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Remembering Oscar Romero

April 16, 2021

Dear Friends on the Journey,

March is our annual reminder of what I call the Paulist Center’s unofficial patron saint: St. Oscar Romero. Gunned down by soldiers while finishing Mass in Sal Salvador in 1980, Romero reminded us of the cost of following Jesus Christ. In 1978, he wrote:

I invite you this week, in this hour, when our country seems to have no place for joy, to listen to St. Paul repeat to us: “Be always joyful. Be constant in prayer. In every circumstance give thanks. This is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Th 5:16f).

The Christian, the Christian community, must not despair.

If someone dies in the family, we must not weep like people without hope. If the skies have darkened in our nation’s history, let us not lose hope.

We are a community of hope, and like the Israelites in Babylon, let us hope for the hour of liberation. It will come.

He will come because God is faithful, says St. Paul. This joy must be like a prayer. “He who called you is faithful,” and He will keep his promises (1 Th 5:24).

That’s as good an Easter reflection that we will find: “We are a community of hope.”

I urge you to circle this times and dates (detailed information below):

  • 7pm, Thursday, April 22nd, Racial Justice;
  • 7:30pm, Thursday, April 29th; A Reflection on Catholic Social Ethics and President Biden;
  • Sunday, May 2nd; Walk for Hunger;
  • 7pm, Thursday, May 20th. “In Your Own Wisdom, Not in Mine: An Evening of Story and Song with Paulo K. Tiról” (More information on this still to come)

At the lockdown in March 2020, I said, “ the Paulist Center Community has not closed, only the building.” These events (and more) reflect the ongoing vibrancy of our community even as we continue to be very cautious about using our building (that will come).

With regard to the April 22nd event, last summer after George Floyd’s killing, we said that as a community we would not allow the immediate, passionate pastoral response of examining our conscience and renouncing racism to be a one-off wonder, as we waited for the next issue to catch our attention. Our peripheral vision may be a bit keener now (to include anti-Asian American prejudice), but we are committed to the long-haul racial justice. Please make that long-term commitment visible by joining us on April 22nd.

Racial Justice: Report Back Event to the Paulist Center Community

We of the Paulist Center Community are committed to working toward Racial Justice. Last October, 62 community members signed up for an 8-session program offered by JustFaith Ministries facilitated by our pastoral minister of social justice, Susan Rutkowski, and community member Patricia Shea, SNDdeN. For four months (Oct-Feb), the participants read, listened, learned, prayed, and discussed awakening to the economic systems, public policies, cultural norms, and hidden biases that empower some and oppress others. At 7-8pm, Thursday, April 22nd, participants of this program will report back and debrief to the broader community the significance of what they experienced. Furthermore, they will propose what this community can do to continue to be active learners in the fight for racial justice. We will listen to faith testimonies from participants in the program, and we will hear from a guest speaker from the Free Minds organization in Washington, DC, who uses books, creative writing, and peer support to awaken incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth and adults to their own potential. Afterwards, we will talk about next steps in how the Paulist Center will continue the fight for racial justice. Please join us on zoom for this important event. Here is the link.

Will you join us at Project Bread’s 53rd Walk for Hunger (virtual this year due to COVID-19) on Sunday, May 2nd.
The Walk for Hunger (originally started by members of our Paulist Center) 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: Thursday, April 29th, 7:30pm. The Adult Education Committee will host a panel discussion entitled, “How Are President Joe Biden’s Policies Reflective of Catholic Social Teaching?”

Community member Dr. Mary Jo Bane, political scientist and currently Thornton Bradshaw Professor at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, will facilitate 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, Montgomery Professor of the Practice of Religion and Public Life at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Following their presentations, there will be time for questions from the audience. Here’s the Zoom link.

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

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 Third Sunday of Easter, April 18th, 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 Walk for Hunger Teamled 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 Black and Native American Missions which helps diocesan communities in need across the country by providing grants to build churches and schools, and to preach the Gospel. 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.