Important Note related to COVID Contact Tracing (2/3/2021)
February 5, 2021
Dear Friends on the Journey,
I was always drawn to Reader’s Digest “brainteasers.” That appeals to me: something that “teases my brain.” Here are a few of what I call “soul teasers,” especially in the light of the approaching Holy Season of Lent.
1) This enticing advertisement for Church leaders crossed my desk: “This [Lent and] Easter, now more than ever… Your people need encouragement; Your people need hope; Your people need beauty; Your people need laughter; Your people need prayers; Your people need connection; Your people need to know you care.” Besides putting a heavy burden on pastoral leadership, it got me to wonder if the advertisement was correct about what pastoral leadership should give to its members. What do you think? Is the mission of all church leaders more to nourish or to challenge ourselves?
2) A noted North American Church leader recently said “Yet a spiritual narcissism has invaded our thinking whether the individual needs and desires of the Believer have become the center of [Church] attention. This is why when someone says, ‘I don’t want worship online, it’s not for me. I just don’t get anything out of it.’ I want to say: ‘Friend, it’s not about whether you get anything out of it. It’s about whether God got anything out of it from you.’”
3) At a recent clergy meeting, wringing their hands about how to observe Ash Wednesday in a time of Covid, one lone voice asked us all, “Ash Wednesday is about reminding folks that they are going to die…to bring them question how they are going to live. I’ve been pondering my mortality now for ten months, and the last thing I need right now is a religious observance reminding me of death.” Is this Pandemic year the time to “skip Lent”?
What do you think?
Join us for Community Prayer on Wednesday (see link below). More on Lent below and next week…
See Paulist Community Members share “What Got me Through 2020” here.
Next week, I will share with you a number of devotional and study resources for Lent which begins February 17th). But this week, here are four books you may consider ordering online in order to be in your home for Ash Wednesday. Two of them reflect our Paulist Center’s commitment to become anti-racist, learning more about our African American legacy (one positive, one very critical).
A goodly number of the Paulist Center Community have been exploring how to be antiracist through the JustFaith Program. When they conclude, we will be offering other opportunities for the whole community (NB: thanks to the Young Adult Ministry for a wonderful reflection on Martin Luther King on January 18th!). Each week of February, Black History Month, I will offer a snapshot of a great African American Catholic, taken from the provocatively entitled article from America magazine, “Who will be the first Black Catholic saint from the United States?” I begin with Sr. Thea Bowman (see above of the four Lenten book recommendations). You should know about her.
Save this Time and Date: 7pm, Saturday, March 6th. On Zoom (of course), a live Address by Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, winner of the 2019 (yes), Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice.
Here is a link to register for the event — we will send the zoom link to all who register.
Household of Faith LENTEN Planning Session – Sunday, Feb 7 @ 10:45am
Can you believe Lent begins in a few weeks? Many of us feel that we have been through an extended Lent this year with much fasting from hugs and activities, and with praying double-time for this pandemic to end. If you are not sure how much energy you have for Lent this year, join Susan Rutkowski, Pastoral Minister of Family Religious Education, for a working session to plan for Lent in your household of faith. Let’s together take stock of our weariness, laugh together (cry if you need to!), hold each other up, and decide what will work best for us and our family during the forty days of Lent. Easy activities, worksheets, and family discussion opportunities will help each of us decide how to best draw close to God this Lenten season without getting overwhelmed. Invest an hour to be led through the process so you don’t have to figure it all out yourself! Paulist Center Families Lent Gathering, Feb 7, 2021, 10:45 AM. Here’s the Zoom link
Worshiping In-Person at the Paulist Center Chapel
(imperative if you will be worshiping with us)…
How to reserve a place?
Please call the Center (617.742.4460) Wednesday through Friday during business hours (10am-5pm). Sal, our receptionist, will take your name and contact information (either email or phone number. We need this information so that we can contact you should we become aware, after the liturgy, of a person with Covid who attended your Mass).
Here’s the YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/0TwlK80q_wE
2) Paulist Center Families’ Fourth Sunday Liturgy of the Word, 10am, Sunday:
See Fr. Mike’s Email Missive for the link details.
3) Paulist Center Rosary Circle. 7:30pm every Monday.
Here’s the Zoom Link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/487503158
Meeting ID: 487 503 158; Passcode: 021078
4) All are welcome to a half-hour prayer gathering with/from the Paulist Center’s Lay Reflectors led prayer next Wednesday, 7pm. See Fr. Michael’s email missive for the url.
Ways of Giving:
Our “Community Gift” is the Paulist Center’s 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 the Bethany House Ministries, an organization that provides support to prisoners, ex-prisoners, and their families. Thank you so much for your generosity!
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: https://tinyurl.com/DonatePaulistCenter
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.”
- Giving by text: Text a whole dollar donation amount to 844-899-7511; this will be designated as your “Weekend Offering.”
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I conclude now with the Prophet Micah 6:8:
Our Faithful God has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
And let us pray for/with one another.
Michael McGarry, C.S.P.
Director, the Paulist Center
Along with Patty, Chuck, Susan, Peter, Dorothy, John, Barbara, Rob, Alvaro, 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.