National directors to speak at Holy Cross gathering
by Christine Young, Intermountain Catholic
SALT LAKE CITY — The newly reformed Holy Cross Associates invite others interested in the Holy Cross charism or in deepening their spirituality to gather with them February 18 at Holy Cross Ministries.
Sister Mary Margaret Weber and Judith Plummer, national directors of the Associates, will discuss community, what its components are for the associates and how they can nurture it and be nurtured by it.
Each associate group has a sister and an associate as co-leaders. In Utah, Sister Miriam Joanne Frankenfield is the associate sister and Mary Beth Vogel-Ferguson is the associate.
“The co-leaders collaborate mutually, which implies a deep level of community and trust,” said Sister Mary Margaret. “We each have part of the gifts needed. The idea of associates is to work in partnership with the sisters in order to continue the Holy Cross ministry. At Vatican Council II, the Holy Cross ministry saw its charism as meeting the needs of the times by starting associate programs.”
The Holy Cross sisters have a long history of ministry in Utah, and they are hoping to revive the associates’ program here. The group reformed last May and has met three times since on a quarterly basis.
The Holy Cross sisters began their legacy in Utah in 1875.
“When we sold Holy Cross Hospital, we established Holy Cross Ministries,” Sister Mary Margaret said. “The associates are like-minded men and women who support the mission of Holy Cross as a community. We exist to witness to the power of community and to build it.”
Developing the associates was a way to foster a community of men and women who believe they are called to further the mission of the sisters and to deepen their faith through the lens of Holy Cross spirituality, Plummer said. “Community develops through these kindred souls and their common purpose of belonging.”
“Associates are typically people who have had some kind of experience with the Holy Cross sisters either through ministry in a parish or school, at Holy Cross Hospital or Saint Mary of the Wasatch, and somehow the Holy Cross charism resonated with them,” said Vogel-Ferguson. “We gather to share experiences, pray, and learn from each other. The associates spend time mentoring and reaching out to others, and our gatherings are a chance for us to take time to reflect on what we do and why we do it, and to grow personally in our lay ministry.”
Father Basil Moreau founded Holy Cross in the model of a family: priests, brothers and sisters, and he started a lay associate group as part of that family, said Vogel-Ferguson. “He saw the role of the laity working with clergy from the beginning. The image the Holy Cross ministry uses is that of a tree with roots coming from the same foundation with different ministries; we gather as a community to reconnect.”
The associates also gather to offer support and develop friendships, said Sister Miriam Joanne. “We invited Sister Mary Margaret and Judith to come because they visit the other Holy Cross gatherings across the United States. They want to get an idea of what community means to all the groups and share that with us in Utah.”
The Holy Cross Associates will meet February 18, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Holy Cross Ministries, 860 East 4500 South, #204, Salt Lake City. Contact Sister Miriam Joanne, Miriam@hcmutah.org or 801-261-3441 or Mary Beth Vogel-Ferguson, email@example.com, 801-581-3071.
This article is used with permission of Intermountain Catholic, the official Catholic newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake City, Utah. February 3, 2012
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