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Feature Articles

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. Over 200 Associates reside throughout the US; in 2015 we will take the opportunity to get to know a few of them.

Associate Spotlight – Rachel Edwards
By Josh Zeller, Communications student intern

(From left) Associate Vicki Welsh, S. Mary Loyola Mathia
and Associate Rachel Edwards

Where do you currently live?
Homosassa, Florida.

Are you currently employed? If so, please describe your responsibilities and how long you have been there.
I have been retired for eight years.

Tell us a little about yourself.
I love to read, meet my friends at the pool for our senior gatherings and just enjoy the wonderful weather.  I am also very interested in genealogy. I have become a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and enjoy attending their functions. I am currently volunteering for the AARP Tax Aide, Jan. through April 15. I didn't realize there is such a need for helping people to get through the filing of income taxes. They are so appreciative; I feel grateful to be able to help them. I am planning to work with the DAR, helping people working toward earning their GED.

How did you become acquainted with the Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati?
I was a RCIA team member with our beloved S. Mary Loyola Mathia!

How long have you been an associate?
Since February of 2008.

What compelled you to become an associate of the Community?
No longer helping with RCIA, I wanted to share my faith and to be of help to others. As I learned about the Associate program and the Sisters of Charity, I felt a kinship with them and St. Vincent DePaul. My father belonged to the St. Vincent DePaul Society as I was growing up. As he reached out to help those in need, I learned that no matter how insignificant it may seem to you, it might mean the world to someone else.

How have some of the Sisters or your fellow associates touched you?
S. Mary Loyola has guided me as I have watched her selfless actions toward all she meets. I have found that she is able to answer any question and she peacefully guides us. I believe that five of us made our commitment together. This has created a very strong "sisterly" bond.  We have grown stronger together spiritually.

Do you see yourself touching others similarly?
I hope I can be a quiet and peaceful influence on those around me.

In what ways do you feel you carry out the spirit of Elizabeth Seton in your daily life?
At the present time, I hope I am emulating Elizabeth Seton in the way she cared for her family. My husband has had major illnesses, and I am his caregiver. At present he is on the road to recovery. I am very thankful for this! I have always tried to be a good listener to friends; trying to be compassionate to their needs when I can help.