January 9, 2017
Issue No. 15, January 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.
- About the Paulist Associates in Knoxville, TN
- Epiphany Sermon
- Surprise! Resonating with Hecker Spirituality
- The Holy Souls in Purgatory
- A Sermon on Christmas Day, 1870 by Servant of God, Isaac Thomas Hecker
- Practices and Devotions: Remembering the Holy Souls All Year Long
- Rejoining the Paulist Associates Board
- Thanks to Fr. Paul Robichaud
- Updating Our Database
- Save the Date
- Isaac Says
- Proposed Program for Feburary
- Fr. Bruce Nieli, CSP Visits with the Associates in Toronto
- Prayer for the Intercession of Father Isaac T. Hecker
- In Memoriam – Fr. Dave O’Brien, CSP
- Call for Articles, Photos, and Proposed Programs
- Fr. Hecker Abstracts
The Paulist Associates group in Knoxville has been (and is) active since September, 2001 when nine parishioners from Immaculate Conception and Blessed John XXIII at the University of Tennessee joined together to form a chapter under the leadership of Fr. Jim Haley, CSP and Fr. Rick Walsh, CSP. Over the years, several different priests have served as our liaisons while some of our members have moved out of state, have passed away, or left for other parishes.
Fr. Rich Andre, CSP became our liaison in 2013 and brought such energy to our group that we were able to welcome nine new members in 2014. One of our new members actually comes from another parish. Although Sheila is a member of All Saints, she does have a history with both Immaculate Conception and Saint John XXIII. Currently we have seventeen active members with one person in formation.
Now that Fr. Rich has moved on to Austin, we welcome Fr. Jim Haley again as liaison for our chapter (since he is now retired to Knoxville.) It is a joy to have him back with us!
We meet monthly, except during the summer. We always begin our meetings with a short social with snacks and fellowship before we open with a prayer or entire prayer service from the Paulist Prayer Book. Sometimes we have invited guest speakers from the community to touch on topics relevant to one of the Paulist charisms: evangelization, ecumenism, reconciliation, and spirituality. We have spent some evenings discussing the Paulist patron saints or delving into one of Fr. Hecker’s reflections or other writings. Praying together, dialoging, sharing the charisms of the Paulist have helped all of us to grow spiritually.
Each year we have also been fortunate to have one of the Paulist Fathers visit us and share our annual retreat, often held in February, near the feast day of St. Paul. Last year, Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP talked with us about ecumenism. We hosted a spaghetti dinner and invited members of other faiths. It was a spiritually refreshing evening for all of us and opened up dialogue with some of the other faiths in our community.
Sermon XVII from Five-Minute Sermons for Low Masses on All Sundays of the Year, Volume 1, pp. 68ff
And opening their treasures, they offered him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. – St. Matt. ii, 11
Today, my brethren, is a great day for us. It is, in one way, a greater day then Christmas itself; a day, that is, in which we have more cause for rejoicing than we had even then. For what was it which we celebrated then and what is it which we are celebrating now? Then it was the birth of our Lord into this world, and it was indeed a thing which we had cause to rejoice over; but today it is something even more serious for us than that. It is not only that he was born for us Gentiles — to save us as well as his own chosen people the Jews. The three wise men whom that wonderful star led to his crib were not of that people, but Gentiles like ourselves; and the star which appeared to them signified the appearance to them and to us the true Light which was thereafter to enlighten a more wonderful way than before not only a single nation but every man coming into this world. Appearance or manifestation is what the Greek word “epiphany” means.
It was natural, then, that they should offer gifts to their newly-born Saviour, for they could not but do so in acknowledgement of the great gift which he has given to them. But let us see what was the meaning of the gifts which they did offer — of these gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
They may be, and have been, interpreted in a great many different ways, all of which may well be true. It is commonly said that the wise men offered gold to our Lord because he is the King of heaven and earth ; frankincense, because he is Almighty God ; and myrrh, because he is also man, and was to suffer death for the sins of the world myrrh being used to embalm the dead, and hence being a symbol of death. But there is another signification of these gifts which is, perhaps, more practical for us, because it suggests more directly the three gifts which each one of us must offer to him who is our Saviour as well as theirs, if we would partake of the salvation which he came to bring to us.
These three gifts are, then, understood by some to represent the three duties of almsgiving, prayer, and fasting, by which we are redeemed from the tyranny of the world, the devil, and the flesh. These last three are the great enemies of our salvation, and they must be overcome if we are to be saved. The love of the world, and of the treasures which it offers us, can only be destroyed by sacrificing those treasures for the sake of God, of his church, and of his poor ; the power of the devil, who sets himself up as the god whom we are to serve and obey, can only be resisted by constant prayer, by which we draw near to the true God, and devote ourselves over and over again to his service ; and the control of the flesh, with its base and degrading appetites, over our immortal souls can only be shaken off by fasting that is, by mortification of various kinds, by persistently refusing to our bodies all dangerous and sinful indulgences, and by sometimes depriving them of pleasures which are innocent in themselves.
These three duties are practised in their perfection by those whom God calls to the religious life by the three vows of poverty, obedience, and chastity. By the vow of poverty the religious sacrifices at once the goods of this world ; by that of obedience he frees himself from the tyranny of the devil, subjecting himself entirely to God, whom his superiors represent ; by that of chastity he renounces sensual plea sure. But it is not religious alone who are called on to make these three gifts. The same obligation, in its due measure, rests upon each of you. Almsgiving, prayer, and mortification are duties for all Christians. It is hard to see how any one can be saved who gives no more to God and the poor than what is extorted from him, as it were, by force ; who merely says prayers now and then because he is afraid to give up the practice, but who seldom or never really prays ; and who indulges without scruple in everything which his flesh desires, intending to stop short of nothing but mortal sin.
by Peter Kelley, Associate from Boston
I don’t know about you, but I can be a poster child for the ‘willing spirit/weak flesh’ personality type. It’s as if my brain comes provided with a built-in “forgetter”, such that I find, left to my own devices, the sincere beneficial resolutions I make often wind-up with me, on the couch, watching a Simpsons marathon (or a Wagner opera), languidly thinking: “Wasn’t I going to …” (Take your pick: write those thank-you notes; clean out the gardening shed; go to the Thai meditation center across town). It is, however, this quirk in my personality that initially led me to begin discernment on becoming a Paulist Associate. That is because, to me, with that intent(!) to attend two weekend retreats annually, the Associates seemed, at first blush, to be an as-good or better means of maintaining a consistent reflection/prayer practice. I think that I thought that the Associates were akin to some sort of charismatic prayer group, with such prayers directed at Isaac Hecker.
So, I began (and completed!) formation. During that process, something interesting started to happen. To pull back a little: my husband, Craig, and I are pretty typical greater Bostonians—he from the northern suburbs originally, I from the southern. In other words, a mixed marriage, each of us acting like a stranger in a strange land when traveling to the other’s familiar and childhood haunts, exemplifying that parochialism endemic to Boston. I, for my part, am mainly of Irish national origin and very Catholic (one uncle is a former African missionary with the Brothers of the Holy Cross; one aunt is a full-time lay member of Opus Dei, who two assignments ago was the project manager for their headquarters at Murray Hill in Manhattan), with a tendency towards pantheism, clannishness, persecution complexes, and Jansenism. I grew up with a vague yet pervasive suspicion towards all things WASPy and wary of anything from, about, or like the John Birch Society. (Regrettably, this election cycle has revived that childhood fear.) My suspicions and foreboding are not misplaced — they are just focused about 150 years too late, given my ancestors’ treatment by those patricians of English ancestry in the late nineteenth century.
Yet, paradoxically, I found myself as an adult choosing law as a profession. A profession in which I worked for (and against) those very WASPs, some descended from the Mayflower, others not. In my chosen profession, I would actively engage with those branches of government that form our representative democracy and those administrative agencies that comprise its vast bureaucracy (one of which currently employs me). I became, in short, very much an “insider”, suspended in equilibrium with that outsider status formed and maintained by my family and its legends and fables.
So, as I continued in my formation process, I found, to my surprise, that the philosophy of Isaac Hecker on the compatibility, nay, the superiority of the American political and social system for the maintenance and spread of Catholicism struck a chord in me, profoundly. I find, moreover, that over time, I do not just appreciate at a surface level the reconciliation of these two seemingly irreconcilable and divergent systems: government and the church; the sacred and the profane. Rather, I have come to see how, at a profound level, that the church’s view of the person, with its attributes, deficits, and potentiality is the same as the inalienable rights of the citizen to existence, freedom, and seeking the greater good. As a bonus, given that the church, in its initial confusion, condemned this as the heresy of ‘Americanism’ in its condemnation of all things modern, my inner rebel/outsider is satiated!
Yet, the final step for me, in my understanding of and appreciation for Hecker’s theology, is really an outgrowth of the dignity of the person analysis, noted above, but for me, this grew out of my reflection on significant events in my lifetime and how I experienced the divine in that timeline. I discovered that throughout my life, I always had the ‘right-sized God’, dependent upon the relationship I was capable of at any given time. Thus, I have at varying times experienced a benign but distant watchmaker, at other times a stern parent-like disciplinarian, or a friendly companion, whose perfectionism ultimately proved annoying and distancing. Concomitantly, I was growing in understanding of being a child of God, of being seen uniquely, and having been loved unconditionally in the literal not human aspirational sense of that term. These became the necessary foment to my experience and understanding of the indwelling of the spirit in me and in us all. As you can see, in my faith journey towards becoming a Paulist Associate, I have come a long way from the discipline and routine of a monthly prayer group!
by Filomena Mederios Melo, Associate from Toronto
When someone we love passes away, we mourn their loss, and usually, if we’re familiar and have been brought up in the practice, will offer the Holy Mass for them, on their birthdays, memorial days and/or during the month of November, when the Church honours them, or as often as we can, as my mother does, every day.
Unfortunately, not all souls are remembered by their family and friends, so their stay in Purgatory, may be longer than is necessary, if only they had people on earth to make and offer alms, prayers and sacrifices on their behalf.
I’ve attached an excerpt from a book by Susan Tassone (below), which provides some terrific insight into the plight of the Holy Souls and what we can do, as good Catholics to help ease their great suffering. After all, don’t we want the same for ourselves when we leave this earth.
Also, I would highly recommend reading the Diary of St. Faustina, who promoted Divine Mercy, as requested by Jesus, himself. She details passages on purgatory, and here’s one such entry, but please feel free to visit this link for extended reading, as I’m sure you’ll be amazed.
“One night, a sister who had died two months previously came to me. She was a sister of the first choir. I saw her in a terrible condition, all in flames with her face painfully distorted. This lasted only a short time, and then she disappeared. A shudder went through my soul because I did not know whether she was suffering in purgatory or in hell. Nevertheless, I redoubled my prayers for her. The next night she came again, but I saw her in an even more horrible state, in the midst of flames which were even more intense, and despair was written all over her face. I was astonished to see her in a worse condition after the prayers I had offered for her, and I asked, “Haven’t my prayers helped you?” She answered that my prayers had not helped her and that nothing would help her. I said to her, “And the prayers which the whole community has offered for you, have they not been any help to you?” She said no, that these prayers had helped some other souls. I replied, “If my prayers are not helping you, Sister, please stop coming to me.” She disappeared at once. Despite this, I kept on praying.
After some time she came back again to me during the night, but already her appearance had changed. There were no longer any flames, as there had been before, and her face was radiant, her eyes beaming with joy. She told me that I had a true love for my neighbor and that many other souls had profited from my prayers. She urged me not to cease praying for the souls in purgatory, and she added that she herself would not remain there much longer. How astounding are the decrees of God! (Diary, 58)
Excerpted from Praying with the Saints for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by Susan Tassone
To order, call 1-800-462-7426 and ask for product code B6-HSPBK. The price is $9.95 plus shipping and handling.
The souls in purgatory are silent voices that beg and implore our help. They suffer day and night 24/7, 365 days a year, without any relief. They are forever crying out to the living, “Have mercy on us, for we are lonely and poor.”
We urgently need “Apostles of Purgatory” or, if you will, “Purgatory Busters” to speak of them, pray for them, and plead their cause. Be their liberators! We have a unique opportunity to be their voices and echo their cries. If we could see the power of our sacrifices and the Masses offered for the Holy Souls, we would devote ourselves with such earnestness that the whole world would raise their eyes and take notice and would believe.
What have we learned from the saints? We know there is a profound communion between the living and the dead. We know there are no borders between us and those who have gone before us. We know the power and great efficacy of our intercessory prayers. We know the path. Are we ready to begin the journey? The saints’ journeys are tied together to assist us with a devotion full of fervor and zeal for the Holy Souls in Purgatory — a fervor to be passed on to all future generations, to fulfill our duty as Christians, to honor the memory of the dead, to offer prayers and suffrages for them, and to become holy as the saints are holy.
Special devotional prayers and practices for the various seasons of the year will give you the opportunity to imitate the saints and the charity of God. Reflecting on the deceased every day as a perpetual remembrance brings relief for those beloved souls in purgatory. The fruit of purgatory is purification. The remembrance of purgatorial souls will spur us to avoid sin at all costs; and we will bring glory to God, for heaven will be opened to a multitude of souls.
So it is from us alone that the Holy Souls in Purgatory expect relief, help, and the termination of their sufferings. We are their only resource. We alone are their deliverers, for we alone can suffer with merit and release them. Heaven encourages them; we deliver them.
Our purgatory mission has just begun. The great Pope John Paul II emphasized that the laity will be “missionaries” because contemporary man hears witnesses more easily than teachers. He exclaimed, “You will be able to set the world on fire! The hour of the laity has struck!” (Nov. 26, 2000, Jubilee of the Apostolate of the Laity).
Choose a number of prayers and devotions, Time is of the essence. Use them.
- Mark your calendar throughout the year for special dates as a reminder to pray for your dearly departed loved ones.
- Offer Masses year-round for living and deceased family members and friends.
- Create a family tree and offer Gregorian Masses (30 Masses for a departed soul) for your parents, grandparents, etc., to the fourth generation. This is very potent and brings many graces.
- Pray for 15 minutes before and after Mass in thanksgiving to Jesus and for all your ancestors who have gone before you. We would not be here if it were not for the sacrifices they made for us.
- Fast on Fridays in honor of our Lord’s Passion. Implement various kinds of fasting such as “fasting” from gossiping, giving in to idle curiosity, complaining, criticizing, watching TV, drinking alcohol, smoking, or other similar activities.
- Offer a gift of your indulgence for the Holy Souls at Divine Mercy Sunday (Second Sunday of Easter). Become a “Divine Mercy Apostle” by distributing materials inviting all to take advantage of the extraordinary Divine Mercy graces.
Pray The Divine Mercy Novena (especially the one beginning on Good Friday) and the Chaplet of Mercy daily.
- At weddings, include your deceased loved ones at the petitions of the Mass.
- Plant a “prayer garden” in your yard in remembrance of the Holy Souls.
- Recite Psalm 130, the official prayer of the Church for the Holy Souls.
- In May when praying the Rosary, add an extra decade for the Holy Souls. (Saint Bernadette encouraged this!)
- Go on your own “purgatory pilgrimage” by visiting local parishes and designated shrines within your diocese. At each, pray for the Holy Souls.
- Take a “prayer stroll” through your local cemetery to pray for all those buried there. Bring holy water to sprinkle on the graves. (It is one of the first sacramentals of the Church. Holy Water refreshes the Holy Souls.)
- Visit the graves of your loved ones and clean sites in a spirit of prayer and penance.
- Pray with your rosary: Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.)
- Pray the Seven Penitential Psalms (psalms that express sorrow for one’s sins: 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143).
- An indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who devoutly visit a cemetery and pray, even if only mentally, for the dead. This indulgence is applicable only to the souls in purgatory. This indulgence is a plenary one from Nov. 1 through Nov. 8 and can be gained on each one of these days.
- Double up on prayers and sacrifices for departed loved ones and friends during this powerful season of the dead (the November remembrance).
- Visit cemeteries with your children. Teach youth to pray the Eternal Rest Prayer. Again, sprinkle holy water on the graves in the cemetery.
- Light blessed candles. The burning of a candle is a sign of our prayer, a bright, silent intercessor for the Holy Souls.
by Fr. Joe Scott, CSP
I was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1946 and baptized shortly after by Paulist Father Joe Quinn at St. Anne’s Church. I moved with my family to Los Angeles when I was ten years old. I became re-acquainted with the Paulists in 1962 when Fr. Ellwood Keiser led a retreat day at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks where I was then a student. I entered the minor seminary of the Paulists in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1973. Since then I have worked in parish ministry, campus ministry, formation (as assistant director of the Paulist novitiate) and spent two four year stints as an editor at Paulist Press.
I first became acquainted with the Paulist Associates at St. Paul the Apostle in New York when Fr. Mike Kallock was training the pioneer group somewhere around the beginning of the 21st century. I did one of the training presentations and enjoyed getting acquainted with the group.
When I joined the staff of the other St. Paul the Apostle church, in Los Angeles (beginning 2007), I got to know the L.A. Associates in a more committed way. I attended their monthly meetings and witnessed retreats and workshops they coordinated. They were a great group, and my contact with them became a high point of my time at St. Paul’s. Not too long after, Fr. Frank DeSiano asked me to serve on the Associates Board, and I was part of the Board which developed the Associates Handbook.
Last summer I participated with Fr. Frank Desiderio in the West Coast Retreat at the Serra Retreat House, which provided me an opportunity to meet Associates from other parts of the country. Shortly thereafter, I moved from Los Angeles to San Francisco where now serve as Associate Pastor at Old St. Mary’s Cathedral. I have been “off” the Associates Board for a few years now and am looking forward to being involved once again!
We’re grateful to Fr. Paul Robichaud for his commitment to the Paulist Associates over the years, including his time serving as a member of the Paulist Associates Board during the past two years. His contributions on the Board to the revised Paulist Associates Handbook and the formation process for new candidates added to the strength of the Associates program. In addition, we were blessed when he, with broken bone and all, helped to lead the 2015 Associates’ retreat at Lake George. (This photo is from the retreat.)
In the past, he supplied the Associates with a variety of materials to help us learn more about Fr. Hecker and the spirituality and charisms throughout their history.
We look forward to seeing him soon at Paulist events and in our own communities. Thanks!
January is a month when many of the Associates groups renew their annual promises, so it is a good time for us to update names and other important data on our current Associates. We also want to identify those individuals who are not renewing their promises.
Over the month, the Board members will be in contact with the Paulist liaisons and local lay coordinators for help in updating our database. Be assured, we will not sell or distribute your information to any outside group. Our aim is to ensure we know who the Associates are and the best ways of maintaining contact.
Diaspora Monthly Meeting via Conference Call
Sunday, January 29 at 7 pm Eastern / 6 pm Central / 5 pm Mountain / 4 pm Pacific
Fr. Frank Desiderio, CSP will facilitate this gathering for Paulist Associates who no longer live near a local group. Please contact Fr. Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of Associates who have moved and might join this group.
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.
The Spirit and Creativity
A Retreat for Paulist Associates in 2017
St. Mary’s on the Lake, Lake George, NY — Sunday, July 2 to Friday, July 7, 2017
The 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.
Led by Fr. Frank Desiderio, CSP, Fr, Tom Gibbons, CSP, Fr. Vinny McKiernan, CSP, and Fr. Frank Sabatté, CSP.
Details for registration will appear in the February issue of The Associates World.
Baltic Sea Cruise and St. Petersburg, Russia— July 21 to August 1, 2017
Join 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 paulist.org/pilgrimages. For more information contact: Thomas A. Kane, CSP at email@example.com.
To Father Hewit – Indeed I pray much for each member of the Community, and for light to guide it in the way of God. Within a short period much light has been given to me and the importance of our work, and its greatness have impressed me greatly more than ever before. Yesterday I went to the basilica of St. Paul, being the feast of his conversion, especially to invoke his aid. I felt that my visit was not in vain. Your own conversion on that day was fresh in my memory, and I forgot no one of our Community.
— from letter to Fr. Hewitt, while in Rome for Vatican Council, 1870
(This is a suggested format; each group may select another outline or topic.)
Theme: Increased Action of the Holy Spirit
Opening Prayer: The Paulist Prayer Book, select the day on which you meet
Reading (in advance of the meeting):
From The Paulist Vocation – On the Mission of New Religious Communities (1876)
For, increase the action of the Holy Spirit in each soul, develop Its Gifts, and you will sanctify each soul. Then all things will be re-created or regenerated. The whole face of the earth will be renewed. Thus the petition of Our Lord will receive a more perfect realization: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
This increased action of the Holy Spirit in the soul, and its immediate guidance by His divine Gifts, should lead them to penetrate more deeply into the essence of all religion. They should have a clearer insist and a firmer grasp of its primary truths. Their action and preaching therefore will tend to the elevation of minds, to the reconciliation of differences, and towards unity.
They will see more clearly the omnipresence of God, His essential relations with all creation as the Lifegiver, Primary Mover and Sustainer of all things, “In Him we live, and move, and are,” says St. Paul. On this basis, the rational and natural side of creation become an object of study, admiration and worship, at the same time with the supernatural side. They will esteem Science as one of the great Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and show a ready and hearty welcome to all truths and discoveries in every branch of knowledge. For all truth is divine.
They will give to the truths underlying human reason an accentuation which the one-sidedness of rationalists renders them incapable of giving. They will encourage all investigations in the natural order. The torch of the natural sciences, unfortunately snatched from the hands of the Church, will be recovered. Religion, true Religion, alone nourishes the genius of true science and art.
This increased infusion of the Holy Ghost in souls with their faithful correspondence with its inspirations, will recast all human knowledge. New tribute will then be paid to the glory of God in His creation. The greater expansion of man’s intelligence in the knowledge of God’s works will increase His praise.
- Hecker calls the Holy Spirit “the Lifegiver, Primary Mover, and Sustainer of all things.” What are the names you use when talking about the Holy Spirit? Do you use different names for the Holy Spirit in prayer?
- He states, “Religion, true Religion, alone nourishes the genius of science and art.” Where do you see this evidenced today?
- Have you had an extraordinary experience of the Holy Spirit? How would you describe it? What impact has it had in your life?
Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit by St. Alphonsus Ligouri
Holy Spirit, divine Consoler, I adore You as my true God, with God the Father and God the Son.
I adore You and unite myself to the adoration You receive from the angels and saints.
I give You my heart and I offer my ardent thanksgiving for all the grace which You never cease to bestow on me.
O Giver of all supernatural gifts, who filled the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with such immense favors, I beg You to visit me with Your grace and Your love and to grant me the gift of holy fear, so that it may act on me as a check to prevent me from falling back into my past sins, for which I beg pardon.
Grant me the gift of piety, so that I may serve You for the future with increased fervor, follow with more promptness Your holy inspirations, and observe your divine precepts with greater fidelity.
Grant me the gift of knowledge, so that I may know the things of God and, enlightened by Your holy teaching, may walk, without deviation, in the path of eternal salvation.
Grant me the gift of fortitude, so that I may overcome courageously all the assaults of the devil, and all the dangers of this world which threaten the salvation of my soul.
Grant me the gift of counsel, so that I may choose what is more conducive to my spiritual advancement and may discover the wiles and snares of the tempter.
Grant me the gift of understanding, so that I may apprehend the divine mysteries and by contemplation of heavenly things detach my thoughts and affections from the vain things of this miserable world.
Grant me the gift of wisdom, so that I may rightly direct all my actions, referring them to God as my last end; so that, having loved Him and served Him in this life, I may have the happiness of possessing Him eternally in the next.
by Heather McClory, Associate from Toronto
On Saturday, November 26th, Fr. Bruce Nieli CSP dropped in on the Toronto Associates during our regular monthly meeting. Fr. Bruce was giving a parish mission at a suburban Toronto church, and he came downtown to meet with us.
Most of us had never met him before, so he told us about his ministry to parishes around North America and his appointment by Pope Francis as a special Missionary of Mercy. Although the Year of Mercy has ended, his appointment is still in effect.
Fr. Bruce also described for us what it was like to minister at Ground Zero in the days after the 9/11 attacks.
His visit was brief, but inspiring as we discussed mercy as practiced by St. Paul and Isaac Hecker. We also prayed for the works of the Paulists.
Thank you, Fr. Bruce, for making time in your busy missionary activities to see us, and we ask God to bless you with a continuing joyful, fruitful vocation.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the web site: isaachecker.org to learn more about his life and the cause for his canonization.
On Christmas Eve, we marked the passing of Fr. Dave O’Brien, CSP into eternal life. He was 88.
The Paulist Fathers web site has a wonderful reflection on his life and ministry as well as several photos throughout the decades, including these.
In addition, you may wish to refer to the August 2016 issue of The Associates World for reminiscences of Fr. Dave and his inspiration and work helping to launch the Paulist Associates and, in particular, his work with the Associates in Columbus, OH.
When we are in contact with Paulist Associates, we often hear how grateful they are because we are again publishing a monthly newsletter. Some enjoy the articles written about their personal spirituality. Others are interested in the stories about how other Associates groups formed and the meeting structure. Still others appreciate reading Hecker quotes or the bio material from the books highlighted in “Fr. Hecker Abstracts”. Many like the photos. Several of the groups as well as some individuals who cannot make a meeting follow the “Proposed Program” for the month.
In order for The Associates World to continue to remain relevant and interesting to read, we need your help. Please consider writing an article (from 250 to 750 words in length). 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.
- a current special project by the group or your Paulist foundation related to the Paulist mission and ministries
- a book review of a recent Paulist Press publication a favorite passage from St. Paul and why
- a reflection on one of Hecker’s writings
- reflection on a Paulist ministry and your involvement
- an interview with a Paulist in senior ministry
- remembrance of the first time you met a Paulist
This list is far from exhaustive; the range of topics is vast. In addition, we are often seeking photos or artwork to include in an issue. You might also volunteer to prepare the proposed program for a monthly meeting.
We are happy to help with editing so don’t feel any pressure to submit a literary masterpiece. Also, encourage your local Paulist liaison or other Paulist Associates to write a short article if you know that they are good writers.
Please email Paula Cuozzo at email@example.com if you would to contribute to a future edition. Thanks for reading and thanks for contributing articles and other materials to The Associates World!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Isaac Hecker and His Friend
by Joseph McSorley, CSP
Originally published in 1953 as Father Hecker and His Friends, the book was re-released in 1972 with this new title. The cover of the paperback states:
The tale of ten men, from the communes of 19th century America, from its best schools, from Harvard, Annapolis, Princeton, Amherst, West Point, Notre Dame, who under a leader from New York’s lower east side, a graduate of social action and political reform movements, started a religious movement that continues to be a force today.
Like Vincent Holden, author of The Yankee Paul, McSorley wished to clear Hecker’s name of the Americanist controversy, and thus emphasized the contributions of the founding Paulists and not Hecker alone.
In addition, he wanted to advocate Hecker’s vision of the spiritual life of the Paulists and Catholicism in the United States. Hence, the book was originally intended to serve as a resource for the Paulists and the Paulist seminarians — helping them to re-energize their understanding of Hecker spirituality and their mission for evangelization in America.
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.