Associates Renew Their Commitment and Welcome New Members
On April 18, 2010, over 60 CSJ Associates and Sisters gathered to share liturgy and lunch and celebrate the Associates’ Annual Commitment Ceremony. The morning featured an opportunity for current and new associates to join in prayers and reflections. In small groups, the associates shared with each other what their associate commitments meant to them, how the charism of the community shaped their lives and service to others, and how the associates brought light into the world.
Welcoming New Associates
Five associate candidates were present at the ceremony to make their first commitment: Melinda Yu (St. Michael's Community), Marion Dalby, Ginny Dolighan, Rose Marie Metcalfe (Holy Family Community) and Carol Pasten (Matt Talbot Community). Together, they made formal promises to live out their faith through prayer, shared beliefs and service. With that, the five candidates became associates.
"We welcome the five new associates and rejoice," said
With so many current associates attending, the five new associates joined a community that received them with support, love and a welcoming presence. Marion Dalby, a new associate, was especially pleased to be there. "It's like a big family," she said. "I'm proud to make a commitment to them."
Maureen McCabe, an associate making her second yearly commitment, was touched to see this. "It was very special," she said. "It made me relive my own first commitment and see the growth I've made since last year."
Shannon-Lee Maguire, an associate of 10 years, said that new associates were joining a community of people who shared the same sense of compassion and faith. "It's a gathering," she said, "of like-minded people in charism and spirituality."
Julia Jacobs, an associate for nine years, said that the annual Commitment Ceremony represented a crucial moment of decision for every associate. "Throughout the year," said Julia, "things change in life. This commitment asks: have you changed your heart or are you still part of the associates?" Julia felt this conscious decision deepened the associates' faith and unity with each other.
Shannon Lee saw the gathering as a touchstone: "I felt like each associate community was an extension of a large family. When I walked in the door, there was nothing but smiling faces."
By Ibrahim Ng
Photos by Shannon-Lee Maguire