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There is a God on the loose

August 13, 2021

Dear Companions on the Journey,

This is my [Michael’s] third weekend back to the Paulist Center Community after my time of “recharging” with God’s grace. In returning, I draw great life from many parts of our communal life: baptisms, weekend masses, daily masses, the Food Pantry, the Wednesday Night Supper Club, and, this past Wednesday, the periodic prayer gathering on Zoom hosted and led by our LGBTQ ministry. They have been leading us in prayer for many months now, and, with the gradual transition back to in-person worship, they have decided to suspend their Prayer Services.
On behalf of the Paulist Center Community, I want to say a very heartfelt “thank you” to all of them for their creativity, their faithfulness, their faith. They have led us well.

I am often inspired by the words of the Senior Pastor of Charlotte’s Mecklenberg Church, James Emery Smith. He wrote this many years ago to be prayed in times of discouragement:

When you are discouraged, remember these seven words:

There is a God on the loose

If you’re in ministry, remember it when you don’t have
… enough money,
… enough volunteers,
… enough space,
… enough freedom,
… enough staff.

If you’re trying to raise kids, remember it when you don’t have
… enough patience,
… enough time,
… enough sleep,
… enough wisdom,
… enough hands.

If you’re trying to follow Christ, remember it when you don’t have
… enough trust,
… enough strength,
… enough hope,
… enough faith,
… enough love.

Remember: There is a God on the loose.

Remember that you have,
… a God who knows all that you don’t have;
… a God who loves your church and ministry more than you do;
… a God who loves your child(ren) and your spouse more than you do;
… a God who knows what you need more than you do;
… a God who wants to see His kingdom come and His glory radiate out from your life more than you do.
This is the God who is roaming wild and free. He knows your situation. He knows…
… you.

And God adores you, is on your side, and wants nothing but the best for you.

Don’t trivialize this with worldly ideas of “success.” God is about more than that for your life. God is about all that is right, all that is best, all that is true, all that is beautiful. Despite your current circumstances, God’s larger, perfect plan is unfolding. Every perfect gift comes from His hand, and He is a gift-giving God.

So if you are discouraged, take heart. You are God’s prized son, God’s precious daughter. So pray. Trust. Particularly when you are discouraged.


There is a God on the loose.

And God knows your name.


Masks & Covid variants

Out of an abundance of caution, we are requiring that all persons in the Paulist Center wear a mask.

We base this on the recommendation of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health that people with a weakened immune system, or have an increased risk for severe disease because of age or underlying medical conditions, should wear a mask or face covering when indoors and not in their home.

Given the increasing number of COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant, we are asking that everyone wear a mask as a way of caring for, and protecting one another.

The Sunday bulletin (same as last Sunday’s) is online at the Paulist Center website. There you will find information about our new Pastoral Minister of Liturgy and Music, Normand Gouin and information about the upcoming Season of Creation.

This Sunday, we celebrate the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The 10am Mass will be Live-Streamed from the Chapel, (available as recording at same link after 11:15am):

Here’s the YouTube Link;
Here’s the Order of Worship; to use it, 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.

Paulist Center Families’ Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 10am, Sunday, August 15th
See the email missive for the Zoom link.

Paulist Center Rosary Circle @ 7:30pm every Monday
Here’s the Zoom Link
Meeting ID: 487 503 158; Passcode: 021078
All are welcome!

Mass Times…

Should you feel comfortable, you are invited to join your fellow Paulist Center Community members for in-person Liturgies:
· Saturday @ 5pm
· Sunday @ 10 am
· Sunday @ 6pm
· Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 7:55am
· Tuesday and Thursday, 12:05pm

Worshiping In-Person at the Paulist Center Chapel…

As mentioned above, we are returning to the requirement that everyone wear a mask while in the Paulist Center. This change comes out of an abundance of caution and the fact that the Paulist Center Chapel has no windows that can be opened. We depend entirely on our air conditioning system to circulate the air. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Note Carefully: If you are experiencing ANY symptom that would indicate that you are ill (not just for Covid), please stay home.

Looking forward: Something to be aware of: the Staff and Pastoral Council are planning for celebrating our return, as a community, to our beautiful chapel for safe, in-person worship. This will probably take place after Labor Day. We hope to acknowledge many dimensions of what these last fourteen pandemic months have meant: the grieving, the loss, the mourning, what we have learned, how our faith has grown stronger, and how, committed, we intend to gather. Soon we will be sending out a survey to take a pulse of our community.

Attentive to the Holy Spirit and nourished by vibrant liturgy,
we [of the Paulist Center] are a Catholic community that
welcomes all, fosters healing and reconciliation, and acts for justice.

…our mission statement

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 weekend (August 14 & 15) we designate our gift to Victory Programs. They open doors to health, housing, recovery, and hope for individuals and families facing homelessness, addiction, or other chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS. 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, Dorothy, John, Barbara, Rob, Alvaro, and Sal. Please feel free to call upon your Pastoral Ministers if you wish.