The Sister/Associate relationship was established in 1972 so that individuals – lay women and men – could partner with the Sisters in responding to the Gospel in the spirit of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Close to 200 Associates reside throughout the US; in 2014 we will take the opportunity to get to know a few of them.
Associate Spotlight – Associate Peggy Brockman
Florida Associate Peggy Brockman (third from right) made her commitment as an Associate in Mission in 2011
Associate Peggy Brockman made her commitment as an Associate in Mission in 2011. A divorced-widow, she has two children and four step-children. Peggy lives in Spring Hill, Florida, and her many hobbies and passions include being a private pilot, oil painting and gardening.
How did you become acquainted with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati?
As a new resident of Spring Hill, I met two Sisters of Charity. They introduced me to Mother Seton and the Sisters of Charity Community. To my delight one of the Sisters was S. Mary Loyola Mathia; she has been my mentor and my friend.
Most recently I spent three weeks with S. Mary Loyola, helping her pack, sort, and clean her apartment as she readied herself for retirement and her move to Mount St. Joseph. I loved every minute I was able to be with her and to listen to her stories as she packed up 34 years of teaching materials and a lifetime of photos of family, friends and fellow Sisters of Charity. She had so many awards, plaques and community honors that showed her complete and utter love for her work as a devoted teacher, principal and community leader.
Our parish, St. Frances Cabrini, gave her a farewell Mass and reception. The Bishop came as a surprise and spoke so highly of her because he had watched her throughout the years going about doing God’s work. At the reception she stood up for more than one hour as the line seemed to go on forever. They, many from different counties, all wanted to hug her, take photos with her and let her know how much she was loved, how she touched their lives and that she would be missed.
I know there are wonderful Sisters of Charity throughout the country but this one devoted, loving person who gave so freely for 70-plus years touched all of our lives here in Spring Hill, Crystal River, and Inverness, Florida. When she drove away she took part of our hearts and made us believe we could do all things through our Lord Jesus Christ.
What compelled you to become an Associate in Mission of the Community?
I have always been a caregiver. It started when my children were small and we took a poor senior resident into our lives. We helped her with food, etc. also making her a part of our family during the holidays and regular visits. Today I am still committed to helping the elderly. My mother is in a nursing home with severe dementia. My heart breaks because I cannot have her with me.
How do you feel you carry out the spirit of Elizabeth Seton in your daily life?
I recently had a 94-year-old friend stay at my home for two months. The doctors would not allow her to go home without full-time care. We lived and prayed together each day – she was a blessing to me. Helping others is a true joy. It is our charism and mission on this faith journey.