August 22, 2016
Issue No. 10, August 2016
A Monthly Newsletter for Paulist Associates
The Associates World is the newsletter of the Paulist Associates. You can download a copy of this newsletter in PDF format (excellent for printing), or scroll down to read it on the Web.
- New Feature: Fr. Hecker Abstracts
- Seeking to Find Associates in the Diaspora
- About the Grand Rapids Associates
- About the Columbus Associates
- Isaac Says
- Proposed Program for September
- Prayer for the Intercession of Father Isaac T. Hecker
- The New Liaison of the Paulist Associates, Grand Rapids
- What Could be Better than a Week in the Adirondacks at the Paulist Summer Home?
Some Associates are looking for additional resources for a more in-depth reflection on the life and works of Servant of God and founder of the Paulists, Isaac Hecker. For the next several months, we will feature a book, article, web site, or other resource to consider for further study by individuals and perhaps by the local groups.
Your recommendations are welcome. Please send your suggestions to Paula Cuozzo at email@example.com.
This book is available at Paulist Press.
Isaac Hecker for Every Day: Daily Thought from the Founder of the Paulists
by Ronald A. Franco, CSP
Fr. Ron introduces the thinking and spirituality of Isaac Thomas Hecker, Servant of God and founder of the Paulist Fathers, on a daily basis in the context of the calendar year. This collection — compiled from the Hecker diaries, various materials published by and about Hecker, and his correspondences — conveys the basic under-standing of Hecker’s conversion to Roman Catholicism and his particularly American approach to his faith. It also helps an individual to grow in understanding of Hecker’s love of the Roman Catholic Church and love of country.
Currently Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Knoxville, Tennessee, Fr. Ron is the Vice Postulator for the Canonization Cause for Fr. Hecker. He also is the author of the blog “City Father”.
The word “diaspora” comes from the Greek, meaning “scattered” or “dispersed,” often far from the homeland. We want reach out to those Associates who no longer live near a local Paulist Associates group and invite them to re-introduce themselves to the Associates and to offer them ways to remain in touch with us — and us with them.
Beginning in October, the Board will host a monthly teleconference for these Associates spread far and wide so they too may participate in a meeting using the technology
In order to identify them and become reacquainted with them, we need your help. Please email Paula Cuozzo the name and email address of anyone you know who was or currently is a Paulist Associate and no longer lives near an existing Paulist Associates group. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. She will collect the names and then send them an email, inviting them to the virtual meetings in October as well as notifying them of the other ways of staying in touch with the Paulist Associates. Thanks for your help in this task. We will be all the richer with all Associates involved.
by Gary Clark
Associate from Grand Rapids
The Grand Rapids Paulist Associates community was formed almost ten years ago at the urging and direction of Fr. Joe Gallagher, CSP at the Catholic Information Center. Fr. Joe was true to the Paulist mission in seeking to deepen the spirituality of Paulist Center members. Fr. Joe, who was at one time President of the Paulist Fathers, always endeavored to create a sense of warmth and welcome consistent with the charisms of the Paulists. He maintained a deeply held belief that personal encounter and individual experience were the keys to spirituality. His commitment to the formation of an Associates group was part of his effort to provide an enhanced spiritual experience for its participants. He encouraged us to pursue our individual discipleship and discernment.
He spent over two years with our original formation group before we made our first promises in December 2007. We all mourned the passing of Father Joe in the month preceding our promises.
In the same year, the Paulist Fathers were invited by Bishop Walter Hurley to take over the pastoral care of the Cathedral of Saint Andrew, the Mother Church of the Diocese of Grand Rapids. Our Associates group moved with the Paulists to the Cathedral.
From the very outset, our group of Associates has focused on the many and varied readings of the Paulist founder, Isaac Hecker, along with writings of other Paulist Fathers. The readings have included Mission America: Challenges & Opportunities of Catholics Today by Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP and All Holy Men & Women, edited by Fr. Thomas Kane, CSP. We are given the opportunity to internalize what we choose from the readings, reflections and dialogue in which the thoughts and experiences of our fellow Associates are shared in our monthly meetings. In this process, we all have benefited from an increased depth of spirituality.
Over the years we have been so very blessed to have experienced several Paulists as our liaisons. We have grown to cherish and treasure their spiritual insights and depth of knowledge from their participation in our meetings. We feel that we have benefited from the several liaison changes from having received a variety of perspectives and insights.
A rather recent addition to the Catholic community in the greater Grand Rapids area is the founding of Saint Luke University Parish by the Paulists in 2007. Its mission has been to serve students and faculty of Grand Valley State University, a college with an enrollment of nearly 30,000 students. Ground was broken in March of this year for the new church and rectory adjacent to the GVSU campus. A second Paulist Associate group has been established at Saint Luke’s University Parish which is located only 25 minutes from the Cathedral of Saint Andrew. On occasion we have both shared meetings and special retreat opportunities.
by Leroy Hushak
Associate from Columbus
The Columbus Paulist Associates held its first formation meeting on August 29, 1999 under the direction of Fr. Dave O’Brien, CSP. Fifteen people committed to the Paulist Associates from this original formation group on June 2, 2000; 5 are active today. We were the third group of Associates to commit, preceded by Los Angeles (1/15/00) and New York (1/27/00). We were followed by Austin (6/19/01) and Knoxville (9/27/01).
Fr. Dave, as a member of the Paulist General Council, was active in the initiation of the Paulist Associates (PA) in 1998 jointly with Fr. Mike Kallock, CSP. The conceived aim of the PA’s was “to be”, i.e., there was no “doing” in the mission of a PA. The mission of the PA was to live Paulist spirituality in the workplace and in the ministries — religious or other — of each one’s life. The original goal set for PA’s still predominates in current thinking, although a more “doing” ministry has been discussed several times by the Columbus PA’s and at national gatherings.
In the past 16 years, the leadership structure has evolved. Currently, there are 29 active members along with a group in formation in Columbus. Throughout our history, the Columbus PA group has been large, usually exceeding 30 Associates. In the beginning, a single leadership team was responsible for all PA activities. In 2005, we created two teams: a Strategic Committee responsible for planning of PA activities; and a Planning Committee to plan program and food for the monthly meetings. We again modified the structure in 2008-2009 9 by changing the name of the Strategic Committee to the Leadership Team to better reflect its responsibilities and dissolving the Planning Committee, which was replaced by subdividing the local PA’s into 4 groups. Each group has at least one member of the Leadership Team responsible for leading group planning.
In 2015-16 we moved our commitment/recommitment as PA’s from October to January to coincide with the Paulist celebration of the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
Our meeting format consists of three parts. We first share a meal, conduct a short business meeting, and open the meeting with a prayer service (usually from the Paulist prayer book) which includes both members and the formation group. The members then focus on the topic for the evening comprised of a brief presentation and discussion in small groups of questions and issues for discussion. The formation group gathers to continue working through the formation topics. In the final part of the meeting both groups come together to share high points from the discussions in the respective groups, share prayer requests for those in need, and close with a prayer. In addition to regular meetings, we hold two potlucks each year; one at Christmas and one during the summer.
A high point of Columbus PA’s life occurred when we hosted the national PA retreat at the St Theresa Retreat Center in Columbus, Ohio on June 12-14, 2009. 66 PA’s from across the country and Toronto attended. The theme of the retreat was Called to Be with other sessions on Called to Reach Out, Called to Bring Peace and Called to Unity. Bishop Frederick Campbell welcomed the associates by letter; we were also welcomed by Fr. Larry Rice, CSP, then director of the St Thomas More Newman Center in Columbus, and Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP, then member of the Paulist Presidential Board and National Director of the PA’s.
In looking back on this lapse of time, I find no step to regret, and those of importance in their bearing on my life seem to me now providential. I cannot do better than trust to that guidance which has brought me thus far, to be its agent. This is my daily, hourly, and only study; to surrender myself more completely to the guidance of God. This is my sole exercise in all that I do and suffer. God’s will makes all actions equally great, all results of the same importance. Whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. Let us be united in doing His will, and in letting it be done in us!
— Letter dated August 2, 1864, on the 20th anniversary of Hecker’s initiation in the Catholic Church
Theme: The Holy Spirit in the Bible
Opening Prayer: The Paulist Prayer Book, “Holy Spirit Prayer Service,” pp. 435-438
Reading (in advance of the meeting):
From Who Is the Holy Spirit? By Elizabeth A. Johnson, Catholic Update (November 30, 1999)
Spirit as wind. The spirit frequently appears in wind-blown events: the wind blowing back the sea during the Exodus (Exodus 14:21-22); the wind blowing through the valley of the dry bones, reconnecting them and breathing life back into them (Ezekiel 37:4-10); and the wind blowing through the house where the disciples were gathered at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).
One of the Bible’s best depictions of the Spirit as wind comes in John’s Gospel. Speaking to Nicodemus, Jesus likens the Spirit to wind: “The wind blows where it wills, and you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (3-8). The Spirit is present among us, invisible and not under our control, but able to be glimpsed in its effects.
Spirit as fire. Like wind, fire has no definite shape: fire is always changing, not able to be touched. While essential to humans, it is essentially dangerous. It appears in the sky as lightening, as the sun, as other stars, but even a candle’s flame is deeply mysterious.
Scripture finds a worthy metaphor for God the Spirit. Moses receives his call to lead the Israelites out of Egypt from the voice in the burning bush. At Pentecost, in addition to the sound of a mighty wind, tongues of fire appear over each person’s head, and all are filled with the Holy Spirit.
Spirit as water. This third image that Scripture uses for the Spirit is also essential for life. Water, too, has no definite shape but is the nourishing matrix of all. Life on earth began in the seas, and human life begins in the water of the womb. There is sap in the trees, blood in our veins, wine in our vessels and rain on the earth. Water and these liquids (which are basically water) signify the active presence of the Spirit refreshing us and gladdening our hearts.
Speaking through the prophet Ezekiel, God promises that the people will be renewed in the Spirit as if by a refreshing shower: “I will sprinkle clean water over you to make you clean…I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:25-26). Instead of a hardened heart, God the Spirit gives us a fleshy heart – one that is alive, one that can feel. Frequently, Scripture talks about the Spirit being poured out the way water is poured from a pitcher. In Joel, God says, “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh” (Joel 3:1). The New Testament account of Pentecost quotes this prophetic passage to proclaim what was indeed happening: the Spirit was being poured out (see Acts 2:17-18).
Jesus promises the Samaritan woman the gift of the Spirit through the metaphor of “living water.” Once she drinks this water, he tells her, she never will be thirsty again (see John 4:14). Paul, too, uses this symbol, imagining that God’s love overflows: “the love of God has been poured out into out hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
- What is your favorite biblical image of the Holy Spirit? Why?
- Share a Bible verse containing the Spirit which fascinates you the most, either one that is in Johnson’s examples or one in another part of the Bible? What is the reason that it captivates you in the way that it does?
- Where are your other best-loved images of the Holy Spirit found? Are they in art, music, other writing, nature, or somewhere else? Explain how you came to see these images as the Spirit and why they capture your sense of God.
The Paulist Prayer Book, “Morning Prayer to the Holy Spirit,” pp. 395
Heavenly Father, you called your servant Isaac Thomas Hecker to preach the Gospel to the people of North America and through his teaching, to know the peace and the power of your indwelling Spirit. He walked in the footsteps of Saint Paul the Apostle, and like Paul spoke your Word with a zeal for souls and a burning love for all who came to him in need.
Look upon us this day, with compassion and hope. Hear our prayer. We ask that through the intercession of Father Hecker your servant, you might grant us (state the request).
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit. One God, forever and ever. Amen.
When you pray this prayer, and if you believe that you have received any favors through Hecker’s intercession, please contact the Office of the Cause for Canonization of Servant of God, Isaac Hecker at email@example.com. Visit the web site isaachecker.org to learn more about his life and the cause for his canonization.
by Catie Heynen
Associate from Grand Rapids
René Constanza, CSP is the new Executive Director of the Catholic Information Center (CIC) in Grand Rapids, Michigan and we as the Associates at the Cathedral of St. Andrew are also lucky enough to have him as our new liaison. Fr. René first came to the CIC and the Cathedral during his Novitiate tour of Paulist foundations in 2006 and then spent his pastoral year of 2009-2010 here where he says he “fell in love” with the ministries and the people the Paulist serve. His last assignment was at St. Austin’s Church in Austin Texas where he was Associate Pastor. Getting up at 5 a.m. to work out, which he loves to do, seems to be no problem for Fr. René, although he says that his Austin schedule of an afternoon quick siesta has not incorporated into his routine in Grand Rapids.
The spiritual writer which Fr. René is reading most often these days is Pope Francis. Pope Francis’ spirituality is based on a Trinitarian divine community expressed in relationships, accompaniment and journey especially with those most vulnerable and in the margins of society. And this very Latino/a spirituality is what Fr. René relates more. This means “accompañamiento, that life is a journey, where we pilgrim people come to experience the joys and sorrows of love, not alone, but always accompanied by God and God’s people.” He quoted from Pope Francis in his first CIC column that “the home represents the precious human treasures, that of encounter, that of relations among people, different in age, culture and history, but who together help each other grow”. He then recalled asking Fr. Joe Gallagher in 2006 what made Grand Rapids special. Fr. Joe said “its people.” Two liaisons with the same philosophy!
Spending his time at the CIC, Fr. René will be focusing on networking and relationships. He wants to reach out to the diocesan priests, mission partners with thank-you’s and prayers, and young adults and Hispanic ministries in the diocese. With the Associates, he just wants to take this his first year to learn. Fr. René is familiar with the G.R. Associates from his pastoral year during which he attended several meetings, although he says that he has never worked directly with any Associate Group. This year he is “here to learn more of our Paulist charism, Hecker writings, and Paulist history and to be inspired by [your] passion for mission, the Paulist way.”
Fr. René will be at his first Associates’ meeting as liaison in September since he will be away at their August meeting. That Sunday in August he will be visiting “la familia” in Belize, which he tries to do twice a year. An image that gives Fr. René peace and joy is a “rambunctious Sunday evening gathering at my parents’ home, where 30 of us would gather for a ‘fiestecita’ with music, food, and lots of laughter”. Fr. René says that may not seem peaceful to many but to him it gives “sense of wholeness and belonging – a sense of the divine”. As one of nine children, he has a lot of family to visit in a beautiful country. For a man who follows Pope Francis’ spirituality of community, this may be the perfect vacation!
The eight G.R. Associates are very excited to have Fr. René as our newest liaison. He will bring to us a sense of humbleness and community-building that all of our groups can use. While Fr. René may plan spending the next year learning from us, he will have a lot to teach us from his experience so far as a Paulist and as a deeply spiritual man. Welcome to the Paulist Associate flock, Fr. René!
by Jane Kelsey
Associate from Columbus
St. Mary’s on the Lake is located in New York State about 3 miles northeast of Lake George Village (near the border with Vermont) and 50 miles north of Albany, New York. The Lake itself is clean and beautiful, the surrounding mountains encompassing and enfolding. The air is refreshing.
On the grounds are four buildings: the student house where retreatants stay, the priests’ house for Paulists, the dining room, and the chapel. A short walk down the mountain takes you to the boat dock, where swimming, kayaking, and canoeing are available.
The Paulists own five islands about 16 miles north of St. Mary’s. There you will find a cabin and a chapel named after Fr. Isaac Jogues, SJ, a missionary who, in 1646, first named the Lake “Lac du Sacrament” in honor of the feast of Corpus Christi.
In 2017, the Paulist Associates Retreat will be held at St. Mary’s on the Lake from Sunday July 2 through Friday July 7. All are welcome! Look for details in upcoming issues.
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Paulist Associates National Director
Frank Desiderio, CSP
Paulist General Office
New York, NY 10023
Toronto, ON, Canada
Grand Rapids, MI
Mike Kallock, CSP
Paul Robichaud, CSP
I believe that I am drawn by the Holy Spirit to the spirituality and qualities of the Paulist Community. I have discerned both by prayer and study that God calls me to become associated with the Paulists. I promise that I will pray for the works of the Paulist Society, meet with others, who are also members of the Paulist Associates, for spiritual sharing and formation; and I seek to embody the apostolic qualities of the Paulists in my daily life.
Attentive to the Holy Spirit and faithful to the example of St. Paul and the charism of Father Isaac Hecker, I commit myself for one year of membership in the Paulist Associates.