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and Liaisons Annual Meeting
Columbus, OH - October 30, 2006--Twenty-one associates
and sisters representing the associate leadership of thirteen congregations
gathered at St. Mary of the Springs for the annual meeting of the
US Dominican Associate Directors and Leadership Liaisons October 13-15.
The meeting began with eight representatives from five of the Cluster
congregations gathering on Friday morning and afternoon to discuss
various Cluster issues related to associates. The group decided to
share documents (associate handbooks, policies, formation processes,
mission statements) to be compiled into a comparison document by Jay
Jackson, Columbus Associate. In an effort to help associates from
the various Cluster congregations make connections with one another
in their geographical areas, associate directories will also be shared
in order to create one directory. This will be compiled and organized
according to region by Great Bend Associate Anne Knight.
The larger group convened on Friday evening, with the meeting continuing
on Saturday morning and afternoon. Included in the discussion were
reports from the group's representative Diane Kieler, Sinsinawa Associate
Director, and others who attended the DLC Meeting in Sinsinawa; from
the Northeast Six representatives on their plans for a regional "Voices
of Hope" Gathering in April, 2007; from Anita Davidson on the
ongoing conversation with and upcoming meeting of the Federation's
Steering Committee regarding the national convocation in 2008 and
the possibility of combining that convocation with Voices of Hope
in an effort to model the partnership between vowed members and associates;
and from Connie Schoen, OP representing Parable Conference on the
organization's mission and how they might make better connections
with associates in regard to the various programs sponsored by Parable.
There was much conversation comparing and contrasting the level of
participation of associates with each congregation, the governance
structures currently being used, the usage of OPA after associates'
names and the availability or absence of lifetime commitment for associates.
As always, this opportunity to gather with other Dominicans was an
energizing, enjoyable yet exhausting experience. As we continue to
develop a network of support among us as associate leadership, we
also are empowering associates from all of our congregations to further
the Dominican mission in myriad ways in countless new and never-before
the time of St Dominic, more than 800 years ago, Dominicans have been
living and sharing
the message of the Gospel. Today thousands of sisters, nuns, priests,
and laity serve in more than 100 countries around the globe