“Why be a pilgrim still?” This question from Raphael Considine’s poem “Trasna” echoed through Thresholds, the annual meeting of associate area coordinators, held on June 14 and 15 via Zoom. Sister Arlene Flaherty, OP, led the reflection at the opening session, drawing on the Celtic spirituality of the threshold, that liminal space where we experience the divine in times of transition.
Because the meeting took place virtually, almost 40 associates from across the province were able to participate. A panel of associates shared their “threshold” experiences: Bruce and Carol Sheldon from Regina, Saskatchewan; Hye-Sung Kim visiting family in South Korea; Diane Waldo from Washington, DC; and Maggie Diviney of Virginia Beach, VA. The rich sharing evoked in the participants a deep appreciation of internationality and the blessings and struggles of the associate relationship.
On Tuesday morning, Sister Sharon Kanis’s provocative presentation on inclusivity and welcome prompted associates to reflect on their experience of inclusivity within the associate relationship and their desire for radical welcome. This conversation laid the groundwork for the Tuesday afternoon’s reflections on the evolving associate relationship. Associate Pat Stortz facilitated the small and large group sharing.
In describing the gathering, one associate said, “I thought the sharing was authentic and helpful. While we all have different challenges based on location and age, the commitment to the charism of SSND came through loud and clear.”