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40th Anniversary of CND Associate Relationship Bulletin

Associate Relationship

Congregational Leader: Sister Josephine Badali, CND

Happy 40th Anniversary of Associate Relationship!

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine used the phrase, Carriers of the Charism. I find that it expresses deeply just who is an Associate of the CND.

There is surely a great diversity that exists among Sisters and Associates through- out the Congregation. However, a gift that dwells within each of us and binds us together is the charism of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys.

We speak of the charism as a gift, a legacy of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys to the universe. Marguerite’s charism inspires hope and exudes love and care for the good of all. It is a way of being that is inclusive, interconnected with all of

creation, respectful, open, holistic. It fosters inner freedom and works for the liberation of others, struggling against all that suppresses human dignity: racism, oppression, discrimination, poverty, all forms of violence.

Associates, that is who you are!

You carry the charism, convey it, transmit it to your families, in your workplaces, and in your places of recreation. Wherever you go, your journey is supported by a spirituality of Visitation and of Pentecost. Our Lady and St. Marguerite are your faithful companions along the way.

On this 40th anniversary of Associate Relationship, I wish to offer you my prayer and my deepest gratitude for being a branch on the CND tree that carries the charism to the far reaches of the universe. Blessed are you, Carriers of the Charism, and happy anniversary!

New/Recent Associate: Elizabeth Grace Walton

Becoming an Associate

I am a general dentist that lives in the Chicago area. I am a newlywed who grew up in Michigan. My dental practice is limited to children. The vast majority of my patients are on public aid and all of them require sedation, which I provide, to have their dental work completed. I was raised Episcopalian and joined the Catholic Church while I was an undergrad at the University of Notre Dame.

I became an associate of the Congregation of Notre Dame on May 26, 2018. The ceremony was in the home of Sisters Regina Devitto and Darlene Mayo in Chicago, Illinois. There were three other women who became associates at the same time. The four of us had become close friends while we were preparing for our First Commitment. We were excited to meet other local associates, especially, Mary Jo Hoag, who has been valuable to us as we grow in our new roles in the church. Even through the pandemic, we continued to meet for prayer group via Zoom. And now that we are vaccinated, we have gotten together in person. What a relief it was to be together again!

I first learned about the associate relationship when I was teaching Saturday School of Religion at St Gregory the Great in Chicago with Srs Regina and Darlene. Regina and Janet Lawrence introduced the idea to me. As soon as I heard about it, I knew it was for me! I’m afraid I wasn’t very patient with the sisters while they were encouraging my fellow associates to join! Once we started meeting together, my faith fire grew even more. I was amazed at how effortless it was to form friendships with these complete strangers. And of course, our friendships were more profound than my other relationships because they were formed in faith.

Before we made our First Commitment, we had the opportunity to read each others essays that were submitted to CND. Although I was already familiar with portions of these women’s faith journeys, this solidified my bond with my three associate “sisters.” These women, in many ways, know me more intimately than my close friends and even some of my family. I was hungry for a connection to Regina and Darlene that would bond us for life. Now, I have that. And I have the same bond with four other women in my area. The comfort the existence of these relationships provide for me is uncanny and incomprehensi- ble. Luckily, I don’t have to be able to understand or explain what it means. I am free to simply enjoy the comfort for the rest of my life.


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