Associates of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion, page two
Associates, men and women, married and single, join the community for a variety of reasons. Some have known the Sisters for a long period of time; others meet a Sister or and Associate and express a desire to know more about the community. Some have joined because a friend from their local parish community invited them. There are former members of the vowed community who continue to feel drawn to living the Passionist charism in a significant way, and choose to become Associates. Couples join the program, too. Sometimes, couples may come together and make their covenants at the same time. In other cases, one spouse may covenant years after another.
Associates are drawn together in this community to share with and support one another as they carry out their mission in the Church, which they find expressed in the charism of the Sisters and of St. Paul of the Cross. Each member has a different story to tell,but each story seems to have a common thread of trying to understand and participate in the Passion of Jesus. Associates journey with the suffering of this world and try to help everyone they meet to know God's love.
Some members work directly in ministry with Passionist Sisters; others work in their parishes, in schools, in offices, in hospitals. Some have a ministry of prayer for the members of the community. What attracts all of them to the Associate way of life is a loving community that embraces the Passionist charism.
When the first Associates were invited to begin forming the community, there was an informal orientation program. As the number of candidates started to grow, the program became more formal. photo: first Associates Covenant - November 19, 1996
Most candidates spend two years discerning their call. They learn about Mother Mary Joseph (Elizabeth) Prout, the foundress of the order. They study the history of the Sisters, particularly in the North American Province, their mission today and the charism of Saint Paul of the Cross
The second year brings more emphasis on discernment. Candidates meet together in small groups with a Sister and an Associate who coordinate the formation program. And they have the opportunity to participate in larger community gatherings.
next: more about the community