Weekly Bulletin

It is with sadness that we announce that Fr. Charlie Martin, CSP  entered eternal life on Friday, January 27, 2023. He died in Boston after a short illness. He was 87.
The wake for Fr. Charlie will be held Friday, February 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Robert J. Lawlor Funeral Home, 1803 Centre St., West Roxbury, MA 02132.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at The Paulist Center, Boston, MA on Saturday, February 4, at 11 a.m. The Mass will be celebrated by Paulist Fr. René Constanza, president of the Paulist Fathers, with Paulist Fr. Rick Walsh sharing the homily.
Burial will take place Monday, February 6, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in West Roxbury, MA.

Bulletin for January 28/29, 2023

(A version of the bulletin as printed is available here)

Family Religious Education Program (FREP)

Our first gathering for First Holy Communion preparation will be this Sunday, January 29 at 11:15am in the 3rd floor library.
This meeting is for both parents and children making their first communion. If you need to register your child for sacramental prep, fill out the registration form.
There are no other FREP classes on January 29.  All classes resume on February 5.

FREP Winter Break

Religious Education Classes will observe winter break on both Sunday, February 19 and Sunday, February 26There will be no classes either of those weekends.

Live Stream Links

Sunday, January 29 at 10:00 am – YouTube Link and Order of Worship
Sunday, February 5 at 10:00 am – YouTube Link and Order of Worship

Sound System Update

We are aware of the ongoing struggles many of you have expressed regarding the sound in the chapel and appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to wait for updated sound/av equipment and software to be installed.
There are a number of issues being addressed that affect both the sound in the main chapel space and our live streaming.  Our hope is to have the new equipment installed and the system adjusted in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned for more updates.

Confirmation For Adults – Spring Schedule

This program is designed to prepare active, practicing adult Catholics for the Sacrament of Confirmation.  The sessions will include:

  • review of sacraments, especially Baptism and Eucharist
  • history and theology of Confirmation

Through prayer and discussion, we explore the role of faith and the Church in our lives.
In-person classes are at the Paulist Center in the 3rd floor Library, Tuesday evenings, 7-8:30pm
The dates for the Spring Confirmation classes are:

  • March 21 
  • March 28
  • April 4 
  • April 18

Confirmation will be on Tuesday, April 25 at 7pm.
The place of confirmation is yet TBD but it will be either in Somerville or in Brookline.
Those to be confirmed will need a copy of their baptism certificate from their church of baptism as well as confirmation sponsor who has been confirmed themselves.
For more information and to sign up contact Fr. Ed Nowak, CSP at ed@paulistcenter.org

Supper Club Seeks Greeters

The Wednesday Night Supper Club seeks Greeters for our guests.  Greeters welcome guests at the front door. It is a 1-hour shift every three weeks. Shift begins at 5:45pm.  If interested, please email susan@paulistcenter.org

Fr. Chuck Health Update

Fr. Chuck Cunniff completed his chemotherapy in early January. Scans and blood tests show that his prostate cancer is “diminished”. He will continue on prescription drug therapy and be checked by his oncologist on a regular basis. His cancer is “not curable but is treatable”. He is very appreciative of your prayerful support! Please keep the prayers coming – they work!

Tax Donation Letters

If you gave to the Center in an identifiable way this past calendar year, you will be sent a tax donation letter by the start of February.
There is no need to specifically request a letter, unless you don’t receive one by early February. If you have any questions, contact Patty Simpson at patty@paulistcenter.org or 617-948-2428.
Thank you so much for your generosity to the Center.  We are greatly appreciative!

The Beatitudes: A Cautionary Tale

Susan Rutkowski, MDiv
Pastoral Minister of Family Religious Education and Social Justice

Here are some beatitudes I was raised on:

Be feminine. Girls don’t need sports equipment…when asking for a baseball mitt for my first communion.

Be understanding. Your brothers are boys and your grandfather is old fashioned…when asking why my brothers were gifted new bikes and I wasn’t.

Be deferential. You’re in a male dominated field.  This is your shot to break in!…when asking why I was the only one sent to get coffee for the “team.”

Be humble. Don’t be greedy. You got the promotion, didn’t you?…when asking for an office to go along with my promotion.

Be a team player. You don’t want to be known as a whistleblower, do you?…when reporting sexual harassment to a boss.

Be satisfied.  Women have their own work and place in the church…when expressing frustration about not having the opportunity to even discern priesthood.

Be pretty, nice, modest, polite, a good girl, don’t make trouble, you’re lucky to be here…all “announced” by men. And I’m a cisgendered straight white woman.  We know treatment of those discriminated against because of race, sexual orientation, gender identification, disabilities, and religion is even worse.

In this weekend’s gospel, we hear the beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount – the Be Attitudes or Jesus’ attitudes for being in life. I have always wrestled with the beatitudes because I was never sure what to do with them. At best, they are as familiar as a favorite song or poem, or as Joan Chittister observed, “dismissed as poetic piety.” At worst, they are triggering and perpetuate stereotypes and violence against victims of discrimination and abuse, especially women who historically have been treated as inferior in most Christian religions, including our own Catholic church.

With these life experiences as context, I would sit in church, hear “blessed are the meek, persecuted and those who mourn and hunger for justice” and wonder why I should have to wait for the reign of God to be comforted, filled or shown mercy. It didn’t make sense. The lack of exegesis or pastoral response from the pulpit was striking. Never did I hear the word “meek” put into context or a pastoral response to the negative connotation of so many of these terms. Indeed, in my lifetime, I’ve only heard one priest address violence against women in a homily.

A contemporary Catholic response to violence against women only happened in 1992 with the Bishops’ statement When I Call for Help: A Pastoral Response to Domestic Violence Against Women. The battered women’s movement along with mounting research in churches, found phrases like “blessed are the meek” indicate people believe God wants them to exercise meekness in the presence of oppressors. In this context, many assume the term means weak, tame, deficient in courage. Abusers use these teachings and passages to justify their abuse. National surveys show 27% of husbands think slapping a spouse could be normal. Ah! Consequently, for those of us bred in a patriarchal family, profession(s) and church, we experience “only” frustration and confusion at uncontextualized passages, but it becomes downright dangerous for someone leaving Mass to return home to an abuser.

Most women don’t pursue a divinity degree, study the pertinent Hebrew and Greek words/translations and/or understand what Jesus meant. Therefore, it is the responsibility of bishops, theologians, pastors and pastoral ministers to address this crisis when possible. I think of women in our community who have dedicated their lives to ending this torment and better understand the enormity of the problem after multiple moms in my residential community have entrusted me with “safe words.” Rape culture continues unchecked and the World Health Organization continues to declare domestic violence a global health crisis ten years later. But this reflection isn’t about anger, it’s a call to action for justice.

Thus, to do due diligence, the third beatitude, blessed are the meek, is from one of the great Psalms of encouragement (Ps 37:11). The Hebrew word that is later translated to “meek” in the Greek language, does not suggest weakness. It means accepting God’s guidance and being grounded in the truth of reality.  It is a disposition before God, namely, humility. When the text is translated from Hebrew to Greek, the Greek word praus is used, commonly translated as “meek,” which refers not to a person in the presence of God but rather describes relationships between people. It is the positive moral quality of dealing with people kindly with humility and consideration (Jesus’ “gentle and humble of heart.”) The variance between the Hebrew and Greek resulted in translators’ reluctance to grapple with the interpretation of Jesus’ words. Consequently, English translations use the word “meek” without rendering the Hebrew or nuanced meanings of the root of the Greek word praus. Given the negative connotations of meek as passive submissiveness in modern English, it can too easily be misunderstood.

The call of the Beatitudes is to humility, mercy, integrity, compassion, justice, peacemaking and courage. When interpreted responsibly, they can be the essence of personal development, the backbone of communal goodness, and a seedbed for the re-emergence of “the common good” in the 21st century (Chittister). These attitudes for being, characteristics of the blessed life, are ultimately God’s dream for us and our life together. They give us insight into the reign of God where discrimination, abuse and violence will live no more.

Young Adult Event – Save The Date

 All those 21-39 years old, save the date for a Young Adult Ministry event on Sunday, February 19. Theme will be Mardi Gras!   (The following day is Presidents’ Day and many of you may have the day off.)

Notification Of Livestream Start

It’s easy to be notified every time we start a livestream!

  • Go to our YouTube channel,
  • Click on “Subscribe,”
  • Then click on the bell icon next to the “Subscribed” button,
  • Then pull down the menu to select “All.”


Please stop by the reception area during the week or call 617-742-4460, if you would like to arrange to purchase a Mass card in memory of someone who has died, in honor of a special occasion, or for the special intentions of yourself or a loved one.
We also have Mass Cards for Birthdays.


Spiritual Direction is an opportunity for one to reflect and share one’s life and prayer experience and be guided in one’s search for God.
Spiritual Direction is available at the Paulist Center from Sister Kathleen Hagerty, CSJ, and Christopher O’Rourke.  Sister Kathleen can be reached at 617-755-9729.  Christopher can be reached at 617-817-3977.

Ways of Giving

Our “Community Gift” is the Paulist Center’s tradition of giving away 5% of our weekend offerings, averaged out over the year, to a group outside of ourselves. We are so very grateful for your support during this time of uncertainty and financial challenge.

• The weekend of January 28 and 29 we raise up the Church in Latin America which provides support for pastoral projects in financially poorer dioceses in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Two ways to give:
1. To make a one-time or recurring donation using your bank account or credit card, click on this link:
2. Giving by text: Text a whole dollar donation amount to 844-899-7511; this will be designated as your “Weekend Offering.”