Latest Posts

Post Library


Looking Back Over the Past 12 Months…

Fr Rich AndreFr. Rich Andre, CSP
June 23, 2023

I became Director of the Paulist Center on July 1, 2022. What a wild and wonderful ride it’s been during this first year! Many of you know some of the general outlines of what’s happened in that year:

  • The number of people attending Mass in person has increased substantially. Many ministries that had been reduced or suspended at the beginning of the pandemic (plus a few that had become inactive before then) have been revived. There are some new faces among us these days. Many of these changes have nothing to do with my tenure; these are because people are more comfortable gathering in person again.
  • Our pastoral staff has been rocked by transitions. Not only have I arrived in the past year, we will have had 3 different Associate Directors and 2 part-time Young Adult Ministers in a 12-month period.
  • Because we are in a period of growth, we have emphasized that there are always newcomers among us who are unfamiliar with our traditions and abbreviations. As we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, it’s also the time to talk more about stewardship and finances than in recent years. (See p. 3 of the bulletin for an update, for example.)


This is my first time serving anywhere as a pastor or director, so it’s been a year of tremendous growth for me.

  • We have so many members who possess a wonderful mix of strength and humility. Next year, when volunteers – especially those involved with Holy Week and the Auction – say “Don’t worry; I’ve got this,” I’ll try to worry a lot less than I did this year. They have proven that they have the skills to get the job done well!
  • I already realized that I was positive and energetic, but I’ve been surprised to be described as a “cheerleader.” I apparently have the gift of galvanizing people. Who knew?
  • I’m surprised at how much writing I can do in a given week! (I used to be an engineer, so this is a surprise.)
  • I’m still not an expert, but my work to increase my emotional intelligence is paying off. Despite the many transitions, our pastoral staff is working as a cohesive, flexible team. Susan, Norm, Patty, and Ed have all been fantastic in taking tasks off my plate, even tasks outside of their job descriptions.
  • Despite one of my previous bishops forbidding me to preach about social justice issues, it seems that I have nonetheless developed the necessary skills to do it.


Nevertheless, I still have a lot to learn about this role.

  • I struggle to prioritize items that are important-but-not-as-urgent over items that are urgent-but-not-as-important. I struggle to respond to every email and voicemail, and to send thank-you notes in a timely manner. I really think that we need to hire an assistant of some kind, but with the financial deficit we currently face, hiring another person is out of the question.
  • As a nonlinear thinker, it takes me a while to figure out what questions I need to ask, and when we have enough data to move forward. This has led to some unnecessary stress and frustration for the Pastoral Staff and the Pastoral Council. I really hope that there will be less “cans of worms” to open in the upcoming year, so we can focus on the cans I’ve already opened!
  • I don’t get to do nearly as much one-on-one counseling with people as I did before. (It’s my favorite part of being a priest!) But with all the additional responsibilities I’m taking on, perhaps this is a blessing in disguise.
  • I wish more of our members would compliment our staff and key volunteers for their immense talents and hard work. They work incredibly hard. However, part of the problem is that I haven’t done a good enough job explaining how everyone contributes to keeping the Paulist Center up and running!
  • I think of myself as very collaborative, but I have failed to meet and listen with as many of you as I have wanted to since I arrived. Although I seek the insights of the staff, our advisory councils (especially the Pastoral Council), other members, and resident Paulists before making any major decision, too often I fail to consult with someone who wishes they were included.


I continue to believe that God calls me to serve as the Director of the Paulist Center, and I am very grateful to all of you who have helped me grow in the past year! I hope to keep growing in this position, with your continued help and the help of others we have yet to meet!