Who are the SSM Associates?
The SSM Movement, whereby Catholic laity and clergy who wish to be formally joined to the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in their search for holiness in the service of the Church, began in June, 1983. The SSM Associates, while not members, share in some of the spiritual heritage of the Congregation and bring their own giftedness to the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in service to the Church.
SSM Associates are men and women of deep faith who respond to their Baptismal Call to nurture and deepen their spiritual life. They embrace the values and mission of the Sisters and encourage each other on their spiritual journey with mutual acceptance and respect.
SSM Associates accept the uniqueness of this call and offer their giftedness, with the Sisters, in service to the Church.
Why become an SSM Associate?
Associates are given the opportunity to:
- Grow spiritually through days of sharing, retreats and fun activities
- Study, reflect and integrate the Franciscan spirit in their lives
- Stand with the Sisters in advocating for those who suffer because of poverty; and in fostering a society of justice and nonviolence
What does an SSM Associate do?
They are often found in:
- 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
- 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
- Pray for the Sisters and their ministries
What does it take to become an SSM Associate?
- A strong desire to share gifts and talents in service to the Church and the mission of the Sisters
- A willingness and ability to participate in realizing the mission and ministry of the Sisters through action or prayer as far as one is able
- A mature interdependence and openness to grow
- An ardent desire to deepen one’s own spiritual life
What are the responsibilities of an SSM Associate?
- Live and spread the Mission of the Sisters
- Pray for the Sisters and their intentions
- Live their lives in a manner that reflects the Charism of Mother Frances Streitel, Foundress of the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother
How Do I Become an Associate?
- A person desiring to become an SSM Associate is referred by a Sister or SSM Associate to the SSM Associates Director
- The person shares mutual expectations in a personal interview with the SSM Associates Director
- The person participates in an orientation process, prayer and reflection
- There is a Ceremony of Commitment and Acceptance annually
The SSM Movement has gained momentum since it began in the late 1970s, and, over the years, Associates have:
- Completed hundreds of mission projects
- Held countless food and supply drives
- Served at food kitchens, parishes, SSM celebrations, hospitals, AIDS shelters, jails, neighborhood centers, after-school and with the terminally ill
- Organized prayer groups, celebrations with and for SSMs, retreats, meetings with other religious communities, and work on housing needs of the local poor
- Coordinated garage sales, bake sales, bingo and other fundraisers to raise funds for the poor, sick and needy
- Performed yard work, sewing, painting and other handiwork for SSM ministries
- Served in SSM missions overseas
- Helped strengthen communities through prayer and volunteer work in countless other ways