Associates share Paulist spirit at Lake George
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by Stefani Manowski
September 2, 2013

It was just like coming home to family for Dorothy O’Malley.

“When I joined the Paulist Associates nine years ago, it was like a personal invitation to join a family,” said the parishioner of Old St. Mary’s in Chicago. “And when you get together with other Associates, there is this common thread that runs through us. You meet [other Associates for the first time] and come to realize you have so much in common.”

To spend time with other Associates is exactly what caused Mrs. O’Malley and 17 other Associates from the United States and Canada to journey to the 2013 Paulist Associates retreat at St. Mary’s on the Lake on Lake George, N.Y. Aug. 20-25.

A group of Paulist Associates waits to board the Minnie Ha-Ha, a paddle boat that cruises Lake George in New York. The boat ride was a highlight of the 2013 Associates' retreat for many participants.
A group of Paulist Associates waits to board the Minnie Ha-Ha, a paddle boat that cruises Lake George in New York. The boat ride was a highlight of the 2013 Associates’ retreat for many participants.

The Paulist Associates are a group of lay men and women (including non-Catholics) who freely associate themselves with the Paulist spirituality and charism by making a commitment to embody the ideals of the Paulist in their daily living. Through the Associates, the Paulist charism is extended beyond the limited membership of the Paulist community itself.

Becoming an associate involves a discernment period consisting of an informational meeting, a retreat, and a six-session formation program, which explores various themes of Paulist spirituality and mission. Following the discernment period, those who wish to make formal application to be a Paulist Associate may do so. Those who are approved for membership make a one-year commitment to the associate group, a commitment that is renewed annually.

The Paulist Associates chat over dinner in the refectory of St. Mary's on the Lake, Lake George, N.Y., the site of this year's Associates' retreat.
The Paulist Associates chat over dinner in the refectory of St. Mary’s on the Lake, Lake George, N.Y., the site of this year’s Associates’ retreat.

The 2013 Associates’ retreat included morning and evening prayer, daily Mass and time for personal reflection. Father Don Andrie, CSP, coordinator of the Paulist Associates at St. Luke University Parish in Allendale, Mich., spoke on “Isaac Hecker for Young People,” while Father Paul Robichaud, Paulist historian and postulator of the cause for canonization of the Paulist founder, gave a talk on “Hecker as a Spiritual Guide for Paulist Associates.” Father Larry Rice, CSP, national director of the Paulist Associates, addressed the challenges and future development of the Paulist Associates.

There was also plenty of time for fun and relaxation: swimming in Lake George, playing mini-golf, walking through Lake George Village and a boat ride on Lake George aboard the paddle boat Minnie Ha-Ha.

Father Don Andrie, CSP (right), gives a presentation to the Paulist Associates on "Isaac Hecker for Young People" at the 2013 Paulist Associates' retreat. Father Andrie is associate pastor and campus minister at St. Luke University Parish in Allendale, Mich., and is the Paulist coordinator of the Associates in Allendale and Grand Rapids, Mich.
Father Don Andrie, CSP (right), gives a presentation to the Paulist Associates on “Isaac Hecker for Young People” at the 2013 Paulist Associates’ retreat. Father Andrie is associate pastor and campus minister at St. Luke University Parish in Allendale, Mich., and is the Paulist coordinator of the Associates in Allendale and Grand Rapids, Mich.

The retreat was a series of firsts for Denise Feldham, a Paulist Associate from St. Peter’s Church in Toronto, Ont.: her first trip to the United States and her first Associates retreat.

“It reignites my hope and my faith,” she said. “It is great to be in this beautiful environment with people that share the same spiritual commitment.”

Phyllis Wayne has been a Paulist Associate since the group began at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Los Angeles and has been on several Associates’ retreats.

“It’s always good to see other Associates,” Mrs. Wayne said. “You get to find out what they are doing and what they are thinking about.