Meet SSM Associate Rod M

“I am not alone on my spiritual journey. I am traveling with my fellow Associates and Sisters…”
–Rod M, SSM Associate, Tulsa

Rod lives in Broken Arrow, Okla., where he is part of the Associates movement, working and praying alongside the Sisters and other Associates to help the poor, sick and needy. Here is a look into his life as an Associate:

Why did you become an SSM Associate?
On Christmas Day, 2003, I attended Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Convent and was introduced to the Liturgy of the Hours by Sister M. Theresa Gil. After a month or so of learning the Christian Prayer and getting to know many of the Sisters, Sister M. Judy Beck suggested I become an Associate. So I attended many orientation sessions with Sister M. Rosella and liked the idea of growing spiritually with Community.
What do you do as part of the SSM Associate Movement?
I try to make every monthly Associate meeting and participate my best during prayer and discussions. We have a really energetic crew leading our Associates in Mary Anne Axsom and Bart & Beth Bartholomew, so I usually just ask them what I can do to help out. I also try to help out the Sisters in other ways that might not be available within their Community.
What is the most rewarding thing about being an SSM Associate? 
Knowing that I am not alone on my spiritual journey. I am traveling with my fellow Associates and Sisters, helping and being helped on our way to our intended destination, eternal life with Jesus Christ.
What would be the main reason you would tell someone else to consider becoming an SSM Associate?
It is very rewarding to participate with a religious Community based on the values of their foundress and in communion with the Catholic Church.
St. Anne Church Memorial Brick Program
Two years ago my parish of St. Anne established a program to raise funds for various projects and to help beautify the grounds surrounding our church. This program allows a person to donate money and receive a personalized memorial brick to honor a loved one. These bricks are laid in the ground of the memorial brick garden.
The first year I purchased a brick to honor my parents, which I visit every Sunday.
This year I thought it would be nice to have a memorial for the SSMs, because the Sisters have a very long history at St. Anne. As I was trying to decide what to put on the brick, I thought it would be nice to include the Associates, which I am proud to be a part of.

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.