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Going Forward, What’s Our Vision?

Fr Rich AndreRich Andre, CSP
July 1, 2022


Going Forward, What’s Our Vision?


Going Forward, What’s Our Vision?

Even though today is technically my first day as Director, the staff has been fielding a lot of questions the past two weeks, asking what my vision for the Paulist Center will be. The world around us has changed drastically over the past few years, but at the same time, Jesus Christ our Savior is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The answer is: it’s not my vision; it’s our vision Whatever we do, we will discern it – and do it – together.

Please be assured of the following:

  • The Paulist Center will continue to be attentive to the Holy Spirit. As Paulist founder Isaac Hecker first realized in Boston in the 1840s, our goal both as individual disciples and as an intentional community is to discern together what God desires.
  • The Paulist Center will continue to be nourished by vibrant liturgy. We have a talented array of liturgical ministers among us. Here, the attention to details, and to the theological repercussions of those details, is cherished.
  • The Paulist Center will continue to be a Catholic community that welcomes all. As Acts, 1 Corinthians, and Ephesians attest, Christians have always wrestled with the tensions between inclusivity, diversity, and orthodoxy. We will continue to welcome all people, even if they are different from those of us already gathered here.
  • The Paulist Center will continue to foster healing and reconciliation. We will not rest on our laurels of our previous creative initiatives. We will find new and relevant ways to reach out to people who have felt hurt by or alienated from the Church.
  • The Paulist Center will continue to act for justice. We are finite beings living in a world of infinite need, but we will endeavor, to paraphrase John Wesley, to do all the good we can, by all the means we can, in all the ways we can, in all the places we can, at all the times we can, with all the people we can, for as long as we can.

How specifically will we do this in the months and years to come? The Holy Spirit has not revealed that yet. But one thing is clear: it will take months for me to get to know each of you and hear how the Spirit has been working in your life. So, that’s the first step. As of today, I declare that declare myself to be the “Listener-In-Chief,” and I want to talk with each and every one of you! What brought you to the Paulist Center? What are your hopes and dreams for this community? Sign up on this form to schedule a meeting with me – we can talk in my office, on a walk, in a restaurant, on a videochat, or on a phone call – whatever feels most comfortable for you. I want to talk with members who have been here for half a century, visitors who have come for half a month, and former members who have drifted away over the past two decades but still live in the Boston area. Please pass the word along to everyone!

In one of those strange coincidences, this weekend, the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, is the 14-year anniversary of the first time I’ve preached at the Paulist Center. Even though it’s once again the 14th Sunday, I promise that this will be a completely different message. This may be the second time I’m preaching at the Paulist Center, but I certainly hope that I’ll be preaching here hundreds of times over the years to come!