Dear Friends on the Journey,
This prayer has always been a favorite of mine; I’ve used it in some Zoom meetings this week. From the African theologian/saint Augustine of Hippo:
Watch, O Lord, with those who wake,
or watch, or weep tonight,
and give your angels and saints
charge over those who sleep.
Tend your sick ones, O Lord Christ.
Rest your weary ones.
Bless your dying ones.
Soothe your suffering ones.
Pity your afflicted ones.
Shield your joyous ones,
And all for your love’s sake. Amen.
We are painfully missing one another at weekend liturgy, but other vibrant parts of our Paulist Center life are going forward. Of these, I underscore our Tuesday Food Pantry and Wednesday Night Supper Club (the latter now employing a kind of “smile and a wave, a ‘grab-n-go’” delicious dinner from the Red Doors). And this last Sunday, our Adult Ed Committee, Immigration Advocacy Group, and an amazing group of Temporary Protective Status Immigrants (TPS) gave an amazing presentation on their current vulnerability with recommendations for advocacy. Over 50 people registered, and about 35 attended…virtually.
* * * * *
Major change in live-streamed Prayer and Liturgy: beginning this week, 26 April, we will be letting go of Evening Prayer in favor of Live Streamed Liturgy/Mass from the Chapel, now at 12N.
Mass of the 3rd Sunday of Easter, 12N, Sunday, April 26:
Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/kVFDH5JPZR8
Please carefully read and consider how to participate most fully in this new way of gathering for Eucharistic Liturgy:
PREPARING OURSELVES FOR VIRTUAL EUCHARIST
Many of us are aware that it will be many weeks, maybe months, before we are able to physically celebrate Eucharist in our Paulist Center Holy Spirit Chapel. As we consider what it might mean to celebrate Eucharist virtually, it is important also to reflect deeply on what being present to one another in virtual spaces actually means. Just as it’s possible to be in close physical proximity with others while simultaneously being absent mentally or spiritually, it’s also possible to be virtually present to one another in profound, meaningful, and real ways even when we’re physically distant. The following
suggestions are ways to help us celebrate in this new paradigm.
1. Read the scripture for the upcoming celebrations beforehand. You can easily access all readings from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website. www.usccb.org/bible
2. Create a setting for the celebration. For example, use your dining table as the place from which you participate. Light a candle. Have a cross, crucifix, or religious icon on hand. If you are fortunate to be with others, have a loaf of bread that can be broken at the time of communion.
3. Observe familiar postures. Standing and sitting at appropriate times throughout the celebration can enhance our prayer.
4. Remove distractions. Turn off cell phones (unless of course that is your source of participating) and refrain from snacking.
5. Dress up. Sleepwear might not be the most appropriate attire.
What we want to avoid is just “watching” Mass. What we want to avoid is being critical of everything that is done. A former Paulist staff member once asked, “Did you come to worship, or did you come to evaluate?” Come, indeed, eager and in a disposition, to worship. What we want to do is pray with one another and with our God.
Connect for a Chat. Patty Simpson firstname.lastname@example.org will be offering an hour a week for any Paulist Center members who might want to connect. Patty has in mind especially those who aren’t connected into any other small groups. This evening, Thursday, April 23rd , 7-8pm. Also if anyone wishes to connect with Patty either on phone or video session, just email her or leave a message on her phone (617.948.2428) and she will get back to you ASAP.
Other Prayer Opportunities and Watching Mass:
1. Consult the Paulist Fathers’ omnibus website page http://paulist.org/WatchMass
2. The publishers of Give Us This Day, with its meditations and Sunday and Weekday Scripture readings, is a wonderful resource: To support our community’s prayer, Give Us This Day has made available at no charge a digital file of our periodical, which includes daily Mass texts. Visit giveusthisday.org and select “Digital” in the upper right of the screen. While it is not a replacement for community worship, this resource will support you during this challenging time. Please share this resource with friends and family.
The Greater Boston Walk for Hunger. One of the effects COVID-19 crisis is food uncertainty in Massachusetts. Project Bread supports many programs, including our own Paulist Center Wednesday Night Supper Club (currently providing around 180 meals a week). In fact, this is the major funding for our Supper Club!!!! The physical Walk for Hunger has been cancelled. However, our team is unifying using social media—such as Facebook—and technology in order to support our struggling neighbors. The biggest act you can make is simply join our team at http://support.projectbread.org/goto/PCSupperClub. It’s free even if you cannot afford to give money, will allow you “donate” space on your Facebook. We can help you set it up once you linked up to our team to show you are interested. So, although the physical part is cancelled, we can still cross the May 3rd “Finish Line” to make a difference!
I conclude with the wise words of St. Teresa of Avila:
Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
Those who seek God shall
never go wanting.
Nothing can trouble,
nothing can frighten.
God alone fills us.
And let us pray for/with one another.
Michael McGarry, C.S.P.
Director, the Paulist Center
Along with Patty, Chuck, Susan, Peter, Kristin, Dorothy, Alvaro, Barbara, Rob, and Sal. Please feel free to call upon your Pastoral Ministers if you wish. Find contact information here.
I will be sending out something every Thursday or Friday as the “shut down” continues.
See also: https://bustedhalo.com/ministry-resources/keeping-the-faith-during-the-time-of-coronavirus