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Continuing the Discussion of Racism

Dear Friends on the Journey,

Prayer to Overcome Racism

Mary, friend and mother to all,
through your Son, God has found a way
to unite himself to every human being,
called to be one people,
sisters and brothers to each other.

We ask for your help in calling on your Son,
seeking forgiveness for the times when
we have failed to love and respect one another.

We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son
the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism
and to build a just society.

We ask for your help in following your Son,
so that prejudice and animosity
will no longer infect our minds or hearts,
but will be replaced with a love that respects
the dignity of each person.

Mother of the Church,
the Spirit of your Son, Jesus,
warms our hearts:
Pray for us.


This last Sunday evening, more than 150 members of the Paulist Center Community (about 108 computer connections, with multiple participants at many of them) gathered to address the issue of racism. Of course, there are many ways of coming at this issue: within ourselves,
within our Church, within our nation. (I hope you were able to read Cardinal Sean’s June 13 th homily (if you missed it, here’s the link:

The focus for our first gathering were the biases or racism within us. Verna Myers’ powerful Ted talk was the occasion for us, in small groups, to begin to address this question.

As a Catholic Christian community, as effective or moving as Sunday’s gathering was for many people, we cannot simply “check the box” and say that now we, as a community, have addressed this poison within us. We received more than forty evaluations from Sunday’s conversation. It is clear that 1) most people appreciated the opportunity to talk with one another about this painful, delicate issue; 2) most felt that the time was too short but that the format was helpful; 3) many wish to educate themselves about racism in some form or other (this was Fr. Massingale’s strong encouragement in his article which I shared with you); 4) many were wondering about how the Paulist Center might engage more local people of color; and 5) many people want to move from talking to action. We want to take these recommendations seriously.

It is my strong belief, drawn from Fr. Massingale’s article and my own conviction, that next we need some sourcing in the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and Catholic social teaching to ground from as we move forward. And this for two reasons: first, as Catholic Christians we have to know why, from our tradition, what a proper attitude towards race might have its foundation. Second, as good citizens of our country, we Catholics have something valuable to contribute to the national conversation.

To that end, watch for next week’s Missive about the time and format our next conversation: “Our Faith and Its Resources to help us to be Anti-Racist.” You can be sure it will include time for us to talk together, again, in small groups.

In the meantime, you may wish to watch this reflection about Sr. Thea Bowman, a wonderful African American Catholic we should all know. This is Deacon Myers Chambers’ reflection on her (about 20 mins):

Two very important items…
About Reentry into Our Chapel (tentatively scheduled for July 18, 5pm; July 19, 10am & 6pm):

This is very important:
We are still in need of hospitality ministers for our Chapel reentry. It is absolutely critical that we have a minimum of three people at each Mass who can assist with welcoming, seating, and directing people into and out of the Chapel. If you are not in a vulnerable group with regard to COVID-19 and are willing and able to assist in this very important ministry, please contact Peter Ghiloni at


1) Here are the expectations and requirements.

2) A wonderful YouTube Video (hats off, in appreciation, to Vincent Rocchio & family and the Hankle/Spicer family):

1) 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 5th, Live Streamed Liturgy/Mass from the Chapel, at 12N:

Here’s the link:

2) Paulist Center Families Prayer Service, 10 am, Sunday
Please click here to join us:
Meeting ID: 972 5247 4747, Password: 037026, One tap mobile
+16465588656,,97252474747#,,1#,037026# US (New York)

3) All are welcome to a prayer gathering with/from the Paulist Center’s LGBTQ+ prayer next Wednesday, June 24 th , 7pm. The link is for this week: The reflector will be Chris Lawton.

4) Connect for a Chat. Patty Simpson will be offering an hour a week for any Paulist Center members who might want to connect. Patty has in mind especially those who aren’t connected into any other small groups. You can join the conversation on Thursday, July 9, 7-8pm through this link. Also if anyone wishes to connect with Patty either on phone or video session, just email her or leave a message on her phone (617.948.2428) and she will get back to you ASAP.
Please note that the community chat will not meet on July 16th, 23rd, or 30th.

4) All are welcome to a prayer gathering with/from the Paulist Center’s LGBTQ+ prayer next Wednesday, July 8 th , 7pm. The link is for this week: The reflector will be Chris Malano,
the Paulist novice who contributed so importantly to the Paulist Center this Lent.

Ways of Giving:

Our “Community Gift” is our tradition of giving away 5% of our weekend offerings, averaged out over the whole year, to a group outside of ourselves. This week, we lift up National Cares Mentoring Movement ( They provide social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond

We are so very grateful for your support during this time of uncertainly and financial peril. Here are two ways to give:

To make a one-time or recurring donation using your bank account or credit card, click on the following link:
Giving by text: Text 844-899-7511 with the amount you would like to donate (whole dollars only). Donations collected this way will be designated as part of the “Weekend Offering.”

An idea: a couple Paulist Center members, receiving the Stimulus Check of $1200 but still being fully employed, gave a half of that check to the Paulist Center Community. What a great idea!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I conclude with the wise words of St. Teresa of Avila:

Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall
never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.

And let us pray for/with one another.

Michael McGarry, C.S.P.
Director, the Paulist Center

Along with Patty, Chuck, Susan, Peter, Kristin, Dorothy, Alvaro, Barbara, Rob, and Sal. Please feel free to call upon your Pastoral Ministers if you wish.

I will be sending out something every Thursday or Friday as the “shut down” continues.

Keeping the Faith During the Time of Coronavirus