Please click below for answers to common questions.
Is the Paulist Center Community a Catholic Parish?
Technically speaking, a Catholic parish is a territory defined by geographical boundaries to which everyone within those boundaries belongs. In this strict sense, then, the Paulist Center is not a Catholic parish.
But for the dozens of people who come to Daily Mass and the hundreds of people who gather on the weekends, the Paulist Center functions as their regular religious home. The Paulist Center is a chapel that houses a community offering Catholic mass and other ministries.
In addition, there are also many who come to the Paulist Center for other than “chapel reasons”: numerous 12-step programs, our “Wednesday Night Supper Club,” our “Third Saturday Breakfast Program,” our Food Pantry. They, too, find a place of welcome and a place to share their gifts of service.
How is the Paulist Center Community similar to a Catholic Parish?
The Paulist Center Community is similar to a Catholic parish in that many find their Catholic and Christian home community here by regularly worshipping here and committing themselves to this community by membership and financial support. They share their many God-given gifts with the larger community by volunteering and welcoming others to the Community.
How is the Paulist Center Community different from a Catholic parish?
The Paulist Center Community is different from a Catholic parish in that we are not geographically defined. The Paulist Center Community is more of an intentional Catholic worshipping community. People come on a weekly basis from New Hampshire, the North Shore, the South Shore and Western Suburbs. For whatever reason – often they tell us it’s the vibrant liturgy, others say it’s our explicit commitment to social justice, still others say that they feel welcome here – many are willing to make the trek in their cars or on the “T” to share in, and contribute to, this community. Some dimensions of regular Catholic parish life are not here, including a Catholic School. And, because of our convenient downtown location, like our neighbors to the South, St. Anthony’s Shrine, we are a weekday oasis in a busy workweek with daily mass.
Do you have to be Catholic to come to the Paulist Center?
No, you don’t have to be Catholic to come to the Paulist Center. In fact, we have as regular attendees many from other Christian traditions and many beyond the Christian family who worship here as partners in mixed marriages. And, following on our 1940s roots, many who are searching for a way to explore the faith come to the Paulist Center for months or even years before they request membership in the Catholic Church. We hope that everyone who comes through our doors feels welcome to come with their questions, their hurts, their gifts, their strengths.