The Associates World: June 2017

June 5, 2017

Issue No. 19, June 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

The Associates World Is Going on Hiatus

by Fr. Frank Desiderio, CSP — National Director of the Paulist Associates

tawThe Associates World is going on summer vacation. See you in September — maybe.

The Associates World has filled a real need. It links Paulist Associates who are spread from Los Angeles to Rome. The suggested monthly format for meetings is very popular and helpful. The news about different groups is always interesting and inspiring. The insights into Paulist spirituality help us all to grow spiritually. However, as with many volunteer activities, too few do most of the work.

Our hope for this monthly newsletter is to hear from Paulist Associates about their experiences as Associates, the way they live out their promise in their daily lives, and reflections on topics related to Paulist spirituality, mission, and ministry.

The Paulist Associates Board realizes that Associates and Paulists have busy lives and make a variety of large and small contributions to the mission and ministries of the Paulists in their local communities. Thus, submitting articles, book reviews, reflections, and photos is not at the forefront of how Associates live out their promise as an Associate. However, without Associates providing us the content for The Associates World, we cannot continue to publish a monthly newsletter.

I would like to propose regional editors. A regional editor would be responsible for one article every other month. A regional editor could report on something happening in the one of the local groups, contribute to one of the regular features or send in photos. This summer the Board plans to identify individuals who would be regional editors and ask them to commit to helping The Associates World continue to be an important resource for Associates and Paulists alike.

We offer our thanks to our current editor, Paula Cuozzo. She has volunteered to continue to format the PDF version and work with the webmaster to create the online version. To date, she has done a commendable job with creating various features and preparing the newsletters for publication.

If you are willing to be a regional editor, please email me directly at

We are grateful to everyone who has made contributions to The Associates World and to all of you who read it.

Film Biography of a Spiritual Seeker

by Denis Hurley, Associate from Boston

hecker_filmPaulist Father Tom Gibbons began work on what would become, “Isaac Hecker and the Journey of Catholic America” when he was a seminarian, learning about who Paulists are and why they are who they are.

That may explain a lot about why the finished film is what it is and what its ongoing value may be.

Gibbons moved toward his 2012 ordination in a class with two other Paulist seminarians, Rene Costanza and Rich Andre, each very different from the others, each very energetic, each of whom has already made unique marks on the Paulist Community and on the places they’ve served.

Gibbons, with his filmmaker’s eye, couldn’t have helped noting, in his two classmates and the rest of the Paulists he encountered, a diversity of skills, talents, and missions, apparently coupled in each of them with a sense of common purpose that, the more you know individual Paulists, seems to have strong roots in Isaac Hecker’s life and teachings.

When you look at Paulists in light of Hecker, you sense that there is, in fact, something in him that appears to speak to and inspire each of them, both individually and as part of the collective.

It’s real and observable.

This has been especially evident in recent days as we’ve see the Facebook biographies of the Paulists celebrating anniversaries of their ordinations. How different they are, and yet how committed to a common charism.

And the portrait of Isaac Hecker captured in Gibbons’ film makes it even more obvious.

But wait …

As I thought about the film I wasn’t sure that what I was seeing wasn’t just a fanciful idealization of a group of people I truly admire, and I’m not sure I know enough Paulists well enough to make the kinds of generalizations the film seemed to inspire.

So I stopped a golf cart in the middle of the seventh fairway during our first game of the season and questioned my weekly golf partner, Paulist Fr. Bob Rivers.

His answer surprised me: He told me that what I was thinking was almost exactly what the film had evoked in him: a sense of Hecker as the source of both diversity and commonality among his brother Paulists.

So the film, detailing Hecker’s life and thought is perhaps really a film about a life that evolved into a common purpose that has played out in myriad ways through the individual commitments of the hundreds of Paulists who have come after him.

An online description of the film says this: “Isaac Hecker’s story is ultimately an American story about someone who not only spent his life trying to experience God acting in the world, but who also tried to build bridges so others could join him on that journey. No matter what one’s religious background might be, Isaac Hecker and the Journey of Catholic America is a story for all spiritual seekers about someone whose life continues to impact our society today.”

We see Hecker in the film as a seeker, a mystic, a sage, and a man of faith who burns to share it with others. We don’t see all of him, either historically or in terms of comprehending all of who he was. That would be impossible. To have read his every word and observed his every action wouldn’t make understanding him fully any more possible.

But the film does give us insight into the “who and why” of the Paulists who serve our communities.

And, perhaps more importantly, it will give a wider audience an excellent opportunity to understand the special characteristics that make a parish or campus ministry or Information Center particularly “Paulist.”

Now Available for Purchase: $11.99 at

Help Us Invite Others to Become Paulist Associates

by Paula Cuozzo — Associate from Boston

We are blessed to belong to this group called “Paulist Associates.” We make a special promise to the Paulists to promote their mission to evangelize and share with Paulists in a variety of ministries. Our lives are enriched by the sacred community of lay men and women from around the world who encourage and enliven one another in prayer and in meeting — locally and when we gather at retreats and other special events.

In our monthly gatherings, we hear from Associates about how they are attentive to the Holy Spirit, as they strive to lead faithful, faith-filled lives. These gatherings are filled with prayer and reflection on Paulist charisms, as well as how each of us lives out our faith in our daily living. We also delve into St. Paul’s theology in his letters, the legacy of Hecker’s spirituality, the history of the many wonderful works of the Paulists throughout the decades, and an expanse of topics related to the Paulist tradition.

Included in our vocation as Paulist Associates is to invite Christian women and men to consider becoming an Associate and welcome those who wish to join our ranks.

We then accompany them through the formation and discernment process, which includes listening to the formation talks on the web site. A few Associates requested that we provide them with transcripts of these talks as additional aids. However, the Board learned that there are no copies of the texts available. So, we’re soliciting assistance from the Associates to help us transcribe these talks.

The work is a bit tedious since it isn’t easy to type fast enough to keep up with the Paulist who is speaking. However, the efforts have special benefits, giving the typists the opportunity to reflect more deeply and prayerfully on one of these topics.

The Tampa Associates have prepared a transcript for two talks, and the Boston Associates are completing the work on three more. We are looking for more Associates to help with completing the work on the other four talks. You may team up with others to type up a portion of the talk and/or proofread texts for each other. Please send me an email at if you are willing to help us with this undertaking.

Many thanks to all for welcoming and encouraging others to join us in our promises.

A couple of poems to help us prepare for
The Spirit and Creativity: A Retreat for Paulist Associates July 2 to 7, 2017
parasailingParasailing at Lake George

by Sandy Murry — Associate from Columbus

Supported by Ruah
Jesus and I glide along
Over the lake and mountains.
We soar
And Abba is driving the boat!

Lake George

by Frank Desiderio. CSP

Every Paulist has looked across Lake George at a sunset,
seen the jewel-rubbed heavens above the Adirondacks,
the tongues of fire glinting off the slate colored lake.
Each man has done his version of vespers
with a breviary, fishing rod or drink.

lake_georgeWhen the fireflies replace the sunset,
each one has walked up from the boat dock
or gone from the porch to the common room
of the original house to see the shrine, the fireplace
large enough to hold the gaze of succeeding generations.

Each man has ascended the old stairs, each step an edge of memory;
heard in the oratory of the wood, a century and a half of living history.

A Paulist Associate’s Prayer

by Don Sommese — Associate from New Hampshire (Boston Group)

Note: Don composed this prayer for the Paulists, Associates, and their mission and ministries. Please feel free to submit your prayers for others to join with you in prayer.

Dear Father,

St. Peter's in Toronto
St. Peter’s in Toronto

I pray for the Paulists — deacons, priests, and Associates. Centers of information and education — parishes, centers, and churches. I pray for those communities affected by the withdrawal from a center or a parish, especially our friends in Toronto, Portland, and Tucson (La Jolla and Minneapolis). May new hope be established, new structures conceived … grafted into the inner charism of those local communities. I pray for our friends in Toronto, F., H., M., and A. California: L., P., and K., and all the communicants of St. Paul the Apostle church in LA.

L. and his cohort in Tucson, C. in Grand Rapids, the Boston Paulists, T. and his wife in Ohio, Paulists in (various states) …

I pray for institutes of ecumenical research, retreat centers, and prayer centers: the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, the Boston Paulist Center, Transformations in Kalamazoo, Serra Retreat Center in Malibu, and St. Mary’s on the Lake. I pray that they may continue to be available to all interested parties for prayer, study, and retreat. I pray for the caretakers of the land at St. Mary’s (Lake George), Ethan and his cohorts. May new opportunities arise in their midst where they may once again serve the Paulist community in love and service.

paulist_pressI pray that the works of the Paulists, as promulgated through various means, including the printing press (Paulist Press), television and film (Paulist Productions), internet and radio (Busted Halo) — that these works of ecumenism, reconciliation, evangelization, and interfaith relations may continue to serve the hearts of men and women and motivate all to greater works than these as proclaimed by our Master.

pemI pray for Chris Donahue of Paulist Productions, Father Mark-David, Paulist Press, A.S. in Advancement, and Father Dwyer of Busted Halo. I pray for their well-being and their families. Pray for the Office of Mission Advancement, Father Ardis and his team. For a sound capital structure, built on a solid, Paulist foundation, for present and future growth of the movement. I pray for the success of the five-year Capital Campaign, the work of Mary Pat and her associates. I pray also for the well-being of the former employees in the Office of Advancement in Washington, D.C.

I also pray for the Paulist Evangelization Ministries, Father DeSiano and his staff, including L.W. I pray especially for those programs that serve men and women behind prison walls.

servant_of_god_ithI pray for the priests of the movement, and modest growth therein…locally, Father Mike…..Father Rick. Nationally, Father Frank, and his fine work in forgiveness retreats, and parish missions, Father Eric and all leaders of the Paulists, for their health and well-being and inspiring message. For retired priests, Father Ken, Father Stransky … for the priests in residence in NYC and Boston — their health and well-being, and inspired minds.

I pray for the new national Board, the newsletter committee headed by P.C., and for the cause of sainthood of Father Isaac Hecker.


Excerpt from “The Holy Ghost, the Comforter” for the Feast of Pentecost in Sermons by the Fathers of the Congregation of St. Paul the Apostle, New York, Volume VI, 1871

(No preacher is identified.)

John 14:16: I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever.

Today is the Church s grand high festival of the coming of that other Comforter, who abides for ever with those whom Jesus loves. We are tempted to wonder why He, who had done so much for the peace of the world, whose coming was the pledge of every joy to the human heart, whose words are a healing balm for every wound, a solace for every misery, and through whom comes all forgiveness for sins, should not have remained Himself to bless and comfort His own with His Divine presence.

What other Comforter of our souls would we ask or could we need than Him? Oh! that He had stayed with us! Had we not all in having Him? When the Father in His love sent Him to us, did he not send all He could give? What other Comforter is there in heaven to give that will be better than He?

Truly, brethren, we would not be able to imagine that anything more or better could be done for us than that our Blessed Lord should remain amongst us, had He not Himself said: “It is expedient for you that I go; for if I do not, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”

There is a mystery here which we cannot fathom, because we are not able to fathom the works of God. Our Lord knew that it was best for Him to depart, and that the Holy Ghost must come, as He said, to bear testimony of Him, to teach all truth, to fill the hearts of the faithful with grace, and kindle in them the fire of Divine Charity, so that they might strive manfully for the faith, and win the crown of everlasting joy set before them.

It is not in vain that our Lord called the Holy Ghost the Comforter, which signifies the strengthener. We are weak, vacillating, full of wandering desires, led away from God and heaven by trifles, easily cast down and disheartened, in constant danger by temptation, discouraged by doubts, crushed quickly beneath some present sorrow, and fearful of the coming storms of adversity and grief; and grace, which it is the office of the Holy Ghost to bring to us, is the life-giving force which leads and directs us, which enlightens, strengthens, and comforts us in all …

Who is this Divine Comforter? God the Holy Ghost. Not an attribute of God, such as His omnipotence, His omnipresence, His justice or mercy, but the Person of God Himself. God lives in Himself an eternal, infinite life; a mysterious He to us, in that HG needs no other object besides Himself to give Him life. God is but one being; and hence the Holy Ghost is the same God as the Father and the Son; but God possesses, as it were, a threefold personal life, which, being mutually dependent and united, is but one. The Father is the Infinite Personal Cause of His own Divine Life; the Son is the Personal Life of God, begotten of the Father; and the Holy Ghost is God personally enjoying, living the Divine Life, begotten by Himself. Think of it! This is what we invoke when we cry, Veni, Sancte Spiritus! This is what was promised by our Lord, when He said: “I will ask the Father, and He will send you another Comforter.” The Life of God! Life full beyond human imagination, of ineffable joy, and of peace that passes understanding! Life full of beauty, sublimity, and majesty! Life of omnipotence and of glory!” O Lord, my God,” exclaims the enraptured Psalmist, in one of the Psalms of today’s matins, “Thou art exceedingly great! Thou hast put on praise and beauty, and art clothed with light as with a garment.”

Isaac Says …

The Christian Church dates her birth from the day of Pentecost, when she was endowed from on high with the never failing presence of the Holy Spirit who is her indwelling life and power.

1876, “On the Mission of New Religious Communities,” in The Paulist Vocation, p.276

Proposed Program for July

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

Theme: St. Mary Magdalene, Patron Saint of the Paulists

Opening Prayer
The Paulist Prayer Book, St. Mary Magdalene (July 22), pages 367-369

Reading (in advance of the meeting)
“Mary of Magdala” by Mary Rose D’Angelo
in All Holy Men and Women: A Paulist Litany of Saints — edited by Thomas A, Kane, CSP, pages 91-98

Excerpt from Vatican Press Release:

mary_magdalene“Precisely since she was an eyewitness to the Risen Christ, she was also the first to testify before the apostles. She fulfils the mandate the Risen Christ gives her: ‘go to my brothers and say to them … Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her’. In this way she becomes, as is already known, an evangelist, or rather a messenger who announces the good news of the resurrection of the Lord; or, as Rabano Mauro and St. Thomas Aquinas said, ‘apostolorum apostola’, as she announces to the apostles what they in turn will announce to all the world. The Angelic Doctor is right to apply this term to Mary Magdalene: she is the witness to the Risen Christ and announces the message of the resurrection of the Lord, like the other apostles. Therefore it is right that the liturgical celebration of this woman should have the same level of festivity given to the apostles in the General Roman Calendar, and that the special mission of this woman be highlighted, as an example and model to every woman in the Church”, concluded Archbishop Roche.

Conversation Catalyst

  • Share a story of a woman whose witness to the Christian faith inspires you.
  • Share a story about when you received great compassion when a loved one died or during a prolonged illness.


Closing Prayer

Good Jesus,
Saint Mary Magdalene was one of the women
who assisted You and the apostles during Your public ministry.
She cried with the Blessed Mother and Saint John at the foot of Your cross,
and she helped bury Your body.
For serving You with such devotion, she was the first to see You resurrected.
I ask for her to pray for me when I have the opportunity to assist others
as they approach death or grieve the loss of loved ones.
Inspire me, O God, in giving them comfort
and help them embrace the faith in Your resurrection.
Pray for me, pray for us, Saint Mary Magdalene.

Save the Date


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


Upcoming Journeys with Paulist Pilgrimages
See for more details



The Holy Land: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus
with Fr, Rich Andre, CSP
January 29 to February 9, 2018

Pilgrims will spend the first six days in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. They will then spend the remaining time in the Galilee region and along the Mediterranean seacoast.



The Saints of England
with Fr, Thomas Kane, CSP
June 3-14, 2018

Pilgrims will learn about St. Thomas Beckett, St. Thomas More, and some of the English martyrs as they explore London, Canterbury, and sites in the north.

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.

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

A Bit of Unpublished Correspondence Between Henry D. Thoreau and Isaac T. Hecker
edited by E. Harlow Russell

thoreau_and_heckerIn 1903, the editor presented this short work to the semi-annual meeting of The American Antiquarian Society. Russell collated these few short letters from 3 weeks in the summer of 1844, beginning the week before Hecker’s reception into the Roman Catholic Church on August 2, 1844 through mid-August. This correspondence gives us a glimpse at the Thoreau-Hecker friendship and their mutual respect.

The two met in 1843 during the months when Hecker lived at Brook Farm and Fruitlands, two Transcendentalist communities in Massachusetts. They were further re-acquainted when Hecker returned
to Concord in 1844 and became a boarder at the home of Thoreau’s mother while he studied Greek and Latin. Isaac then returned to New York in July 1844.

Within a year, the two friends’ lives diverged — in August 1845, Hecker headed for St. Trond in Belgium and entered the Redemptorist novitiate Thoreau took up residency at Walden Pond in Concord the following month. And as the saying goes, “the rest is history!”

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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

Katherine Murphy Mertzlufft
Columbus, OH

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.