“…the spirit, charism, love and support of the community fuels my faith and gives greater meaning to my efforts to live the Gospel message.”
–Carol I, SSM Prayer Associate, WI
Being a Prayer Associate hardly restricts one only to prayer. I am Carol, an Associate of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother.
I’ve known members of this order of Sisters since I was 15, growing up in Tulsa, OK. I worked with some at their hospital, St. John Medical Center, and spent many years with them hearing stories of their foundress, Mother Frances, and her Franciscan spirit.
A few years after formalizing my journey with the Sisters by becoming an Associate in Tulsa in 1988, my husband and I moved to Florida. I felt like an SSM missionary as I volunteered at two different migrant camps for four years. The workers picked produce and lived in poverty. I wore my Associate pin and my cross and was often mistaken for a Sister. We brought the workers supplies, rosaries and holy cards, some foods, and Mass, with Father Felix. I was blessed to keep in contact with the Sisters in Tulsa as I served in Florida.
Now I live in Wisconsin, close to my grandchildren but a distance from my local cluster of Associates. However, I maintain strong contact with many Associates and with the retired Sisters in Oshkosh.
I am a Sacristan, reader, greeter and Eucharist minister for the homebound in my parish. As time passes, I find myself doing an increasing ministry of sharing my faith with the veterans that I meet at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis. Having been a Marine, I understand many of their situations and feel called to share God’s love. The Marine motto is “Semper Fidelis”- “always faithful”, and so it is with we Franciscans. We are faithful too.
Whether close or far physically from the community of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother, the spirit, charism, love and support of the community fuels my faith and gives greater meaning to my efforts to live the Gospel message. My thanks and love to all the Sisters and Associates!
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.