The Associates World: May 2017

May 1, 2017

Issue No. 19, May 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

Three Ordinandi

After several months, this is the last time when we will list Ordination to the Priesthood in this year’s “Save the Date” section. On Saturday, May 20, the three Paulist deacons — Matt Berrios, Steve Petroff, and Stuart Wilson-Smith — will be ordained priests. Bishop Gerald Kicanas, the bishop of Tucson, Arizona, will preside at the Mass at St. Paul the Apostle Parish, the mother church of the Paulists, in New York City. These three men were part of the first novitiate class under Fr. Rich Colgan’s mentorship, and he wrote an article about them for this newsletter. We are also including a piece written by Fr. Frank DeSiano, the current director of formation. Fr. Rich and Fr. Frank provide us with a brief sketch of these ordinandi and life in formation.

Matt, Steve, and Stuart have many ties to the Paulist foundations where they served in their winter apostolate during their novitiate year, summer assignments, and their year of pastoral ministry. They have made many friends along the way, including Associates in Rome, Toronto, and in multiple US cities. In addition, Matt hails from Michigan, where he met the Paulists at Grand Valley State and with the worship community in Grand Rapids. Steve met some of the Paulists and those they serve in Los Angeles, as did Stuart in Toronto.

We ask all Paulist Associates to pray for Matt, Steve, and Stuart in these final days of preparation for ordination. Some Paulist Associates will also travel to New York to celebrate and pray with them and the Church Universal at their ordination.

Blessings on Matt, Steve, and Stuart!

Post Ordination

A Poem by Frank Desiderio, CSP

Let’s put aside notions of purity
there is only this flesh and fidelity.
In the face of the natural erosion
of my nascent best of intentions
all I can offer as a reassurance
is the repetition of affirmation.

In my desire for security
to dig my nails into some surety;
first I trusted to natural talent,
that came up short and so my next bent
was to invest in my inner passion,
I imagined an immolation
an easy, fiery transformation,
but, deep down, I found a fading ember.
The only thing left to me was labor.
I wore out.

Now, it is all surrender;
saved not by nature, my lights or duties
but shared grace.
I am weak, held and holding up
God’s flawed beauties.

Preparation for Priestly Ministry for This Year’s Three Ordinandi Comes to a Close

by Fr. Frank DeSiano, CSP — Formation Director

desianoThe journey to the priesthood takes a bit of time. Steve Petroff, CSP, Stuart Wilson-Smith, CSP, and Matt Berrios, CSP, have made the journey and are ready to be ordained priests in the Paulist Community on May 20, 2017, by Bishop Gerald Kicanas, bishop of Tucson and long-time friend of the Paulists.

Each of these men has made the journey with his particular stamp of individuality. Father Hecker, our Paulist Founder, must be smiling because he did not see any one trait or disposition as characteristic of the Paulists. Rather, each with his own gifts and experiences, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, follows a distinct journey of spirituality and missionary life.

petroffThe most veteran of our ordinandi, Steve, had a long career before joining the Paulists. His ordination represents the end of a long search. He brings his skills in public relations, marketing, Spanish, and reaching out to the marginalized to the service of Paulist mission.

wilson-smithStu, with his Canadian heritage and melange of Montreal and the Maritime Provinces, traveled far and wide, in Europe and Africa, discerning the call of God. He has a special sensitivity to the experiences of Young Adults and seekers in contemporary society. His experience at the Cathedral in Washington, DC, and with helping Catholics return to the Church, combines with his guitar-playing ability to enrich our Paulist charism.

berriosMatt is the youngest of this class, graduating Grand Valley State University with emphases in music and philosophy. His own interests span from a spate of languages, both ancient and modern, to the bi-lingual reality of many in our culture today. His relentless energy, and his fascination with the Fathers of the Church, will mark his passion to reach out to others in faith.

Paulist formation involves a year of novitiate where a candidate receives a grounding in spirituality, Paulist values and mission, Paulist history, and general exposure to Catholic life and teaching. Our present Director of Novices, Rich Colgan, CSP, is proud to have led the novitiate experience for these men six years ago. Candidates then also have to take several courses to ready them for entry to Theology, particularly if they do not have required philosophy and introductory courses.

Then follows three or four years of theology, and a year spent in one of our foundations doing pastoral ministry. These years expand the imagination, skills, and interests of candidates. During these years, at The Catholic University of America, our seminarians rub shoulders with candidates from other religious communities, from dioceses from across the country, and with lay people pursuing theological degrees. 

Formation occurs in Washington, DC, where the Paulist House of Mission and Studies, has a temporary home in the Josephites’ St. Joseph Seminary; we Paulists pursue plans for our own house, appropriately sized, which will happen as soon as donors and city planning in Washington make it possible.

Our three ordinandi are joined by six other major seminarians and two novices, who presently take advantage of the formation period to deepen their commitment to Paulist mission. Along with salutes and cheers, our three newest-ordained Paulists will appreciate many prayers and ongoing personal support.

Carrying on That Heckerian Vision

by Fr. Rich Colgan, CSP — Director of Novices

colganEffective August 1, 2011, I was assigned to be the Paulist Fathers Director of Novices as well as to be on the Paulist Fathers’ Formation Team for our students in theology at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. 

August 2011 was an auspicious month here in D.C. Just before the novices (six of them) arrived, we had an earthquake in our nation’s capital — which did enough damage to close the Washington Monument for a number of years in order to address structural damages — to have a gargoyle fall off the front of a Roman Catholic Church on Capitol Hill onto the street below — for the National Cathedral to have enough damage that it still is making necessary repairs, etc. Then, at an afternoon Mass on the last Saturday of that month in the midst of a heavy rainstorm, the newly arrived novices signed in for the Novitiate Year. During the dinner afterwards, the electricity went out, and we finished the lovely meal by candlelight. Indeed what an auspicious beginning for the Novitiate Year of 2011-2012! 

Now we are joyously anticipating on May 20 of this very year at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York City, our Mother Church, the priesthood ordination mass for three men of that Novitiate Class; namely, Steven (Steve) Petroff, Stuart (Stu) Wilson-Smith, and Matthew (Matt) Berrios. It’s taken almost six years to get to this day, a time for them of experiencing life and ministry with the Paulists, a time of mission and studies, a time of active engagement in the six dimensions of Paulist Priestly Formation; namely, human formation, spiritual formation, intellectual formation, pastoral formation, liturgical formation, and communal formation.

3_diaconateThey and our other eight men in formation are a wonderful group! Of course, I admit that having had the privilege and honor of journeying with them all in these discernment years for them, I may not be totally objective. But, I do believe that I am basically objective; that is, I have observed and personally experienced their giftedness, their talents in so many mundane to sublime ways. They are a group of energetic, inquisitive, committed, and generous men. And, while being unique individuals with a variety of abilities from very diverse backgrounds, there is a unity among them that is an inspiration to the wider Paulist Community and to the thousands of laity with whom they already have come in contact and with whom they have shared life and ministry in so many and varied ways. They already have gone out locally to many different ministries and assignments at hospitals and nursing homes, at parishes and campus ministries, in social justice endeavors, in ministries with all age groups, and with laity hailing from all the continents of the world (maybe excepting Antarctica!😉). They also were assigned to Paulist places as novices during Lent and Holy Week as well as to summer assignments during their seminary years to further their ministerial skills and in order to further get to know the Paulist way(s) of life. After two years in theology, they have a Pastoral Year in one of our Paulist houses before returning to Washington, D.C. to finish their studies. They indeed are becoming (and are already) Paulist missionaries. 

The founder of the Paulist Fathers, Servant of God Isaac Thomas Hecker (1819-1888), wrote: “The two poles of Paulist character are: first, personal perfection … The backbone of a religious community is the desire for personal perfection actuating its members … Missionary works, parochial work, etc. are, and must be made subordinate to personal perfection … Second, zeal for souls: to labor for the conversion of the country to the Catholic faith by apostolic work … Our vocation is apostolic: conversion of souls to the faith, of sinners to repentance, giving missions, defense of the Christian religion by conferences, lectures, sermons, the pen, the press, and the like works; and in the interior, to proprogate among human beings a higher and more spiritual life.”

heckerAs a Paulist priest in formation ministry in our House of Mission and Studies, the above quote has always been in my mind as I attempt to be a “keeper of the Paulist vision” — even among the weeds that we all experience in our daily lives that are not of the Reign of God. I also have kept before me and have tried to convey to our novices and students in theology another quote of Isaac Hecker that is a favorite of mine: “The highest aim of humanity is to live for God, and to labor for the universal welfare of humankind. Nothing less than this can satisfy a person’s noblest instincts and fill that person’s large heart. The human mind demands to know universal truth; the heart craves universal love; the will demands to act for universal ends.”

It’s my hope and prayer that our newly ordained will carry on that Heckerian vision that all of us Paulists seek to put into action and seek to make a reality for our wider church and world. Some folks teasingly say that the C.S.P. initials behind my name stand for “Can’t Stop Preaching! Saint Francis of Assisi said: ‘Preach always! If necessary, use words!’

I believe that is indeed the best way to preach for any and all of us to live out our lives, including for the Paulist Fathers and for the Paulist Associates. Yes! We can’t stop preaching in that way! I have faith our newly ordained and all our novices and seminarians are joining with all who are baptized in the Trinity in striving for this vision, a vision that our Founder, Servant of God, modeled for us through his Pauline vision of “running the race” in season and out of season. May the race be for the betterment of our neighbor and ourselves to the glory of God!

In closing, Isaac Hecker also wrote: “My life has been continued growth and hence I have never had any desire to return to any part or period of it. This applies as well to my life before I was received into the Church as after. My best life was always in the present.” I think this is a fine way for us all to live our lives. I pray that this approach to life is the vision of the newly ordained too; that is, that they live fully in the present and see the future as brighter than any past, first for themselves personally and then well as for all of the people of God.

Paulist Ordination Celebrations — May 18 to 22, 2017
Thursday, May 18, 2017 — Anniversary Mass and Paulist Mini-Convocation Paulists, Associates, guests)
  • 5:30pm at Church of St. Paul the Apostle Presider: Fr. Sean Foley (50th); Preacher: Fr, Rick Walsh, (25th); Concelebrants: Paulists celebrating 40th & 60th Anniversaries
  • 6:15pm in Auditorium — Dinner
  • 7:00 to 9:00pm in Auditorium — Paulist Mini-Convocation (Paulists, Associates, guests)
    Screening of Isaac Hecker and the Journey of Catholic America panel discussion by 40th Anniversary Class
Friday, May 19, 2017 — Paulist Mini-Convocation (Paulists, Associates, guests)
  • 9:30am to 12:15pm in Auditorium — Dr. Massimo Faggioli, Professor of Theology, Villanova University. “Religious Communities and the Mission of Pope Francis” with Panel Discussion
  • 12:30pm in Auditorium — Lunch
  • 2 to 3pm — Tour of the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle
  • 5:30 to 6:30pm in Auditorium — Reception (Paulists, Associates, guests)
  • 6:30pm — Dinner (Paulists only)
Saturday, May 20, 2017 — Ordination Mass
  • 10:00am in Church of St. Paul the Apostle
  • 11: 30pm in Auditorium — Reception
Sunday, May 21, 2017 – Masses of Thanksgiving (First Mass) at Church of St. Paul the Apostle
  • 10am — Fr. Steven Petroff, CSP
  • 12:30pm — Fr. Matthew Berrios, CSP
  • 5:15pm — Fr. Stuart Wilson-Smith, CSP
Monday, May 22, 2017 – Mass of Thanksgiving (60th Anniversary of Ordination)
  • 11am at St. Joseph’s Home, Totowa New Jersey — Fr. Ed Pietrucha, Fr. Vinny McKiernan, Fr. Tom Stransky

How the Holy Spirit Has Worked in My Vocational Journey

by Fr. John Duffy, CSP

duffyI was raised in a parish in Boston staffed by the Redemptorist Fathers; a bit of irony, as well we know the roots from which the Paulists would emerge. As a youngster on Sunday mornings, I sold newspapers in front of the Paulist Center on Park Street. That was my first contact with the community. How the Spirit guides. — from the’s to the C.S.P’s; one might say that I was genetically predisposed to be a priest. Why? During their teenage years, both my father in Ireland and my only sibling, George, in the United States, would spend time in a seminary

In college, I was pre-med; however, the promptings to explore a vocation to the ordained ministry would never diminish. Finally, at the end of my junior year, I faced the question head-on. I contacted the Paulist Center and spoke with Father Frank Mannion, a Paulist who spoke as fast as I do at times. He referred me to Pauilsts engaged in campus ministry in the Boston area, among them was George Fitzgerald. An attraction to working with university faculty and students began to blossom. Late summer of 1969, I entered the Novitiate. At this point, I must note that in my forty-eight years in the Paulists, I have never been assigned to a campus ministry!

In the spring of 1974, I made Final Profession and was ordained a deacon. I asked to be assigned to Good Shepherd Parish in Upper Manhattan. At that time, it still had a significant Irish Catholic population and my desire was to minister to and with people of my own ethnic background; they were now members of a church in transition as the consequences of the Second Vatican Council were unfolding. However, a surprise from the Spirit was to come.

A major change was occurring in the ethno-graphics of the neighborhood; many Hispanics were now residing within the boundaries of the parish. A Spanish liturgy was being offered on Sundays by a visiting priest. John Reynolds, the pastor, believed that it was time for the Paulists to assume full responsibility for and to expand this ministry. My involvement with Hispanic community would begin

I spent a summer in the Dominican Republic and a year in Puerto Rico to develop a fluency in Spanish and to deepen my understanding of Hispanic culture.

In 1982, I moved to Houston and helped to organize the Office of Hispanic ministry for the Diocese. Two years later Bruce Nieli would join with me to start a new Paulist initiative, a Bilingual Mission team. Bruce and I through these missions would try to promote a sense of community between Hispanics and non-Non-Hispanics at the parish level.

Bruce would open a statewide Office of Evangelization in 1986 and I was invited to be the Director of Pastoral Formation at Saint Mary’s Seminary in Houston. This opportunity very much resonated with my own pastoral experiences and priorities. The vast majority of the seminarians were non-Hispanic and yet they were preparing to minister in dioceses with ever increasing Hispanic populations. Accompanying men studying for the priesthood helped to prepare me for some future Paulist positions. First, beginning in 1988, for six years as Paulist vocation director I would be helping candidates to discern whether or not they were being called to enter our Novitiate. Second, after a three-year return to the Lone Star State, where I assumed Bruce’s role of Director of Evangelization, I was asked to be our Paulist Director of Formation. How The Spirit had guided me through various assignments enabled me to embrace both of these Paulist ministries with confidence.

As I reflect upon the eight years that I was Paulist President, there were two blessings I want to highlight. First, it was the opportunity to be part of the face of the community in 2008 as we celebrated our 150th anniversary. Second, and more importantly, was the chance to see first-hand the various ministries in which the Paulists are engaged. And I must stress that I very much expand the word “Paulist” in this context. Yes, it refers to our members, but also to our Paulist Associates, staffs in parishes, campuses, centers, the Press and other Paulist offices and entities and, of course, the members of our worshipping communities.

Excerpt from “The Value of Faith” (for the Feast of St. Peter in Chains in Sermons by the Fathers of the Congregation of St. Paul the Apostle, New York, Volume VI, 1871

(No preacher is identified.)

Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong.
1Corinthians 16:13

The soul seeks to know more of God, to come nearer to God. Nature, art, and science do not suffice to satisfy its aspirations, aspirations after the real, of which nature, art, and science are only imperfect images or limited conceptions. It is to meet this want that the divine light of faith is given to the soul. It gives to the soul a greater knowledge of God, by revealing to it truths above nature and beyond the utmost reach of man s reason. The strength which faith imparts brings the soul nearer to and in closer union with God.

If, therefore, men value things because they give a clearer knowledge of God, and bring them closer to Him, how much more ought they to value the light of Christian faith? If men love nature, art, and science, that is the reason why they should be Christians, and all the better Christians, because Christianity brings us nearer to the object of all our seeking than reason, art, and science can ever possibly do.

Reason brings us to God as His creatures, and makes Him known to us as Providence. Faith brings us to God as His children, and leads us to cry to Him with the inmost affections of our hearts, “Abba, Father!” Reason, by science, art, and philosophy, leads the mind to the contemplation of, God as the great First Cause and the Archetype of all beauty. But faith makes us participators in the Divine nature, “heirs of God,” and, when perfected by the light of glory, enables the soul to gaze on the Divine Essence, fills it with torrents of delight, and bathes it in the sea of God s own beatitude. Is not everything else as nothing compared with the Divine light of faith! O inestimable faith! the crown and glory of human reason! the best of God s gifts to man!

Having learned that faith is inestimable on account of its inherent qualities, now let us test its value by what men have done and suffered to keep so great a possession. Look upon the crucifix above the altar, that tells you what the God-Man suffered to bestow this gift upon man. His wounds, His blood, His life, is the price He paid in our stead for it. If a thing can be estimated by what men pay to suffer or do for it, look at Calvary, at what God has paid and suffered for it, and tell us what is com parable with faith. The Apostles, before they obtained it, were weak and timid; but when they had received it, they suffered and gloried therein. They lived, labored, suffered, and in turn laid down their lives in testimony of the priceless value of that gift of all gifts.

Isaac Says …

By virtue of ordination the priest becomes a conductor of God’s grace to the people, ex opere operato, through the means of the sacraments, and aids them by such other rites and ceremonies as the Church ordains. But besides this, as an individual the priest, the same as any other person in the state of grace, is personally, through baptism and his other graces, in communion with God, and there by, according to his perfection, ex opere operantis, becomes a channel of grace to others. In this lies the weight of the additional grace he contributes to the sacraments and other holy rites of the Church in his own person.

From “Writings of Religious Life and the Paulists; Personal Sanctifiction of the Paulist and His Standard of Perfection” — found in The Paulist Vocation

Proposed Program for June

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

Theme: Pentecost

Opening Prayer: The Paulist Prayer Book, Pentecost, p.336ff

Reading (in advance of the meeting):

holy_spiritFrom Hecker’s Notes on the Holy Spirit, found in The Paulist Vocation

The Soul of the church is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit as a saving grace manifests and communicates himself to souls ordinarily by means of the Church only. Through her divine authority in guiding them to truth and keeping them from error; in her Sacraments communicating by each special grace meeting the different needs of the soul.

… Once the Holy Spirit has taken up His dwelling in a soul, the whole work of the Church in all her sacraments, worship, and discipline, and authority, has nothing else in view than the strengthening of the soul in following the guidance of the Holy Spirit and in cultivating those dispositions which are most favorable to the designs of the Holy Spirit.

…The work of the Holy Ghost began on the day of Pentecost, when He descended visibly to the Apostles and disciples. It is in this dispensation we live, and when He reigns on earth, the work of the Holy Spirit will be finished. When is realized the petition of the Saviour. “They will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Through the Holy Spirit the world was called out of chaos.

Through Him the patriarchs and prophets were inspired.

Through Him the way to the Incarnation was prepared.

Through Him the Church was established.

Trough Him every Christian soul is regenerated.

Through Him all things receive their perfection and are glorified.

Through the Holy Spirit the martyrs received the strength to sustain triumphantly their sufferings.

Through Him the apostles of nations were filled with zeal and power to convert nations.

Through Him the innumerable litany of the Saints were sanctified.

Through the Holy Spirit we receive all that is Holy, Good, True and Beautiful.

Sanctity is the result of the primary or immediate action of the Holy Spirit in the individual soul and its faithful correspondence with this inspiration.

Religion is primary, and if there is to be a renewal of human society in all its relations, to have a stable basis it must spring from and begin a renewal of Religion, as all man’s actions should be directed to the attainment of his true destiny …

The aim of the Church is to impart birth to this Divine Spirit in each individual soul.

Conversation Catalyst

  • Hecker identifies the Holy Spirit in this enumeration of the Spirit’s work in the individual soul, in the Church, and in creation — from the beginning of creation and throughout history. What would you add to this litany?
  • At the end of this excerpt, Hecker states: “The aim of the Church is to impart birth to this Divine Spirit in each individual soul.” What do you think the aim of the Church is?
  • Hecker declares that there is one and the same Spirit who abides in the individual soul and in the heart of the Church throughout history. How is an individual formed by Church doctrine and at the same time reconciled with one’s differences with Church teachings?
  • Share with the group a Hecker quote about the Holy Spirit that is of particular import to you. Why is this passage meaningful to you?


Closing Prayer
Pentecost Sequence (Veni, Sancte Spiritus)
From the Liturgy of Pentecost (Day)

Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!
Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.
You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;
In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.
O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!
Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.
On the faithful, who adore
And confess you, evermore
In your sevenfold gift descend;
Give them virtue’s sure reward;
Give them your salvation, Lord;
Give them joys that never end.


Paulist Associates in Diaspora Monthly Meetings

The first meeting of the Paulist Associates in Diaspora conducted its first conference call meeting in October. Since then they have met several times, using the “Proposed Program” of the month from The Associates World.

We have now instituted a monthly conference call on the last Sunday of the month for those Associates who no longer live near a Paulist Associates group. The calls are for approximately 1 hour beginning at:

  • 7:00 pm Eastern
  • 6:00 pm Central
  • 5:00 pm Mountain
  • 4:00 pm Pacific

The Diaspora will meet again on Sunday, May 28.

Fr. Frank reports that these conference call meetings are proving to be a fruitful time of prayer, reflection and discussion, and community building.

Already in the Diaspora group are Richard Allegra, Brian Flanagan, Judy Kempf, Rita Kerr, Joanne McGuire, and Kathy Rex. These Associates are spread from coast to coast, north to south.

If you know of any Associates who have moved from your group and are not connected with another group and would like to stay connected with the Paulist Associates, please, send Fr. Frank their e-mail address. (His email address is

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

chairs-lake-georgeSt. 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.

Rest In Peace

bedorthaPlease pray for Bill Bedortha, Paulist Associate from Horseshoe Bay, who passed away on Tuesday, April 11 during Holy Week. Please keep Bill in prayer as well his loved ones, especially his wife, Mary Kay, who also is a Paulist Associate. We invite you to read a lovely reflection on his life.

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

behnke_hecker_bookIsaac Thomas Hecker: Spiritual Pilgrim
by John J. Behnke, CSP

Recently released by Paulist Press, Fr. John Behnke who is the Vice President of the Paulists, provides us with a fresh look at the biography of the Paulist founder. He traces Hecker’s encounters with Transcendentalism and various Protestant denominations during his spiritual quest, which eventually guided him to the Catholic Church, priesthood, and founding of he first religious order of men in the United States.

This portrait of Hecker does not confine itself to the 19th century; it also leads us to the work of the Paulists today and an account of the cause for Hecker’s canonization.

This paperback book is available online at Paulist Press as well as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


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

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.