CHM ASSOCIATES: COMPANIONS ON THE JOURNEY
CHM Associates are people called to live the CHM mission without vows and within the context of their contemporary lives. They choose to deepen their baptismal call through prayer, service and community in the spirit of the founders of the Congregation. The purpose is mutual enrichment and sharing of energy, insight and inspiration.
Associates are women and men, young and old, married and single. They are teachers, business professionals, musicians, social workers, homemakers and retirees from many walks of life. Most are Catholic but some are not.
Their common bond is the deep connection they have with the Humility spirit that characterizes the congregation. All recognize how important it is to keep growing in their spiritual life. And at their deepest core, they feel called to work toward economic, social and political justice wherever they live or work.
The CHM Associate Program offers a support system ... a spiritual lifeline ... a connection to the ongoing task of searching and serving. Since its founding in 1971, over 180 people have participated in the joy and challenge of being an Associate of the Sisters of the Humility of Mary.
Who May Apply
Associates must be 18 years of age and can be:
- Women or men (couples may join as well).
- Married, divorced or single.
- Of any denomination but comfortable with Christian spirituality.
Some associates have known the Sisters of Humility for many years:
- Former students.
- Former vowed members of the community.
- Relatives of vowed members.
- Current or past colleagues in ministry.
Others come to the Associate Program specifically to become acquainted with the community:
- Women discerning their future as vowed members.
- Women or men employed or volunteering in one of the CHM sponsored ministries.
- Those who have come to know one sister but who would like to know more.
All have been touched by the Humility Spirit in some way. They wish to formalize their relationship to the community’s charism of search and service.
Catch the Spirit
Associates define their relationship through a written agreement, renewable every three years. The agreement outlines various ways the associate wishes to relate to the community.
Joined in Prayer
Associates are enriched by their participation in CHM liturgical events and prayer experiences and by receiving community literature, hospitality and correspondence. Whether near or far in geography, Associates are always close to the community in their daily prayer. And they know they can count on community members praying for them.
Joined in Community
Associates may actively participate in the life of the community, serve on committees and work on service projects. Many find the annual Summer Assembly of the Congregation (late June) to be an exciting and prayerful weekend. Many comment on the intellectual and spiritual stimulation they receive from interacting with the sisters around the planned agenda. The annual Associates Day is also celebrated during that weekend and features speakers, prayer/reflection time, lots of hugs and enriching conversation!
Joined in Love
Associates value the sisters as friends and as companions on the journey of faith. Many say that, as an associate, they feel that they are part of a “bigger-than-myself” effort toward social change and influencing society with values of justice and peace. The Congregation, in turn, appreciates the associates’ support and encouragement of community works and policies. It especially values the professional voice and expertise that many associates provide on various social, cultural and religious topics that concern the community.
Growing in the Spirit
Established in 1971 as an aspect of the renewal of religious life mandated by the Second Vatican Council, the CHM community created the Associate Program to allow lay women, men and couples to participate in the spirit and work of the Congregation.
Over the years, it has evolved and changed as needs changed. In preparation for the CHMs every-four-year Representative Assembly in 2016, the current Associate Program is again undergoing review in order to incorporate the new opportunities for the Church and for religious life outlined by Pope Francis. As with other congregations, consideration is being given to the future involvement of young people (”Millenials”) whose fresh energy and creativity can contribute greatly both to the Congregation and the Church in the 21st century.
To find out more about the CHM Associate Program contact a CHM Associate Co-leader at 563-323-9466 or [email protected]