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Forever Grateful to Have Served Here!

Fr Rich AndreFr. Rich Andre, CSP
May 31, 2024

When I became the director of the Paulist Center, I never imagined that the Paulist Fathers would ask me to move less than 2 years later. I am simultaneously heartbroken to be moving away from Boston and excited about the opportunities awaiting me in Chicago!

If only one active priest can stay in Boston, I agree that it needs to be Fr. Rick.

The past 2 years has been a time of substantial personal and professional growth for me. Until moving here, my training and ministry focused primarily on preaching, presiding, counseling, and teaching. But in my 18th and 19th years with the Paulists, those tasks moved to the back burner as I gained on-the-job education about management, visioning, and communication.

I have learned so much from all of you! First of all, you’ve taught me that unless I opt to work smarter rather than work harder, my physical, emotional, and spiritual health will suffer. You’ve taught me that nobody is well served when I say “yes” to more things than I can possibly handle. (My apologies once again for all the emails, phone calls, and texts that I never responded to, and for all the individual thank you notes that I never sent you!) You taught me that being vulnerable about my weaknesses allows me to better foster my God-given strengths. Thank you, one and all! Many thanks to the people who have done the most to help this non-linear thinker try to organize his thoughts, especially Mary Lesko, Amy Logan, and Deb Heimel. And thanks to the staff who have witnessed to a gift that I never realized that I possessed: the ability to galvanize a community of faith.

As someone God has given the gift of galvanizing, I offer a final challenge to this beloved community. Many of you have mentioned the joy and enthusiasm that has been present at the Paulist Center these past 2 years. You speak as if I brought the energy with me to Boston, but in truth, I simply witnessed to what has been here all along. The joy and enthusiasm for the gospel resides within each one of you! Here are my suggestions for how to keep galvanizing one another in the Spirit, which will be essential to the long-term success of the Paulist Center:

  • Never tire of inviting your family, friends, and neighbors to join you here for Mass and to support our various charity, justice, education, and community-building ministries!
  • If possible, come to Mass in-person each and every weekend. We’re more authentically Christ’s Body when we’re physically together!
  • You can enhance the reputation of the Paulist Center by speaking primarily about your recent positive experiences here, rather than about your negative experiences elsewhere or about your positive experiences here long ago.
  • Do all you can to support the staff, especially Fr. Rick, who is going to be stretched very thin until he finds help in caring for the senior priests at 5 Park Street.
  • Even though it’s a rather cumbersome process, be sure to register as a member of the Paulist Center Community. Start by visiting org/becoming-a-member/. When you receive the form in the mail, be sure to mail it back promptly.
  • Stay up to date on all the awesome things we do at the Paulist Center!

This is not “Goodbye forever.” It’s simply “Farewell for now.” I hope to be with you again in the not-so-distant future! Until then, let us commend one another to the all-embracing love of Christ.

Warmly, with many prayers,