The Associates World: October 2016

October 26, 2016

Issue No. 12, October 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.


Table of Contents

Prayer for the Intercession of Father Isaac T. Hecker

Hecker_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.

In the Catholic tradition, intercessory prayer focuses on the needs of others. We ask those who have gone before us to pray for us, much like we ask a friend today to hold us in prayer when we are in need.

We encourage all Paulist Associates to pray this prayer regularly and to share it with others.

We also hope that Associates will visit the web site of the Office of the Cause for Canonization of Servant of God, Isaac Hecker at, where you can find the a copy of this prayer on-line.

You will also find basic information about Hecker’s life, some photos of Hecker, and an overview of the process towards canonization.

Fr. Paul Robichaud, CSP, who is the Postulator of the Cause and Paulist historian, contributed many items on the Reflections and Blog page. He quotes a variety of excerpts from Hecker’s writings. In addition, his reflections and insights into Hecker’s words and thoughts guide the user to meditate more deeply on the meaning of the Paulist founder’s theology, spirituality, and ministry.

The Links page provides URL’s so you can access some of Hecker’s writings, including Aspirations of Nature, Questions of the Soul, The Catholic Church in the United States, and The Church and the Age. These primary Hecker resources will prove valuable to those Associates (and all) who wish to delve more deeply into Hecker’s thought.

There are other links, such as The Life of Fr. Hecker, the first official biography, written by Walter Elliott, CSP.

Edward Cardinal Egan, then Archbishop of New York, opened the Cause for Canonization of Servant of God, Isaac Hecker in 2008, on the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Paulist Fathers — the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York City. This parish is the mother church of the Paulists.

A Farewell to St. Paul’s College

by Frank Desiderio, CSP

african_violets_1 african_violets_2 hecker_windowAfrican Violets are hard to cultivate
but there are giants along the habit trail windows
nurturance takes time, not too much water.

The bell tower high as the capitol
the library that was a chapel
with its barrel vault ceiling
and sainted windows
oak tables and stacks
to wander through.
Packing away the assembly line of thought
from Augustine to Aquinas to Rahner
from Kant to Descartes
Hegel and Kierkegaard
row after row of empty library shelves
the smell of cracked bindings
old dust stirred up
in the light of
painted windows: John J Burke
Isaac Jogues, Liguori,
Cardinal Gibbons
Aquinas, Teresa of Avila
Pius IX, Neri,
and the one we must keep
Father Hecker
preaching and in the lower third
a pamphlet rack
with a mother and child reading,
the round one of Paul
at the moment of shock
unhorsed, hitting the ground
arms and legs in the air
facing a majestic Jesus.

All of those prayers
God, tell me what to do,
the icon that gave counsel
through a celibacy crises.

Innumerable beige meals and
paroxysms of laughter
voices, if we could hear backwards,
the voices of all the men
those who stayed and others
whose voices trail down other halls.

These stone walls sheltered every Paulist
from 1913 until 2015.
The library sold, the art cataloged
the trucks already away from the curb.

The African violets stay
the legacy moves on.


Sermon by Servant of God, Isaac Thomas Hecker, CSP

st-paul-churchHecker delivered the following sermon at the Paulist Mother Church, St. Paul the Apostle Parish in New York City in 1863. This sermon was published in 1864 as part of a collection of sermons delivered by the first Paulists.

Are we aware of the high privilege of being the true children of God? Does this move us as children of the Father to serve and pray to Him? A child is at home in the house of his father. He does not wait to do as his father asks. He fulfills his father’s wishes without obligation or difficulty. For where there is love there is freedom and obligation ceases to be a burden.

If guilty of a fault, it is to displease one’s parent. To lack trust in a parent’s wisdom, affection, tenderness and care, never enters the mind. Am I wrong to say that few Christians at any state of life serve and pray to God in this manner? We find souls that have long been devoted to God’s service and yet are still in doubt as to whether God loves them, whether their sins are forgiven and whether they are prepared to die? What a misunderstanding of the privilege of being a Christian.

There are others who keep God’s law, fulfilling the duties of their calling and if it were proposed to them, and they would rather choose death than be guilty of offending God. But their conscience is governed by fear and when for good reason such as illness or an act of charity or the care of a sick member of their family or a suffering neighbor, they miss Sunday Mass or their regular prayer, they fear as if they had sinned and lose their inner sense of peace, until they have been reassured that they have acted correctly. And while God in the fullness of His heart is stretching forth His arms of love to embrace these good Christians for their charitable acts, they are crouching in fear lest God be extending his arm to strike them.

We should not cringe or crouch like a beast of burden but be motivated by the spirit where we cry “Abba Father.” Look up to your heavenly Father. Trust in his infinite love, goodness and mercy. As Saint Paul writes, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Serve God with affection and in the freedom in which Christ has made you free.

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

National Retreat for the Paulist Associates
St. Mary’s on the Lake, Lake George, NY
Sunday, July 2 to Friday, July 7, 2017

Isaac Says

It seemed as though the slightest action of my mind or body depended altogether and directly on God; and that my condition was like that of a wretched and famishing beggar sitting at the gate of a wealthy prince, who did not venture to raise his head and ask for assistance when he passed by. And it also seemed to me that God required of me to accept this abject condition for my whole life, and after some struggle this act of acceptance was made. Immediately after my ordination my superiors employed me in the work of missions. The duties of the sacred ministry appeared to me most natural, the hearing of confessions and the direction of souls was as though it had been a thing practiced from my childhood, and was a source of great consolation.

— Document submitted by Father Hecker to his Director and others, in Rome, 1858.)

Proposed Program for November

hs_window_at_st_petersTheme: The Mission of the Spirit

Opening Prayer: The Paulist Prayer Book, select the day on which you meet

Reading (in advance of the meeting):

The Mission of the Spirit

It cannot be too deeply impressed on the mind that the Church is actuated by the instinct of the Holy Spirit, and to discern clearly its action, and to co-operate with it effectually, is the highest employment of our faculties, and at the same time the primary source of the greatest good to society. … The essential and universal principle which saves and sanctifies souls is the Holy Spirit. He it was who called, inspired, and sanctified the patriarchs, the prophets, and saints of the old dispensation. The same Divine Spirit inspired and sanctified the apostles, the martyrs, and the saints of the new dispensation. The actual and habitual guidance of the soul by the Holy Spirit is the essential principle of all divine life. “I have taught the prophets from the beginning, and even till now I cease not to speak to all” (Thomas à Kempis III,3) Christ’s mission was to give the Holy Spirit more abundantly.

The whole aim of the science of Christian perfection is to instruct men how to remove the hindrances in the way of the action of the Holy Spirit, and how to cultivate those virtues which are most favorable to His solicitations and inspirations. Thus the sum of spiritual life consists in observing and yielding to the movements of the Spirit of God in our soul, employing for this purpose all the exercises of prayer, spiritual reading, sacraments, the practice of virtues and good works.

That divine action which is the immediate and principal cause of the salvation and perfection of the soul claims by right its direct and main attention. From this source within the soul there will gradually come to birth the consciousness of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, out of which will spring a force surpassing all human strength, a courage higher than all human heroism, a sense of dignity excelling all human greatness. The light the age requires for its renewal can come only from the same source. The renewal of the age depends on the renewal of religion. The renewal of religion depends upon a greater effusion of the creative and renewing power of the Holy Spirit. The greater effusion of the Holy Spirit depends on the giving of increased attention to His movements and inspirations in the soul. The radical and adequate remedy for all the evils of our age, and the source of all true progress, consist in increased attention and fidelity to the action of the Holy Spirit in the soul. “Thou shalt send forth Thy spirit, and they shall be created: and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.”

— Isaac Hecker
The Church and the Age: An Exposition of the Catholic Church in View of the Needs and Aspirations of the Present

Conversation Catalysts

  • How are you attentive to Holy Spirit’s movements and inspiration in your soul?
  • Discuss a recent article or book you read that influenced your prayer.

Closing Prayer

Prayer to the Holy Spirit by St. Augustine

Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.

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

hecker_studiesHecker Studies: Essays on the Thought of Isaac Hecker
by John Farina (editor)

Then Paulist historian, John Farina compiled these five essays on the occasion of the 125th anniversary celebration of the founding of the Paulist community. These Hecker scholars offer a perspective of Hecker’s thought through the lens of church history, political science, theology, and psychology.

“Isaac Hecker and Testem Benevolentiae: A Study in Theological Pluralism” by William L. Portier

“Isaac Hecker’s Political Thought” by Edward J. Langlois

“An Evangelical Imperative: Isaac Hecker, Catholicism, and Modern Society” by David J. O’Brien

“A Jungian Analysis of Isaac Thomas Hecker” by Robert W. Baer, CSP

“Isaac Hecker’s Vision for the Paulists: Hopes and Realities” by John Farina

This book is available at Paulist Press.

The Spirit of India, A Paulist Pilgrimage
February 9 to March 2, 2017

india_1Join Thomas A. Kane of the Paulist Fathers for a special study-pilgrimage to explore the spiritual traditions of North and South India.

Pilgrims will visit temples, learn of various spiritual traditions and experience the integration of Christianity in cultural contexts where it is a minority among different world religions.

This pilgrimage has been specially designed for both seekers who are interested in learning more about different spiritual practices and the religiously committed who are interested in the potential for mutual enrichment in the interreligious encounter.

Sites include New Delhi, Varanasi, The Taj, Jaipur, Goa and Kerala.

Limited to sixteen participants.

For itinerary and registration form, see

tak-cspFor more information contact:
Thomas A. Kane, CSP

Please refer to the April 2016 issue of The Associates World for articles written by Paulist Associates from Boston who, with Fr. “Tomaso”, were pilgrims to Rome and Assisi in March of this year.

Paulist Pilgrimages specializes in offering journeys around the world that are:

  • Spiritual – speaking to the heart and soul of the traveler, 
  • Cultural – exploring unique places beyond the tourist trail and 
  • Historical – offering a broad perspective of the land and its people..

    Join Paulist Pilgrimages to explore the world and its peoples.




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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.