The Associates World: June 2018

June 4, 2018
Issue No. 30, June 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

Local Retreat in Central Texas

by John Sweitzer — Paulist Associate from Austin

assoc-crop-jun18About a dozen participants gathered in Buda on a cloudy day in Texas to enjoy fellowship and to discuss the Role of the Holy Spirit in a life of Joy, Prayer and Gratitude. Fr. Mike Kallock, CSP, one of the members of the Paulist Associates Board, traveled to Texas to lead the retreat.

The retreat was organized into five parts: three exploring/sharing sessions about how the participants experienced Joy, Prayer, and Gratitude in their life, a Texas barbeque lunch of fellowship and an outdoor Mass celebrating the Fourth Sunday of Easter. After leading the participants through the “Come Holy Spirit…” prayer in the Paulist Associates Prayer book Fr. Mike set the tone for the retreats by sharing the following passage from St. Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians (5:16-18):

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is God’s will

for you in Christ Jesus.”

That is, God’s will for us is to live a life of Joy, Prayer, and Gratitude. This passage was unpacked by the participants sharing times in which they felt joys, various ways in with they prayed and times in which they are grateful.

The session before lunch focused on “joy”. Fr. Mike share two pages of script verses from the Gospels about joy to illustrate how prevalent it is while asking the participant to reflect on joy being more than being happy. That is, there is much deeper, even relevant, feeling one has when the feel joy. Retreat participants shared stories about their weddings and about the birth of their children as times in which they felt joy and how they still feel the joy when they reflected on these events many years later.

We enjoyed Texas barbeque from Salt Lick and the weather cooperated, so we were able to eat outside. Fr. Chuck Kullman, CSP, the pastor at St. Austin’s Parish, took a break from the St. Austin School’s Grand Tour (annual fundraisers in which the students ride their bikes all day for pledges) to join the group for lunch.

Immediately following lunch, we dove into prayer. After Fr. Mike shared several scripture reading about the need to “pray constantly,” he asked participants to share ways in which they pray. As one would expect with a gathering of Paulist Associates, there was a wide range of answers including contemplative prayer, devotions to Mary, walking in nature, daily orders, etc. It is always uplifting to hear folks share their enthusiasm for praying joyously.

During the session on prayer, Fr. Mike started to highlight how joy, prayer, and gratitude are connected. For example, in Paul’s Letter to the Philippians (1:3-5) we read:

“I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you …”

And in Pope Francis’s Evangeli Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) he writes:

II. 13. “… The joy of evangelizing always arises from grateful remembrance…”

The final session on gratitude also included Fr. Mike sharing several scripture readings and participants sharing stories about experiences for which they are grateful. Several of these stories resulted in some tears of joy within the group.

At the end of the afternoon, we concluded the retreat with Fr. Mike celebrating mass for the Fourth Sunday of Easter. It is alway special celebrating a mass with an small group, outside, with the wind blowing, birds chirping and an occasional dog barking in the background. These extras in a mass reminds us of God’s creations around us. This makes it easy to rejoice, pray, and give thanks always.

Thank you Fr. Kallock for being with us.

Regional Retreat in Chicago
Friday July 13 to Sunday July 15

by Fr. Frank Desiderio, CSP

Fr. Mike Kallock, CSP, will lead the Paulist Associates as they gather for this year’s regional retreat, entitled The Role of the Holy Spirit in a Life of Joy, Prayer, and Gratitude. Two Paulists from Old St. Mary’s Parish in Chicago —Fr. Brad Schoeberle, CSP, newly assigned pastor, and Fr. Steve Petroff, CSP, the Associate Pastor — will lead sessions during this retreat.

At this time we have 30 registered participants: 4 from Boston, 11 from Chicago, 5 from Columbus, 7 from Grand Rapids, 1 from Toronto, and 2 from Tucson. It is a great representation.

This theme is in line with the expected focus of the Paulist General Assembly in May 2018, reflecting on how Paulists live and express “the joy of the Gospel” in their mission and community life. Pope Francis’s 2013 exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) serves as the background document. The retreat is also based on a passage of St. Paul’s First Letter to Thessalonians: “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thes 5:16-18).

Retreatants will consider the themes of joy, prayer, and gratitude in relation to the action of the Holy Spirit in three separate presentations/sessions.

In addition to the sessions, mealtime, and liturgy, there will be time for those Paulist Associates at the retreat to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

Registrations remain open (as long as there is sufficient room at the retreat house.) So, we again extend an invitation to Paulist Associates to register for this retreat. You may find the registration form here. When the form is complete, please send it with a deposit check to Dorothy O’Malley. Her contact information is on the registration form. She also asks that those who may need help with transportation contact her directly.

Dorothy recommends that individuals may wish to make plans to stay in Chicago on Sunday afternoon to take in one of the city’s many sites and events.

We all look forward to this retreat.

Other Local/Regional Retreats, Events, Parties?

Let us know if you are having a local or area retreat or event your area so we can share with associates from across the country. Email Kathleen Lossau with any pictures and reflections at

Renewing Promises and Updating Lists of Associates

We are always happy to hear about new Associates taking promises as well as current Paulists renewing theirs. Please post notices and photos on Facebook and let us know so we can add the information in this newsletter.

When these renewals take place, it would be helpful to all if the local coordinator would send an updated list of Associates to Kathleen Lossau so she can keep our contact list current. Please email contact information for those taking first promises and those renewing promises as well as a list of those who have opted not to renewing promises to Kathleen Lossau at

Looking for Newsletter Input

We are always looking for new material for the newsletter. We would love to hear what is going on with your local organization or if you have material for the newsletter please contact Denis Hurley at

New Assignments

The following are new assignments recently announced by the Paulists:

Fr. John Ardis, CSP, Pastor Old St. Mary’s Cathedral/Holy Family Chinese Mission, San Francisco
Fr. Joe Ciccone, CSP, Pastor, St. Paul the Apostle Parish, New York City
Fr. René Constanza, CSP, Rector and Pastor of the Cathedral of St. Andrew, Grand Rapids
Fr.-Paul Huesing, CSP, Superior, Vero Beach, Florida
Fr. Gilbert Martinez, CSP, Pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church, Los Angeles
Fr. Ed Nowak, CSP Director of the St. Thomas More Newman Center, Columbus
Fr, Brad Schoeberle, CSP, Pastor of Old St. Mary’s Church, Chicago

New Associate Pastors/Directors
Fr. Bernie Campbell, CSP, Vice-Rector, St. Patrick’s Catholic American Parish, Rome
Fr. Ryan Casey, CSP, Associate Pastor, St. Paul the Apostle Church, Los Angeles
Fr. Chuck Cunniff, CSP, Associate Director, Paulist Center, Boston
Fr. Charlie Donahue, CSP, Associate Director, St. Thomas More Newman Center, Columbus
Fr. Michael Hennessy, CSP, Associate Pastor, the Cathedral of St. Andrew, Grand Rapids

Special Ministry Appointments
Fr. Tom Gibbons, CSP, Director of Development and Production, Paulist Productions, Los Angeles
Fr. Bart Landry, CSP, Preaching Apostolate, San Francisco
Fr. Dick Sparks, CSP, Preaching Apostolate, Vero Beach

SMS Appointments
Fr. Bob Cary, CSP, Grand Rapids
Fr. John Duffy, CSP, Austin
Fr. John Geaney, CSP, Boston
Fr. Tom Holahan, CSP, New York
Fr. Dan McCotter, CSP, Chicago

Father Vinny: A Priest for 60 Years, at the OSU Campus since 1990

Pastoral Associate at the St. Thomas More Newman Center, Fr. Vinny McKiernan, CSP has been serving as the Paulist liaison to the Columbus Paulist Associates group since Fr. Frank Desiderio, CSP established the role in 2014.

Fr. Vinny McKiernan, CSP is on staff at the St. Thomas More Newman Center at The Ohio State University in Columbus and serves as the Paulist liaison to the local Paulist Associates group.

Tom Pruet wrote the following article for The Catholic Times, the Columbus diocesan newspaper, issue published on January 21, 2018.

Also, thanks to Barbara Lapinskas, Paulist Associate from Boston, who transcribed the article for this newsletter.

Talk to almost anyone who is involved with the Columbus St. Thomas Moore Newman Center and it probably won’t be long he for the name of “Father Vinny” pops up in conversation.

The reference is to Father Vincent McKiernan, CSP, who has been at the center of The Ohio State University’s campus since 1990. He turned 87 on Jan. 15, and has the enthusiasm for life and the energy of someone much younger.

Ask him what his “secret” is and he says, “Nearly all of my priesthood has been spent with young people. I’ve always been comfortable with college-age men and women. I trust that I’m teaching them by the way I live. Now, as I get older, I find some of the students appear to see me as some sort of a wisdom figure. I’m not sure why, but some compare me to Yoda from Star Wars.”

Father McKiernan’s sense of humor and his love of wordplay are readily apparent in his “Vinamins”-short sayings, which he describes as “clever, sometimes wise reflections on faith and life.” Here are a few examples:

“Jesus who knew life came back to new life.”

“To write to right a wrong is a rite.”

“Advent: How adventuresome of God to want to become one of us!”

“The Master’s Card. Congratulations! You have been pre-approved! ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love. You are mine’ (Jeremiah 31:3).”

The latter two are among his recent posts on Twitter, where Father McKiernan sends out Vinamins a day. “I don’t know much about technology but I do have a Twitter account because it’s former 140-character limit is perfect for Vinamins,” he said. The Vinamins first appeared in the Newman Center’s weekly bulletin, and he’s written enough of them to feel 3 books: “Vinamins,” “Multi Vinamins,” and “Mega Vinamins.”

Father McKiernan says he felt a calling to the priesthood in his childhood. He wanted to be a Paulist priest because he grew up in a Paulist Parish – Good Shepherd Church in northern Manhattan. “Legend has it that when I was eight years old, I had a case of pneumonia severe enough that I needed an oxygen tent in order to breathe,” he said. “I already wanted to be an altar boy at that age, and said so while I was sick. The minimum age for altar boys in the Parish was 10, so I had to wait. But the priests promised they’d let me be an altar boy as soon as I got better.”

In the 1940s, young man could enter seminary after graduating from grade school. Father McKiernan did so, and received his priestly training in Paulist institutions until his ordination on May 11, 1957, by New York auxiliary bishop James A. Griffiths.

His first assignment took him back to Good Shepherd, the Parish where he grew up. “I was supposed to go to graduate school after ordination, but one of the priests at Good Shepherd died, and they needed another priest,” he said.

“As the youngest priest there, I was placed in charge of the Catholic Youth Organization, which sponsored a weekly dance for about 500 teens. Those were the first dances I’d ever gone to, because I’d been at seminary during my teen years. So I was working with young people from the very beginning.”

“Being at my home parish also meant I was the priest for contemporaries of my mom and dad. So there I was, preaching to all the people who knew me as a child,” he said.

Father McKiernan was the third-oldest in a family of four boys and three girls. His three brothers and one of his sisters are deceased. One of his two remaining sisters is a member of the Sisters of Charity in New York.

After serving in his home parish, he studied at The Catholic University of America, earning a master’s degree. He then taught Greek and Latin at St. Peter’s College in Baltimore. His assignments during the next three decades included Paulist foundations in Chicago, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and New York City; and the Paulist Center in Boston. He also spent a year doing retreat work and preaching in the Northeast. He came to Columbus in 1990 after a year preaching parish missions in the diocese of Reno, Nevada.

One of his most memorable experiences was a weekend retreat with Trappist monks of St. Joseph’s Abby in Spencer, Massachusetts, who do were developing the form of meditation known as centering prayer, which encourages people to experience God’s presence within. Father McKiernan describes it as “being present to the mystery of God loving, unconditionally the mystery of us”.

He leads weekly groups at the Newman Center on centering prayer and the Lectio Divina method of prayer, which focuses on particular scripture passages. He also has conducted more than 100 introductory workshops on centering prayer at the Newman Center and at other churches.

On a regular basis, Father McKiernan can be found walking the labyrinth at the Ohio State University’s Chadwick Arboretum, often with a group of people. A bench was placed there in his honor on his 50th anniversary as a Paulist priest. This past summer, for his 60th anniversary, he lead groups of 10 people on a labyrinth walk on six occasions at different times of the day. “It’s both a spiritual and a physical exercise,” he said.” it takes 20 minutes to walk there and 20 back, and the labyrinth walk itself takes 20 minutes, so I know I’m getting at least an hour walking on these occasions.”

Also for his 60th anniversary, the Newman Center created Father Vinny’s Visionaries, a donor-recognition program for people who have committed to supporting the Newman Center through a planned gift. He has been involved for many years with the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio and the Spirituality Network In Columbus. Last year, he receive the Spirituality Network’s Hope for Today award.

“Sixty years as a priest have taught me that the most important virtues are gratitude and compassion, “he said. “I’m very grateful for discovering my own vocation early. It was something I never doubted, yet paradoxically(a word Father Vinny frequently uses), the relative ease of my discernment experience somehow gave me great compassion toward the seminarians and the other young people I taught over the years who wondered whether they were following the right path”.

“A priest is a good shepherd, as defined in John 10:14 – ‘I know mine and mine know me’,” he said. “I have to be down-to-earth and make people aware that I have much the same difficulty in living out my faith as they do, so they can know me. Paradoxically, I think I’m able to disclose more about myself in preaching that in everyday conversation. I’m a Christian first, then I’m a priest.”

Proposed Program for July

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

Thanks to Fr. Mike Kallock, CSP, who serves as a member of the Paulist Associates Board and prepared this program for us.

Theme: We are all Missionary Disciples

Opening Prayer: The Paulist Prayer Book, select from the section for the day on which you meet.

Optional Reading (in advance of the meeting)
From Evengelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Chapter Three: The Proclamation of the Gospel #110 – #134

Reading For Reflection Before The Meeting and for Discussion at the Meeting:
The Reflection/Discussion reading is taken from Chapter Three of The Joy of the Gospel

119. In all the baptized, from first to last, the sanctifying power of the Spirit is at work, impelling us to evangelization….

120. In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are “disciples” and “missionaries,” but rather that we are always “missionary disciples.” If we are not convinced, let us look at those first disciples, who, immediately after encountering the gaze of Jesus, went forth to proclaim him joyfully: “We have found the Messiah!” (Jn 1:41). The Samaritan women became a missionary immediately after speaking with Jesus and many Samaritans come to believe in him “because of the woman’s testimony” (Jn 4:39). So too, St. Paul, after his encounter with Jesus Christ, “immediately proclaimed Jesus” (Acts 9:20; cf. 22:6-21). So what are we waiting for?

Conversation Catalyst

  • What is your brief over all reaction to the above reading?
  • In what ways do you find Pope Francis’s “Missionary Disciples” similar and/or different from your understanding of being a Paulist Associate?
  • Give a specific example or two of your recently acting like a missionary disciple, or are you still waiting to do so?


Closing Prayer
(taken from Pope Francis’s prayer addressed to Mary that ends The Joy of the Gospel)

Mary, Virgin and Mother,
you who, moved by the Holy Spirit,
welcomed the word of life
in the depths of your humble faith:
as you gave yourself completely to the
Eternal One,
help us to say our own “yes”
to the urgent call, as pressing as ever,
to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

Standing at the foot of the cross
with unyielding faith,
you received the joyful comfort of the resurrection,
and joined the disciples in awaiting the Spirit
so that the evangelizing Church might be born.

Obtain for us now a new ardor born of the resurrection,
that we may bring to all the Gospel of life
which triumphs over death.

Give us a holy courage to seek new paths,
that the gift of unfading beauty
may reach every man and woman.

Star of the new evangelization,
help us to bear radiant witness to communion, service,
ardent and generous faith,
justice and love of the poor,
that the joy of the Gospel
may reach to the ends of the earth,
illuminating even the fringes of our world.

Mother of the living Gospel,
wellspring of happiness for God’s little ones
pray for us.
Amen. Alleluia!

Grand Rapids Reflects on Isaac Hecker

Reflection by Bob Eardley — Paulist Associate from Grand Rapids – published December 2017

“The belief in the special guidance of God has been the faith of all deeply religious men.
— from the Hecker Diary, August 2, 1843; The Paulist Vocation, p.193

As I considered the meaning of his words, I was surprised by the complexity of Fr. Hecker’s thinking.

For me the key words are special guidance and deeply religious. I think it would be helpful to define what special guidance and deeply religious mean. Special guidance certainly must mean guidance from the Holy Spirit. A guidance that comes in such a specific and personal way that it moves the person willingly to greater peace and spiritual growth.

But, who are the deeply religious? We are, and we are called to be. We are when we think and act out of a real understanding of our relationship with God. To truly recognize the glory and power of God and our real size in comparison, we see ourselves as we are. When we act in genuine humility based on this truth we invite this special guidance in.

Because the fundamental basis of the Paulist Fathers is to follow and search for that Special Guidance, and to share this good news with others, I choose to be a Paulist Associate.

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.