|Associates Tina Cook (left) and Juanita " Janie" Hadley (right)|
Saginaw, MI Associate
Tina Cook joined as an associate under the leadership of Sister Virginia Scally, SNDdeN in 2008. She shared her experience as an associate and as a leader in her associate group in Michigan
What drives you to do the work that you do as an associate of Notre Dame de Namur?
"I think what drives me to do it is that being in an associate group allows us the opportunity to gather in a safe and welcoming setting. We can really talk about all of the blessings and share with one another. We can share ways to be closer to God. We can also share the ministry that we're all doing in various ways because of life changes and transitions...So within my heart is just wanting to continue to be that person that always looks to God and is reminded to look to God, and filled with joy and peace and an appreciation for my blessings, and lifting one another up. When our group comes together, we pray for our world, we pray for our communities, and we pray for our associates and Sisters across the world. I feel like all of that brings us closer to God."
You mention that you are a nurse by vocation. What does being an associate mean to your vocation?
"A huge part of my ministry, as well, is serving others, being available to others, helping others with their health and behavioral health concerns. And then, you have to be a little more cognizant of when you can bring in different faith backgrounds, but we can still talk about the goodness of God."
Is there one story that you would just describe the benefit of being an associate?
"As a group, we had an opportunity to provide a spaghetti dinner for the people living at Teen Challenge in our community. I believe we were ministering to them. We brought them in, provided meals and taught them about the associate group and St. Julie. Many of them got up and shared their stories, why and what brought them to Teen Challenge, how it changed their lives, and how they were closer to God. They ended up pouring a blessing over all of us. So, yes, that was pretty powerful."