August 14, 2020
Dear Friends on the Journey,
This weekend marks the Feast of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. Here is a Marian Prayer that inspires me:
Mary, Model of Strength, be our Guide.
Model of courage, be our guide.
Model of Perseverance, be our Guide.
Mary, Mother of the Liberator, pray for us.
Mother of the Homeless, pray for us.
Widowed Mother, pray for us
Unwed Mother, pray for us.
Mother of a political prisoner, pray for us.
Mother of the Condemned, pray for us.
Mary, Oppressed Woman, Lead us to life.
Marginalized Woman, lead us to life.
Seeker of Sanctuary, lead us to life.
First Disciple, lead us to life.
Mary, Woman of Mercy, empower us.
Woman of Vision, empower us.
Woman Pregnant with Hope, empower us.
Woman Center in God, empower us.
Mary, assumed into heaven, assume our broken bodies to you.
“Well, how did it go?” you may ask. That is, our first weekend since March of in-person worship at the Paulist Center. For the 5pm Mass, there were about 15 persons in addition to the ministers, and, for the 10am, there were about 20 in addition to the ministers. We were anticipating numbers like these. Given our capacity, following the Archdiocesan and Commonwealth guidelines, we felt very good with the number. In fact, from my viewpoint, the Masses were wonderful, seeing people I hadn’t seen for months (all with masks on, of course, so I had to find their smiles in their eyes).
We are learning as we go along. One lesson? Eventbrite is not very user-friendly. So from now on, to reserve your place for a weekend Mass, please call Sal, as instructed below. We are purposely keeping the liturgies shorter than before (e.g., we recite, not sing, the Gloria; Baptismal Promises instead of Creed; and we are asking the preachers to keep their message to 5-7 minutes instead of 10-12 minutes). The data indicate that being in the same room for longer periods increases the possibility of contagion. So we are aiming at liturgies of 40 minutes in duration.
We continue our “slow roll” reentry into the Paulist Center Chapel for 5pm Saturday, August 8th, and 10am Sunday, August 9th. (These times will be replicated next weekend, August 15-16). See important links below about Procedures we will be following.
For the Masses on August 22 and 23, you must reserve a place for either the 5pm Mass on Saturday or the 10am on Sunday. How to reserve a place?
· call the Center (617.742.4460) during business hours Wednesday through noontime Friday. Sal, our receptionist, will take your name and contact information (either email or phone number). We need this information is so that we can contact you should we become aware, after the liturgy, of a person with Covid who attended your mass. Again, please read carefully the Procedures and watch the video (both links below).
The Pastoral Council met about a week ago, and we wish to share with you a summary its Survey of the Paulist Center Community about reentry. Thank you so much to all who contributed! Here’s the link: Survey Summary
This is very important:
We are in pretty good shape for the first three weekends of reentry…until Labor Day weekend. So if you can assist 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 email@example.com.
1) Here are the expectations and requirements: Procedures
2) A wonderful YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5A6uzhJH-Y&feature=youtu.be
1) 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time, August16th, Live Streamed Liturgy/Mass from the Chapel, at 10am:
Here’s the link: https://youtu.be/PPl5oC1I_OM
2) Paulist Center Families Prayer Service, 10 am, Sunday
Please click here to join us: https://zoom.us/j/97252474747?pwd=YktPNzE3ZVNJVEltS3FENHFRSnI4QT09
Meeting ID: 972 5247 4747, Password: 037026, One tap mobile
+16465588656,,97252474747#,,1#,037026# US (New York)
3) All are welcome to a prayer gathering with/from the Paulist Center’s LGBTQ+ Group next Wednesday, August 19th, 7pm. Here’s the Link: https://tinyurl.com/PCC-LGBTQ-Zoom527. All are welcome!
4). Connect for a Chat. Patty Simpson <firstname.lastname@example.org> 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. This August 20th, 7-8pm. Also if anyone wishes to connect with Patty either on phone or video session, use this link. Alternatively. 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 Victory Programs. Victory Programs has helped individuals and families in crisis for over forty years. Some 3,200 people turn to them yearly for shelter, sustenance, recovery, care, and professional, compassionate support. Most struggle with substance use and mental health, and many live with HIV/AIDS..
(In addition, perhaps some would like to give directly to help our brothers and sisters in Lebanon. I recommend Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Go to their website, newa.org to donate.)
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: https://tinyurl.com/DonatePaulistCenter
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.”
- 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 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, Dorothy, 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 “shut down” continues.