Sister and associates form a community of believers who embrace the gospel vision as lived out through the charism of BVM Foundress Mary Frances Clarke.
Associates offer sisters and one another friendship and support through prayer and service to others. Sisters offer associates the opportunity for shared prayer, friendship, and community, as well as mutual support in ministry. Both are enriched by opening themselves to relationships centered on the BVM charism and core values of freedom, education, charity, and justice.
Download the Associate Newsletter.
What is the process for becoming an associate?
- Contact a BVM Associate Coordinator indicating your interest in becoming an associate.
- Dialogue with a BVM sister or associate.
- Become acquainted with other sisters through gatherings, prayer, service projects, and retreats.
- Make a formal commitment with the BVM community.
What is the difference between an associate and a sister?
BVM associates are laywomen and men who wish to formally associate themselves with the community, its mission and spirituality. Associates commit to living out the BVM core values of freedom, justice, education, and charity, while continuing their independent lifestyles as single or married persons. BVM sisters take vows of poverty, celibacy, and obedience; live in community; and share all finances and responsibility for the welfare of their religious community.
What are the responsibilities of an associate?
Through spirituality and living the BVM core values, associates and vowed members work together in furthering the mission of Jesus to bring peace and justice to our global community. Associates also maintain an ongoing relationship with the BVM community by participating in events whenever possible.
Is there a financial commitment to association?
BVM associates have no financial responsibility to the BVM community but share their time and talent in a mutual relationship with vowed members.
Do you have to be a Catholic to be a BVM associate?
A BVM associate can be a member of any faith tradition. However, associates need to be willing to join with BVMs in prayer and mission and to commit to living out the BVM core values.
For more information about becoming a BVM associate, contact:
Office of Association
Sisters of Charity, BVM
1100 Carmel Drive
Dubuque, Iowa 52003-7991
563-588-2351 ext. 5498
When in the early years of this 21st century, Ann Credidio invited several of us to join the Associate program I was delighted. I knew the story of Mary Francis Clarke and always felt I knew what I had done by coming to Ecuador she would approve of as she did the same by leaving Ireland for the US. I do what I do because I believe in the values, the philosophy, the charism of the BVMs. I don´t get together with them very often, except for Sister Ann Credidio every Friday. I try to include the values and philosophy in the two schools that we created for children from all levels of society. I am here to serve and make this world a better place. I do that through education which I believe is the only way to make a lasting difference in the life of a child. One student at a time, we are creating a New World.
It is indeed a remarkable privilege to be an Associate. To live out the Holy Gospel inspired by the charism of Mary Frances Clarke in tandem with Sisters and other Associates is a priceless gift. This charism is reflected in the BVM core values of freedom, education, charity, and justice, and Sisters and Associates radiate these values in mission. We support each other and help our sisters and brothers throughout the world. This is OUR relationship, OUR community, OUR ministry.