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Returning to the Table of the Lord

May 7, 2021

Dear Friends on the Journey,
At the heart of my message last week, I said:

We must reflect on how this moment provides for our recommitting ourselves, not only to gathering around the Table of the Lord, but also to becoming more intentional, reaching-out, evangelizing followers of Jesus… A Paulist Center Community who gather in-person around the Table of the Lord is not only so grateful to be back together, but also so eager to reach out and bring others with them.

Many are yearning to return to the Table of the Lord in our beautiful chapel for in-person worship. To that end, I am delighted to announce that we will be reviving the Sunday 6pm Mass on the feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord, June 6th. Furthermore, from Pentecost, May 22, we will be able to sing (with masks).

So this is a time of relief, rejoicing, and recommitment.

As you prayerfully consider when you will be “heading back to the chapel,” I hope you consider, too, how you can expand the persons who may most need to be among this gathering of Jesus’ followers, not with all the answers, but usually with a lot of questions! To that end, what do you think is the one quality above all others that seekers look for in a person with whom to talk about faith?

According to the Barna research group, the #1 answer is “listens without judgment.”

As James Emery Smith further parses out, that means first, you listen. Really listen. Not simply waiting for your turn to speak.

Second, you empathize with what they have to say. You can empathize without agreeing, just like you can be accepting without being affirming.

Third, it means that you look at them through the eyes of God, who sees them as precious to Him and worthy of the death of His Son. (Remember my saying last Sunday: “God does not love you because you are valuable; rather, because God loves you, you are valuable”).

So as you make plans to return to in-person worship, please think of those around you: in your family, at your work, among your friends:

  • “You say you have trouble with the institutional Church? I know the feeling. Join me at the Paulist Center Commun-ity where we celebrate as followers of Jesus.”
  • “You say you are a Republican? Great. You are welcome at the Paulist Center.”
  • “You say you’re are tired of Churches being political and mouthpieces for politicians? I hear you. You are welcome at the Paulist Center Community.”
  • “You say you have felt the Church’s exclusion because you are gay or Lesbian? I hear you; you are welcome at the Paulist Center.”
  • “You say you are divorced? That must have hurt a lot. You are welcome at the Paulist Center.”

And so on.

How can this be? Because we affirm, “All are welcome.” Let’s embody that!

What do you think?

Happy Mother’s Day: consider:

  • Life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face.” (George Eliot)
  • God is our Father, but even more so, God is our Mother. (Pope John Paul I)

This will be a very special evening:

In Your Own Wisdom, Not in Mine: An Evening of Story and Song with Paulo K Tiról

When composer, lyricist, and former Paulist Center musician Paulo K Tiról moved from Manila to Boston to study music nine years ago, he never dreamed he’d be living the life he is now: working with Broadway performers, published by America’s largest publisher of Catholic music, and now with the kind of person he’d always hoped to meet. Join Paulo as he shares his journey, some of the songs he’s written along the way, and the lessons he’s learned about patience, discernment, and trust in the surprises that God sends our way. 7pm, Thursday, May 20th. Here’s the Link.

Thanks to the Walk for Hunger supporters and passionate Paulist Center: Home of Wednesday Night Supper Club teammates, we raised over $65,000 for Project Bread supporting programs like our very own Supper Club. Although our teammates have finished walking, biking, and hiking, they are still collecting donations to help Project Bread meet the 2021 fundraising goal. You can still donate to the team at this destination. Thanks for taking part in and supporting this important 53-year-old Paulist Center tradition!

Paulist National Pentecost Retreat: E Pluribus Unum – Diversity in Unity. See this.

A few hours, guided by diverse voices, will underscore all our inclusion in the global church. The retreat includes prayer, music, meditation, and four short presentations. Presenters include Dr. Rachel Bundang on the Asian-American experience; Dr. Brian Flanagan on the LGBTQ experience; Claire Henning, D.Min. on the disaffiliated Catholic experience; and Paulist Fr. Bart Landry on the African American experience. Paulists Eric Andrews, Rich Andre, Frank Desiderio, and Gil Martinez will lead us in prayer.

On Zoom (of course!). 1-3pm on Saturday May 15th. Tickets are free, but we suggest a donation of $25.00. Space is limited. For registration, go 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 Sixth Sunday of Easter, May 9th, Live-Streamed Liturgy/Mass from the Chapel, at 10am (available as recording at same link after 11:15am):

Here’s the YouTube Link:
Here’s the Order of Worship

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  All are Welcome!

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 our Lay Ministry Grant which offers tuition money to an active Roman Catholic lay student for a first level graduate theological or pastoral degree program. 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:
  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.