Holding On as the Ground Shifts
Rich Andre, CSP
July 29, 2022
Rich Andre, CSP
July 29, 2022
This weekend, our readings from Ecclesiastes and Luke caution us that no matter our status or wealth, our ability to control every aspect of our lives is merely an illusion. This has been abundantly clear here at 5 Park Street this month.
Chuck Cunniff, who serves as both the associate director of the Paulist Center and as the superior of the resident Paulist community, is terribly ill. He was supposed to be away on vacation July 14-28, but wisely chose to stay in Boston. For several weeks, he has been unable to get a full night’s sleep or absorb nutrients into his body, which has led to a lack of appetite, energy, and strength. Part of the problem is related to his prostate, but we are awaiting further medical tests before doctors make a full diagnosis. Chuck thanks you for your continued prayers! If you would like to reach out to Chuck, hand-written notes and email messages are the best way to go. Please be aware that Chuck does not currently have the energy to take phone calls or to respond to every email message.
This past weekend, Chuck asked the Paulist Fathers to move him temporarily into Senior Ministry Status (SMS), as he is not able to fulfill his ministry roles as associate director or superior. The Paulists accepted his request and have already assigned a new associate/superior to come to Boston. I have not been given permission to disclose his name yet, as we are still awaiting approval from the Archdiocese of Boston. However, this Paulist – currently living in another part of the country – will need time to wrap up his current assignment, pack up, and move here.
Therefore, for the next month or so, I am the sole priest on the Paulist Center staff and the acting superior of the Boston Paulists. (Vanity of vanities, thinking that I would have more than 24 days to ease into serving as the director of the Paulist Center!) Next week, we will compile an “all hands on deck” list of ways that you can help us out. Until then, please rest assured that a few volunteers have stepped into the breach to help with the most immediate needs. On the residential side, since several of my Paulist brothers are suffering from hearing, mobility, and memory impairments, there will be opportunities to assist with meals, transportation, and perhaps even accompanying them to doctor appointments. At the Paulist Center, we’ll need help with sacramental preparation. Most urgently, we’ll need a village of volunteers for our 10 annual marriage preparation classes. If you’ve ever helped with marriage prep before, or if you’ve ever been interested in getting involved with it, this would be an ideal time to step forward! Look for more details next week.
As for me, personally, I am having bouts of feeling overwhelmed, but they are tempered by the excitement of our facing these new challenges together. While the author of Ecclesiastes says that there is nothing new under the sun, we are nevertheless living in a time of dynamic change, a time filled with new opportunities for how we can best “be Church” together!