The Associates World: February 2018

February 5, 2018
Issue No. 26, February 2018

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

The Other David O’Brien and Isaac Hecker

By Paula Cuozzo – Paulist Associate from Boston

hecker_bookEarly in June 1992, I was at Mass in the chapel of the Paulist Center in Boston. When I turned around to offer the sign of peace to the person behind me, I recognized David O’Brien, then professor of Roman Catholic studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts and author of Isaac Hecker: An American Catholic, a Paulist Press book. In somewhat jest, I remarked, “I am mad at you. You should have published that book six months ago. You would have saved me a lot of time. Peace.”

After Mass, he and I shared a laugh. I explained to him that several weeks earlier, on April 30, I submitted a Master’s thesis on Isaac Hecker. Paulist Press released O’Brien’s book in May. Thus, I was deprived of his research and analysis in my own studies. I also said that I received a copy of his book as a graduation gift and was enjoying the read.

O’Brien told me that not only was I exasperated with the delays in publishing this work, his editor at Paulist Press had been frustrated with him because the project took so long (nearly ten years) to come to fruition. It was hard for him to walk away from his exploration of Hecker’s life, mission, and legacy. He continued to discover new insights into Hecker’s pursuit of his relationship with God and faith as a modern man in the 19th century.

A little while later, O’Brien returned to the Paulist Center to lead a conversation about his book. I was happy for the chance to have him sign my copy of the book and to meet with him after the lecture to compare perspectives on Hecker.

So, I was especially interested to see that the executive editor of Commonweal, Dominic Preziosi, penned an article for the December 27, 2017 issue — “Staff Pick: ‘Isaac Hecker: An American Catholic.” The subtitle reads: ‘A Sweeping Biography of an Overlooked Figure.” He acknowledges that O’Brien’s work, although 25 years old, is a fine study in 19th century culture, politics, and Catholicism as well as Hecker’s own passages from Transcendentalism to Civil War New York to a post-Vatican I Catholic Church.

I urge you to read Preziosi’s article.

This article prompted me to pick up the book once more to peruse a chapter or two. It may inspire you to read or re-read O’Brien’s book, which I highly recommend. Don’t be deprived of O’Brien’s scholarship and insight.

Next Regional Retreat Set for July 2018

screen-capture-13The Chicago Associates are working with Fr. Mike Kallock, CSP to prepare for the next regional retreat for the Associates, entitled The Role of the Holy Spirit in a Life of Joy, Prayer, and Gratitude.

This theme is in line with the expected focus of the Paulist General Assembly in May 2018, reflecting on how Paulists live and express “the Joy of the Gospel” in their mission and community life. Pope Francis’s 2013 exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) serves as the background document.

This regional retreat will have The Joy of the Gospel in mind as it explores a passage of St. Paul’s first letter to Thessalonians: “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thes 5:16-18).

There will be three separate presentations/sessions exploring the relationship of the Holy Spirit to each of the following: joy, prayer, and gratitude.

We have reserved spaces at the Cenacle Retreat and Conference Center in Chicago for Friday, July 13th through Sunday, July 15th. You may check in between 3 and 5 pm, and check is after lunch on Sunday.

Single and double rooms are available. The retreat center is nearby public transportation, and there is parking for 30 vehicles. Meals are included.

We will email the registration form and additional information about the retreat in mid-February. Registration will begin on Thursday, February 15th and registration remains open until March 28th.

Leveraging Technology for Prayer

by Fr. Michael Everden, CSP — Paulist in residence in San Francisco

“Our power will be in presenting the same old truths in new forms, fresh new tone and air and spirit.”
–Isaac Hecker

everedenDuring Advent, I launched a daily reflection podcast called “Moments in Faith, Prayer and Spirituality.” It is just two or three minutes, hopefully to jumpstart some prayer, or at least prod folks to think about it. The podcasts can be found at Those who log in have an option to “follow” me to receive alerts when new ones are posted.

I also continue to look for new members of our B- Catholic gatherings. I began this program in Portland, Oregon about nine years ago as a place where people could come if they were trying to find a way back to church or for folks who just wanted to deepen their faith lives. When I moved from Portland to San Francisco, the group wanted to continue to meet. In addition, they wanted me to remain a part of that; so we began meeting on line, first with Skype and now with Zoom. All the people participating have some association with the Paulists. We meet on the first and third Wednesdays of every month at 7:15pm PST and go formally until 8:00pm but some folks stick around longer until around 8:30pm. They can begin logging on as early as 7:00pm.

Others who are interested in joining can email me (, or just join the meeting; here’s how:

1. Go to
2. Download the app (good for all formats).
3. Type in the code: 623768697.

I’m glad to leverage the technology we have to help folks grow in faith and prayer.

Grand Rapids Reflects on Isaac Hecker

Reflection by Gary Clark — Paulist Associate from Grand Rapids – published October 2017

“Would we only be willing to see things as they are, and be willing to be just what we are, we should find more good in the world, and in creation, than some religious writers would be willing to acknowledge.”

Father Hecker offers a mighty challenge and a most difficult one for us today as we seem to be inundated with negative news which is always at the forefront. On the Sunday following the attack on 9-11 at the World Trade Center, The Grand Rapids Press had an article which included a poignant picture of our late Paulist priest, Father Joe Gallagher, giving communion wine to a parishioner at the Catholic Information Center on Ionia Avenue. The Press article included excerpts from Father Joe’s homily in which he brought attention to the faith exhibited through

“the countless prayers offered in the wake of the terrorist attacks. They came not only from the faithful, but from those with little faith. There were millions of people praying in the same direction, for the same thing. God gave strength to the rescuers, enabling them to do things they couldn’t have done a week before.”

Father Joe, in Father Hecker’s mind, “saw things as they were” and the “good in the world” just as was the case after Hurricane Harvey struck with so many individuals using their personal watercraft to rescue fellow citizens from the flood waters of south Texas. Father Hecker would no doubt see that people were being, in Hecker’s words, “just what {they} are” and at the same time recognizing the “good in the world.”

Call for Materials for The Associates World

Paulist Associates and Paulists alike often tell us that they most enjoy are stories about how local worship communities and individual Paulist Associates live out the charisms and foster the mission of the Paulists in daily living. So, to continue publishing this newsletter, we need you to be creative and submit articles, poems, reflections, book reviews, photos, and images.

Please consider writing an article, generally from 500 to 750 words in length, although shorter and longer pieces have been submitted. Encourage your local Paulist liaison or other Paulist Associates to write a short article if you know that they are good writers.

While we don’t want to limit an individual’s creativity (so against the Hecker way of thinking!), some have requested that we suggest a few topics.

1. the history of your local Paulist Associates group
2. a remembrance from a Paulist Associates retreat you participated in
3. a book review of a recent Paulist Press publication
4. a favorite passage from St. Paul and why
5. a reflection on one of Hecker’s writings
6. interview with a Paulist in senior ministry
7. reflection on a Paulist ministry and your involvement
8. remembrance of the first time you met a Paulist
9. We are happy to help with editing so don’t feel any pressure to submit a literary masterpiece. In addition, please send along some photos or other images for us to use.

Email your materials to We are looking forward to your contributions!

My Introduction to the Paulists

by Larry Schnebly — Paulist Associate from Tucson

larry_and_lee_schneblyHaving been graced enough to marry a good Catholic girl, I, a life-long Protestant, ignored (as we both did) the eagerly-given advice to “get that religion thing straightened out.” After all, love is blind. So, in June 1953, we were married in her hometown of Winslow, on the anniversary of our first date. Her life-long Catholic father attended our wedding in a Lutheran Church! All the priests of the area were gathered in a distant city for some kind of convocation.

Lee, my wife, never once preached to me or tried to influence me. We went to various denominational churches in the Tucson area, because we both felt it was important to honor God. We even looked up the address of a Buddhist temple one morning but did not go.

Still, I missed northern Arizona. I am a Sedona boy, and she was a Winslow girl … we met at Arizona State College in Flagstaff. So, when I had a chance to go to work there, I jumped on it! Besides, Flagstaff was about midway in driving time between our parents’ homes, and we had two little girls by then.

There was a priest at the Newman Center who had a real magnetic personality. When Lee invited him for supper one night, she asked if I had Martini makings. I was surprised that “a Man of God” would drink any alcohol! Father asked permission to gather our records and present them to the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal. There followed many letter-writings and accumulations.

I missed broadcasting and Tucson, so we moved back. As program director of one of the television stations in the market, the Diocesan Chancellor, Fr. Bob Fuller, came with a film for me to look at within the first few months after our return. We were the newest TV station in a three-station market, and consequently we had more time than programming, which I choose to believe that he very astutely knew somehow. At the appointed hour, I set up the film for him to see. He asked if I would stay and see it with him. I did. The program turned out to be Insight, featuring Paulist Father Bud Kieser, CSP. I was smitten with it and told him on the spot that I would like to run it. It was brand new. It had not won five, much less any, Emmys as yet … and was to be a weekly program. It was so well done that I was immediately impressed with whomever these guys named “Paulists” were.

insightFr. Fuller chatted a bit after our viewing Insight, and learned that I had left all the paperwork for the Tribunal with Fr. Allison in Flagstaff … but “it just so happened” that he was going to be going through Flagstaff on his way to an Archdiocesan gathering in New Mexico. (Tucson is still in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.) With my permission, he picked up the paperwork from the pastor of the parish where Fr. Allison had been. What Fr. Fuller never said was that he knew Fr. Allison was in the “Diocesan Penitentiary” (those were Fr. Allison’s words, not ours) … or doghouse … and it made better sense for our marriage case to be centered where we lived, anyway.

So KGUN TV began running Insight in the fall of 1960 … I fell under the spell of the Paulists through my connection to television … and I eventually became a Catholic. Thank you, Fr. Isaac Hecker and your followers!

Paulist Pilgrimages

paulist_pligrimagesAs part of the Community of Saints, you are invited to join The Saints of England, a ten-day pilgrimage to London and Canterbury, Lindisfarne (Holy Island), Hexham, Durham and York on June 3-14, 2018. Paulist Father Thomas A. Kane has personally organized this journey, gathering the finest guides to enhance our pilgrim experience.

For full itinerary, click here or call Fr. Thomas at 617-793-7360.


Proposed Program for March

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

The Proposed Program for March was prepared by Fr. Frank Desiderio, CSP, who currently serves as First Consultor and is the National Director of the Paulist Associates.

Theme: The idea of surrender to God’s will goes back to the earliest stories in the scripture. Adam and Eve were asked to do one thing, stay away from the tree in the center of the Garden of Eden. They did not obey God’s will and look at the mess we are in. Moses tried to talk God out of him being the one to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Jonah ran away from God’s will and got swallowed by a great fish. Jesus put into the one, short prayer he taught, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Here are four “prayers of abandonment” for you to ponder and discuss during this season of Lent, which is a time of letting go.

Opening Prayer: Taken from The Paulist Prayer Book, suggested: Saturday of Lent, p. 287

Reading (in advance of the meeting)

hecker_lafargePrayer of Servant of God Isaac T. Hecker, CSP

(Prayer written on the opening leaves of vol. 1 of Fr. Hecker’s diary
as found in Isaac Hecker for Every Day, Reading for February 1, p.18)

Oh almighty Gracious Father who gavest me life
wilt thou bless and graciously lead me in the study I am about to undertake.
Give me always bounteously of thy Spirit
and direct me in the true path in which I ought to go that I may inherit eternal life…
Oh may I become an instrument of thine in doing much good.
Lord, I am weak nothing, nothing oh Lord and in they hands commit I my spirit.
Do with me oh Lord as see the good in thy sights.
I feel willing to leave all for thee nay Lord lead me to thy Holy Church
which I now am seeking for by the aid I hope of they Holy Spirit.
Wilt thou lead me in the road by which I may come into Thy fold even as it seethe good to thee. Amen.

Prayer of Abandonment of Charles de Foucauld — found in The Paulist Prayer Book, p. 409

de_foucauldI abandon myself into your hands;
Do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you;
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me,
And in all your creatures –
I wish no more than this, O Lord,
Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart.
For I love you, Lord, and so need to give myself,
To surrender myself into your hands without reserve,
And with boundless confidence, for you are my Father.


Prayer of Dedication from St. Ignatius of Loyola (Suscipe) — found in The Paulist Prayer Book, p. 404

ignatius_of_loyolaLord, I freely yield all my freedom to you.
Take my memory, my intellect and my entire will.
You have given me anything I am or have;
I give it all back to you to stand under your will alone.
Your love and your grace are enough for me;
I shall ask for nothing more.

aaThird Step Prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous — found in The Paulist Prayer Book, p. 415

O God, I offer myself to Thee –
to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties
that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power; Thy Love, and Thy Way of life.
May I do Thy will always!


Conversation Catalyst

  • How do you interpret the word “surrender” in the context of the spiritual life?
  • Which of these prayers most resonates with you? If none of them, why don’t they?
  • Do you have any sort of “prayer of abandonment” that is part of your spiritual life?


mertonFinal Prayer

My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain
where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,
and that I think I am following your will
does not mean I am actually doing so.

But I believe
the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire
in all I am doing.

I hope
I will never do anything
apart from that desire.
And I know if I do this
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.

I will trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear,
for you will never leave me
to face my perils alone.

Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton

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.


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Paulist Associates National Director

Frank Desiderio, C.S.P.
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, C.S.P.

Katherine Murphy Mertzlufft
Columbus, OH

Joe Scott, C.S.P.


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.