The St Louis Associates is a movement of lay women and men who choose to associate in a formal way with the St Louis Institute. Unlike the sisters, who take religious vows, associates make formal annual commitments of time and skills to the St Louis Mission. They too are guided by the vision of our founders.
The Associate movement began in 1984 in California, and expanded and developed in Ghana, Ireland and Nigeria. Today the Associate movement is flourishing throughout the Institute with more than 300 members. Sisters welcome and encourage associates to join them for prayer, celebrations, and those gatherings that focus on our search for oneness and its expression in our daily lives.
St Louis Associate Values
In the Spirit of Sint Unum we value:
- Oneness - sharing in the St. Louis Charism, Spirituality and Mission;
- Prayer life - we enrich our life by reflecting on God's love in our lives, scriptures and other spiritual books, with a commitment to living faith daily and sharing that faith with one another and with others;
- Solidarity - sharing sacrificially with the poor and caring for the environment;
- Interconnectedness - connecting with each other, and all community of life;
- Commitment among associates and to the Institute – finding nourishment in meetings and retreats; and
- Communication - good and effective exchange or sharing of information.
Formation is a key component of the Associate movement. Elements that are included in all formation programmes are:
- The history, charism, spirituality and mission of the Institute;
- The St Louis Mission Statement;
- Mission and Ministry;
- Documents on the theology and spirituality of the laity;
- 21st Century theology, especially as related to St Louis charism;
- Personal Development and well-being;
- Core Values of justice, peace and integrity of creation;
- Support in developing a reflective prayer life and on-going discernment;
- Discernment on making commitment; and
- Working towards communion among the associates as well as with the sisters.
At the end of a formation programme, a simple act of commitment is made in which each Associate commits for one year to:
- A specific ministry of her or his choice expressing the St Louis charism;
- Regular attendance at meetings;
- Living the charism of Sint Unum – Oneness – in daily life; and
- Strengthening the bonds of union within the St Louis Family.
Renewal of commitment
Associates renew their commitment annually in the context of a quiet retreat or prayer service.
For further information, please contact the Sisters of St Louis in your area.