Living the LCM SpiritRead our stories
Thank God always for the happiness and beauty of life - it is beautiful.
Venerable Mary Potter's Last Words.
Associates and Affiliates
“Associates of the Little Company of Mary were part of the original inspiration of the Founder, Venerable Mary Potter. She sought to gather together men and women who shared her vision of creating a better world by living lives of faith, hope and love in the service of the suffering and dying members of Christ’s body."
As Sisters of the Little Company were gathered together by a vision of loving service to the sick and dying, through a life of prayer, community and service, in union with Mary, those associated with this Little Company would do the same, while continuing to live in the lifestyles to which they had been called by God. In this manner Associates work towards the building of the community of the Kingdom.
Those who have been called to be Associates of the Little Company of Mary share with the Sisters a gift and special call to a more profound living of the gospel message. Through this commitment to live according to their baptismal consecration both the Sisters and their Associates follow their call, each in their own particular pattern, to ‘die to sin and live for God’. (Rom 6:2)
To respond fully to our call requires a continual conversion of heart; ‘in your minds you must be the same as Christ Jesus’ (Phil. 2:5) and in this way both the Sisters and Associates gain a new freedom to live in the world without being overcome or compromised by those values which are not of the Gospel.
Associates, as companions of Mary, do not profess canonical vows, and undertake no binding financial or legal commitments with the community. Standing with Mary who is the model of faithful discipleship, Associates and Sisters of the Little Company of Mary seek to acquire those virtues which lead them to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with their God (Micah 6:8)
Following the 1993 Congregational Chapter and the Charism Commission of 1996 where the concept of Associates and Affiliates was revisited the Province established two groups- one called the Associates and the other the Affiliates.
Associates are men and women who feel drawn to the Spirit of the Little Company of Mary and vision of Venerable Mary Potter. They are led through a formation program, and make a commitment to deepen their own spiritual life, pray for the dying and further the Mission of the Church through the Little Company of Mary Charism. After a time of formation they make their first commitment which is renewed annually. During formation they have a designated Sister Companion or Associate to journey with them as they meet regularly to share faith, prayer, LCM spirituality, ministry and the celebration of life.
Affiliates are men and women who join with the Sisters in their ministry of Prayer for the Dying of the world in union with Mary on Calvary. Their only obligation is to pray for the dying each day.
If you would do an act that would endear you to your Lord, pray for the Dying. Today they need your prayer, tomorrow will be too late. Mary Potter - Mary's Call
How true are these words today as we hear and see each day in the news the awful tragic deaths of many killed in violent circumstances and all those who die each day from natural causes and long suffering illness.
Walking Humbly with Mary
Mary on Calvary is the perfect example of spiritual fruitfulness for us. Her heart had been prepared by the Holy Spirit and her virginal love brought to fulfilment, when she became the mother of all Christians. In order to imitate the maternal love of Mary we try to live with her deep humility, her faith in God’s word and her hope in what he can accomplish. Mary suffered with Jesus. With her, we are moved to compassionate love. We offer our own sufferings and our whole life in return of love.
Mary strengthens and supports us and draws us closer to Jesus and each other as she did the first little company beneath the Cross. Like Mary we accept willingly and with generous self -giving all the joys and suffering we encounter each day.
Mary Potter always sought the will of God and tried to fulfil it humbly and generously, despite misunderstandings. Through this self-surrender, she experienced great peace of soul. Following her example we daily strive to surrender ourselves to God in the same spirit of faith, strengthened by hope and compelled by love. Like Mary, we accept in a spirit of openness all the limitations and sacrifices which the circumstances of our life bring our way, as God unfolds to us his plan for our lives.
The simplicity of our lifestyle expresses the teaching of the Gospel so that the witness of our lives may be an inspiration to others to follow Christ”.
LCM Associates' Handbook
Many today are called to be Associates or Affiliates and we give thanks for their fidelity to the call and the generous way in which they live out this call through their daily lives and the various ministries they are involved with, where they give expression to the LCM Charism.
Recently we reviewed three words that might give expression to what the role of an Associate or Affiliate is. The three words are:
- Companionship - as we journey together in the company of Mary.
- Compassion - expressed in our ministry of care, concern, empathy and solidarity.
- Prayer - the central focus for our life of personal prayer for the sick, suffering and dying of the world.
At the Annual Associates Meeting of 2015 the Vision and Mission statement was reviewed.