An Overview of the Place of Associates in the SNJM Congregation

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Associates play an important role in the spiritual family of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary (SNJM). Sr. Beverley Wattling offers a portrait of this form of affiliation within the international SNJM congregation as she bears witness to the hope it has fostered in both Associates and Sisters.

History and description of this affiliation

More than forty years ago, SNJM Sisters, inspired by the spirit of Vatican Council II, created a special relationship with lay women and men who shared with them the mission, spirituality and charism of Eulalie Durocher, Mother Marie-Rose.

These Associates are committed to being an educative presence by proclaiming, through their lives and words, the Good News of God’s love. They serve God in the people with whom they are in contact, with a special concern for the poor and disadvantaged.

Quebec Associates 2019 Provincial Gathering

A mutually enriching relationship

For me, the experience of praying and working with our Associates has fostered my hope and continues to do so. It is good to feel that one is not working alone in ministry, that there is a whole network of people interested in building the reign of God and reaching people in different areas and in other ways.

Francophone Associates of Quebec May 2018 Renewal

The Sister / Associate relationship is a mutually enriching relationship, as Ms. Rosetta Staltari testifies:

“Being an SNJM associate is a priceless privilege. I feel blessed to walk with caring companions. I strongly believe in the charism of Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher and I try to live that charism in my ministries of education in the faith, liturgy preparation, and visiting the sick.”

Anglophone Associates of Quebec May 2018 Renewal

Leadership throughout the years

Over the years, the number of Associates has grown. They have taken on more and more leadership at all levels of the Congregation Currently, there are 339 Associates in the United States / Ontario Province, 77 in Quebec, 66 in Manitoba, 58 in Lesotho, and 25 in Peru / Brazil, for a total of 565.

2017 Sisters and Associates of Peru

A period of formation precedes the acceptance as an Associate and, once accepted, Associates renew their promise periodically. In most provinces, they meet regularly in small groups in their geographic areas. Some mixed groups are composed of Sisters and Associates.

Associates are invited to provincial meetings and participate in the preparation of General Chapters. They have representatives at these Chapters for various topics, such as the orientation of our SNJM mission. In this way, among others, they collaborate with us in the follow-up to our SNJM corporate stands concerning water, human trafficking, and migrant and refugee people.

May the spirit and mission of Mother Marie-Rose continue to enrich our world!

Sr Beverley Wattling, snjm

This article, written by Beverley Wattling, SNJM, was published in En son nom in 2019. Sr. Beverley was a founding team member for the first group of Anglophone Associates in Quebec. From 2010-2015, as the provincial team member responsible for the Associate dossier, she worked with Francophone and Anglophone groups.