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

Spirituality Forum - July 2017


Philippine Duchesne:

Celebrating Her Life and Legacy

July 12-16, 2017

St. Louis University, St. Louis, MO


Catherine Mooney

Gerardette Philips, RSCJ

Priscilla Solomon, CSJ

Our time together will include presentations,
small group reflections, workshops, prayer,
daily liturgy, and celebration

Begins with registration 3:00-5:00 PM Wednesday, July 12

Ends with lunch Sunday, July 16

For inquiries email:

(More details and an online registration link coming soon)

For anyone interested in the spirituality of the Society of the Sacred Heart

Forum Committee:  Kathy McGrath, RSCJ (Chair), Mary Charlotte Chandler, RSCJ, Ian Humphreys, Rhonda Meegan, Diane Roche, RSCJ, Julie Siderfin, Margie Strom, RSCJ

Judy Quest and Mary Jane Tiernan - Associate Coordinators for Omaha and San Diego

We are very pleased to announce that the Provincial Team has appointed Judy Quest to serve as Coordinator for the Omaha group.  Judy’s leadership will help to transition the Omaha group to Associate leadership, after the retirement of Sr. Sumpter. 

Judy Quest has been a member of the Omaha group for about 10 years and previously served as Co-Coordinator for the group before stepping down for health reasons.  Judy retired in 2014 after 23 years as a counselor at Duchesne Omaha.  Judy also served the Network of Sacred Heart Schools in coordinating the Clown Project in Omaha.  She is a professional clown and has worked with young people to share joy with others through the work of clowning.  Currently she volunteers at the Holy Family Parish lunch program.  She says that her main task is "to smile and let (people) know they are loved."  (Her clown name is Dear Heart.)  She is dedicated to the Omaha Associates group, and although a little bit nervous about navigating the immediate route forward without Sr. Sumpter, is passionate about keeping the group together and moving forward.  She and her husband Tom have been married for 40 years.  (Tom has served on the Facilities staff at Duchesne and retires this year.)  They have three children. 

We are very grateful to Judy for her willingness to serve in this capacity. 

And, we are very grateful to Sr. Sumpter for her leadership and care for the Omaha group over the years!

We are also very pleased to announce that the Provincial Team has appointed Mary Jane Tiernan to serve as Co-Coordinator of the San Diego Associates group to succeed Suzanne Strassburger. 

Mary Jane Tiernan has been a long-time Associate, since the Associates actually started in San Diego. She is very committed and engaged in both the spirit, prayer, and the monthly meetings that occur from September to June each year. She is very much a Sacred Heart person: an alum, a friend of many RSCJ, and a faithful member of the San Diego Community of Associates. She is a woman of prayer. She actively supports the Associates activities all these years. She is a very caring member of this community of women who strive to grow in deeper relationship with God, and to live each day the grace of having known the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

We are grateful to Mary Jane for her willingness to serve in this capacity. 

We also want to thank Suzanne for her years of service as Co-Coordinator of the San Diego group.

-Jane Steinfels, Associates Committee

Peggy Gorman appointed to Associate Committee

We are pleased to announce that Peggy Gorman has been appointed to serve on the Associates Committee, as a new representative for the Central region (with Julie Siderfin).  Peggy will represent Halifax and Chicago on the Associates Committee. 

Peggy came to know the RSCJ in 2002 when she was hired as the head nurse at Barat residence. She worked there for 5 1/2 years. In 2003, she began the journey as an associate and made her first commitment on December 5, 2004. As an Associate in the Canadian province she was a member of the spirituality round-table and also had the opportunity on two occasions to help plan an Assembly. In March of 2015, she attended the Associate Co-Coordinator gathering in New Orleans and subsequently became a member of the Associates Committee Spirituality Subcommittee.  She was also involved in helping to prepare the 2016 Lenten prayer. She was asked to be a member of the Health and Wellness committee and that will finish once the report is done in June. She is also an executive member of Arcan, a committee which represents associates and religious congregations in the Atlantic provinces.

We are grateful to Peggy for her willingness to serve.

- Jane Steinfels, Associates Committee

Associates Committee - May Report

The Associates Committee continues to our work from the April meeting in Washington, DC.

The Associates Committee will be modifying our areas to mirror the RSCJ regions in the Fall of 2016.  We will continue to have representatives in the East (Albany, Boston, Fairchester, and Washington, DC) and West (Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco, and Menlo).  The central region for the Associates will have 2 representatives: one for St. Louis, Omaha, New Orleans, and Houston, and the other for Halifax and Chicago.  At the present time, Sue Whalen represents the East, Michelle Hogan the West, Cathy Knapik the South, and Julie Siderfin the Central.  We welcome Peggy Gorman to the Associates Committee as the second representative for the Central region. 

As Regional Representatives, we strive to serve our local areas.  We are trying to figure out the best ways to communicate and to support in our local regions.  We invite your suggestions!

In the Fall, the Associates Committee will be requesting nominations for representatives for the EAST and WEST, as Sue Whalen and Michelle Hogan, respectively, conclude their terms.  We will also be seeking nominations for an RSCJ to join the Committee as Kathy Dolan completes her term. Our hope would be to identify those committee members by our spring/summer Associates Committee meeting so that they would be ready to begin their roles in the Fall of 2017.  More to come in the Fall!

Houston, Seattle, and New Orleans have new Co-Coordinators.  San Diego is beginning the process for both Associate and RSCJ Co-Coordinator roles.  The DC group hopes to have nominees by January of 2017.
We are walking with Omaha in this time of transition.  The Omaha group looks forward to continuing but we are working together to develop ways of maintaining the direct relationship with the RSCJ.

The Associates Committee is preparing their end of year report for the Society.  We look forward to receiving all of the reports from the local groups to aid us in this process.

-Jane Steinfels, Associates Committee