Bulletin for December 9/10, 2023
(A PDF version of the bulletin as printed is available here)
Love Incarnate, Love Divine
Please join us – and invite your friends & family – for this joyous & prayerful celebration of community and faith. Both performances will be live streamed. Link for 8pm Saturday, Dec 9. Link for 2pm Sunday, Dec 10.
We will not sell any actual tickets, but we welcome free-will offerings. Click here to donate online: use the Advent/Christmas Concert category and write how many people, and which concert date you plan to attend.
The children of the Paulist Center will present a Christmas Pageant at 2pm on Sunday to open the afternoon concert.
To hear more about the concert, please see last week’s Pastoral Reflection by Norm Gouin found on our website. Here is the link.
A reception will follow each concert.
We look forward to seeing you there!!!
Events for the Second Week of Advent
* Online Prayer hosted by the LGBTQIA Ministry – Each Tuesday in Advent at 7pm. An online opportunity to come together in shared prayer, reflection, and song. ALL ARE WELCOME to this event, whether you identify as LGBTQIA or not. Zoom Link: ADVENT PRAYER
* Advent Service of Reconciliation and Reflection – A lay-led service of reconciliation and reflection on Wednesday, Dec 13 at 7pm. Members of our LGBTQIA community will again serve in some of the leading roles. Four priests will be available to hear individual confession. Please join us for this time of prayer and reflection! This service will also be live streamed; here is the Livestream Link.
* Advent Bible Study for Young Adults – Young adults ages 18-39 are welcome to an Advent Bible study from 6-7pm on Thursday, Dec 14 on the 6th Floor, Room 13. Feel free to come by any time after 5:30pm for light snacks. Walk-ins are welcome, but email Gus if you know in advance that you’re coming.
We Are Livestreaming 5 Masses and Events over the next 8 Days
- 8pm Saturday, Dec 9 – Advent-Christmas Concert
- 10am Sunday, Dec 10 – 2nd Sunday of Advent
- 2pm Sunday, Dec 10 – Advent-Christmas Concert (begins with Christmas Pageant)
- 7pm Wednesday, Dec 13 – Advent Reconciliation & Reflection Service
- 10am Sunday, Dec 17 – 3rd Sunday of Advent
At the time of each livestream, the appropriate Order of Worship will be available at paulistcenter.org/order-of-worship.
Racial Justice Advocacy Group (RJAG)
The next RJAG meeting is on Tuesday, December 12 at 7pm on Zoom. Contact Tom Sharkey at email@example.com for the link to the meeting.
All are welcome.
Rosary Circle – New Zoom Info
All are welcome to the Paulist Center Rosary Circle, every Monday at 7:30pm. Here is the new Zoom link information:
Meeting ID: 945 2742 0746
Family & Friends Of LGBTQIA Persons – Monthly Meeting
A consortium of seven Boston Catholic communities (including the Paulist Center) hosts a support group for family and friends of LGBTQIA persons at 2pm on the 3rd Sunday of every month.
The topic for the 2pm meeting on Dec 17: On Christmas Eve, in 1223 in the mountain village of Greccio, Italy, St Francis of Assisi established the first creche – forever highlighting the simplicity and magnificence of the Incarnation. We will reflect on the 800th Anniversary of this great Christmas tradition and our human connection with the great celebration of the Incarnation.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom link.
Still Tags on the Jesse Tree!
There are still tags left on our Jesse Tree if you feel so moved to help one of the agencies we’ve designated (Catholic Worker House, Agape Community, Crossroads Family Shelter and/or one of the Afghan families we’ve helped to resettle). Please take a tag off the tree and return the gift to the Center before Dec 18. Requests can be for an agency need (sheets, towels, equipment) or for a family they may be helping or that we help directly. We get many requests for food gift cards, visa/mastercard gift cards because families can’t afford food AND gifts at Christmas and anything that helps their bottom line is requested. In addition, gift cards allow parents the dignity to choose their own gifts for their children. Suggested gift card amounts range from $25-$100 depending on your budget. For those who do not come into the Center, you may mail gift cards to Susan Rutkowski here at the Center or email her at email@example.com with questions.
Christmas Flowers & Decorations
Help us decorate with a poinsettia plant and other Christmas decorations.
Suggested donation is $10.
Contributions can be made at the front desk during the week from 10:30am-4:30pm; by using the “Flower Donation” envelopes in the pews; or go to Donate Online, and choose “Flower Donation” and note who it is “in honor of, or in memory of” in the space provided.
Advent Service of Reconciliation and Reflection
We will hold a lay-led service of reconciliation and reflection on Wednesday, December 13 at 7pm. Members of our LGBTQIA community will again serve in some of the leading roles. This service will also be live streamed. Four priests will be available to hear individual confession. Please join us for this time of prayer and reflection! Livestream Link.
The Paulist Center welcomes LGBTQIA identified individuals and allies. The LGBTQIA Ministry hosts events and gatherings. Information is shared through bulletin announcements and via a confidential email listserv. If you’d like to be added to the email list, contact Bob Bordone at firstname.lastname@example.org. All pastoral staff members are available as resources and support for anyone in the LGBTQIA community as well as friends and family members.
We pray for our Jewish neighbors celebrating Hanukkah tonight through December 15. May they have a warm and wonderful Festival of Lights!
The Hope of Isaiah, Lived Through the Millennia
Fr. Richard R. Andre, CSP,
Isaiah is one of the most important books of the Bible in both the Jewish and Christian traditions, and we hear from Isaiah on the majority of days in the season of Advent. Most Biblical scholars believe that the 66-chapter Book of Isaiah was composed in two, or more likely three, distinct time periods:
Isaiah 1 – 39 (“First Isaiah”) is primarily a compilation of prophecies by and stories about the historical prophet Isaiah of Jerusalem, who flourished c. 760-700 BC. Isaiah was an adviser to several kings in the southern kingdom of Judah, before and after the northern kingdom of Israel was destroyed by the Assyrian Empire in 722 BC.
Isaiah 40 – 55 (“Second Isaiah”) was most likely written during the Babylonian exile, after Judah was defeated and destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar, c. 586 BC. While the authorship of Second Isaiah—and the reason why Second Isaiah was attached to the same book as First Isaiah—is debated, there are clear connections between these chapters and the Book of Deuteronomy.
The origins of Isaiah 56 – 66 (“Third Isaiah”) are subject to debate. The majority of scholars suppose it was written after the Jewish captives were allowed to return to Jerusalem by King Cyrus of Persia c. 538 BC, but perhaps before the completion of the rebuilding of the temple c. 515 BC. Whereas Second Isaiah speaks to universal themes, Third Isaiah focuses on the internal concerns of the fledgling vassal state of Judah.
Remarkably, even though the situation for the Judahite people was tenuous in all three time periods, we find passages of Advent hope in each. First Isaiah sings of the promise of Emmanuel and foresees a time when all nations will climb the mountain of God. Third Isaiah relies on the Spirit of God to sustain faith in times when our circumstances are vastly different from our expectations. And some of the most hope-filled passages of the Hebrew Bible come from Second Isaiah, the time of greatest desolation in the history of the Jewish people.
The lessons of Isaiah are numerous, but here are a few to consider today: Hope is not something to be carried alone; it is a communal virtue. No matter how dire the circumstances may be, and no matter how much it may seem as if sin has the upper hand, God is always present among us. For God to break into our world in new and exciting ways, we must cooperate with the Spirit of God as described by Third Isaiah.
We usually consider Mary’s “Yes” to God being solely an act that she carried out alone. But if we think about it another way, Mary was fulfilling the promises of Isaiah that had been passed down to her over many generations. Today, whenever we gather as a community, we too are fulfilling Isaiah’s promises. Like the people foretold in 2:2-3, we stream (or livestream) towards 5 Park Street to be instructed in God’s ways. We endeavor as in 40:4-5 to raise the valleys and lower the mountains so that all people may behold God together. Through our vibrant liturgies, we become attentive to the Spirit in 61:1 who is upon us because God has anointed us.
Calendar Year-end Gifts To The Center Warmly Welcomed
As you are likely aware, your financial gifts are key to the Paulist Center’s financial sustainability. While we did not bombard you with Giving Tuesday requests, please know that we warmly welcome calendar year-end gifts, which are very helpful to our budget.
If you wish to donate stock, or remember the Paulist Center in your will, please be in touch with Patty Simpson, email@example.com or 617-948-2428, for specifics on our legal name, tax ID and account information for transfers. Thank you for ALL you give in so many ways to the Center!
The Paulist Center receives no funding from outside sources. All costs to operate our ministries for both members and the wider Boston community, maintain the building, and pay our staff are supported solely by your financial donations. We are so grateful for your financial support!
Two ways to give to the Paulist Center:
- To make a one-time or recurring donation to the Center using your bank account or credit card, click on this link https://tinyurl.com/DonatePaulistCenter, or scan the QR code.
- Text a whole dollar donation to 844-899-7511; this will be designated as your “Weekend Offering.”
The Paulist Center gives 5% of our annual offertory to 52 other charitable organizations with missions consonant with our own. These organizations receive an equal amount from our annual offertory, but we highlight one of them each weekend.
The Paulist Center gives 5% of our annual offertory to 52 other charitable organizations with missions consonant with our own. These organizations receive an equal amount from our annual offertory.
This weekend of we lift up Preble Street, their mission is to address hunger, poverty, and homelessness in Portland, Maine.
Can You Help Find Room at the Inn?
The Paulist Center’s Immigration Advocacy Group (RJAG) and Racial Justice Advocacy Group (RJAG) are asking our community members to prayerfully consider the following reality.
Massachusetts is experiencing a humanitarian crisis driven by the arrival of a large number of families, many with young children, who have been forced to flee their home country to escape violence and destitution. The Massachusetts Office for Refugees and Immigrants is looking for people who can house immigrant families on a temporary basis. To learn more about how you can help look here, or contact Ronnie Millar at 617-710-4668; Ronnie.Millar@mass.gov.
Mass schedule for Christmas Day Weekend
When Christmas falls on a Monday, even seasoned liturgists can get confused!
Here’s a guide to what we’re celebrating when:
4th Sunday of Advent:
- 5 pm Saturday, Dec 23 and 10 am Sunday, Dec 24
- There is no 6 pm Mass on Sunday, Dec 24
Solemnity of the Nativity:
- 5 pm and 8 pm Sunday, Dec 24
- 10 am Monday, Dec 25
Around the Community
Central Reform Temple and Emmanuel Episcopal Church are hosting an evening workshop and conversation at 7pm on Wednesday, Dec 20 with Jerusalem Youth Chorus (JYC) DC-based Artistic Director, Micah Hendler and Jerusalem-based Executive Director, Amer Abu Arqub. The JYC is a choir in Jerusalem made up of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim youth from Israeli and Palestinian homes. Register for this in-person event at https://tinyurl.com/4dr48ukm.