Associates Committee - October Report

Associates Committee Transitions
Sue Whalen (Eastern), Michelle Hogan (Western), and Kathy Dolan are coming to the end of their terms on the Associates Committee.  We are seeking nominations to the Associates Committee for a representative from the Eastern region, from the Western region, and for an RSCJ to represent the Province (serving in an “at-large” role).  A request for nominations has been sent out by email and will be posted to the Update.  Nominations may be sent to or  New committee members will be asked to participate in a transition meeting in April of 2017 in St. Charles.

At our biennial Associate Committee - United States Canada (AC-USC) meeting at the Stuart Center in Washington, DC, this past April, the committee formally adopted an Associate symbol.  Each Associate who has made a commitment will receive a medal recognizing this commitment from the Associates Committee.  The medals may be presented at the renewal of commitment ceremonies held by the individual groups this year.  Associates who subsequently make commitments will be presented with the medal at his/her initial commitment ceremony.  If your group has not received their medals, please email

Finance Task Force:
The Associates Committee is developing criteria for a “scholarship fund” to assist groups who have a financial need when sending Co-Coordinators to Province meetings and other major expenses.  More information will be distributed in the coming months as the process is formalized.

Spirituality Forum: 
Please save the date for the Spirituality Forum – July 12-16, 2017 – in St. Louis, MO.  The theme, in preparation for the 200th anniversary of Philippine’s bringing in the Americas, celebrating her life and legacy.  The Forum will take place at St. Louis University and featured speakers are Catherine Mooney, Gerardette Philips, RSCJ, and Priscilla Solomon, CSJ.  The gathering will include presentations, small group reflections, workshops, prayer, daily liturgy, and celebration.  For inquiries email:

Associates Committee Spring Meeting:

To avoid conflicting with the Spirituality Forum, the Associates Committee will convene our next Co-Coordinator meeting in 2018.  In April of 2017, the Associates Committee and new members will meet in St. Charles, MO. 

-Cathy Knapik, Co-Chair, Associates Committee 

Associates’ Survey – Part 3

We continue to share the results of our Associates’ survey from February 2016.  Today’s responses were made in response to the question, “How does Sacred Heart Spirituality impact your life?”

Three major themes included: Spirituality/ Centrality/Foundation, Prayer/Relationship with God, and Social Justice. Example responses in each theme include:

Spirituality/Centrality/Foundation –  A common theme stated is that the Sacred Heart is the central focus and resting place of our lives. One individual shared that Sacred Heart spirituality becomes the metaphor for the foundation of heart and soul coming together in that deep understanding that love is the only way to move through our lives and to ensure joy and stability, no matter what challenges face us.

Prayer/Relationship with God – It is the very fiber of their being, prayer, and life walk with them on their spiritual walk. Another stated that her Spiritual Director helped her with the contemplative dimension of Sacred Heart Spirituality and deepens her vision of St. Madeleine Sophie and St. Philippine Duchesne. Additionally, Associates commented that their prayer life was fostered and actions were guided by their identity as an Associate of the Religious off the Sacred Heart. 

Social Justice – Sacred Heart spirituality gives each one a socially conscious sense of self and their religion as they see the Sacred Heart of Jesus as the heart of the Cosmos. Another stated that it supports her faith life and her call to be one with the poor. Also, one stated that they were compelled to pray more and to view the world and its needs through a broader and more inclusive lens.
In response to the question, “How do you envision the relationship between the Religious of the Sacred Heart and Associates in the USC Province evolving over the next 10 years?

Several themes emerged from the data: Deepening Relationship, Bearers of the Charism, 
Growth/Mentoring/Increased Membership, and Communication, Commitment/Transitions.
The following quotes summarize much of what was shared in the responses.
·       I imagine that the relationship will deepen in the next ten years. The Religious of the Sacred Heart will continue to embrace the role of lay people. The Associates will grow in numbers and they will help continue the mission and spread the charism of the society of the Sacred Heart. The Associates groups will find ways to work more closely with each other. We will continue to cherish, learn from, and be inspired by the RSCJ in our groups evolving in ways we cannot yet imagine.

We are happy to share this information with all of our Associates and the Religious of the Sacred Heart. Thank you to everyone that participated in our survey.

Cathy Knapik, Associates’ Committee, Co-Chair

Mary Kay Hunyady - Co-Coordinator for San Francisco

We are very pleased that the Provincial Team has officially appointed Mary Kay Hunyady to serve as Co-Coordinator of the San Francisco Associates group with Kristi Laughlin.

One nomination simply began with “Mary Kay is awesome!”  The group recognizes that she has many gifts that will be an asset to the group including: one to one contacts; working in a group setting; community organizing; working with the 65 and under facilitating the group; leading a provincial planning group; and her training as a therapist. The group is aware of the great wealth of knowledge and experience that she brings to the group.  They look forward to her guidance and are hopeful of growing together as a group.

We are grateful to Mary Kay for her willingness to serve in this capacity.  We are also grateful to Ginny for her leadership of many years and her shepherding of the Associate movement! 

Congratulations and thanks to all!
- Jane Steinfels, Associates Committee 

Eastern Region Associates' Retreat

On the weekend of September 16-18, 27 Associates and RSCJ came together for a retreat at The Linwood Spiritual Center in Rhinebeck, NY. Situated on a cliff overlooking the Hudson River, we could not have asked for a more fitting and beautiful setting. Sisters Barb Dawson and Sheila Hammond were our presenters.

After an informal gathering on Friday evening Barb gave us an overview of the General Chapter just completed and of how the various constituencies spent time getting to know and connect with each other. She shared with us the four calls of the Chapter and we concluded the evening with prayer.

Saturday found us enjoying breakfast with each other and some quiet walks around the property. This was followed by a period of prayer modeled on what took place each day of the Chapter. We were then introduced to the first CALL -  to be and act as one body. We prayed about and discussed what this would mean. After lunch the second CALL was identified – to embrace silence and once again we prayed about what this would mean and how it could look in our lives. The liturgy followed and Father Ken Doyle was the presider. At the offertory, a person from each group present (8 out of 14) brought forth a gift representative of their particular group. After a relaxing dinner, the third CALL – to live in a more humane way was prayed about and discussed.

Sunday morning found us looking at two pictures of Philippine: one of Sophie blessing and sending Philippine on her way and the other of Philippine sitting on The Rebecca looking off into the distance. We were given time to define our very own “Rebecca moment” and to examine the last CALL – to reach new frontiers – and to see how this will be lived out in our own lives. We had a delicious brunch and left with full hearts and minds determined to “continue the journey together to discover and reveal the live of the Heart of Christ to the life of the world.” It was a grace-filled time for us all and we rejoiced that we were able to spend this time together in solidarity and prayer.

Susan Whalen, Associates Committee, Eastern Region Representative

Associates' Survey - Part 2

The Spirituality Committee of the Province Associates Committee conducted a simple survey via email to each Associate in early February. In the May Update we shared that 120 of 180 Associates participated in this survey. We also shared their professional experience, background and expertise.

Associates other interests include; writing, composing, research, painting, embroidery, a wide variety of sports, volunteer work, gardening, theater, crafts, cooking, music, travel, sculpting, stamp collecting, crochet, photography, singing, illustrating, computers, and basket weaving. One associate paints Icons and another is a Docent at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. Several Associates enjoy Yoga, and Meditation and one enjoys Blogging. Most of the Associates shared their love for spending time with their family and friends.

Associates’ opinion with regards to the present Associates’ “Identity Statement” was interesting. Over 67% said that the statement closely described what they feel called to live as an Associate of the USC Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Only 20% said that the identity statement was an adequate representation of who we are at the moment, but it still needs to be developed further. No one agreed with the statement that the identity statement did not reflect their experience of, or hopes for the Associates of the USC Province. Additional comments included, that the statement needs to be more in the forefront of consciousness and lived experience of our shared mission.

Cathy Knapik, Associates Committee, Co-Chair