mutual support and collaboration share in the Charism of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity. Each person relates to the Congregation individually through the Contact Sister.” VSC Associates made temporary commitments which were regularly renewed.[139] The primary purpose of the VSC Associate Membership Program, as it was called, was the, “…fostering of mutual support through prayer.”[140] Through this bond of prayer, VSC Associates were often called to join the VSCs in ministry. From the beginning, a primary goal of the VSC Associate Membership Program was to engender a sense of unity, community, and support between Sisters and Associates, to their mutual benefit.[141] The VSC Associates had a Sister Director and an Associate Co-Director. New Associate formation included four sessions on the history, mission, and charism of the VSC Congregation, led by the Director. Additional formation was based on the works of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. After initial formation, VSC Associates met monthly with the Director to share a scripture reading, prayer, and to enjoy one another’s company.[142] When the two Congregations merged, eleven VSC Associates became newly minted SCN Associates and the SCN Associates gained three new Inquirers from Pittsburgh as well. Associate Director Peggy Masterson, who traveled to Pittsburgh to attend the VSC vow transfer ceremony, had the delight of meeting several of these new SCN Associates. “We welcome into the SCN Family the following SCN Associates: Mary Louise Cline, Patricia Danik, Anna Deley, Anita Iurlano, Mary Shepard, Carol Gloekler, Rose Klobuchar, Sheila Graham, Anna Todd, Mary Cinderich, and Clara Kana. We also welcome three new inquirers from Pittsburgh: Bette Nelson, Joanne Andiorio, and Joni Landy.”[143]

Sisters and Associates pose for a photo at St. Louise Convent in Pittsburgh, PA after seven Associates made recommitments in July 2012.

Connecting Virtually
The distances between the global SCN Associates grew a bit smaller in 2009 with the introduction of Skype to Associate events. Most notably, Tootsie Gish, SCNA, and seven Associates from Botswana participated in the 14th Annual Associate Retreat in September 2009. The seven Botswanan Associates made history as they made their first commitments in the virtual company of their fellow Associates across the Atlantic Ocean. In another historic first, this retreat was also available to all SCNs and Associates via webcasting.[144] Associates continued to travel to be together within the United States and beyond, including another immersion experience in Belize attended by four Associates in February 2009, a prayer day hosted for visiting Kentucky Associates by the Pittsburgh Associates in March 2009, and an Associate Weekend, led by Associate Vie Thorgren, hosted in Pittsburgh in April 2010.[145] At the close of Peggy Masterson’s time as Associate Director, the connections between the global SCN Associates were stronger than ever.

Jo Ann Paulin, SCNA

Jo Ann Paulin Named Associate Director
It was during the weekend retreat with Vie Thorgren in Pittsburgh that Peggy announced to the Core Council that she planned to retire. After prayerful consideration, Core Council member Jo Ann Paulin applied to be the next Associate Director. On July 22, 2010, the SCN Newsline announced that Jo Ann had been named the newest Director of the SCN Associates.[146]

In 2011, the Formation Committee, along with Director Jo Ann Paulin, reviewed the formation process and sought ways to make Associate formation more accessible to those who struggled to physically attend Associate events. The decision was made to permit Associates to receive credit for watching DVDs of Associate formation events or for attending via webcast.[147]

By mid-2011, the difficulties with maintaining Associate relationships in India continued to limit opportunities for growth. Sister Rita reported that many friends of the SCNs were unable to become SCN Associates due to other responsibilities with family and employment.[148] Prospective Associates were concerned they would not be able to dedicate as much time to their ministry as they felt it deserved. Despite the challenges, the Eastern Province boasted a total of twenty-two Associates in India and Nepal by November 2011: seven in Kathmandu, Nepal, and in India, one in Kalimpong, one in Gurgaon, eight in Dockyard, and five in Banakal.[149]

In December 2011, the SCN Associates in the United States worked with a group of Associates from another congregation to host a prayer event. The Louisville Ursuline Associates and the Louisville Area Network of SCN Associates worked together to host an Advent service. Sister Adeline Fehribach spoke to the group and a collection was taken up to donate to St. John Center and the Salvation Army.[150]

Over the next few years, the Associates and Sisters grew in community together through retreats, weekend events, service, and prayer. Borders lost some of their meaning as travel between American states and different nations of SCN ministries became more common. A group of Associates – Sharon Cecil, Millard and Monica Boggs, and Patsy O’Toole – traveled to Botswana in 2012 for an immersion experience.[151] That same year, nine Associates and one Inquirer visited the Gulf Coast in the United States to assist with the ongoing cleanup of the wreckage left in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Katrina of 2005.[152] Sister Beverly Hoffman facilitated a retreat on “Discipleship: Charity and Systemic Change” on August 25, 2012 in Belize.[153] In December of 2012, Associates Tootsie Gish and Evelyn Faldowski visited India for two months as part of the SCN Global Exchange program.[154] The Associates were on the move, learning, ministering, and traveling together.

Charity Alive
Association with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth branched out at the very end of 2013 when Charity Alive, a program for young adults who wish to build and maintain relationships with the SCNs, was founded. Created with a goal of being flexible enough to fit into a young adult lifestyle, the pilot weekend event was held at Nazareth December 31, 2013 through January 1, 2014. Associate Director Jo Ann Paulin gave a presentation to the group about the SCN Associates.[155]

Associates Return to the United Nations
In October 2014, Associates Jo Ann Paulin, Evelyn Faldowski, Martha Borders, Brad Hilgert, and Eugenie Coakley went with Sisters Sarah Ferriell and Mary Susann Gobber to New York City, where Sister Teresa Kotturan was preparing to begin her role as NGO Liaison to the United Nations for the Sisters of Charity Federation. Over the course of a week, the group had an NGO orientation to learn how their voice might make an impact at the United Nations through Sister Teresa, their representative. The group also had the delight of getting to tour the United Nations building.[156] Jo Ann Paulin recalls that, “…it was a remarkably interesting tour. One that I will never forget!”[157]

Sisters and Associates spend time sharing during an Associate weekend in Botswana in October 2017.

An Evolutionary Period
During this time in SCN Associate history, the Associates went through an evolutionary period. Briefly, the Associate Office endeavored to reorganize from a structure of Director and Administrative Assistant to one of Director and Co-Director. The Administrative Assistant position was eliminated and a job description for Co-Director was sent out to the Associates.[158] Low response to the position of Co-Director combined with the announcement of Jo Ann’s retirement at the end of 2017 led to a reconsideration of the original Director and Administrative Assistant structure for the Associate Office.[159] Existing relationships with national Associate groups were strengthened and new relationships were forged. Groups like the Sisters of Charity Federation and the North American Conference of Associates and Religious (NACAR) broadened SCN Associate worldviews and provided new opportunities for community and ministry.[160] In 2015, the SCN Associates participated in a NACAR Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) survey as part of a study on associate relationships in religious communities.[161] Associate weekends and retreats at different times during the years continued to bring Associates and Sisters together to learn and grow in community. Sister Judy Raley led the 20th Annual Associate Retreat in September of 2015 with a presentation and discussion on, “A Pilgrimage to the Heart of God through the Heart of Vincent.”[162] Noreen Walter, SCL, presented “Vincentian Spirituality” to SCNs and Associates at Nazareth the following year.[163] The 22nd Annual SCN Associate Retreat truly captured the spirit of this evolutionary period when Jeanne Connolly, at that time the Vice-President of NACAR and Director of the Wheaton, Illinois Franciscan Covenant Companions, led SCNs and SCN Associates in a discussion on the future of the SCN Associate Relationship through the topic, “Open to God’s Action as We Journey toward the Future.” Jeanne led the Associates and Sisters through a serious and inspiring consideration of the question, “Who are we to become?”[164]

SCN Associates Mary Catherine Hickman and Elizabeth Garza share a moment with Sister Maria Vincent Brocato playing the role of Mother Catherine Spalding for an afternoon with Mother Catherine at Old St. Thomas in November 2017.

Andy Meyer Named Associate Director
Jo Ann Paulin, second lay Director of the SCN Associates, retired on December 29, 2017 and the search for a new Associate Director continued.[165] For the first time since Sister Donna Kenney became Director in 1974, the Associate program was without a Director. Interviews of three applicants were scheduled for March 2018, but the decision was made to cancel the April SCN Associate weekend due to the lack of the needed Director and secretarial assistance.[166] As a result of those interviews, Andy Meyer, SCNA, was hired as Associate Director. Andy had previously worked alongside SCNs as the Director of the Pain Management Center at Saints Mary & Elizabeth Hospital in Louisville and in multiple leadership roles in the Psychology Department at Spalding University. He brought with him talents for listening, recognizing needs, and organization. He stepped into his new role on May 7, 2018, ready to work with the Associates to tackle the question of who the SCN Associates would become.[167]

Andy Meyer, SCNA

Andy, with Administrative Assistant to the Associate Office Tammy Mattingly, SCNA, and the Core Council, set to work meeting with as many Associates as possible, much as Sister Marlene had done many years before. They met with several local Associates and traveled to many places in the United States and Belize to meet in person with Associates there as well.[168] In June 2018, Andy and Tammy met with several previous SCN Associate Directors, including Sisters Marilyn Shea and Marlene Lehmkuhl, Peggy Masterson Ryan, and Jo Ann Paulin, to discuss needed changes in the formation process with the goal of making initial Associate formation more accessible for a wider range of people. At that meeting, the group agreed that a renewed Formation Committee should be created to study the issue and determine potential changes to formation.[169] The newly resurrected Formation Committee, consisting of Sister Pat Huitt and Associates Peggy Masterson Ryan, Elaine Belflowers, Jerry McCrary, Paula Duane, Tootsie Gish, Dorothy Zimmerman, Betsy Kammerdiener, and Maggie Vargas, set to work reviewing, “…the previous [formation] process, national trends in formation, and [collating] feedback from … Inquirers, Candidates and Associates.”[170] Over the months, the membership of the Formation Committee changed. Sister Pat Huitt and Paula Duane stepped back from their roles on the committee to address other matters and Mary Martin SCNA, Sister Rhoda Kay Glunk, and Sister Lorena Fleishman joined the committee. The group worked hard to research current trends in Associate formation, review the existing formation process for SCN Associates, and craft a formation study guide for future SCN Associates.[171]

Associates Andy and Diane Meyer and Tammy Mattingly traveled to Memphis to meet with the Memphis Area Associates in October 2018.

In November 2018, Andy, Tammy, and Tootsie Gish hosted a Lunch and Learn event for all Nazareth employees. The three shared information about the SCN Associate relationship and their individual experiences as Associates. They informed those gathered of the many changes that were taking place during this period of renewal of the Associate relationship, including the revised formation process.[172] That month, mentors were officially established as part of SCN Associate initial formation. Each Inquirer or Candidate would be assigned a mentor who would walk with them through their formation as an SCN Associate. The mentorship program permitted a more individualized approach to each person’s formation. Every Candidate’s formation needs can then be assessed and addressed on a personal level. The Candidate and the mentor then work together to find ways to fill any gaps in their formation. In order to fill those gaps, the Associate Office also established a resource library to be available to all Associates. All of the subjects previously addressed in SCN Associate formation remained but were organized into a “Pillars of Formation” chart for better understanding. Now rebranded, the Pillars of Formation included Historical/Traditional Formation, Spiritual Formation, and Relational Formation.[173] In March 2019, a subcommittee of the Formation Committee consisting of Associates Elaine Belflowers, Mary Martin and Dorothy Zimmerman began work to identify specific content for each topic under each of the three Pillars that would satisfy SCN Associate formation requirements. The subcommittee drafted the Initial Formation Study Guide and presented it to the full Formation Committee, which then worked with and later approved it. The guide defines formation content while building in flexibility to accommodate those who cannot attend all the formation events at Nazareth. For example, attendance at a specific SCN Associate formation event, viewing the video of that event, viewing another specified video, or reading a specific book may meet a requirement for a formation topic. The assigned Mentor works with the Candidate throughout this formation process.[174]

Catching the spirit of renewal and life running through the Associates at this time, the Louisville Area Network was reactivated. On December 9, 2018, the members of the Louisville Area Associate Network hosted an Advent prayer service entitled, “Call to Women – Season of Hope,” in the hospitality room at Nazareth Home. Those who attended brought donations for UP (Uniting Partners) for Women and Children.[175]

Two months later, the SCN Associates held their first collaborative retreat. The Nazareth Retreat Center and the SCN Associates partnered to host a retreat entitled, “Vincent and Louise: Contemplatives in Action,” led by Sister Rhoda Kay Glunk from February 22-24, 2019. The retreat served as a formation event for Associates but was open to the general public as well. The partnership between Retreat Center and Associates was a huge success. The event was attended by more than eighty people including Sisters, Associates, and Inquirers.[176]

Five SCN Associates, Rupa D’Souza, Mary Prema, Eva Prathima, Jessie Meena, and Sharmila Wilson, make first commitments in Chandapura in September 2019.

By the end of Andy’s first year as Associate Director, the Associates had, “…been invited on a journey of renewal.”[177] The Formation and Finance Committees and local networks had been revitalized.[178] After the many discussions with Associates in the United States and Belize, the Core Council and Andy came up with answers to six critical questions: Why do we exist? How do we behave? What do we do? How will we succeed? What is most important, right now? Who must do what? These questions and their answers served to provide greater focus and help the Associates move to, “…greater organizational health.”[179]

Together, Associate Director Andy and the Core Council published the following answers: The SCN Associates exist to grow in spirituality and community with one another and with the broader SCN family as well as to reach out in service to those in need. They strive to live in humility, simplicity, and charity. The answer to the question “What do we do?” was two-fold. The Core Council provides leadership and direction while individual Associates live out the charism of the SCNs. The Core Council and Andy determined that the Associates would succeed by increasing Associate membership and meeting the needs – formational, relational, and spiritual – of each Associate. The most important things in the spring of 2019 were increasing membership, creating a formation study guide, and dedicated, regular communications regarding all changes being made during this time of renewal. The Director, the Core Council, members of the various committees, and each individual Associate were all seen as having roles ranging from leadership to providing feedback and suggestions as the Associate relationship shifted into a new era.[180]

First Virtual Faith Group
As Andy and Tammy traveled to meet with Associates face-to-face, Associates far from each other found a new way to get together without the hassle of travel. In early 2019, the first virtual Faith Group met via Zoom with the assistance of Dana Hinton of the Communications Office.[181] Little did this pioneer group know how useful their knowledge of this exciting technology would prove in future years.

Development of an SCN Associate Strategic Plan
In the midst of 2019, for the first time, the SCN Associate Core Council, with professional strategic plan facilitator, Associate Carol Newton and the Associate Office, began to develop an SCN Associate Strategic Plan.[182] “Based upon the Mission Statement of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, the plan takes into consideration the need to grow, increase diversity and build new intergenerational relationships across the SCN congregation and with Associates of other Charity Federation congregations. While remaining true to our heritage and values, the plan also looks to those opportunities the future has to offer.”[183] Over several months, the Core Council, Associate Office, and Carol Newton worked together to draft and refine the SCN Associate Strategic Plan. Opinions of the Associates were solicited on the plan itself as well as the implementation of individual aspects of the strategic plan.[184] The first vision statement for the SCN Associates was developed as part of this process and reads: “The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Associates nurture and expand diverse, intercultural, and multigenerational relationships across the SCN global family, the larger Charity Federation and other partners to work for justice throughout the world.”[185] Four core strategies, People, Connectivity, Programs, and Growth were identified to “support attainment of the SCNA Vision and nurture the SCN Mission.”[186] Initial goals for each of the four strategies were then determined so that work may begin. These initial priorities were to revise the initial and ongoing formation process, to strengthen Associate relationships across countries and cultures, to develop a database of all SCNA ministries and explore learning opportunities, and to identify needed resources to, “support growth across the SCN relationship.”[187] Never before had the Associates been so neatly organized with such clear goals expressed to the entire community.

As the organizational ties for the SCN Associates grew stronger, so did their ties in relationship with each other and with fellow groups of Associates and Sisters. In June 2019, Andy Meyer and Tammy Mattingly had the privilege of attending the first Sisters of Charity Federation Assembly of the Whole – a Charity Federation meeting open to all members of the Federation, including all Sisters and Associates, not just members of leadership.[188] In September, Associates and Sisters gathered at Nazareth for the annual retreat. The theme was “Put Out Into the Deep” and the weekend was led by Judy Gomila, MSC. During this weekend of recognizing and exploring the gifts of the individual and the community, Sisters and Associates had the opportunity to share a powerful experience. Participants at the event blessed one another with water from the spring at Old St. Thomas, which once sustained the very first Sisters of Charity of Nazareth (and those first dear friends who joined them in their charism.)[189] In October, Associates in Belize shared a similar retreat on the same topic, facilitated by Sister Beverly Hoffman and Associate Maggie Vargas.[190] In December, in Gaya, five Associates gathered at the home of Prahba Minz for a discussion on the importance of Advent. Later that month, six Associates and four Candidates came together “in the Spirit of Christmas” at Navjyoti Niketan in Patna to discuss the meaning of Christmas, sing songs together, and share refreshments. In early February 2020, all seven Associates from Mokama gathered with Sisters at Nazareth Convent, Mokama, for refreshments and a meeting during wish they shared about their individual ministries[191]

Sisters and Associates who attended the Putting Out Into the Deep retreat in Belize pose for a photo in October 2019.

The COVID-19 Pandemic
In March 2020, the Associates, along with the entire world, were faced with an incredible challenge when the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic sent the world into quarantine. Events were canceled as people the world over began to realize the situation would not be solved by a simple two-week quarantine. Nazareth was closed to the public and the majority of its employees were instructed to work from home as much as possible. The entire world was gripped in the fear of uncertainty surrounding the new, pervasive disease.

SCN Associates from Chandapura in India meet virtually in August 2020.

Gradually, the world adapted. The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth and SCN Associates learned new ways to connect. In a time where video conferencing technologies like Zoom became an essential means of maintaining contact, those members of the first virtual Faith Group found themselves at a bit of an advantage, having already learned how to hold their Faith Group meetings via Zoom. The new Initial Formation Study Guide, which had been formally approved by the Western Province Board by December 2019, provided flexibility with initial formation that was even more necessary now than it had been originally.[192] As the Associates learned how to navigate the dramatic changes caused by quarantine, they continued to live the SCN charism and ministry.

Sisters and Associates maintain social distancing at a gathering in Mokama in August 2020.

In the summer of 2020, Andy Meyer formally announced that he planned to retire from his role as Associate Director on the 10th of September. The discernment process had already begun for a new Director.[193] Over the course of two short years, Andy had guided the SCN Associates through a time of renewal, led them to greater structure, the development of a formation program to fit modern day needs, and brought the entire global community together to focus on clear goals in a strategic plan. By the promised date of Andy’s retirement, a new Director, Associate Beth Vetter, was ready to step into her new role, and the first fully virtual SCN Associate Retreat had been planned.[194]

Beth Vetter, SCNA

Beth Vetter Commissioned as Associate Director during the First Virtual Associate Weekend
Over the course of a historic weekend, from September 18-20, 2020, the SCN Associates and SCNs met virtually via Zoom, webcast, and closed-circuit television. Over 100 Sisters and Associates from multiple states and Belize participated. For the first time, all first commitments and commitment renewals were made virtually. Sister Barbara Flores presented on the topic of “Transformative Spirituality: Forging a Hopeful Path.” Far-flung attendees were able to participate directly via chat options and breakout groups in Zoom. Andy Meyer was wished the best in his retirement and Beth Vetter was commissioned as the newest SCN Associate Director. The virtual event would not have been possible without the talented Communications team at Nazareth, Patsy O’Toole, SCNA, Diane Curtis, Dana Hinton, and Spalding Hurst. The event was praised by all and requests were made for future virtual events. One of the highlights of hosting a virtual event was that far more people could participate, including those who would not normally be able to do so due to an inability to travel all the way to Nazareth. This blessing was clearly displayed when Associates from Belize led those assembled in an opening prayer for the event and all present could see and hear them as the birds in Belize sang in the background.[195]

The momentum brought to the Associates during Andy’s time as Director was carried forward into Beth’s term despite the challenges of the pandemic. Virtual events were planned for February and April of 2021 as the world waited for COVID-19 vaccines and the abatement of the pandemic.[196] In June 2021 the SCN Associate Handbook revisions were pronounced complete. It includes sections on SCN Associate history, the application process, the new formation process, Associate governance, communications, mission opportunities, Faith Groups, and more, all revised to reflect the changes in the SCN Associate Relationship and new processes better suited to the present needs.[197]

Chattanooga Associates gather virtually in May 2020.

New Candidates and Leadership in Botswana
In early 2021, despite the challenges of the pandemic, six new candidates joined the Associate formation program in Botswana. These new candidates brought the total number of Associates and candidates in Botswana to eighteen and seven respectively. In September 2021, three Associates – Anna Mosele from Kanye, Johannes Motsmi from Lobatse, and Joyce Piniki Maunge from Metsimotlhabe – were chosen to serve as Associate leaders in Botswana. Their goal is to help in the growth of the SCN Associate relationship in Botswana by finding ways to tailor the relationship to fit Botswana’s culture.[198]

Six Botswanan women gather to celebrate beginning the SCN Associate formation program in July 2021.

SCN Associate 50th Anniversary Celebrations Begin
Hopes for an in-person annual retreat in September 2021 were dashed as Nazareth extended its closure of campus to the public due to COVID-19 case numbers that were once again rising. The kick-off event for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the SCN Associate relationship, “A Sacred Journey: Fifty Years and Growing,” was held virtually. The “gathering” included sharing from early participants in the SCN Associate relationship, Donna Kenney and Ann-Marie Houghton, SCNA, and highlighted aspects of the Associate’s history. For the second time, all of the annual first commitments and commitment renewals were made virtually.[199] The event, “was a tangible experience of internationality as Associates from across the congregation shared their experience of living the SCN charism.”[200]

Today, the SCN Associates continue to grow in relationship with each other and with the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. They make progress in the pursuit of the goals outlined in the SCN Associate Strategic Plan and continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting those around them in the spirit of Mother Catherine Spalding, St. Vincent de Paul, and St. Louise de Marillac.[201] Since the earliest years of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, close friends have walked alongside the Sisters in ministry and faith. Today, dear friends still walk this same path with the Sisters, in several countries. Many make formal commitments as SCN Associates, many others do not, but today, as in the early 1800s, friends of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth work with the Sisters to lift up and support all those with whom they come into contact and to be a light in the world.

 

Written by Kelly McDaniels, Archivist, SCNA
2022

A history this multifaceted could not have been wrangled into a coherent document without the help of many. I am immensely grateful to all of those who have assisted in any way. First and foremost, a huge thank you to Mary Martin, SCNA, for giving me a solid basis for what to include in this history and for painstakingly reviewing each and every draft. Thank you to Sister Maria Vincent Brocato for interviewing multiple SCN Associates as part of this project, to Sister Malini Manjaly, Archivist in Mokama, for helping me piece together the history of the Associates in India, and to Sister Nalini Meachariyil for helping me with the history of the Associates in Botswana. My thanks as well to Tammy Mattingly, SCNA and Administrative Assistant of the Associate Office, for answering a million and more questions; and to my many wonderful readers (listed below) who have helped with grammar, clarity, and adding a richness to this story that I could not have achieved on my own. Thank you to all of those who contributed their memories and beautiful stories from the past fifty years: Evelyn Faldowski, SCNA; Mary Gene Frank, SCNA; Sister Paschal Maria Fernicola; Sister Barbara Flores; Sister Rhoda Kay Glunk; Charlotte Hazas, SCNA; Sister Beverly Hoffman; Donna Kenney; Sister Rosemarie Kirwan; Sister Marlene Lehmkuhl; Trudi Maish, SCNA; Andy Meyer, SCNA; Jo Ann Paulin, SCNA; Peggy Masterson Ryan, SCNA; Sister Marilyn Shea; and many others who shared a story in passing. Finally, thank you to each and every person whom I have peppered with questions or who has listened to me obsess over this impossibly tangled history for the past several months.

 

Reviewed and proofread by: Maria Vincent Brocato, SCN; Sharon Cecil, SCNA; Mary Gene Frank, SCNA; Charlotte Hazas, SCNA; Josef Jareczek, Ph.D., best friend of the Archivist; Sister Marlene Lehmkuhl; Mary Martin, SCNA; and Sister Marilyn Shea.

 

 

Note on sources: Sources used in this history can be located at the Nazareth Archival Center, SCN Center, or on the SCN Family website.

[1] McGill, Anna Blanche. Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Kentucky (New York, NY: The Encyclopedia Press, 1917), p. 22.

[2] Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Early Annals. p. 24-25.

[3] Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Early Annals. p. 32-33.

[4] Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Early Annals. p. 37-40.

[5] Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity “Apostolicam Actuositatem,” Solemnly Promulgated by His Holiness Pope Paul VI, 1965.

[6] Kelley, Patricia. “SCNA Council Meets to Develop Program.” SCN News. November 1982, Vol. II, No. 2, p. 7.

[7] June 1970 General Assembly Minutes, p. 48. SCN Archival Center, SCN Government Collection, General Assemblies & Chapters Box C.

[8] Executive Committee Minutes, 19 Oct. 1970, p. 1, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[9] Executive Committee Minutes, Dec. 1970, p. 2, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[10] Kenney, Donna. Presentation given at the SCN Associate Weekend, “A Sacred Journey: Fifty Years and Growing.” 25 Sep. 2021.

[11] Kelley, Patricia. “SCNA Council Meets to Develop Program.” SCN News. November 1982, Vol. II, No. 2, p. 7; Martin, Mary. History of the Associates of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 1972-1997. 1997, p. 1.

[12] Executive Committee Minutes, 20 May 1971, p. 3, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[13] Executive Committee Minutes, 24 May 1971, p. 1, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[14] Executive Committee Minutes, 13 Dec. 1971, p. 2, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[15] “With Whom Do We Associate?” SCN News. March 1975, Vol. III, No. 2, p. 1-2; Martin, Mary. History of the Associates of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 1972-1997. 1997, p. 2.

[16] Board of Trustees Minutes 20-23 Jan. 1972, p. 4. NLBI Supplemental Minutes and Materials 1971-1979. (located at SCN Center).

[17] Executive Committee Minutes, 15 Mar. 1972, p. 1, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[18] Executive Committee Minutes, 20-23 Apr. 1972, p. 4, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[19] Development Programs of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. SCN Archival Center, SCN Government Collection, General Assemblies & Chapters Box D, “1972 Reports” file.

[20] Executive Committee Minutes, 1 Dec. 1972, p. 6, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[21] Executive Committee Minutes, 17 Jan. 1973, p. 4, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[22] Executive Committee Minutes, 22-25 Jan. 1974, p. 4, Executive Committee Minutes 1974-1988 box (located at SCN Center).

[23] Vano, Toni. “Associate Member Received in ‘East’.” SCN News. May 1974, Vol. II, No. 7, p. 8.

[24] Executive Committee Minutes, 19 Oct. 1970, p. 1, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[25] Executive Committee Minutes, 13 Dec. 1971, p. 2, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[26] Board of Trustees Minutes 20-23 Jan. 1972, p. 4. NLBI Supplemental Minutes and Materials 1971-1979. (located at SCN Center).

[27] Executive Committee Minutes, 20-23 Apr. 1972, p. 4, Executive Committee Minutes 1970-1973 box (located at SCN Center).

[28] Kelley, Patricia. “SCNA Council Meets to Develop Program.” SCN News. November 1982, Vol. II, No. 2, p. 7

[29] Burke, Mary Ransom. Interview, 1991. See SCN Archival Center Card Catalog under SCN Associate Membership Program.

[30] “With Whom Do We Associate?” SCN News. March 1975, Vol. III, No. 2, p. 1-2.

[31] Kenney, Donna. Presentation given at the SCN Associate Weekend, “A Sacred Journey: Fifty Years and Growing.” 25 Sep. 2021.

[32] Executive Committee, Proposed Description of Associate Membership Program, 28 May 1974. SCN Archival Center, SCN Government Collection, Assemblies/Chapters Box D, “1974 Reports” file.

[33] Ibid.

[34]Thomas, Barbara. Report of S. Barbara Thomas to the General Assembly. 15 June 1974, p. 12, SCN Government Collection, Assemblies/Chapters Box D, “1974 Report from S. Barbara Thomas” file.

[35] Kenney, Donna. Interview 13 Dec. 2021.

[36] Thomas, Barbara. General Assembly Minutes, 21 June 1973. SCN Archival Center, SCN Government Collection, Assemblies/Chapters Box D, “1973 Minutes & Proceedings” file.

[37] “With Whom Do We Associate?” SCN News. March 1975, Vol. III, No. 6, p. 1-2.

[38] Kenney, Donna. Presentation given at the SCN Associate Weekend, “A Sacred Journey: Fifty Years and Growing.” 25 Sep. 2021.

[39] Frederick, Mary. “SCNAs plan their future.” SCN News. May-June 1978, Vol. IV, No. 9, p. 4.

[40] Kenney, Donna. “Director of SCN Associates reports on Program.” SCN News. May-June 1978, Vol. IV, No. 9, p. 5.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Houghton, Ann-Marie. Presentation given at the SCN Associate Weekend, “A Sacred Journey: Fifty Years and Growing.” 25 Sep. 2021.

[43] “Carole questions SCNAs; learns of deep commitment.” SCN News. July 1978, Vol. VI, No. 10, p. 5.

[44] SCNA family to be in residence at Nazareth’s Hospitality House.” SCN News. Sep. 1979, Vol. VIII, No. 1, p. 1.

[45] “Houghtons enter Guest House as Year of the Family begins.” SCN News. Feb. 1980, Vol. VIII, No. 6, p. 1.

[46] Houghton, Ann-Marie. Presentation given at the SCN Associate Weekend, “A Sacred Journey: Fifty Years and Growing.” 25 Sep. 2021.

[47] Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Conversion in a Community of Mission: Secondary Book Part II, June 1980, p. 18.

[48] Ibid. p. 18-20.

[49] Margaret Rose Griesbaum. Permanent Record Card. SCN Archival Center; SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019. (Powerpoint).

[50] Ibid.

[51] SCN News. Sep. 1981, Vol. X, No. 1, p. 15; General Assembly Report to the Executive Committee, SCN Government Collection, Assemblies/Chapters Box F, “1982 Reports” file.

[52] “Province Welcomes First SCNA.” SCN India News. Jan.-Feb. 1982, p. 3.

[53] “SCNA Programme in Province Being Activated.” Sandesh. 11 Apr. 1984, Vol. 2, No. 5, p. 6.

[54] Manjaly, Malini. 29 Nov. 2021; Kotturan, Teresa, 6 Dec. 2021.

[55] Wendeln, Elizabeth. Letter to Kelly A. McDaniels (email). 8 Jan. 2022.

[56] SCN Directory. 1982-1983, p. 77.

[57] Mauck, Anne Rita. “SCNA Director’s Report.” SCN News. May 1982, Vol. X, No. 9, pp. 19-20.

[58] Mauck, Anne Rita. “Letter from Director.” SCN News. Mar. 1982, Vol. X, No. 7, p. 8; Mauck, Anne Rita. “SCNA Director’s Report.” SCN News. May 1982, Vol. X, No. 9, pp. 19-20.

[59] Kelley, Patricia. “SCNA Council Meets to Develop Program.” SCN News. November 1982, Vol. II, No. 2, p. 7

[60] “SCNA Program.” SCN News. May 1983, Vol. XI, No. 8, pp. 8-9.

[61] Shaughnessy, Mary Angela. “SCNA Council meets director.” SCN News. Nov. 1984, Vol. XIII, No. 3, p. 4.

[62] Ibid.

[63] SCN Annals. Belize, San Ignacio. 6-7 July 1986; Meisner, Margaret. “SCNA program discussed in Cayo, Belize.” SCN News. Oct. 1986, Vol. XV, No. 2, p. 20.

[64] SCN Directory. 1986-1987, p. 94; Wendeln, Elizabeth. Letter to Kelly A. McDaniels (email). 8 Jan. 2022..

[65] Southern Province Bulletin. Dec. 1987, p. 5; Wendeln, Elizabeth. Letter to Kelly A. McDaniels (email). 8 Jan. 2022..

[66] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint).

[67] Shaughnessy, Mary Angela. “SCNA Council has meeting.” SCN News. Oct. 1987, Vol. XVI, No. 2, pp. 4&6.

[68] Ibid.

[69] Fields, Mary Lynn. “SCNA Council wants to revive program.” SCN News. Jan. 1988, Vol. XVI, No. 4, p. 6.

[70] Ibid.

[71] Doyle, Mary Ellen and Burke, Mary Ransom. “Ad Hoc committee devises SCNA Mission Corps plan.” SCN News. Jan. 1988, Vol. XVI, No. 4, p. 6.

[72] Fields, Mary Lynn. “SCNA Council wants to revive program.” SCN News. Jan. 1988, Vol. XVI, No. 4, p. 6.

[73] Shaughnessy, Mary Angela. “Report on SCNA Council meeting.” SCN News. Mar. 1988, Vol. XVI, No. 6, p. 11.

[74] Doyle, Mary Ellen and Burke, Mary Ransom. “Ad Hoc committee devises SCNA Mission Corps plan.” SCN News. Jan. 1988, Vol. XVI, No. 4, p. 6.

[75] Toon, Carol. “Third World Experience: Dreams come true during trip to Belize.” SCN News. Nov.-Dec. 1988, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 10-11; SCNA Connector, Sept. 1988, p. 6.

[76] Kelley, Patricia. “SCN Associates Recognizing the Spirit.” SCN News. May 1988, Vol. XVI, No. 7, p. 13.

[77] Shea, Marilyn. Response to Interview Questions. 14 Sep. 2021.

[78] Shea, Marilyn. “SCNA Ministry Corps: Origins and Experience.” SCN News. July 1991, Vol. XIX, No. 4, p. 11.

[79] Ibid.

[80] Martin, Mary. History of the Associates of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 1972-1997. 1997, p. 6.

[81] “SCN Lay Mission Volunteer Program.” Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Nazareth Literary & Benevolent Institution. Accessed December 16, 2021. https://scnfamily.org/volunteer/; Beckett, Christine. Permanent Record Card. SCN Archival Center; SCN Directory. 2004-2005, p. X.

[82] Shea, Marilyn. Synthesis of Comments under each section of the 10/92 Survey on the Associate Program. Oct. 1992; Martin, Mary. History of the Associates of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 1972-1997. 1997, p. 7; Shea, Marilyn. Response to Interview Questions. 14 Sep. 2021.

[83] Lehmkuhl, Marlene. Permanent Record Card. SCN Archival Center; Lehmkuhl, Marlene. Response to Interview Questions. 20 Aug. 2021. Shea, Marilyn. Response to Interview Questions. 14 Sep. 2021; Martin, Mary. History of the Associates of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 1972-1997. 1997, p. 7.

[84] Lehmkuhl, Marlene. Response to Interview Questions. 20 Aug. 2021.

[85] Martin, Mary. Letter to Kelly A. McDaniels (email). 4 Jan. 2022; Frank, Mary Gene. Interview. 6 Jan. 2022.

[86] Martin, Mary. Interview. 5 Jan. 2022.

[87] Lehmkuhl, Marlene. 20 Aug. 2021.

[88] Summary of SCNA Convocation. 24-26 June 1994. SCN Archival Center, SCNA Collection, file I.005, “Weekends and Retreats – 1994 Convocation.”

[89] SCNA Convocation Program. 24-26 June 1994.

[90] Summary of SCNA Convocation. 24-26 June 1994. SCN Archival Center, SCNA Collection, file I.005, “Weekends and Retreats – 1994 Convocation.”

[91] Ibid.

[92] Lehmkuhl, Marlene. Response to Interview Questions. 20 Aug. 2021.

[93] Associate Statistics document. SCN Archival Center, SCNA Collection, file E.024, “Statistics and Maps.”

[94] Cecil, Sharon. Response to Interview Questions. 25 Oct. 2021.

[95] SCN Annals. Belize, Stann Creek District. 8 Nov. 1995.

[96] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint); Frank, Mary Gene. Letter to Kelly A. McDaniels (email). 17 Dec. 2021.

[97] Frank, Mary Gene. Interviewed by Maria Vincent Brocato. 6 Jan. 2022.

[98] SCN Annals. Belize, Stann Creek District. 14 Feb. 1997.

[99] SCN Associate Office. Formation Event database.

[100] Martin, Mary. History of the Associates of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth 1972-1997. 1997.

[101] Kirwan, Rosemarie. Interview. 15 Nov. 2021; SCN Annals. Belize, Stann Creek District. 29 Jan. 1999; Fernicola, Pascal Maria, Barbara Flores, Beverly Hoffman, and Rosemarie Kirwan. History of SCN Associates in Belize. 14 Jan. 2022.

[102] Cecil, Sharon. Response to Interview Questions. 25 Oct. 2021; Meyer, Andy. Responses to Interview Questions. 28 Oct. 2021

[103] Shea, Marilyn. Permanent Record Card. SCN Archival Center; SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint).

[104] Martin, Mary. “Ideas and Suggestions for 50 Year History of SCN Associates.” 23 July 2021; Shea, Marilyn. Response to interview questions. 14 Sep. 2021.

[105] SCN Associate Office. SCN Associate Handbook. Aug. 2000.

[106] Fernicola, Pascal Maria, Barbara Flores, Beverly Hoffman, and Rosemarie Kirwan. History of SCN Associates in Belize. 14 Jan. 2022.

[107] “At the UN, Civil Society Representatives Gather for the Millennium Forum.” onecountry.org (The Bahá’i International Community). accessed January 18, 2022. https://www.onecountry.org/story/un-civil-society-representatives-gather-millennium-forum.

[108] Fernicola, Pascal Maria, Barbara Flores, Beverly Hoffman, and Rosemarie Kirwan. History of SCN Associates in Belize. 14 Jan. 2022.

[109] Manjoly, Amrita. “SCNA Update.” 23 Aug. 2001. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file, A.008, “History – India SCNAs”.

[110] Shea, Marilyn. SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 2, 1 Nov. 2002. p. 3.

[111] Shea, Marilyn. SCN Associate Newsletter. 13. Feb. 2002. p. 2.

[112] Ibid.

[113] Shea, Marilyn. SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 1, 1 June 2002, p. 1.

[114] Nabholz, Teresa Rose. Letter to Shalini D’Souza. 21 Oct. 2002. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file E.009, “Belize Associates”.

[115] SCN Annals. Belize, Belize City. 26 Jan. 2003.

[116] SCNA Convocation Program. 24-37 June 2004.

[117] Kotturan, Teresa. Letter to local SCN communities in India. 4 June 2004. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file A.008, “History – India SCNAs”.

[118] Puthenkalam, Rita. Eastern Province Report of SCNA. 12 Mar. 2008. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file A.008, “History – India SCNAs”.

[119] Muthukattil, Ann. History of SCNs in Botswana – A Dream Come True. 2007, p. 3; Shea, Marilyn. “SCN Associate to go to Botswana.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 10. July 2005. p. 1.

[120] Muthukattil, Ann. History of SCNs in Botswana – A Dream Come True. 2007, p. 10; Shea, Marilyn. “New SCN Associate Director.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 13. July 2006. p. 1; McAllister, Marie. “Retired teacher sells all, heads to Africa.” The Record. 22 June 2006.

[121] Shea, Marilyn. “New SCN Associate Director.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 13. July 2006. p. 1.

[122] Hurst, Spalding. “Encountering God in Botswana.” SCN News. 1 Aug. 2014.

[123] Shea, Marilyn. “Succession Planning.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 10. July 2005. p. 2; Shea, Marilyn. Response to Interview Questions. 14 Sep. 2021.

[124] Ryan, Peggy Masterson. Interviewed by Maria Vincent Brocato. 10 Nov. 2021

[125] Shea, Marilyn. “New SCN Associate Director.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 13. July 2006. p. 1.

[126] Thayilchirayil, Anne Marie. Impelled by the Love of Christ: Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in Nepal. (Art-Print & Publishing Company, 2014), p. 5; Puthenkalam, Rita. Eastern Province Report of SCNA. 12 Mar. 2008. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file A.008, “History – India SCNAs”.

[127] Masterson, Peggy. “Associate Happenings.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 15. Feb. 2007. p. 2.

[128] “Vincentian Spirituality: Integrating Spiritual Growth With Our On-going Call to Mission” Program. 4 Nov. 2007. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file K.019, “Weekends & Retreats – Nov. 2007 ‘Vincentian Spirituality: Integrating Spiritual Growth With Our On-going Call to Mission’”; Masterson, Peggy. “Boston Associates and SCNs.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 17. 16 Nov. 2007. p. 2.

[129] Meachariyil, Nalini. History of SCN Associates in Botswana. 21 Jan. 2022.

[130] SCN Annals, Lobastse, Botswana. 28 Apr. 2007; Meachariyil, Nalini. History of SCN Associates in Botswana. 21 Jan. 2022.

[131] Masterson, Peggy. “Associate beginning in Botswana.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 16. July 2007. p. 2.

[132] “Pula! SCN Associate Relationship Begins in Botswana.” SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file A.007, “History.”

[133] Masterson, Peggy. “Associates in Botswana and Belize.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 14. 9 Nov. 2006. p. 2.

[134] “Belize SCN Associate Retreat.” SCN Newsline. 9 Aug. 2007; Fernicola, Pascal Maria, Barbara Flores, Beverly Hoffman, and Rosemarie Kirwan. History of SCN Associates in Belize. 14 Jan. 2022.

[135] Masterson, Peggy. “SCN Associates in Ministry in Belize, Haiti, and Botswana.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 18. March 2008. p. 1.

[136] Puthenkalam, Rita. Eastern Province Report of SCNA. 12 Mar. 2008. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file A.008, “History – India SCNAs”.

[137] Dunn, Jimmy. “Sisters Fete Orders’ Merger: Vincentian Nuns Joined Ky.-Based Sisters of Charity,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 3, 2010.

[138] The Vocation Board. Letter to the Vincentian Sisters of Charity. 25 Sep. 1988. SCN Archival Center. VSC Collection, Box 2316, file 2316/001, “Associate Membership Program”; Vincentian Sisters of Charity Pastoral Plan. 14 June 1991. SCN Archival Center. VSC Collection, Box 2227, file 2227/002, “General Assembly 1991 VSC.230.241 – Proposals.”

[139] Vincentian Sisters of Charity. “Associate Membership.” 19 Mar. 1991. SCN Archival Center. VSC Collection, Box 2316, file 2316/002, “Associate Program – General.”

[140] Vincentian Sisters of Charity. Associate Program brochure. n.d. SCN Archival Center. VSC Collection, Box 2316, file 2316/001, “Associate Membership Program.”

[141] Ibid.

[142] VSC/SCN Associates Subcommittee. “Final Report of VSC/SCN Associate Subcommittee.” SCN/VSC Coordination Committee: Final Reports from Subcommittees. Nov. 2005. SCN Archival Center. VSC Collection, Box 2016.

[143] Masterson, Peggy. “A Special Heartfelt and Joyous Welcome to the SCNs and Associates in Pittsburgh.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 20. Nov. 2008. p. 1.

[144] “SCN Associate Retreat Highlights.” SCN Newsline. 1 Oct. 2009; Masterson, Peggy. “Fourteenth Annual Associate Retreat.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 23. Nov. 2009. p. 1.

[145] Masterson, Peggy. “Belize Immersion Experience – February 2009.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 21. Mar. 2009. p. 1; Masterson, Peggy. “Pittsburgh SCN Associates.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 21. Mar. 2009. p. 2; Masterson, Peggy. “Future SCN Associate Events.” SCN Western Province Associate Newsletter. No. 23. Nov. 2009. p. 1.

[146] “SCN Associate Director.” SCN Newsline. 22 July 2010.

[147] Paulin, Jo Ann. SCN Associate Program Director’s Report. Western Province Board Meeting. 18 Mar. 2011. p. 3. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file C.009, “Reports – To Western Province Board 2011-2016.”

[148] Puthenkalam, Rita. SCNA Program: July 2011. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file A.008, “History – India SCNAs”.

[149] Eastern Province Office. SCNAs in Eastern Province as of November 2011. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file A.008, “History – India SCNAs”.

[150] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint).

[151] Hurst, Spalding. “Volunteers Go To Botswana.” SCN News. 13 Apr. 2012.

[152] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint).

[153] SCN News. Aug. 2012.

[154] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint).

[155] Hurst, Spalding. “Charity Alive – Young Adult SCN Associate Program” (Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, January 2, 2014), https://scnfamily.org/charity-alive-young-adult-scn-associate-program/.

[156] Paulin, Jo Ann. SCN Associate Program Director’s Report. Western Province Board Meeting. 22 Dec. 2014. p. 1. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file C.009, “Reports – To Western Province Board 2011-2016;” Paulin, Jo Ann. Response to Interview Questions. Nov. 2021; Ferriell, Sarah. Letter to Kelly A. McDaniels. (email), December 22, 2021.

[157] Paulin, Jo Ann. Response to Interview Questions. Nov. 2021.

[158] Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Board. Board Minutes. 5 Nov. 2016. p. 3.

[159] Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Board. Board Minutes. 29 Nov. 2017. p. 4.

[160] Paulin, Jo Ann. Response to Interview Questions. Nov. 2021.

[161] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint); “Cara Study,” NACAR (North American Conference of Associates and Religious), accessed December 22, 2021, https://www.nacar.org/CARA-Study.

[162] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint); SCN Associate 20th Annual Retreat Program, 25-27 Sep. 2015.

[163] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint); SCN Associate 21st Annual Retreat Program, 23-25 Sep. 2016.

[164] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint); SCN Associate 22nd Annual Retreat Schedule, 22-24. Sep. 2017. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file L.022, “Weekends & Retreats – Sept. 2017 ‘Open to God’s Action as We Journey Toward the Future” Jeanne Connolly.”

[165] Paulin, Jo Ann. Response to Interview Questions. Nov. 2021.

[166] Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Board. Board Minutes. 1 Mar. 2018. p. 2.

[167] Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Board. Board Minutes. 26 Apr. 2018. p. 5; Meyer, Andy. Responses to Interview Questions. 28 Oct. 2021; Meyer, Andy. “A Message From the Director of the Associates.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Spring 2018. p. 1.

[168] Meyer, Andy. Responses to Interview Questions. 28 Oct. 2021; Sisters of Charity of Nazareth Western Province Board. Board Minutes. 29 Aug. 2018. p. 2.

[169] “On June 26th Andy and Tammy met with former Directors of the Associates.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Summer 2018. p. 2

[170] Meyer, Andy. SCN Associate Program Director’s Report to the Western Province Board. Aug. 2018.

[171] Martin, Mary. Letter to Kelly A. McDaniels (email). 4 Jan. 2022.

[172] Hinton, Dana. “SCN Associates.” SCN News. 14 Nov. 2018

[173] Meyer, Andy. Responses to Follow-Up Interview Questions. 18 Nov. 2021. SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file A.009, “History – 50 Years – Research Copies, etc.”; “The New Associate Formation Journey.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Spring 2019. p. 11-13.

[174] Martin, Mary. Letter to Kelly A. McDaniels (email). 9 Jan. 2022.

[175] “Advent Prayer” SCN Associate Newsletter. Fall 2018. p. 10.

[176] Hinton, Dana. “Vincent and Louise: Contemplatives in Action.” SCN News. 26 Feb. 2019; Hinton, Dana. “Vincent and Louise: Contemplatives in Action.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Spring 2019. p. 5.

[177] Meyer, Andy. “Creating a Shared Vision for the Future of the SCNA Relationship: A Journey of Faith.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Spring 2019. p. 1

[178] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint).

[179] Meyer, Andy. “Creating a Shared Vision for the Future of the SCNA Relationship: A Journey of Faith.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Spring 2019. p. 2.

[180] Ibid. p. 2-3.

[181] Ibid. p. 11.

[182] SCN Associate Core Council. “Strategic Plan Executive Summary.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Fall 2019. p. 2; Hinton, Dana. “SCNAs Engage in Strategic Planning.” SCN News. 16 May 2019.

[183] “SCNA Strategic Plan Progress and Executive Summary.” Updated 4 Dec. 2019

[184] SCN Associate Core Council. “Strategic Plan Executive Summary.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Fall 2019. p. 2; “SCNA Core Council.” SCN Newsline. 20 Feb. 2020; “SCNA Strategic Plan Dialogue.” SCN Newsline. 12 Mar. 2020.

[185] “SCNA Strategic Plan Progress and Executive Summary.” Updated 4 Dec. 2019

[186] Ibid.

[187] Ibid.

[188] SCN Associate Office. History of the SCN Associate Relationship 1971-2019 (powerpoint); Hurst, Spalding. “Assembly of the Whole.” SCN News. 3 Dec. 2018.

[189] Vetter, Beth. “Nazareth – September 20-22 ‘Put Out Into the Deep’ with Judy Gomila, MSC: Reflection by Beth Vetter, SCNA.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Fall 2019. p. 5.

[190] “Belize Retreat.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Fall 2019. p. 8.

[191] Karakunnel, Jane. “SCNAs Activities from Dec. 2019 to May 2020 – Patna Province.” SCN Archival Center. SCN Associate Collection, file A.008, “History – India SCNAs.”

[192] Martin, Mary. Letter to Kelly A. McDaniels (email). 4 Jan. 2022.

[193] Meyer, Andy. “Andy Meyer’s Retirement.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Summer 2020. p. 4.

[194] “Upcoming Events.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Summer 2020. p. 14; Cecil,Sharon. “Director’s Transition.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Autumn 2020. p. 3.

[195] “Associate Events: September 2020 SCNA Gathering.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Autumn 2020. p. 5-6.

[196] “Upcoming Events.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Autumn 2020. p. 8.

[197] SCN Associate Handbook. 16 June 2021.

[198] Meachariyil, Nalini. History of SCN Associates in Botswana. 21 Jan. 2022; Meachariyil, Nalini. Letter to Kelly A. McDaniels (email). 27 Jan. 2022.

[199] “September 2021 SCNA Gathering.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Fall 2021. p. 6; O’Toole, Patsy. “A Reflection on the Gathering.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Fall 2021. p. 6.

[200] O’Toole, Patsy. “A Reflection on the Gathering.” SCN Associate Newsletter. Fall 2021. p. 6.

[201] “SCNA Strategic Plan Progress and Executive Summary.” Updated 4 Dec. 2019“SCN Associates Core Strategies and Strategic Objectives, Progress as of October 2021.

2 Comments

  1. Mary Martin, SCNA

    Thank you Kelly for all of your hard work and dedication in researching and writing this wonderful, comprehensive history of the SCN Associates. You have given a priceless gift to us now and to posterity.

    Reply
  2. Sister Margaret L. Davenport, SCN

    Many thanks for the wonderful trek through the SCNA gift to our SCN history. It was a most enjoyable read and truly a treasure for posterity.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like…

Chattanooga SCNAs Remember Jerry McCrary

Chattanooga SCNAs Remember Jerry McCrary

Associate members in Chattanooga, Tennessee, gathered to remember Jerry McCrary. SCNAs Betsy Kammerdiener, Sarah Haddock, Pam Lawson, Lisa Harrison, Carol Newton, Jim O’Connell, Jackie Jackson, Karen Sloan, and Sister Alice O’Connell celebrated Jerry’s life at their monthly faith group gathering on July 19, 2022. Jerry passed away on May 21, 2021. “He is gone from our sight but always remains in our hearts,” says Karen.

Nazareth School Celebrates Grandparents

Nazareth School Celebrates Grandparents

Grandparents are the greatest treasures, founders, storytellers and keepers of the traditions in the family. Honoring these legends, Nazareth School, Banakal, celebrated Grandparents’ Day on July 26, 2022.