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Associates FAQ

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What is an Associate of the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence (CDP)?

Associates are men and women who are drawn to, and called to, live out the charism of the founders of the Congregation: social justice and compassion. Associates come from different backgrounds and they share the desire to build community with the Sisters of Divine Providence, deepen their own spirituality, heed the call for social justice, reach out in compassionate service to others, and in doing so, make Providence visible in the world.

Who can become an Associate?

Any woman or man over the age of 18 who desires a deeper connection with God and with others in light of the charism of the Congregation of Divine Providence can become an Associate.

Must one be a Catholic to be an Associate?

No. Associates are a diverse group who come from various religious traditions.

Are all Associates unmarried?

No. Some Associates are single, others are married, divorced, or widowed.

What is the process for becoming an Associate?

The process for becoming an Associate is one of discernment, prayer, and formation. Learn more on our Becoming an Associate page.

Who were the founders of the Congregation?

Bishop Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler and Mother Marie de la Roche founded the Congregation in Mainz, Germany in 1851. Bishop Ketteler was a lawyer who became a priest and a bishop during the industrial revolution in Europe. He saw the needs of the laborers and the children who were becoming slaves to factories. He envisioned a community of dedicated women who would work among the poor and teach children, especially girls. To assist him in this venture, he chose Marie de la Roche, a French noblewoman and recent convert to Catholicism. To learn more, visit our congregational Founders page.

What is the relationship between Vowed Members and Associates?

Associates are people who are attracted by the spirit of the Sisters of Divine Providence and who wish to share with them in the mission of Jesus, living daily the Gospel values. Vowed Members unite with Associates in prayer and in liturgical celebrations, and work with them in volunteer efforts for the community’s ministries. Associates share their talents and gifts; they give witness to the spirit of Providence in their own lives.

What is the meaning of the Associate Relationship Symbol?

The symbol design represents the earth enclosed in an open trefoil. The trefoil is a symbol for the Triune God we call Providence. God’s Providence is made visible through acts of justice and compassion and through an inclusive, hospitable presence. Associates of the Sisters of Divine Providence wear this symbol as a sign of our commitment to God’s Providence in our world.