The Associates World: February 2017

February 9, 2017

Issue No. 16, February 2017
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 in your Web browser.

Table of Contents

Remembrances of Fr. Jim McCabe, CSP


mccabe_3James McCabe was ordained as a Paulist priest on May 11, 1957. After working in San Francisco and Baltimore, he came to St. Pater’s Parish in Toronto in 1980 as our pastor. His wonderful sermons enriched our lives. He introduced the Renew program to us in 1983. It brought our community closer and climaxed for some in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1986.

Fr, Jim left Toronto in 1988 and then shared his gifts with the people of Boston and Austin.

He returned to Toronto and St. Peter’s in 1999 as an associate pastor. In 2006, he established our group of Paulist Associates and actively participated in our meetings. Fr, Jim nourished us with his wisdom, encouragement, positive attitude, and love of God and Our Lady.

When he died on Christmas Day in 2011, a light went out on earth, but now shines in heaven.

You may wish to read Fr. Jim’s obituary at the Paulist web site.

Primary Sources: Books Authored by Isaac Hecker

In addition to preaching sermons, conducting missions, and lecturing on the Lyceum circuit, Isaac Hecker penned many articles in The Catholic World, the periodical he established and edited. He also authored three books — two as a Redemptorist and one as a Paulist:

  • Questions of the Soul, published in 1855
  • Aspirations of Nature, published in 1857
  • The Church and the Age: An Exposition of the Catholic Church in View of the Needs and Aspirations for the Age, published in 1888

Hecker also chronicled a significant portion of his early adult life in diaries from 1842 to 1845, the years when he formulated his relationship with God and converted to Roman Catholicism. Paulist Press published Isaac T. Hecker: The Diary, Romantic Religion in Ante Bellum America in 1988.

You may find these works at some libraries, at used book stores, or reprinted by specialty publishers.

A Retreat for The Spirit and Creativity
Paulist Associates in 2017

lafe_georgeThe Holy Spirit was present at creation and continues as the Spirit of creativity. Explore your relationship with the Holy Spirit and your creativity at one of God’s most beautiful corners of creation.

Check in Sunday afternoon July 2

Check out after lunch on Friday, July 7 

Daily schedule includes:

  • breakfast, morning prayer and session; 
  • liturgy, lunch, free time in the afternoons; 
  • dinner and optional evening events. 

Monday, July 3
Fr. Vinny McKiernan, CSP
The Holy Spirit and Creation

Tuesday, July 4
Fr. Tom Gibbons, CSP
screening of Isaac Hecker: The First
American Catholic
, and discussion of
the Holy Spirit and Servant of God
Isaac T. Hecker

Wednesday. July 5
Fr. Frank Sabatté, CSP
The Holy Spirit and Art

Thursday, July 6
Fr. Frank Desiderio, CSP
The Holy Spirit and Poetry

Friday, July 7
conclusion and closing Mass

Registration Information for the Retreat for Paulist Associates in 2017

Registration $500

Space is limited to 30 people, which includes all Associates and guests. Thus, we are limiting the registration to current Associates (those who have taken their first promise or renewed their promise within the last 12 months) and an Associate’s spouse and/or health aide. Each guest is required to submit a registration form as well. 

This registration fee includes room and meals, beginning with dinner on Sunday, July 2 in the afternoon through lunch on Friday, July 7. Linens and towels are provided. 

A $250 deposit is due at time of registration; full payment is due by June 1, 2017. Full refunds are available until June 1, 2017. (Another option is to pay the entire fee when you register.)
A $250 deposit for a guest is also required at the time of registration.

Guests are welcome to participate in the social activities, meals, and liturgies. We are reserving the sessions for Associates only. 

Morning prayer and sessions are held after breakfast. Liturgy follows the sessions and then lunch. Afternoons are free time. There are optional evening events following dinner. 

The property includes lakefront where individuals can swim. The dock is a great place for seeing fireworks. There are walking paths, outdoor seating, and a screened porch. The grounds do have a few hills, including a steep incline towards the chapel and dining hall. Also note that the main building (the Students House) is two floors, and there is no elevator. 

Please make checks payable to: Cathy Hoekstra. Please download a copy of the registration form at Mail your completed form and a deposit check to: 

Cathy Hoekstra
1524 Philadelphia SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507

Cathy will send a confirmation email when she receives your check. 

If you have any questions or require further information, please contact Cathy Hoekstra at

“Why do [people] love poetry, music, architecture, painting, and sculpture? Why have the verses of a Homer, a Dante, a Shakespeare, been the delight of ages? Why is it that a whole nation feels honored in the possession of a work from the chisel of Michael Angelo, or a Madonna of Raphael, or a Cathedral of Cologne, or in having given birth to Dante or Shakespeare? Why are our souls enlarged and raised above the senses in listening to strains of music composed by a Palestrina or a Beethoven or a Mozart? It is because art is a higher expression of the Divine, and brings us nearer to the All-True, Holy, and Fair.”

Excerpt from “The Value of Faith”
Sermons by the Fathers of the Congregation of St. Paul the Apostle, Volume VI
published 1871

Book Review: Opening the Door of Faith: Encountering Jesus and His Call to Discipleship — Written by Thomas D. Stegman, SJ

By Denis M. Hurley – Associate from Boston

opening_the_doorTheology — which may be looked at as the process by which humans with inadequate tools attempt to map the incomprehensible mind of God — is more than daunting, even to the expert practitioner.

For most of the rest of us, it’s a non-starter, dismissed either fearfully or scornfully as beyond our resources of time and thought, and probably, in any case, way out of sync with the “real world” where we actually practice our religion.

Bridging that gap has been an ongoing effort of the Boston Jesuits, particularly in the many “little books” of the late master teacher, Daniel Harrington, SJ.

Harrington’s colleague, Thomas D. Stegman, SJ, the newly named Dean of the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, is carrying on that tradition with a “little book” (his designation) of his own. Opening the Door of Faith: Encountering Jesus and His Call to Discipleship (Paulist Press, 2015) can serve as a foundation for countless small faith group sessions and literally hundreds of homilies.

The modus operandi in these 103 pages is straightforward. Stegman takes the four Gospels, Acts, and the letters of Paul, focuses on the fundamental message of each, and synthesizes it into a manageable form, which, while appearing simple and succinct, acts on the reader’s mind like one of those time-lapse videos where we can watch the seed develop into the garden before our eyes.

Three recent papal documents, Benedict’s Porta Fidei (“The Door of Faith,) the encyclical Lumen Fidei, and Francis’s Gaudium Fidei, Stegman writes, “are peppered with references to Scripture,” offering and encouraging a biblical foundation for a life of faith.

In Stegman’s exposition, we see Jesus — in both his words and his actions -— as the translator and exemplar, the one who, grounded in the Scripture of his Jewish faith and that of his audiences, but enriched with a new vision, explains and demonstrates what the relationship between God and humans is really about.

The Evangelists and Paul record not just the history of what Jesus did, but more so their understanding of what Jesus meant. Like Stegman’s, their audiences were individual believers and small faith groups, and, like them, the author attempts to cull the essence of Jesus’ translation of God’s intent and give the reader a starting point for deeper thought and consequent action.

Stegman begins his discussion with the Gospel of Matthew, and more specifically with the Beatitudes, which he presents as a model for the two covenants: the first between God and humans and the second among humans themselves. He offers the “righteousness” embodied in the Beatitudes as a characteristic of God and one that Jesus urged on his followers in order that they be “blessed.” Righteousness, in his definition, is “being in right relationship with God … and in right relationship with other people.”

Simple in expression, yes. But the source of many avenues of thought and questioning for preachers, listeners and small group discussions. And doors of reflection abound in further discussions of Matthew and the other New Testament writers. More importantly, Stegman proposes, the Scriptural “doors of faith” lead beyond understanding to the actual living of a life of faith.

He stresses that, as Lumen Fidei proposes, “faith is not a private matter,” and that understanding and living the life of faith is a communal pursuit.

Providing sets of questions for small group discussion or preacher’s reflection, he urges that “there is no substitute for reading the biblical texts themselves,” and that Opening the Door … “should be used as a guide to highlight specific features in those texts that pertain to the life of faith.”

Opening the Door of Faith: Encountering Jesus and His Call to Discipleship is published by Paulist Press. Visit the Paulist Press web site to order a copy.

Proposed Program for March

(This is a suggested format; each group may select another outline or topic.)

Theme: The Deadly Sin of Pride

Opening Prayer: The Paulist Prayer Book, select the day on which you meet

Reading (in advance of the meeting):
Excerpt from “Pride” from Sermons for All the Sundays of the Ecclesiastical Year and Principal Festivals for the Use of Parish Priests and for Private Reading, by Very Rev. George Deshon, CSP, copyrighted 1902

Pride leads to all sorts of sins and to the most sudden and complete falls. By it we forget God practically; cease to refer to him ourselves and our actions. This opens the door to sensuality, to shameful falls. Then this destroying pride raises itself against an humble acknowledgment; instead of stopping at once and arising from our fault, we are plunged into it again and again. We are hardened in sin, and become the apologists and advocates of sin; we refuse to see our own guilt, and our condition becomes well-nigh hopeless. Oh, incomprehensible, senseless pride! Who can understand the depth of degradation and misery you plunge one into under cover of exalting him? Let us understand, then, the great value of the principle laid down in the text: “He that humbleth himself,” etc.

Let us beware of entertaining any high thoughts of ourselves, or making comparisons with others. Let us be careful not to speak anything whatever lowering or depreciating of others (for that is a secret way of exalting ourselves and making pride in us) ; but let us look upon ourselves as nothing, as creatures of God’s hands; let us see everything good in ourselves as gifts of God’s pure bounty, for which we must render strict account, and on no account arrogate them to ourselves ; let us reject with horror any insinuations of self-esteem or self-exaltation on any account whatever, which may creep into our minds, but faithfully and sincerely carry all back to God, whence they come.

Then we shall be indeed Christians — that is, our lives shall be hidden, as St. Paul says, in Christ; God shall be the principle of us and of all our actions. Then all disturbing influences shall be removed far from us. We shall be peaceable, for we shall in nowise be inclined to anger. You cannot wound self-love when self-love is transformed into the love of the Divine Being. We shall be pure and gentle and patient; for, seeing ourselves always in the mirror of the Divine Being, impurity and haughtiness and impatience will all disappear. Hence holy Scripture describes the very first beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Be poor in spirit — that is, humble thyself before God; practise this, and it will infallibly bring you all other virtues, and make you sure at last of the Kingdom of Heaven. Amen.

Conversation Catalyst

  • In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, “Pride leads to every other vice. It is the complete anti-God state of mind.” What are the consequences when you succumb to the sin of pride?
  • Discuss a time in your life when you ignored God’s wisdom and pride tainted your judgment.
  • Pride is the only one of the “deadly sins” that can have a virtuous component. How do you distinguish the virtue of self-love and pride with the deadly sin of pride?


Closing Prayer
Merciful God, place in me a clean heart and lead me to the joy of true humility. Amen.

Save the Date

Ordination to the Priesthood —Matt Berrios, Steve Petroff, and Stuart Wilson-Smith
Church of St. Paul the Apostle, New York, NY — Saturday, May 20, 2017
The Paulists have reserved blocks of rooms. The most inexpensive rooms are at the Bishop Malloy retreat house in Jamaica, a section of Queens, NY. It’s a long subway ride from the church at 59th street. Single occupancy with a shared bath. There are also two hotels in mid-town Manhattan, close to the church. Register on the Church of St. Paul the Apostle website.



Baltic Sea Cruise and St. Petersburg, Russia— July 21 to August 1, 2017

baltic_pilgrimageJoin Frs. Eric Andrews, President of the Paulist Fathers, John Ardis, Senior Director of Mission Advancement, and Thomas A. Kane of Paulist Pilgrimages in a special summer adventure. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the Baltic region and experience the beauty, culture and spirituality of St. Petersburg.

Sailing on the MS Vision of the Seas, the Baltic cruise will begin in Amsterdam, visiting many major capitals along the way with ports of call in Berlin (Warnemunde), Germany, Tallinn, Estonia; St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Stockholm, Sweden; and Copenhagen, Denmark. The highlight of the cruise will be two days in St. Petersburg, visiting Peterhof, the Grand Palace, the Hermitage, Catherine’s Palace, the Church of the Savior on Blood, Peter and Paul Fortress, and a hydrofoil boat ride. A special Russian lunch will be served each day, and Russian visas are included in this all-inclusive special pilgrimage journey. During the cruise, there will be two Sunday Liturgies on the ship.

For itinerary and registration form, see For more information contact: Thomas A. Kane, CSP at


A Kingdom of Unlikely Followers: A Paulist Retreat with Fr. Steven Bell, CSP, Fr. John Collins, CSP, and Fr. Tom Gibbons, CSP
Marble Falls, TX — November 11-12, 2017

Prayer for the Intercession of Father Isaac T. Hecker

hecker-prayer-for-intercessionHeavenly 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 Visit the web site: to learn more about his life and the cause for his canonization.

Isaac Says

Grace is the free gift of God. God being Universal Love will consequently give grace to all those who will submit to the love conditions of his Universal Love.

The Hecker Diary, July 18, 1844

Fr. Hecker Abstracts

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

hostettebookThe Ecclesial Dimension of Personal and Social Reform in the Writings of Isaac Thomas Hecker
by Larry Hostetter

A priest of the Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky, Fr. Hostetter now serves as the President of Brescia University in Owensboro. He earned his STL and STD at the Alphonsian Academy of the Pontifical Lateran University, where he submitted this work as his dissertation, and then published this book in 2001.

Hostetter provides a detailed biography of Hecker. In his “Introduction,” he states:

“This study hopes to take the reader down the same paths that Hecker took in his own life’s journey. By encountering the same people, circumstances, and ideas, Hecker’s vision will be shown to be clear and intelligible. His journey was one of discovery and faith, a journey that, at times, followed broad well-trodden paths with a clear vision of the approaching goal and, at other times, followed dark and obscure trails with no clear end in sight. Throughout it all, however, Hecker’s journey was driven by a deep trust in God, who working through the Catholic church, helped him to realize his human potential, and enable him, as a member of that same church, to do his part toward the realization of that potential in others and toward the renewal of society.”

Since this work was Hostetter’s dissertation, it is thorough and academic, however, still accessible to most readers. Still, it may take some time to do a careful study of this book if the reader were to review all the detailed footnotes. There is an excellent bibliography to use as a resource.


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Paulist Associates National Director

Frank Desiderio, CSP
Paulist General Office
New York, NY 10023

Board Members

Angie Barbieri
Toronto, ON, Canada

Paula Cuozzo
Boston, MA

Cathy Hoekstra
Grand Rapids, MI

Mike Kallock, CSP

Terry Modica
Tampa, FL

Joe Scott, CSP


Paulist Associates Promise:

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.