Twenty-two years ago, I signed a Mutual Agreement with the Sisters of the Congregation of Notre Dame to become an Associate and every year thereafter I have renewed my commitment to be an Associate by signing a yearly commitment. What I’d like to talk about is what exactly I have signed on to and how this has enhanced my prayer life, my spiritual journey and my desire to be affiliated with the CND’s. As the Cocoordinator of the Associate Relationship in the Blessed Sacrament Province, I have the wonderful opportunity to see the lives and the dedication of the women and men in the Associate community. What we all share is a desire to “… commit to our baptismal call to live Jesus’ mission of service, through justice, love and compassion in today’s world.”

This call takes many shapes and forms. Associates are engaged in community organizing, literacy projects, parish projects and responsibilities, teaching, nursing, caring for the aged, caring for their family, hospice work, legal issues and many more projects. What unites us is our mission statement, which states

One Heart

We, Associates, embody the call of Marguerite Bourgeoys. We radiate Visitation spirituality in our daily lives as we strive to be a more visible presence of God’s love in the world today. As followers of Jesus, we stand in solidarity with those in need and the planet. In a pioneering Pentecostal spirit, we are actively transforming Church and Society.

With audacity and creativity, we pray, we gather, we celebrate. We are united in our shared charism.

If you’ve ever considered deepening your prayer life with a community of like- minded individuals, you may want to think about becoming an Associate. We meet in small community groups, sometimes once a month and reflect on issues designed to enhance our prayer life. Everyone is welcome and there are many of us who would be happy to answer your questions. We are men and women who have carved out a time in our busy lives to share community with the Congregation of Notre Dame and to have close ties to a “hospitality community and with them deepen our spirituality and apostolic mission of Visitation.”

For information email Peggy Doyle, CND at

Regina T. Smith