What is a Lay Associate?

Being an Associate is a “calling” or vocation

The word Vocation means “a call.” It is God’s invitation, His call, to each person to love and serve Him and His Church in a particular state or way of life. Each person’s vocation flows from the grace of Baptism and calls us to the vocations of priesthood, religious life, single life, or married life. But sometimes God calls us to live in an additional spirit or practice, calling us to enter into an Association.

A Holy Cross Associate is one who feels that call to live according to the ideals, spirit, and charisms of the Congregation of Holy Cross. This calling is one that is sent by the Holy Spirit to those in all different vocations! The associate’s call is to live the Mission of the Church to bring Christ to all people, through the lens that is Holy Cross. The Holy Cross Associate is called to embrace the heritage and charisms of Holy Cross and commits to live them out everyday, in their work, their ministry, and their daily life. They form relationships with each other and with our vowed religious colleagues through association and sharing in the spirituality, hospitality, mission and family spirit of Holy Cross.

However, though it is a calling, not everyone who receives it, recognizes it! Prayer and discernment are needed to understand and process this call. Sometimes it takes an invitation from another Associate to join their group for an informal gathering in order to discern that God is calling you to an Associate way of life.

Anyone who lives the Holy Cross core values and charisms in their life could potentially be a future Associate. You may know someone who lives a life of faith, who approaches their families, work and ministry with zeal, that trusts in providence, and that has strong ties to their community. You may know someone who has said they would like to take steps to strengthen and further their relationship with God.

Consider asking someone (or yourself) the following questions and invite him or her to consider the Associate way of life.


  • Have you experienced a hunger for something deeper in your spiritual life?
  • Are you familiar with the Congregation of Holy Cross and their charisms?
  • Have you sensed that you live your life, profess your faith, and perform your ministry through a particular lens?
  • Do you desire to grow in your knowledge and understanding of the charisms of the Congregation of Holy Cross in a supportive environment?

Holy Cross Associate Responsibilities and Commitments

Holy Cross Associates make the following commitments:

  • Strive for growth in their spiritual life
  • Accompany others in their spiritual journey
  • Participate in building community; especially with other associates
  • Seek and offer support in ministering to the people of God

Come to Us, Holy Spirit

Saturday, June 24, 2023 - In person and Zoom retreat