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On Catholic Social Teachings

April 23, 2021

Dear Friends on the Journey,

Over the next couple weeks, including this past Thursday’s reflection on the Paulist Center’s working for racial justice, you will hear people refer to “Catholic Social Teaching” – as if the content of that phrase were common knowledge. Alas, as one activist put it, “Our Catholic social teaching is our best kept secret.”

I like to say that we Catholics have something to contribute – certainly not dictate – to our national conversa-tion. And this tradition of social teaching is rich and precious. Catholic social teaching rests on these foundations:

Life and dignity of the Human Person. The Catholic Church proclaims that human life is sacred and that the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society.
A Call to family, community, and participation. The person is not only sacred but also social. People have a right and a duty to participate in society, seeking together the common good and well-being of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
Rights and responsibilities. Human rights must be protected and responsibility must be met, which include responsibilities to one another, to our families, and to the larger society.
Option for the poor and vulnerable. A basic moral test is how our most vulnerable members are faring. The needs of the poor and vulnerable must come first.
The dignity of work and the rights of workers. The economy must serve people, not the other way around. The dignity of work includes the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property and to economic initiative.
Solidarity. We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. “If you want peace, work for justice,” Pope Paul VI taught
Care for God’s creation. We show our respect for the Creator by our stewardship of creation. Care for the earth is not just an Earth Day slogan, it is a requirement of our faith.

This is the barest of outlines. But when you hear the expression (I hope not for the first time!), this is its foundation.

What do you think?

For an elaboration of these bullet points, go to this link.

In the Wake of the Verdict in the George Floyd murder trial:

“How Are President Joe Biden’s Policies Reflective of Catholic Social Teaching?” Join us as Community member Mary Jo Bane, political scientist at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, facilitates a conversation among a distinguished panel: Mr. John Carr, Co-Director, Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University and Fr. J. Bryan Hehir, Professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Following their presentations, there will be time for questions from the audience. Here’s the Zoom link. Thursday, April 29 at 7:30 pm. Here’s the Zoom Link.

Will you join us at Project Bread’s 53rd Walk for Hunger event (virtual this year due to COVID-19) on Sunday, May 2nd. Started by members of our Paulist Center, the Walk for Hunger, is a community event that raises millions of dollars for anti-hunger organizations across Massachusetts. Thousands of people “show up” every year to speak up against the injustice of hunger at this decades-long MA tradition. Money raised provides grants to hundreds of community-based programs that rely on this support—food pantries, hot meal programs, summer meals for kids, farm and garden initiatives, health center programs, and more…including our very own “Wednesday Night Supper Club” which feeds over 120 people weekly. Based on the use of social media for fundraising, the more people throughout our community — congregation members, volunteers, staff, neighbors, friends, family, coworkers— who join, the more impact we will have! Therefore, let’s continue the tradition: please join other Paulist Center membership and Supper Club volunteers on “The Paulist Center: Home of the Wed. Night Supper Club” team! Go here.

Hold This Date: 7pm, Thursday, May 20th. “In Your Own Wisdom, Not in Mine: An evening of Story and Song with Paulo K. Tiról” (More information to come)

Hold These Persons in your Prayer, Please. Those for whom flowers were dedicated this past Easter. See them here.

We are eagerly looking forward to when we can safely gather more people in the Chapel, including singing (not yet). In the next couple weeks, the Staff, the Pastoral Council, the Worship Team, will be discussing plans, not only for restoring Masses to our schedule, but also how we as a community might celebrate a return of sorts. This probably will extend into plans for the Fall. We will be sharing those with you in the next few weeks. Thank you so much!

Worshiping In-Person at the Paulist Center Chapel (imperative if you will be worshiping with us)…
Please reserve a place for either the 5pm Mass on Saturday or the 10am on Sunday.

How to reserve a place?   Please call the Center (617.742.4460) Wednesday through Friday and, on the voicemail, leave your 1) name, 2) contact information (either email or phone number), and 3) which Mass you wish to attend. (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). Thank you for your understanding.

Note Carefully: If you are experiencing ANY symptom that would indicate that you are ill (not just for Covid), please stay home. If in doubt, please stay out! Also, please read carefully the Procedures and watch the video (both links below). Of special note:

  • The doors open 10 minutes before the service;
  • Since there is no singing, we invite you to hum along with the songs.


1) Here are the expectations and requirements
2) A wonderful YouTube Video

If you can assist as a Minister of Hospitality with welcoming, seating, and directing people into and out of the Chapel, we would love to hear from you! If you are not in a vulnerable group with regard to COVID-19 and are willing and able to assist in this very important ministry, please contact Peter Ghiloni at

1) For the Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 25th, Live-Streamed Liturgy/Mass from the Chapel, at 10am (available as recording at same link after 11:15am):

To use the Order of Worship, you may wish to

1.   Print it out to have in hand as you tune in; or
2.   Use a second “tab” in your browser for the Order, to alternate with viewing the Mass; or
3.   Bring it up on a second device (e.g., smart phone, iPad) while following the Liturgy on the Desktop.

2) Paulist Center Families’ 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:
Meeting ID: 487 503 158; Passcode: 021078

4) All are welcome to a half-hour prayer gathering with/from the Paulist Center’s LGBTQ+led prayer next Wednesday, 7pm. See Fr. Michael’s email missive for the link.

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 Habitat for Humanity of Greater Boston. Habitat for Humanity has been building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter in the Greater Boston area since 1987. Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. 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:

  1. To make a one-time or recurring donation using your bank account or credit card, click on the following link:
    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.”
  2. 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 COVID-19 restrictions continue.