The Associates World: July 2018

July 9, 2018

Issue No. 31, July 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

Paulist Deacon Affiliate Program

Deacon Billy Atkins(left) and Deacon Denis Dolan (right)
Deacon Billy Atkins (left) and Deacon Denis Dolan (right)

PAULIST DEACON AFFILIATES arose as a response to permanent deacons who felt that the usual ministerial profile for deacons was too limited — to just their parishes for the most part. They wanted to know if they could get a broader mission perspective, particularly in the areas that Paulists emphasize. As a result, the 2014 General Assembly urged that the idea be explored and developed. Two years later, the Paulists were ready to float the basic idea of Deacon Affiliates, after consultation with canon lawyers. Paulist Deacon Affiliates are deacons who remain incardinated in their own dioceses, so they do not formally become members of the Society. In conjunction with their bishops, they agree to use a substantial portion of their ministry time (time in addition to that spent on the altar) to concentrate on Paulist mission objectives, whether that be preaching missions, reconciling people who are not active in their practice, developing ecumenical exchange, innovating to attract people to the Catholic Church, specializing in communications or social media to reach out, etc.deacon2

They make a promise for one year, renewable each year. Twice a year, they report Fr. Frank DeSiano, on their mission ministry and they connect occasionally through video conferencing. We congratulate two long-time friends of the Paulists who made their promise on June 9, 2018.

Denis Dolan has been a deacon of the diocese of Norwich, CT for 25 years. He worked in teaching, writing, and evangelization and was the senior Catholic Chaplain in the Department of Corrections of the State of CT. Half of his career was spent teaching High School religion and the other half was in Corrections as a Chaplain (surprisingly similar!). He is a Member of Maryknoll Deacon Mission Partners. He recently retired and is looking forward to this new chapter. He recalls that, “When I was younger I was discerning a vocation to the priesthood and looked into the Paulists.” He has been a friend of Father Hecker’s since 1972. He has studied Hecker’s writings, “all my life and I draw my spirituality from him. I believe I have read pretty much everything ever written about him or the Paulists.” He has been married to Deborah for 42 years (“She’s a saint.) and they have 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren.

Deacon Dolan says he hopes, “that Deacon Affiliates will help spread Hecker’s charism to the wider church. Further, I hope it will encourage Paulist ministry and way of proceeding in the American church. I think their approach is desperately needed and I’m very excited to have a small part in it going forward.”

Deacon Billy Atkins(left) and Deacon Denis Dolan (right)

Billy Atkins is a deacon in the Diocese of Austin assigned to St. Austin Catholic Parish. Billy was ordained to the permanent diaconate in February 2010. At St. Austin Billy is active in a number of ministries, including RCIA, Knights of Columbus, the Pastoral Council, and the usual weddings, baptisms, and funerals. Billy is also active at the Diocesan level, having just ended two terms of service on the Deacon Advisory Committee. He is now serving on the Deacon Admissions and Scrutinies Committee. Billy also joins with other deacons in the Central Austin Deanery in provided Communion Services to area retirement communities. As a convert to Catholicism himself, Billy appreciates Isaac Hecker and the other founding Paulist Fathers. Prior to being assigned to St. Austin (a Paulist parish since 1908) Billy knew very little about the Paulist Fathers. Since coming to St. Austin Billy has had to opportunity learn about Hecker, the Paulist Fathers mission and he reports that he’s even learned to enjoy the ‘unique’ and ‘individual’ nature of each Paulist Father!

Billy is looking forward to the opportunity to serve as a Paulist Deacon Affiliate and he has his fingers crossed that the Holy Spirit will inspire some ways for Affiliates and Associates to work together in spreading the good works of the Paulist Fathers. Billy’s contends his real claim to fame is that he convinced Myra Leo to marry him in 2002

Message from Fr. Tom Kane, CSP

Dear Friends:

As I write, I am en route to London to begin the English pilgrimage. The long flight has given me an opportunity to reflect on Singapore, the ministry there, and the impact of the Paulist vision. This week I joined the Chancellor, many priests of the diocese, lay ministerial leaders, and many returnees themselves to celebrate “Grace and Gratitude,” commemorating ten years of reconciliation ministry through Landings. Over 400 men and women are now active in the Singaporean Church. The leadership Is now extending this outreach to Malaysia and to a Redemptorist parish, where the community gathers in Bangkok.

The driving force behind this foundational ministry has been a layman, Tony See, a Singaporean visitor to America, who happened upon Old St. Mary’s in California where he read about the Paulists and Landings in the parish bulletin, and was on fire to bring this ministry of reconciliation to his homeland. The Spirit truly moves in remarkable ways as Tony is “always returning!” The history of Landings and its timeline highlight the initial and persistent ministry of JAC Campbell and the compassionate and gentle presence of Jim Moran. In line with advancing our reconciliation efforts, we launch Landings2 this week to offer a place and a process, where communities can deepen their spiritual roots and develop as true Disciples in Mission.

Throughout the week, It became clear to me that our Paulist mission and outreach extends far beyond any individual or national effort. The unique Paulist stamp and pastoral approach has left an indelible mark on this ministry. Our influence truly extends to the World Church. We are not merely celebrating 10 years in a foreign land, but sharing in a part of this great work, aware of the influence of our community history and the pastoral vision we all share. Recognizing the work of the Holy Spirit, St. Paul, and Isaac Hecker, we truly are “Graced …. and We Give Thanks.”


Upcoming Paulist Pilgrimages


The Footsteps of Jesus: The Holy Land – March 30-April 10, 2019 For 12 days, join Paulist Fathers Thomas A. Kane and Bruce Nieli on an unforgettable pilgrimage to Israel and the Holy Land. Registration and pricing available June 10, 2018.


Update on the Paulist General Assembly


The 2018 Paulist General Assembly met from May 18 – 24, with the weekend off to celebrate the ordinations of Frs. Michael Hennessy and Ryan Casey. Meeting at the Redemptorists’ San Alfonso retreat center in Long Branch, NJ. This year’s Assembly was remarkably efficient, finishing our work in only three days. In the past, some General Assemblies have taken two weeks!

Some General Assemblies are tasked with examining significant community structures, clarifying our nature and purpose, or responding to external forces shaping our mission. Our Mission Direction Statement, Community Direction Statement, and Mission in an Era of Dramatic Changes are all documents from Past Assemblies that continue to resonate in Paulist life and mission.
The 2018 General Assembly was not tasked to generate such foundational documents, but rather focused on issues related to vocations, financial stability, support for our senior fathers, etc.

Some of the issues and resolutions from the Assembly included:

  1. Following up on the work of previous General Assemblies to tighten up our election procedures.
  2. Examination of the “colleges” system currently in use to elect General Assembly Delegates (this complicated issue was passed on to the General Council for further research and consideration).
  3. Examination of our current media-related ministries with an eye toward increasing efficiency and collaboration.
  4. Recognizing the leadership and priorities of Pope Francis, the Paulists reaffirm our commitment to forming communities of disciples for mission, particularly focused on those on the margins of the Church and society, and emphasizing ministries of reconciliation.


The Paulist Fathers aren’t known for an excess of external structures, rules, and policies. Still, like any religious congregation in the Catholic Church, we are governed by the Church’s Code of Canon Law, and our own Constitution (our “particular law”, in canonical parlance). Within these documents are defined the three primary governance structures of the community:

    • The Presidential Board, which includes the President, Vice President, and First Consultor. This group handles all the day-to-day administration and governance of the community.
    • The General Council, which included the PB and six additional elected consulters. This group handles the more strategic issues the community faces, as well as those governance functions requiring the board approval of the community through its elected representative; approval of Pastors, Directors, and Superiors


The General Assembly: This body includes the Presidential Board and additional representatives elected by the community based on age cohorts. The General Assembly meets every four years and sets the agenda for the community following each election of a Presidential Board. As our highest governing body, the General Assembly has authority that supersedes the General Council and Presidential Board

Proposed Program for July

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

Thanks to Fr. Joe Scott, CSP for preparing this program. He is a member of the Paulist Associates Board..

Theme: Blessed St. John Henry Newman, A Patron Saint of the Paulist Fathers

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

Reading (in advance of the meeting)
When Fr. Hecker died on December 22, 1988, one who took notice was John Henry Newman. From across the sea Newman observed that he had always thought he and Hecker enjoyed “a sort of unity in our lives” and had “begun a work of the same kind.”
In 1858 (the year Hecker and his four companions founded the Paulist Fathers), Newman sought to found a branch house of his Oratory at Oxford University. He met with fierce opposition among the Catholic hierarchy. They feared that a Catholic home at Oxford would attract students who would otherwise attend the newly forming Catholic Universities. Newman had preached as an Anglican pastor for many years to the Oxford students who attended St. Mary’s Church, and he saw the importance of a similar Catholic presence at this great University.

As it turned out Catholics began attending Oxford in the 1860’s (They were unwelcome before this!) and a club for Catholic students soon formed. In 1888 the club was renamed the Oxford University Newman Society in recognition of Newman’s dream. The Oxford branch of the Oratory Newman had envisioned was founded in 1993, slightly over one hundred years after his death.
“A work of the same kind” in the United States the first meeting place for Catholic college students was called the Melvin Club, named in 1883 for the woman who provided Catholic students at the University of Wisconsin a place to meet. With due apologies to Mrs. Melvin, when Paulist Father Thomas Verner Moore was asked to minister to students at the University of California at Berkeley (1907) and Paulist Father John Marks Handly was sent the University of Texas in Austin (1908) these men chose Newman as their patron. Soon there sprang up Newman Clubs, Newman Halls, Newman Centers, and a Newman Society. By the 1950s, the English cardinal’s name was so identified with campus ministry in the United States that it was known as the Newman Apostolate.
“A sort of unity in our lives” — Fr. Isaac Hecker wanted to convert American to the Catholic beliefs that had won his heart. Hecker enjoyed lecturing in opera houses where Protestant Americans might gather. But he also realized the profound importance of the printed word in reaching out beyond the vestibules of the Catholic Church. Hecker was the author of three books and the editor and publisher for many years of the first national Catholic magazine.

Newman, too, was a man of the printed word. Much like Abraham Lincoln, Newman avoided rhetorical flourishes and sentimentality in favor of prose that was intelligent, elegant and lucid. Whenever we sing the hymn “Lead Kindly Light” or listen to Edward Elgar’s “The Dream of Gerontius” we are in the presence of Newman’s literary powers. Some consider James Joyce the greatest 20th century craftsman of the English language. Yet Joyce (who spent his entire adult life fighting against and drawing inspiration from his Irish Catholic upbringing) wrote of Newman that “nobody has ever written English prose that can be compared to that of a tiresome footling little Anglican parson who afterwards became a prince of the only true Church.”

Newman did not convert England to the Catholic faith, but he did something almost as remarkable. He won from the people of England a grudging but genuine respect for his own journey of faith, which led in time to a grudging but genuine respect for English Catholics. He did this through the power of his pen, especially in Apologia Pro Vita Sua published in 1865.

In Newman’s Anglican youth Catholicism was universally scorned as a despicable cult. England’s most boisterous holidays celebrated the nation defeating Catholics at home and abroad. Bishops and priests were not allowed to touch their feet on English soil. When Newman was received into the Catholic Church in 1845 at the hands of an Italian Passionist, he was pilloried as the most shameful of traitors. He lost every one of his Anglican friends, an agony for someone so devoted to his human relationships.
Yet when John Henry Newman died in 1890 his obituary in the prestigious London Times was the length of a King’s. Twelve years previous to his death, citizens of England, great and small, Anglican and Catholic, had rejoiced when Pope Leo XIII honored Newman with a cardinal’s red hat. The Catholic hierarchy had long since been re-established in England. And of course, Catholic students were studying and meeting to share their faith at Oxford University.
Someday, I hope, the Paulists will minister at a St. John Henry Newman University Parish. Until then we can be proud that he is our newest patron!

Conversation Catalyst

  • Cardinal Newman cherished his friends, including Fr. Hecker, as gifts from God. In what way have my own friends helped me grow closer to God?
  • Newman provides a model of patience and resilience in the face of trials and disappointments. What has been a disappointment in my life and what have I learned from encountering it?
  • Newman used his great talent as a writer to ease the fears of the English people about Catholics. What are my talents and how do I put them to good use?


Closing Prayer

from the Paulist Prayer Book, page 404
“May the Lord support us
all the day long
till the shadows lengthen
and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed
and the fever of life is o’er,
and our work is done!
Then in his mercy
may he give us a safe lodging
and a holy rest
and peace at last!”

Calendar of Events
  • July 23-27: Campus Minister’s Summit, Lake George
  • August 5: 50th Jubilee Mass for Ken McGuire, Lake George
  • August 10-12: Paulist Vocation Plunge, Lake George (TELL THE WORLD! SEND SOME GOOD CANDIDATES!)
  • August 25: Novice Sign In, St. Joseph’s Seminary, Washington, DC
  • August 31: First Promises/Renewal of Promises/Final Promises, St. Joseph’s Seminary, Washington DC
  • September 1: Diaconate Ordination of Evan Cummings, Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington DC
  • September 2: Dedication & Blessing of the renovation of St. Austin’s Church, Austin, TX
  • October 16-18: Pastors/Superiors/Directors Meeting, Washington Retreat House, Washington DC


Consider submitting an article for inclusion in an upcoming issue of The Associates World

The Associates World welcomes submissions of articles or information about upcoming events. These should be sent as Microsoft Word documents and attached to an email to Except for reporting on late-month events, we would appreciate receiving submissions by the 20th of the month before the publication date. Please contact editors Kathleen Lossau ( or Denis Hurley ( with questions or article proposals.

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.