The Associates World: March 2017

March 6, 2017

Issue No. 17, March 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

Paulist Associates Commemorate Nuper Nonnulli

hecker_window_bostonThe Paulist Associates mark the 159th anniversary of Nuper Nonnulli by issuing A Collection of Isaac Hecker Quotes.

Paulist Associates in Columbus compiled a large number of Hecker quotes and, last fall, requested the Board to distribute their document to all Associates.

The Board determined that they would sort the quotes by topic and then research and identify the source material for each quote (whenever possible), so individuals may read them in context or study more on that theme. We are grateful to all who contributed, researched, edited, and designed this collection.

You may find this document at

Nuper Nonnulli, issued by the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars on March 6, 1858, takes its name from its first words, translated from Latin meaning “recently some”.

This declaration dispensed Hecker’s four American companions — Clarence Walworth, Augustine Hewit, George Deshon, and Francis Baker — from their vows in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, commonly known as the Redemptorists. [Note: Hecker had already been dismissed by the Redemptorists.] The Vatican authorized these five to work for the evangelization of the United States under the auspices of the local bishops. Thus, March 6 is a significant anniversary date for the Paulists and the Paulist Associates.

Hecker, in Rome on March 9, 1858, wrote to his four companions:

“The Pope has spoken, and the American Fathers, including myself, are dispensed from their vows. The decree is not in my hands, but Cardinal Barnabo read it to me last evening. The General is not mentioned in it, and no attention whatever is paid to his action in my regard. The other Fathers are dispensed in view of the petition they made, as the demand for separation as Redemptorists would destroy the unity of the Congregation, and in the dispensation I am associated with them. The Cardinal [Barnabo] is wholly content; says that I must ask immediately for an audience to thank the Pope. * * * Now let us thank God for our success. “

In the next few months, Hecker, Walworth, Hewit, Deshon, and Baker organized themselves under a rule (very similar to the Redemptorist rule formulated by St. Alphonsus Liguori), and founded the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City on July 7, 1858.

Pope John XXIII, Isaac Hecker, and the Holy Spirit

by Fr. Joe Scott, CSP

john_xxxiiiI was twelve years old when John XXIII was elected pope. It was something of a shock. Maybe even a disappointment. Pius XII had taught us that popes were supposed to be tall and thin and solemn. Angelo Roncalli looked like Santa Claus. He took some getting used to, but I liked his smile.

I became a true fan of Pope John when he placed the name of St. Joseph next to “Mary, the Mother of Our Lord and God Jesus Christ” in the Roman Canon of the Mass. I am a Joseph, from a line of Josephs. I had a special feeling about St. Joseph and it felt good to have the Pope on our side. As time went on, I learned that John had begun something called the Vatican Council but I had no idea what that meant, or how much John’s vision would test and inspire my own faith.

When Pope John died in 1963, I was in my junior year at a Catholic high school. In that very year Paulist Father Ellwood (“Bud”) Kieser had given a talk to our student body. For the first time I heard the names Isaac Hecker and Paulist Fathers. Fr. Bud explained that Paulists like himself had a special devotion to the Holy Spirit. This meant connecting with a source inside oneself that fueled energy and enthusiasm for the gospel. It meant working to set the world on fire with a desire for unity and love.

When I graduated from high school, exactly one year after the death of Pope John, I was off to the Paulist seminary, where I learned more and more about Isaac Hecker and his desire to found a community led by the Holy Spirit. Devotion to the Holy Spirit was not an especially Catholic reality in Hecker’s time. I suspect that his own devotion was strongly influenced by his early years spent with his devoutly Methodist mother.

hecker_portraitAs a Catholic kid in the 1950’s I learned nothing about the Holy Spirit that seemed appealing. “Ghosts” were scary and white doves kind of dull. So I had something of a bias against learning more about a mystery so vague. But during my first years in the Paulist seminary I WAS learning about Vatican II. I realized it was shaking up our old ways of thinking and doing things and I felt a lot of excitement flowing through me and my fellow Paulist students as we eagerly absorbed the latest news from Rome.

It took me many long years to appreciate that one of the accomplishments that “good Pope John” had achieved in his brief but eventful pontificate was to validate within the Catholic Church Isaac Hecker’s insights about the Holy Spirit. Paulist Fathers sensed this right away. Priests like Frs. Thomas Stransky and John Sheerin were key figures in articulating the vision of the Council within the church. Other Paulists such as Frs. Joseph Gallagher, John Keating and William Greenspun took the lead in implementing the Council nationwide and in individual parishes. We knew that Isaac Hecker and John XXIII were kindred souls in their fondness for the Holy Spirit. We understood that the positive view of the Church’s relationship to the world fostered by this new Council would have delighted our founder.

Angelo Roncalli’s love for the Holy Spirit began when he was sent first to Bulgaria and later to Turkey and Greece as the pope’s special representative. These countries had Eastern Orthodox Christians and Muslims and Communists yet very few Catholics. Roncalli had grown up in a hugely Catholic country. No doubt residing in such strange lands brought him moments of apprehension.

He went for a walk each day and talked to whomever he met. He was genial and a good listener as well. And he was willing to learn from people who were different from himself. Without realizing it, he was walking in the footsteps of Fr. Isaac Hecker who was so eager to talk with Protestant Christians in the village squares and opera houses of America.

hs_at_st_peterThe Eastern churches have always nourished a devotion to the Holy Spirit. Roncalli got to know everyone from the Patriarch of Constantinople to the woman who swept the streets in front of his home. He saw how the Holy Spirit guided the lives of these people who had become his friends. The feast of Pentecost came to have a new meaning for him. He began to preach with a special fervor each Pentecost Sunday.

Roncalli’s understanding of the Holy Spirit deepened during the Nazi occupation of these Eastern countries from 1942-45. This was a time of darkness for everyone, when hope must have seemed a dangerous illusion.

Seeing that Jewish lives were in danger, Roncalli established a working relationship with the German ambassador, who despite representing Hitler was a Catholic. Using every means at his disposal, Roncalli was able to save the lives of many Jews — so many that long after Pope John’s death, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation recommended that he be named “righteous among the nations.”

One of Archbishop Roncalli’s annual Pentecost homilies from Istanbul had a special poignancy. It was May, 1944. Everyone was exhausted by the horrors of World War II. Many believed that the war was almost over. But what would come next?

The Archbishop urged his listeners to open their hearts to the Holy Spirit, “still at work in the world, mysteriously yet powerfully…only the Spirit can break down the barriers set up by races and nations. Left to itself, humanity regresses and begins to resemble one of those iron-age villages, in which every house was an impenetrable fortress, and people lived among their fortifications.

“We can all find plausible reasons for stressing differences in race, religion, culture, or education. Catholics, in particular, like to mark themselves off from ‘the others.’ My brothers and sisters, I have to tell you that in the light of the gospel and the Catholic principal, this logic of division does not hold. Jesus comes to break down all these barriers.”

Nearly two decades after proclaiming these words, Pope John XXIII died on a Pentecost Sunday. Just months earlier he had presided over the opening of the Council which would begin the process of breaking down long-prevailing barriers between Christians, and of recognizing the Jewish people not as enemies but as our elder brothers and sisters in faith.

Pope John XXIII and Fr. Isaac Hecker never met one another. It is unlikely that the Pope knew of Hecker. Yet these two Spirit-led priests taught us ways to break down walls and build bridges. They both drew strength from the intuition that hope is a more reliable guide to living than fear. In encountering each of their stories I’ve come to understand that the Holy Spirit is not the vague mystery I once puzzled over but a living reality that inspires the best efforts of our lives.

Isaac Says

The Holy Spirit is preparing the Church for an increased infusion of Himself in the hearts of the faithful. This increased action of the Holy Spirit will renew the whole face of the earth — Religion and Society.

The question is: How shall we cooperate with this preparation?

The inspiration and desire and strength to cooperate and associate in assisting this preparation must come from the Holy Spirit to each soul.

If it be so, that the Holy Spirit is preparing the Church for His increased action, souls will be inspired by Him to this end.

— Notes from Ash Wednesday, 1875 (The Paulist Vocation)


A September Anniversary at Tantur

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

don_and_cherylGot Stress? Well, our first day in Israel was stressful and even a bit frightening. Fortunately, passing through customs at Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport was a breeze, but navigating our Rent a Hertz through the winding, noisy streets of Jerusalem on our way to the Tantur Ecumenical Institute, indeed was not.

Having circled the same walled street after what seemed like the 10th time, we pulled into a little rest alcove (second time at this nook) built into an ancient stone wall adorning the street. Taking what we thought would be a mental pause: check the printed email directions, check Google Maps once again (finely tuned to Israeli geography): but wait, this was the entrance! And, just in time, as darkness was beginning to hover over the land. A formidable gate lay before us. I anxiously pressed the intercom button, and someone on the other side, sight unseen, high on a hill, pressed their button, and happily the gate opened.

We were tired, irritable to say the least, and very hungry. This can happen when you are in the air for twelve hours and can’t find your Shangri-La. Then, we hit the lottery, a fine gentleman, apparently the gate-opener, greeted us warmly. He showed us to our room (M26) via a series of twists and turns in the agreeable, castle-like structure. We quickly dropped off our bags and bolted for the cafeteria. We realized it was getting late for dinner, but hopefully they’d understand, even though we had chosen the Bed and Breakfast (only) option.

Entering the noisy room, we spied an empty table and collapsed into our chosen chairs. Shortly after, we proceeded to the buffet offerings and filled our plates with rice, chicken (for me), fresh olives, and a beautiful salad (my wife especially liked that). As we again sat in the seats, I seemed to notice that no one in the room was speaking English; mostly French perhaps (?), I wondered. It seemed odd, too, that only women were eating. One of the kitchen workers took pity on us and moseyed our way. He had an Amish appearance and explained the lay of Tantur Cafeteria Land. We realized at that point we were only to sit in pre-arranged place setting areas. “But, you’re fine,” he said with a smile. “Miss, would you like a glass of wine? It’s from Bethlehem and on the house.”

Wine? Undoubtedly, music to my wife’s ears! He introduced us to his wife; she, like her husband, had a simple yet majestic look: unembellished clothing and attractive appearance. We finished supper, rushed to our room, and quickly retired for the evening.

tanturI guess it was around 4 am when an unusual sound emanating from the outside boundaries of the property permeated nearly every wall in our room. Coming from what I could only describe as a loud speaker, my initial impression was danger was happening or forthcoming. This went on for probably twenty minutes, then our better senses said to be patient; after all, we were in a foreign land: let it come to us and we will experience peace. And then we knew, the melodic cries were some form of prayer (later learning it was a call to prayer for the Muslim community in Bethlehem and Jerusalem), kind of like a prayer in the wind. In the coming days, we looked forward to those pre-dawn sounds, the first sounds of a new day. It was our recognition that God was in our midst, understood in local tongues. I once saw a movie called the Song-catcher, and just like the musicologist in the film, I wanted to capture and categorize all the cadences and deliveries of the far-off voices encircling us every early morning.

Tantur sits “on a hill in Jerusalem, near Bethlehem.” An ecumenical institute born during the excitement of Vatican II: Tantur’s vision of community is rooted in hospitality to the other without defining who the other is. The other may be a bishop or a university president, or an atheist or agnostic. He or she may be a local or an international. We do not get to choose the other, but we do get to receive and invite her or him inside our doors. Hospitality must also show great respect and dignity to the other. Arrogance, hatred, prejudice and dominance are the enemies to community at Tantur. Real community also does not minimize our own religious and political differences. We do not pretend to be something we are not. But at the end of the day, our sense of a shared humanity and a shared world with shared struggles always is larger than everything else.

The Vatican-owned property was leased to the University of Notre Dame in the late 1960’s. The Paulists have a rich history of involvement at the Institute, as Fr. Tom Stransky and Fr. Mike McGarry presided as rectors for long periods.

It was a morning chat with Fr. Stransky during breakfast at a Paulist retreat at Lake George that excited me about the potential of visiting Tantur. As the son of a Jewish mother, I always had an interest in visiting Israel someday. I discussed this with my wife, who also had a considerable desire to visit Israel. Our 30th wedding anniversary was approaching, and we realized Tantur would be an exceedingly special place to go.

My memories of Israel are numerous, but the staff at Tantur especially remains in my mind: Imbraham, Sammi, Sandi, Fr. McDougal (current rector), and several others. We were always treated warmly and made to feel comfortable, even though we were not actively involved in religious or academic studies. The grounds were magnificent and the food was wonderful, always fresh (my wife especially loved the olives). By day we trekked away from the Institute environs into Jerusalem and surrounding areas. Naturally, we visited the Holy Sights and took tours through Bethlehem and the Sea of Galilee.

However, it was our return to Tantur after a long day outside its gates that brought me peace: welcomed by peoples of different cultures and experiences yet all rooted in the same love from God our Father. Interestingly, we again look forward to 4 am wake up calls in the breeze, and I trust that one day the treasured sounds will find us again.

Hauntingly Sublime

by Cheryl Sommese

He bought way too many adapters,
apparently assuming we were destined
to utilize
every plug-in we packed
at the same time.
Staying high on a Jerusalem hill,
sacred sounds resonating
from Bethlehem below
as if ancient proclamations
mysteriously decoding
life’s mysteries.
marveling at their blissful melancholy
like a wandering child
observing worker bees
industriously go about business
for the first time.
Surrendering myself to the
oscillating octaves
eventually culminating
to one unifying chord.
Opening my mind’s eye to see
you can never really
have too many

Thank you to Terry Modica

terry_modicaTerry Modica, Paulist Associate from Tampa, recently resigned from the Paulist Associates Board due to personal reasons. We are grateful for her time, efforts, and devotion to the Paulist Associates. We want to recognize Terry for the hard work she has done on behalf of the Board, and in particular, for helping to make the revisions and updates to the Paulist Associates Handbook a reality.

She, along with her husband Ralph, were the founders of the Paulist Associates group in Tampa, the first (and so far the only group) formed in a place where there is no Paulist in ministry or residence.

We wish her all the best. We will continue to pray with and for her.

Excerpt from “How to Pass a Good Lent” (for Ash Wednesday) in Sermons by the Fathers of the Congregation of St. Paul the Apostle, New York, Volume VI, 1871

(No preacher is identified.)

2 Corinthians 6:2: Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

graceFasting, prayer, and alms; self-denial, devotion, and charity; these are the principal good works at this and every time; but they are more urgent and necessary now than usual, if we wish to obtain the special fruit of this holy season. And, besides these, we must not put away the spirit of Humiliation and penance expressed in receiving the ashes this morning. These are not for Ash Wednesday alone, but for the whole of Lent. We must abandon, in spirit at least, the vain distinctions by which we are trying to raise ourselves above others, and follow, at a great distance, the example of our God and Saviour, who, being our Creator and absolute Master, became the servant of servants for our sake. And we have an immense number of sins which are not yet fully expiated; for these we must do penance some time or other, before death or after it, in this world or in purgatory. We can do it better now than at any other time; first, because we are obliged to do some difficult things, which can be made to pay this temporal debt if they are done with the right spirit and intention; and, also, because penance is the spirit of the season, and we can come to the church oftener, and do of our own accord other things which are a little inconvenient and put us to some trouble, without any danger of attracting attention or of getting proud about it ; for others will be doing the same.

“Finally, my brethren, in the words of the Apostle, “We exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain.” This may be our last Lent; it certainly will be for some of us; but, at any rate, we shall not feel sorry to have spent it as if it were so. God s love for us is immense; He is continually giving us fresh graces, which we are trampling under our feet; but there will come a time when I will not say His patience will be exhausted, but when, in the course of His providence, we must be taken from this world, and grace for us will be no more. Then, when we lie on our death-bed, we shall look back if, indeed, we are able to collect our thoughts upon the gifts of God which we have thrown away, and wish most earnestly for a day, or even an hour, of the time that we have wasted. Then, if we have spent this Lent badly, we shall remember it and the others that we have neglected, and bitterly repent our neglect when it is too late. Then we shall fear and tremble at the thought of the awful judgment of God, before whose face we are so soon to appear; or, if we have confidence that by His mercy the guilt of our sins has been taken away, we shall still feel how unfit we are, after a sinful life, to remain in His sight, and shall see the flames of purgatory prepared to expiate those offences for which this Lent and the others we have wasted might have atoned. Perhaps years of suffering will await us there instead of the few days of penance which we have refused in this life. And, even if we have spent this time well, we shall then see clearly how we might have spent it better; and every good work which we could properly have done, which we had the grace and opportunity for, and yet did not do, will give us more sorrow than its omission gave relief.

But let us hope better things. There is no reason why this Lent should not be for us all that God meant it to be. That it may be so, the first thing to do, and the most agreeable of all, is to get into the grace and friendship of God, if we are now in sin; and then we have only to go on and do what we can, not in a grudging or weary spirit, but cheerfully and with our whole heart, to please our good God, who loves us each as much as if we were His only creature, and has done infinitely more for us already than we can ever do for Him. His Blessed Mother and the saints, especially St. Joseph, under whose patronage the greater part of Lent almost always comes, will help us, and we shall have joy enough in our souls to fully make up for all that is unpleasant or tiresome. And all the while we shall, by penance, be shortening the road that lies between us and our true home in heaven, where our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, the Blessed Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is waiting to have us come and be happy with Him for all eternity.”

Proposed Program for April

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

Theme: Commitment

Opening Prayer: The Paulist Prayer Book, select from the Lent/Easter sections for the day on which you meet

Reading (in advance of the meeting):

st-josephThe Paulist Prayer Book names St. Joseph, husband of Mary as the Patron Saint of April. “Joseph was asked to commit himself to Mary, who had received from God a vocation unlike any other person. Joseph gave himself to Mary and Jesus as protector and provider.”

As set forth in The Paulist Vocation, Isaac Hecker wrote “Religion and sanctity are interested in the advancement of civilization and concede that [if] civilization is advancing, then the fullest glory of Catholicity is not to be looked for in the past, but in the future. The ideal of Catholicity is the union of religion with intelligence and liberty in all their completeness. Man tenders to God that perfect worship when he offers the homage of his entire intelligence and liberty.

In view of these considerations, the life of St. Joseph is both interesting and instructive. St. Joseph, it is true, was no martyr in spilling his blood for the faith, but he exercised a martyr’s fidelity to the convictions of his conscience and the purity of his faith. Unaware of the miraculous conception, while yet unmistakable signs told that Mary was with child, he never faltered in his truth in her spotless innocence and chastity. Called by the voice of God to leave his friends, home and country, he obeys instantly and without a murmer. What faith! What obedience! What disinterestedness!

To find God and be one with God, a solitary life in the desert was not necessary to St. Joseph. He was in the world and found God where he was. He sanctified his work by carrying God with him into the workshop. St. Joseph was no flower of the desert, or plant of the cloister, he found the means of perfection in the world, and consecrated it to God by making its cares and duties subservient to divine purposes. The home of St. Joseph was his cloister, and, in the bosom of his family, he practiced the sublimest virtues. While occupied with the common, daily duties of life, his mind was fixed on the contemplation of divine truths, thus breathing into all his actions a heavenly influence. He attained in society and in human relationships a degree of perfection not surpassed, if equaled, by the martyr’s death, the contemplative of the solitude, the cloistered monk or the missionary hero.” (“The Saint of Our Day,” Sermon VI, Sermons Preached at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, New York, during the year 1863.)

Conversation Catalyst

  • It seems that, somewhat like Hecker, Pope Francis is less concerned with past traditions than with building a future church that resembles a “field hospital” with workers “who smell like their sheep”. That’s about as “worldly” as one can get. Not all of us are able to make such a commitment but we can look at our day-to-day routines and responsibilities in a new way. Discuss ways to encourage this.
  • It is also rumored that Pope Francis has a statue of a sleeping St. Joseph that reminds him of how God speaks. Think about ways (if any) in which you have felt the Holy Spirit guiding you.
  • “Semper Fidelis”, “I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.” “I commit myself for life to a [religious order]”. “I solemnly swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States”. It seems that, when compared to other admired qualities, the failure to be faithful may inflict the most pain. Discuss.
  • There is, however, one promise that we can always count on — “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it”. How does God’s faithfulness impact my way of thinking about my faith/daily living?


Closing Prayer
O Saint Joseph, we pray to you for those who are out of work, for those who want to earn their living or support their families. You who are the patron of workers; grant that unemployment may vanish from our ranks; that all those who are ready to work may put their strength and abilities in serving their fellowmen and earn a just salary.

You are the patron of families; do not let those who have children to support and raise lack the necessary means. Have pity on our brothers and sisters held down in unemployment and poverty because of sickness or social disorders. Help our political leaders and captains of industry find new and just solutions. May each and every one have the joy of contributing, according to his abilities, to the common prosperity by an honorable livelihood. Grant that we may all share together in the abundant goods God has given us and that we may help underprivileged countries. Amen.

[Thank you to Mary Sullivan, Associate from Boston, for preparing this month’s proposed program.]

Tucson Celebrates Promises with Eight New Associates

by Carol Wagner Williams — Associate from Tucson

Fr. Frank Desiderio, CSP presided over a Mass honoring St. Paul
and received the promises of 8 new and 13 returning Paulist Associates on January 28, 2017 at St Cyril Church in Tucson, AZ. During Fr. Desiderio’s homily before the promises, he noted that Paulist Associates had a responsibility to follow the charisms of the Paulist Fathers and pray for the Paulist Fathers.

Following the Mass, a reception was held and members were able to meet with Fr. Desiderio and get to know him as well as he them. It was a very interesting time and many discussions about the Paulist and Associates occurred. The Tucson Associates are very thankful for Fr. Frank coming to Tucson to take their promises and also for the time he spent with them.

Note: Carol Wagner Williams originally took her promises as a Paulist Associates in Columbus. Late in 2016, she moved to Arizona and is now affiliated with the Tucson group!

Updating Our Database

We are in the midst of updating names and other important data on our current Associates as well as learn about those who are currently in the formation process. We also want to identify those individuals who are not renewing their promises.

In February, Paula Cuozzo sent emails to the last known Paulist serving as liaison to a local group and the local Paulist Associate who serves as the lay coordinator seeking updated names, addresses, email addresses, and a few other pieces of information. If you are the local coordinator and did not receive this information, please contact Paula at All responses are due to Paula on March 15.

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.

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.

Save the Date

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
lakeSt. 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.



Baltic Sea Cruise and St. Petersburg, Russia— July 21 to August 1, 2017

baltic_pilgrimageJoin 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 For more information contact: Thomas A. Kane, CSP at


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

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

yankee_paulThe Yankee Paul: Isaac Thomas Hecker
by Vincent Holden, CSP

Fr. Holden was a scholar, who received a PhD from The Catholic University of America in American history in 1939. Someone keenly interested in the writings of Isaac Hecker, his dissertation was entitled “The Early Years of Isaac Thomas Hecker, 1819-1844.”

Since the biography of Hecker written by Walter Elliot was tainted with the Americanist controversy due to errors in the introduction to the French translation, Holden was inspired to write his own biography of Hecker, published in time for Paulist centennial anniversary. Holden expanded on his dissertation and added the period from 1844 to 1858 to his initial scholarship, and thus produced The Yankee Paul. His writings on Hecker’s life earned him the Golden Book Award and the Christopher Literary Award.

Holden had begun work on a second volume of the Hecker biography; however, Holden died at the age of 61 following several years’ recuperation from a heart attack.

In addition, while the Paulist archivist and historian in the early 1950’s, Holden compiled a collection of Hecker’s quotes, “Notes on the Holy Spirit,” an important work for understanding Hecker’s experience of and devotion to the Holy Spirit.


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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

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.