The Associates World: January 2016

January 27, 2016
Table of Contents 

The Church of Mercy Parish Mission – April 16, 17 2016 St. Peter’s Refugee Sponsorship Project Update from Toronto’s Paulist Associates Proposed Program for January Upcoming Events Pope Francis Video Star Contacts Paulist Associate Promise  

Paulist Associates Facebook Page

A goal of the Paulist Associates Board is to encourage dialogue and connections within the greater Associates community in the United States and Canada. One way that we facilitate this goal is to encourage all Paulist Associates to join our Facebook page and share our thoughts and prayers with one another. The objectives of the Facebook page are:

  • Inform – Latest and greatest news from the greater Paulist Associates Community
  • Educate – Facebook can be used as a platform to learn more about Isaac Hecker and his teaching
  • Inspire – Good news stories about the great work the Paulists and the Paulist Associates are doing in areas of evangelization, ecumenism, reconciliation and social justice
  • Build Community – Encourage dialogue, prayer, and relationships within the Paulist Associate Community.

Currently there are 100 members that are members of the Facebook group. We post news of our Associate group’s activities, photos, our favorite Hecker quotes, and interesting posts by the Paulist Fathers and their related organizations such as Busted Halo, Paulist Press and Paulist Productions. Just recently a new Associate posted a question on the page asking about Paulist patron saints. It was wonderful to witness how quickly other Paulist Associates responded to her inquiry with suggested readings and books. As a more recent member of the Associates, I too enjoy learning more about and sharing the Paulist charism through the posts of Associates and Paulists. Did you know that the movie Romero, produced by Paulists Productions, is one of Human Rights Activist and Spiritual Leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s favourite movies? I discovered this information after watching an interview of Fr. Frank Desiderio (former President of Paulist Productions) as he was answering questions about the beatified El Salvadorian Archbishop Oscar Romero and the movie that depicted Romero’s life and ministry. I immediately posted Desmond Tutu’s endorsement of the movie Romero onto the group page; I was excited and very proud to share with our community the movie’s approval by one of the greatest critiques of South African apartheid and one of this century’s champion of human rights. Our Facebook page is another avenue where I am able to exercise my faith and help establish connections within our community. Reading posts about Pope Francis’ visit to the United States and more recently about the Year of Mercy helps me feel connected to the greater Paulist community, calls me to carry out act acts of social justice and kindness. And I get to do this as I drink my morning coffee, surfing Facebook, “like” and comment on the latest updates from my friends and family all over the globe. Come check us out! We look forward to seeing you online. Angela (Angie) Barbieri is a member of the Paulist Associate Board. She can be reached  

The Church of Mercy Parish Mission – April 16, 17 2016

The Paulist Associates of Toronto are very proud to be sponsoring Fr. Frank Desiderio’s presentation, The Church of Mercy: The Life and Thought of Pope Francis. This multimedia presentation uses the biography of Pope Francis to get at his theology. Fr. Desiderio uses anecdotes from the life of Pope Francis to illustrate his way of thinking and how that leads to his pastoral practice. The themes of the mission include: son of immigrants, theology of mercy, the faith of the poor, reform from the margins, no margin – no mission. For those of us that would like to understand Francis and his mission better, this will be a very insightful gathering. We look forward to Fr. Frank’s visit to Toronto in April and pray that it is very successful. For more information about how you can bring this mission to your parish community, please contact Fr. Frank at  

St. Peter’s Refugee Sponsorship Project

The desperate plight of refugees was in the news all over the world this summer and fall. Christians understand the similarity between the plight of present day refugees and that of the Holy Family. Canada plans to welcome about 25,000 refugees from Middle East conflicts, particularly from Syria. Most will be government-sponsored, but thousands will be privately sponsored by church or community groups. In the last ten years, the Archdiocese of Toronto has facilitated sponsorships of hundreds of refugees from all over the world. In response to the current crisis, it began a special appeal called “Project Hope” in early September. Project Hope is a call for at least 100 of the Archdiocese’s 247 parishes and missions to sponsor refugees. All parishes were asked to contribute toward raising three million dollars for the expenses of the “newcomers”. (We were told by the coordinator that when they have arrived, they are no longer “refugees”. They now have a home!) St. Peter’s parishioners, supported by our new pastor, Fr. Mike McGourty, put together a sponsorship “resettlement group”. Three of our Paulist Associates group are members of this committee. The nature of our committee and its sponsorship plans are very “Paulist”. The Archdiocese said that newcomers of any or no religion would be welcome. When given a chance to choose newcomers of a particular religious or ethnic background, we chose “whoever is in the most need”. We have also welcomed into our group parish neighbours who are not from St. Peter’s or even Catholic. We have been assigned a family, and have been in touch with them. They are a mother and her two sons, Iraqi Christians, who have been in Jordan since 2013 because of dreadful persecution. We don’t know when they will arrive, but are busy with dozens of tasks such as arranging accommodation, schooling and English lessons, collecting together all the items that are needed to make a home, seeking out job possibilities for people with limited English and arranging financial support. St. Peter’s parishioners as a whole have been very supportive of this effort, both financially and with offers of specialized skills. We hope to meet our family soon, but still haven’t been told when they are coming – we hope to have at least a week or two notice! Please pray for our newcomers and for the success of our efforts to help them start a new life in freedom and safety.  

Update from Toronto’s Paulist Associates

Greetings and Happy New Year to our American cousins from the Paulist Associates of Toronto. We wish everyone a year full of good health, prosperity, joy and prayer. In June, the St. Peter’s Community bid farewell to the Paulist Fathers, who served for 102 years in Canada. It was sad to see our beloved Paulists leave; however the Pastoral team of Fr. Tom Gibbons, Fr. Mike Kallock and Fr. Jim Haley prepared the community with prayer, guidance and counsel in the transition of St. Peter’s church pastoral staff to the Archdiocese of Toronto. On July 1st we welcomed Rev. Michael McGourty as Pastor and Rev. Yaw Acheampong as Associate Pastor. They continue to build upon the pastoral work of the Paulists and we look forward to working with them for many years to come. The Paulist Associates continue to be active parishioners at St. Peter’s church. We are lectors, Eucharistic ministers and members of the Pastoral Council. We are steadfast in our parish’s commitment to social justice by volunteering at the parish’s winter welcome table, which provides dinner once a week to the low income and marginalized residents of our neighbourhood. Members of the Associates are also on the parish committee to resettle an Iraqi Christian refugee family. Our 2016 Fall Fair continued on the success that was established by the Paulist Fathers and a group of young adults will try to continue offering Courtyard Movie Nights during the summer months. This movie series was a unique and successful outreach program established by Father Tom Gibbons during his assignment in Toronto. In other news, we are very proud of Paulist Associate John Bertolo who was accepted into the aspirant year of the Permanent Diaconate. The Toronto Paulist Associates and the community of St. Peter’s Church support John and his family in his spiritual journey. We were very pleased to welcome back Fr. John Duffy as he returned to Toronto to participate at a wedding that took place at St. Peter’s on December 12th. Though St. Peter’s Church is no longer a Paulist Foundation, we as a group decided that we would continue as the only Paulist Associate group outside of the United States. Our goal is to stay connected to Paulist community and we welcome continued visits and communications from other Associates Groups.  

Proposed Program for January

(This is a suggested format; each group may select another outline or topic.) Theme: Renewal External Missions of the Paulist Community The Paulist Vocation Ch. 16, p. 145 – 147. The reason for new religious communities and the attitude of the Paulists with reference to the needs of the age. The Holy Spirit is preparing the Church for an increased infusion of Himself in the hearts of the faithful. This increased action of the Holy Spirit will renew the whole face of the earth, in religion and in society. Souls will be inspired by Him to assist in bringing about this end. The question is, how shall such souls co-operate with Him in preparation for this extraordinary outpouring of divine grace? The law of all extensive and effectual work is that of association. The inspiration and desire and strength to co-operate and associate in facilitating this preparation for the Holy Spirit must come to each soul from the Holy Spirit Himself. What will be the nature of this association and the special character of its work? The end to be had in view will be to set on foot a means of co-operation with the Church in the conquest of the whole world to Christ, the renewal of the apostolic spirit and life. For unity, activity and the choice of means, reliance should be had upon the bond of charity in the Holy Spirit, and upon His inspirations. The central truth to actuate the members should be the Kingdom of Heaven within the soul, which should be made the burden of all sermons, explaining how it is to be gained now. Men will be called for who have that universal synthesis of truth which will solve the problems, eliminate the antagonisms and meet the great needs of the age; men who will defend and uphold the Church against the attacks which threaten her destruction, with weapons suitable to the times; men who will turn all the genuine aspirations of the age, in science, in socialism, in politics, in Spiritism, in religion, which are now perverted against the Church, into means of her defense and universal triumph. If it be asked, therefore, in what way the cooperation with the new phase of the Church in the increase of intensity and expansion of her divine life in the souls of men is to be instituted, the answer is as follows: by a movement springing from the synthesis of the most exalted faith with all the good and true in the elements now place in antagonism to the Church, thus eliminating antagonisms and vacating controversies. Discussion Questions 1. How much do we really trust in God and give total surrender to His will? 2. What are the “elements now in place in antagonism to the Church”? What are some of the elements that are “good and true” in these ideas and movements, and how can they contribute to the renewal of the Church? 3. How can association with other faith groups bring renewal to our Church or renewal to our world? 4. How does the Holy Spirit work in other faith groups, and in the work of ecumenism and interfaith relations today?  

Upcoming Events

Regional Retreat in Kalamazoo, MI: Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1, 2016 Regional Retreat in Malibu, CA: Friday, June 3 to Sunday, June 5, 2016  

Pope Francis Video Star

by Frank Desiderio, CSP, Director of Paulist Associates A rabbi, a priest and an imam walk into a bar. The bartender says, “What is this, a joke.” That’s an old joke and I thought of it when I saw a recent video of Pope Francis on the internet. You may have seen it. The one-and-a-half-minute video features Pope Francis and a Buddhist leader, imam, rabbi and priest. In this video, which went viral on the internet, Pope Francis asks for our prayer for interfaith dialog. The video is just in time for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is traditionally observed during the octave prior to the feast of the conversion of St. Paul, so from January 18th to the 25th. In this video, the Holy Father goes beyond ecumenism (dialog among Christians) to call for dialog among all believers. The video, produced by Rome Reports, shows Pope Francis speaking to the camera. Intercut with his address is video of him with religious leaders of different faiths. Also in the video, are a woman Buddhist leader, a rabbi, an imam and a Catholic priest each expressing their belief in the God of their understanding but, also, each saying they believe in love. The video ends with an appeal by the Holy Father for religious dialog that bears fruit in justice and peace. What impressed me, as a documentarian, is the quality of the production. What impressed me, as a Paulist, is the strong appeal for ecumenical and interfaith understanding. It is quite usual for materials to come from the Church to help congregations plan prayer services for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. However, this year Pope Francis has taken a personal interest and produced something that is being shared not just among the faithful, who care about such things, but all kinds of people are sharing this video on social media. Servant of God Isaac T. Hecker, CSP wanted to build bridges of understanding. His desire was to connect people with God as he felt connected to God. He wanted to connect his Protestant American brothers and sisters with the Catholic Church in America and introduce Catholics in Europe to Catholics in America.  


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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

Paul Robichaud, CSP

Paulist Associate 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.