Who can be an Associate?
Associateship is open to women and men, married or single, religious or clergy, of any denomination who feel called to participate in the sharing of the Sisters’ mission.
Can I come to a gathering just to see what it’s like without joining?
Yes. The local Associate Representative or a Sister will invite you to a local Associate gathering, and will tell you where and when the group meets. The group will be happy to share what being an Associate means to them and answer any of your questions.
What do I need to do to apply?
You may contact the Director of the Associates directly through this website or by phone or mail (see Join Us). The Director will put you in contact with the local liaison Sister or the local Associate Representative, who will invite you to an Associate gathering in your area and explain more about what being an Associate means. If you wish to begin the formation process to make a formal commitment as an Associate, you will be guided through this process after a period of mutual discernment with the Sisters and Associates.
What kind of orientation do I receive?
Each individual seeking to make a commitment as an Associate participates in a formation process lasting nine months to a year within their local Associate group. You meet with a Mentor or Team over the course of a year to become acquainted with various aspects of the life and history of the Sisters of Bon Secours. You receive formation materials addressing Mission, Call, Charism, History, Justice and Preferential Option for the Economically Poor, Mission and Statement on the Laity, Spirituality, and Faith Community.
What Obligations are asked of an Associate?
At the end of the formation process, the Associate candidate is invited to make a two-year commitment to live out the mission and charism of Bon Secours in her or his own life and to join at least monthly for prayer and fellowship with the other Associates in this endeavor. One is received as a Bon Secours Associate, and receives a pin symbolizing the commitment to collaborate in the Mission and Philosophy of the Sisters of Bon Secours. It is a way of life designed to foster deep relationship with God in the context of a faith community of kindred spirits, Sisters, and Associates, who live out the charism of Bon Secours, to be good help to those in need, within their own lives. At times, Associates are invited to attend and participate in the Sisters’ biannual assemblies at Marriottsville. You are not obligated financially in any way.
Each year Associates from around the U.S., as well as many Sisters, gather at the Sisters’ congregational leadership offices in Marriottsville, MD, for our annual retreat. The theme and facilitator of this retreat changes each year. It is a meaningful time to meet and reconnect with one another and deepen in faith as individuals and as a community. Associates are often given the opportunity to make their commitments or recommitments at this retreat.
What happens after two years?
An Associate is eligible to renew their commitment for another two years. Associates who have been members for at least six years (initial commitment, with two renewals) are invited to make a Lifetime commitment, if and when they feel ready.
Can a person be an Associate and not work/volunteer at a Bon Secours facility?
Yes. We have Associates who are retired, not employed, and work in many different fields than healthcare. What is important is that an individual has a kindred spirit with the Charism and Mission of the Sisters of Bon Secours.