The Associates World: May 2016

June 1, 2016

Issue No. 7, May 2016
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 on the Web.


The word “retreat” is derived from the Latin “retrahere”, meaning to withdraw, to pull back or to retract. It was originally most often used in a military context. In the mid-18th century, religious individuals adopted the work as a period of time away from the world in order to conduct a religious examination in a prayerful way. This edition of The Associates World several of the articles reflect on retreat experiences of Paulist Associates over the past few months.

Table of Contents

In the Realm of the Holy Spirit

By Elyse Underhill

The_Associates_World_May_2016-1The Transformations Spirituality Center in Kalamazoo, MI, run by the Sisters of the Congregation of Saint Joseph, was the location of the first Midwest Regional Retreat of the Paulist Associates. Twenty-nine retreatants from across the Midwest, and beyond, were in attendance. Associates from Toronto, Canada; Chicago, IL; Columbus, OH; Boston, MA; and, Grand Rapids and Allendale, MI, shared in renewing old acquaintances and making new ones. The grounds of the Center lent itself for quiet reflection while exploring the spring-time beauty of the area.

With In the Realm of the Holy Spirit as the theme of the retreat, the retreatants were led by Fr. Mike Kallock, CSP, in the exploration of this topic. Fr. Mike, early on in the retreat, challenged us to define for ourselves ‘where’ the realm of the Holy Spirit is and ‘how’ do we get there. These questions continued to haunt us throughout the retreat as he guided us through both Old (Genesis 2, Ezekiel, and Joel) and New Testament scriptures (specifically Luke-Acts) challenging us to review and re-think our image of the Holy Spirit who often is the “forgotten person” of the Blessed Trinity. Ending up with the Centrality of the Holy Spirit in Hecker, we followed major events in Isaac Hecker’s life that were greatly influenced by the Holy Spirit and had a significant impact on how he developed his community.

Thanks to the Associates of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Grand Rapids and the Associates of St. Luke University Parish in Allendale, the retreatants felt welcome and were able to leave their worries and cares behind them for the weekend

The Whisper of the Holy Spirit

by Don Sommese


… You ride on the wings of the wind, you make the winds your messengers, fire and flame your ministers (Psalm 104: 3-4)

The_Associates_World_May_2016-4Let all the nations gather together, let the peoples assemble! (Isaiah 43:9)

And so it began. Riding down Gull Road, away from the cacophony of development on the highway…away from the Panera’s, Big Boys…and now a quiet welcome from THE Big Boy – the Sacred Heart of Jesus, standing sentinel upon entry onto the grounds of the Congregation of St. Joseph. His silent message to me: “Be ready for something new.”

So, why after checking in did I have discomfort? Was it because I seemed to be the only man attending this Paulist Retreat? My antennae pointed toward the elevator, wherever that was. But then the Spirit of God came to me: two men, looking just as confused as I was appeared from around a corner. It was Bernie and Bob; they could have been owners of a furniture store for all I knew…You know, “Bernie and Bob’s.” Yet, I soon learned that one was a priest…and one was not. All was good again.

Retreats are always about the people we meet. No silence here. This is where friends are made. So yes, we had our usual meals, “classroom” discussions and small group breakouts. Our theme was: “In the Realm of the Holy Spirit.” Fr. Mike Kallock, our retreat director, drew me in as he painted a picture of the Spirit of God in the Old Testament – Breath and Life. The Spirit is Life, take away the Spirit, take away Life. Mike gave a wonderful description of the always-evolving Universe: God’s infinite creation, expanding to dimensions unseen, but always experienced.

Further discussion on the “Coming of the Spirit” as elucidated in Acts – what we know as Pentecost, as Bernie and Heather described in small group: Those elected: choose to mission! It’s a notion of being sent.

The_Associates_World_May_2016-2For me, it is always the small moments that have greater impact. First, arriving late to our buffet dinner on Saturday, I noticed most Paulist Associate tables filled. As I continued to glance around, I saw a regal figure dining alone. I assumed it was one of the Sisters, so I grabbed my hot dog and asked permission to sit with her. She was kind and let me know that her hearing was at issue today and that she might have difficulty in our talk (if we did talk!) Man, did we talk! For the next thirty minutes, I learned about Dr. Marilyn Nichols, CSJ and her passion: Pierre Teilhard de Chardin — a Jesuit paleontologist who delicately wove evolution and faith. Funny how these things go – with my voice slightly elevated, communicating was not an issue. Her interest in me and my doings was so refreshing and beautiful. I was so excited to share my story with her.

The other little moment that mattered was during evening Mass on Saturday. As I quietly entered the Chapel, I was about to sit by myself, until the Whisper of the Holy Spirit spoke to me, “Come on Don, sit next to me, I’m not gonna bite.” It was Bob. And I listened.

On and On It Goes — Mary Chapin Carpenter
River starts with a drop of rain
Somewhere in this world
Light years shape this arc of sky
And sand a precious pearl
And you will light a stranger’s life
By letting yours unfurl
And on and on it goes
Sparks upon the wind….
Chance is everywhere
Like the train you missed
The rain that fell on the summer air
On and on it flies, like the time we’ve lost
It either running out
Or covering all our dreams in trust

Responding to the Holy Spirit in the Year of Mercy

By Kathy Lossau


On April 23rd, 15 people (and a few pets) gathered in Buda, Texas (south of Austin) for a wonderful outdoor retreat. The weather was gorgeous, the conversation was terrific, and Fr. Bruce Nieli, CSP really hit home with a number of good points and encouragement for us to become more active in the Paulist mission. There were associates and newcomers from St. Austin, the University of Texas Catholic Center, St. Paul’s in Horseshoe Bay and a representative from both Buda and New Braunfels.

Fr. Bruce led the retreat on “Responding to the Holy Spirit in the Year of Mercy” after recently being named “Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis”.

He guided us in prayer through a set of superb talks that tied together the Year of Mercy and our Paulist mission. Those who know Fr. Bruce, are well aware of his unique talent both to educate and to create enthusiasm about a topic. The retreat was refreshing and helped prepare us for the year ahead where we will welcome new members. We also took some time to discuss how to reach out to others to talk about the Paulists and the Paulist Associates. (I think that many of the associates groups have struggled on the best way to bring in new members and how to address the discussion of the Paulist Associate mission.) Fr. Bruce and others framed this discussion by bring up a number of points that may be helpful for other groups to consider:

(1) What do those in our small parish groups know about the Paulist mission, Fr. Hecker? What are we doing to raise this awareness?

(2) What do those in our parish groups know about the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and St. Paul to the Paulist Mission? What are we doing to raise awareness?

(3) What are ways we are supporting our fellow Paulist Associates? How is this visible in our parish?

It was great to have representatives from both Austin and Horseshoe Bay, and we plan to have more joint meetings in the future.

International Associates

by Fr. Frank Desiderio

The_Associates_World_May_2016-6My travels in April brought me to our two Associate groups outside the U.S. — in Rome and Toronto. Both were wonderful visits and each group, as is appropriate for Paulist Associates, showed their individuality.

Fr. Steve Bossi, the local Paulist liaison, introduced to me three members of the group, the fourth, Letizia Pino, was in her homeland of Egypt. I met Pat McCormick, who is from Milwaukee, Linda LaFoucade, who is from Trinidad and Rosanna Shedid. Rosanna, the parish secretary, is originally from the Ivory Coast but has lived her adult

life in Rome. Since this was the first time I had met the group we spent time getting to know each other and I filled them in on Associates news from around the Associates world. Of course, we spent some time in prayer. 

The next day, Saturday, Fr. Steve Bossi brought together a dozen people for a Come and See session about the Paulist Associates. These were all individuals that Fr. Steve and Fr. Greg Apparcel thought would make good Associates. We spent the morning, after coffee and cornetti, talking about the nature and purpose of the Paulist Associates. They were a delightful group and some have since expressed interest in joining the Associates.

The_Associates_World_May_2016-7Next stop, Toronto. I joined them for one of their regular Saturday monthly meetings. I appreciated the format of the Toronto group. We opened with a prayer service from the Paulist Prayer book. We used the prayer of St. Joseph since his March feast day was proximate and he is one of the patron saints of Canada as well as being a Paulist patron.

During the meditation after the readings there was an opportunity for each person around the table to reflect on the readings. The leader made sure the reflection didn’t get bogged down but moved along around the table. After the prayer, there was a time for each person to check in on their personal apostolic activity. During this time a person could ask for prayer and support.

Then each person choose her or his favorite quote from Fr. Hecker and shared about why it was meaningful for her or him. This activity, was something that I had suggested prior to my arrival, proved to be a very rich reflection. There was a business meeting after this and then an abundance of treats.

Paulist Fathers and Paulist Associates New Website Design

Recently the Paulist Fathers updated their logo and web site, This redesign articulates the multi-dimensions of Paulist ministry and mission of evangelization in the world.
We’re excited that included in the redesign is a page for the Paulist Associates: Here you will find the current and previous editions of The Associates World, along the various talks for those in formation to become a Paulist Associate and info on the Paulist Associates Board Members.

We urge you to visit the site. We’re particularly interested in your feedback on what materials or other information we could add to provide everyone with materials and other resources for their groups. Please contact Board Member, Paula Cuozzo at with your suggestions.

Proposed Program for June

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

The_Associates_World_May_2016-9Theme: Creation and Nature

Opening Prayer: The Paulist Prayer Book, prayer of the day

Reading (in advance of the meeting):

From Laudato Si (On Care for Our Common Home) – Pope Francis

244. In the meantime, we come together to take charge of this home which has been entrusted to us, knowing that all the good which exists here will be taken up into the heavenly feast. In union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God, for “if the world has a beginning and if it has been created, we must enquire who gave it this beginning, and who was its Creator”. Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away the joy of our hope.

245. God, who calls us to generous commitment and to give him our all, offers us the light and the strength needed to continue on our way. In the heart of this world, the Lord of life, who loves us so much, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward. Praise be to him!

Conversation Catalysts

1. Jesus often used images and themes from the earth — farming, seeds, harvest, vineyards, weeds, sheep, birds, rain, water, fish,
and light. Which scripture passages inspire a response from you to protect creation?

2. In what ways do you exercise the Christian duty to protect the earth, water, and air as gifts from God?

Closing Prayer

Praised be you, my Lord, with all your creatures, especially Sir Brother Sun, who is the day and through whom you give us light.
And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendour; and bears a likeness of you, Most High.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars, in heaven you formed them clear and precious and beautiful.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Wind, and through the air, cloudy and serene, and every kind of weather through whom you give sustenance to your creatures.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Sister Water, who is very useful and humble and precious and chaste.
Praised be you, my Lord, through Brother Fire, through whom you light the night, and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.

Isaac Says

“Let us not forget it, that the first revelation of God external to himself was creation. This is the natural revelation of God.”

From Thoughts on the Spiritual Life

About the Paulist Associates of St. Luke University Parish

by Elyse Underhill

The Associates of St. Luke University Parish in Allendale, Michigan may quite possibly be the newest Associate group in the Paulists. Formed in 2011 under the guidance of Fr. Don Andre CSP (currently in Knoxville), six members took their initial promises in 2012. Though we are a small group, we are ‘fierce’.

Our meetings follow a similar pattern to all other Associate groups: we begin with breakfast at a local restaurant, followed by our meeting. We have studied some, though not all, of Fr. Hecker’s reflections as have been published by Fr. Paul Robichaud, CSP. Currently, we are reading about and discussing the people in Fr. Tom Kane’s book, All Holy Men and Women: A Paulist Litany of Saints.

In the past we have sponsored a Mardi Gras bingo party at St. Ann’s Home in Grand Rapids. Currently, we are hosting a 3-session set of classes on Jewish studies, looking at the Jewish people and where our spiritual roots come from. Our Associates participate in various ministries in the parish: Eucharistic ministers, ushers, choir, lector, Food Pantry, Knights of Columbus, Faith Formation, RCIA, computer assistance, and pastoral council.

We also try to meet with the Associates of St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Grand Rapids on an annual basis. We may be a small group…but we are fierce!

All Holy Men and Women: A Paulist Litany of Saints

Edited by Thomas A. Kame, CSP

Elyse mentions above that the Paulist Associates in Allendale are currently reading All Holy Men and Women: A Paulist Litany of Saints, complied by Tom Kane CSP. (After two years, the Boston Paulist Associates are completing their study and reflection of this book.) These articles offer a brief biography of men and women throughout the ages who are special to the Paulist community along with a prayer. In addition, Fr. Frank Sabatte, CSP contributed line drawings of each individual. We highly recommend this collection to all Paulist Associates. Available for purchase through Paulist Press.



Paulist Associates Web Site:

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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

Terry Modica
Tampa, FL

Paul Robichaud, CSP


Paulist Associate 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.