Union: US Province – Fargo Area Associates Celebrate 35th Anniversary

Pictured above: New associate candidates, back row, from left, Michael and Judy Drew, Troy Ertelt, Jessica Gordon, Judy Rippentrop, Peggy Gaynor, Judith Rodger and Dave Solberg. Seated, from left, Bev Olson, Agnes Harrington. Not pictured is Kathy Melaas.

The Fargo area associates celebrated their 35th anniversary during the annual Associate Day on June 11, 2016. “At the Heart of the Presentation Movement Lies a Partnership with God” was the theme of the day, while the reflections focused on honoring our history, celebrating our present and visioning our future. Eighty people participated in the events of the day including 50 associates, 25 sisters and 5 guests. The day was filled with music, laughter, prayer, reflection, sharing and the Holy Spirit.

Reflections were given by three associates and one sister. The first reflection by Associate Mary Jo Lewis was based on John’s Gospel of the vine and the branches. It set the tone for the day by focusing our understanding of our relationships and interdependence if we are to bear fruit. The second presentation by Associate Joshua Boschee challenged us to know the emerging global issues and challenges as Presentation People so that we can embrace and address the United Nations Sustainability Development Goals. These challenges are personal, communal and systemic. The associates will be forming a working group on the SDGs. We know this is just the beginning of this effort.

The afternoon sessions focused on the associate movement. Sister Mary Margaret Mooney presented the history of the associate movement in the Fargo area, including many wonderful stories of the tensions, fears, joys and surprises that happened as the movement has matured. Associate Julie French, who was in the first group of associates to make commitment in 1981, shared her observations of her experience and call to be an associate. After both reflections the group discussed how God is calling us to move forward together as Presentation People. Notes were taken to help us frame our planning for the future.

In the morning, nine individuals made commitment to be a Presentation Associates. A 10th candidate will join us in July. These 10 individuals completed nine months of formation in May and were warmly welcomed by the group. In the afternoon 10 associates were recognized for their key anniversaries, including two associates from the original 1981 class – Julie French and Rosemary Marcotte. Currently there are 120 Fargo Area Associates in 11 states ranging in age from 18 to 93.

It was a day to remind everyone of their call to be a Presentation Person according to the charism of Nano in our everyday lives and actions. It was a day to celebrate those who shaped our structures and our spirit particularly the sisters who took a risk 35 years ago on a new movement. It was a day filled with joy, prayer, community and hope as we look to the future of the Presentation legacy and continue to do what needs to be done.

If anyone would like copies of the program or presentations, please contact Kathy Hogan at hogkathy@gmail.com.