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On Racism and Reopening

Dear Friends on the Journey,

When the United States Bishops wrote their second letter on racism – in 2018 – they included this prayer:

Prayer to Overcome Racism

Mary, friend and mother to all,
through your Son, God has found a way
to unite himself to every human being,
called to be one people,
sisters and brothers to each other.
We ask for your help in calling on your Son,
seeking forgiveness for the times when
we have failed to love and respect one another.
We ask for your help in obtaining from your Son
the grace we need to overcome the evil of racism
and to build a just society.
We ask for your help in following your Son,
so that prejudice and animosity
will no longer infect our minds or hearts,
but will be replaced with a love that respects
the dignity of each person.
Mother of the Church,
the Spirit of your Son, Jesus,
warms our hearts:
Pray for us.

In the last few weeks, Cardinal Seán has issued two statements: one to address the horror of the killing of George Floyd and the second to address systemic racism ( These two statements – and many others – reflect the different lenses we bring to racism: the internal examination of our own racism, conscious and not so conscious; and the external examination of structures in our society that reflect and perpetuate racism. And, like an evil loop, these structures come back to affect us.

Last week in my “Special Edition” Missive, I included links to two resources that I hope you will study: 1) Robin DiAngelo’s talk on White Fragility
((, and 2) Bryan Massingale’s “The Assumptions of White Privilege and What We Can Do about It”
( (Thanks to those who supplied me with this updated link!). We will be using this powerful essay as the starting point for our community wide conversation.

With the consensus support of the Pastoral Council, and with various expertise from the Adult Education Committee, the LGBTQ Committee, Social Justice Ministries, and Staff, we hope to have a Zoom gathering of the Paulist Center Community around the Killing of George Floyd and racism in our Church and Society on Sunday evening, June 21 st . Stay tuned!

Issues around Reentry Into Our Chapel:

A Task Force, set up to address and make decisions about our Reentry, has tentatively recommended the middle of July for our Reentry. In order to make this happen, we will need the new service of Special Ministers of Hospitality. These persons – at least four for each Mass (not in vulnerable categories, i.e., under 65 or with other vulnerabilities) – will assist people in seating according to current guidelines. We will begin slowly, with Masses at 5pm Saturday; 10am and 6pm Sunday. Peter Ghiloni has begun to reach out to people for this ministry, and we hope you pray seriously about your willingness to do this. For inquiries to Peter, email him at We intend to open the chapel in a safe, timely way, but if not enough people are able or willing to perform this ministry, then we may have to postpone reentry and/or cut down on the number of weekend masses. This is not meant to be pressure on anyone, but rather a realistic statement of our seriousness in making the Paulist Center Chapel a safe place.

Thinking Further Ahead…

Paulist Center Family Retreat — Reimagined!

The annual Paulist Center Family Retreat will be held in October. The retreat is being reimagined this year to take place at home rather than on Cape Cod, with both virtual and in-person components. We hope that this easy, low-cost format allows even more families to participate and grow in faith and friendship together. As we re-imagine what the retreat will look like this year, we would love your feedback and your help! Please fill out the 2-minute survey LINKED HERE to indicate your interest in attending the reimagined fall family retreat, your hopes and ideas for it, and how you might be able to help plan.

1) Body and Blood of the Lord, June 14th, Live Streamed Liturgy/Mass from the Chapel, at 12N:

Here’s the link:

2) Paulist Center Families Prayer Service, 10 am, Sunday
Please click here to join us:
Meeting ID: 972 5247 4747, Password: 037026, One tap mobile
+16465588656,,97252474747#,,1#,037026# US (New York)

3) Connect for a Chat. Patty Simpson 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. You can join the conversation on Thursday, June 18, 7-8pm through this link. 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.

Ways of Giving:

Our “Community Gift” is our 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 the Ignatian Spirituality Project for our community gift. The ISP a program that brings the graces of St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises to homeless people, most of whom struggle with addiction to alcohol and drugs. It operates in Boston and 19 other cities and involves more than 400 lay volunteers.

We are so very grateful for your support during this time of uncertainly and financial peril. Here are two ways to give:

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.”

An idea: a couple Paulist Center members, receiving the Stimulus Check of $1200 but still being fully employed, gave a half of that check to the Paulist Center Community. What a great idea!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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.

I will be sending out something every Thursday or Friday as the “shut down” continues.

Keeping the Faith During the Time of Coronavirus