Almost since the beginning of formal religious life in the Church there have been individuals and groups of lay people who have allied themselves with particular religious communities in a variety of relationships. In recent years, many women and men have responded to God’s call to associate themselves with hundreds of different communities world wide. In a relationship most often called “association.” In each of the five (5) provinces of the Felician Congregation associate relationships are unique, continuously evolving forms. Some provinces have developed formal Associate Programs, others work with a variety of groups.
Chapter 14 of the Memoirs of the Felician Sisters, written in the 1800’s, describes the existence of associates in the earliest days of the Congregation.
Through our Baptismal call we identify with Christ’s invitation to all to hear and act upon the “Good News”. The early Church recognized the diversity of gifts needed to build up the one body in Christ (Romans 12:4-6). In the spirit of renewal, the Church calls all Christians “to a fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of love, and by this holiness, a more human manner of life.…” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, paragraph 40).