“…experience the Franciscan Spirit in all that you do for others in your daily lives…unity in prayer is so powerful.”
–Adriane E, SSM Associate, Denville, NJ
Adriane lives in the Denville, New Jersey area, and her primary ministry as an Associate is volunteering for special events to raise much-needed funds for programs to help the poor, sick and needy. Here is a look into her life as an Associate:
Why did you become an SSM Associate?
I felt called to become an SSM Associate at a young age when my Aunt Rose Ann Porzio, an Associate, brought me to the Convent in Denville to spend time with and pray with the Sisters. I felt that I was ready, my husband supported my decision, and with the guidance of my Pastor, Sister Joan and Sister Yvette, both my mother and I became Associates. My Aunt had passed away shortly before we became Associates and we both felt that the calling had become stronger. I became an Associate because of my love of our Sisters and being a prayer partner with them has given me a very deep personal connection with the Sisters and the Associates all over the world. I hope and pray that my two daughters will become part of the third generation in our family to become SSM Associates.
What do you do as part of the SSM Associate Movement?
I attend the monthly meetings as my schedule allows and I continue to gain a better understanding of the life of Mother Frances. I also include the Sisters, Associates and their families in my daily prayers, especially to our Blessed Mother. I also feel called to help the Sisters whenever they need volunteers. I enjoy working at the SSM Garage Sales and Fall Festival with Sister Johnice and all of the Sisters and Associates. My family and I enjoy spending time with the Sisters and with the Associates and I am very blessed to be part of such an amazing group of faith-filled people from both near and far. I also bring what I learn from being an Associate back home to my children by volunteering my time in their Catholic School.
What is the most rewarding thing about being an SSM Associate?
For me, the most rewarding part of being an Associate is my sense of belonging to a community of men and women of deep faith from all over the world. I know that when I need prayers, the Sisters and Associates pray for my intentions and I do the same for them. I feel that as an Associate, I am never alone.
What would be the main reason you would tell someone else to consider becoming an SSM Associate?
There are countless numbers of reasons for men and women of faith to become SSM Associates. One of the most important reasons that I would tell someone to become an Associate is for you to experience the Franciscan Spirit in all that you will do for others in your daily lives. Unity in prayer is so powerful and I feel incredibly blessed as I continue to encourage others to become part of this faith community.
SSM Associates are men and women of deep faith who respond to their Baptismal Call to nurture and deepen their spiritual life in affiliation with the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother.
They embrace the values and ministry of the Sisters, commit to the challenge, and encourage each other on their spiritual journey with mutual acceptance and respect.
Associates grow spiritually through Days of Sharing, retreats, and fellowship. They study, reflect, and integrate the Franciscan Spirit in their lives. They build Christian community and further the kingdom of God through shared ministries. They collaborate with others in advocating for those who suffer because of poverty and in fostering a society of justice, peace, and love.
You may meet our Associates in a wide variety of ministries, including: parish ministries such as being a Eucharistic minister, teaching religion classes to youth or participating in parish musicians groups/choir; community ministries such as Meals on Wheels, collecting clothing, food, toys and other items for the needy or visiting nursing homes and the homebound; social justice and advocacy ministries; and volunteering their time and talents in a wide range of other ministries – from grief counseling to spiritual growth activities to collecting supplies and donations for the SSM missions.