BACAR — Bay Area Conference of Associates and Religious was begun 12 years ago.
In 1995 Kathy Herrington, SNJM Associate, contacted Dolores Nice, RSM Associate and then Co-Director of Mercy Burlingame Associates to share a vision of Associates of various communities coming together for mutual support.
In 1996, letters were sent to thirteen Sisters and Associates in the San Francisco Bay Area inviting them to either start a newsletter or come together for discussion. Responding to that letter were: Dolores Nice, Judy Romero, PBVM, Shawn Peterson, SHF Associate, Marie Annette Burkhart, SNDdeN, Associate and Ann Brown, Marist Associate. The first official Associate meeting was held in September 1996 at the Holy Family Motherhouse in Fremont, followed by a larger gathering in September of 1997.
In 2001, three more communities joined the Associate group that in 2004 became The Western States Conference of Associates and Religious (WSCAR).
After the Fall WSCAR Gathering in 2008, Ann Dufour, Associate of Sacramento launched a new group in that region. SACRA (Sacramento Area Conference of Religious and Associates.
In 2009 the WSCAR Core Committee wrote a mission statement, designed a Logo and changed the name of the group to Bay Area Conference of Associates and Religious (BACAR).
Following the 2010 gathering, BACAR initiated follow-up meetings, called discussion groups, more localized groups were formed. They meet in the San Francisco area, Sunnyvale, and South Bay area. Each group decides its focus – it could be a prayer group, a discussion group, a book club, or a combination.
There have been 14 Gatherings of WSCAR/BACAR since 1997:
1) September 27, 1997 – “Celebrate the Gift of Association” – Presenter, Jean Sonnenberg, Director of Bon Secours Associates, Editor of “The Associate” and Coordinator of the North American Conference of Associates and Religious (NACAR) Notre Dame High School, Belmont
2) September 26, 1998 – “Call, Commitment, Community” Presenter, Janice Bohn, SND at Notre Dame High School, Belmont
3) September 25, 1999 – “Charism – Living the Gift” Presenter, Pamela Bjorklund, Ph.D. at Mercy Center, Burlingame
* May 5, 6, 7, 2000 – NACAR Conference 2000 – “Associate Ministry: Empowering the Laity” Keynote Speaker – Catherine Harmer, MMS – West Coast NACAR co-hosted this 3-day event in San Jose
4) September 8, 2001 – “On the Edge of Our Longings” Presenter, James Conlon, Ph.D. at Mercy Center, Burlingame
5) September 14, 2002 – “Called by Name” Keynote Speaker – Barbara Dawson, RSCJ at Mercy Center, Burlingame
6) September 13, 2003 – “Visioning the Future” Keynote Speaker – Joan Marie O’Donnell RSM at Mercy Center, Burlingame
7) September 18, 2004 – “Mutuality: the Wisdom of Interdependence for the Future” – Keynote Speaker – Meg Marnell, Mercy-Burlingame Associate at Mercy Center, Burlingame
8) September 17, 2005 – “Mutuality: Continuing the Conversation” Facilitator – Sr. Roseanne Murphy, SNDdeN at Mercy Center, Burlingame
9) September 16, 2006 – “Called & Chosen” Speaker: Kathy Kane, Ph.D.at Notre Dame High School, Belmont
10) October 13, 2007 – “Association: Sharing Our Experience” Facilitator – Marilyn Wilson, BVM Panel – Dolores Nice, Mercy Associate, Patricia Doyle SNJM, Maureen O’Brien BVM, Mary Ann Foy, RSCJ, Joanne Kaczor, Norte Dame Associate, Ann King Mercy Associate at Notre Dame High School. Belmont
11) October 25, 2008 – “Association: A New Call to Prayer & Service” Facilitator: Janice Bohn, SNDdeN at Notre Dame High School, Belmont
12) October 24, 2009 – “The Call” Claire Graham SSS at Sacramento
13) October 2, 2010 – “Mutuality and Sustainability: What the Future Holds for Association” Facilitator: Elizabeth Fitting Panel: Joe Connell, Associate Coordinator of the Holy Cross Brothers, Elaine Sanchez, SHF, Anne Hannigan, Notre Dame Associate, Mary Ann Zollman, President of the BVMs at Notre Dame High School, Belmont
14) October 6, 2012 – INTERDEPENDENCE – A Shard Charism – The Future of Associate and Religious Life” Speaker: Kate Kuenstler, PHJC, JCD at Sacred Heart Schools, Menlo Park