January 29, 2021
Dear Friends on the Journey,
What got you through 2020? I intended to share these thoughts with you at the beginning of January. Then the heartbreak of the Capitol being stormed intervened. Then the inauguration. So now on the cusp of February, is a consideration of “what got me through 2020” from some prominent Catholics, all winners of the Paulist Center’s Hecker Award for Social Justice (year in parentheses):
Sr. Helen Prejean (1994). Helen Prejean has fought for years to abolish the death penalty. She wrote Dead Man Walking, made into a movie of the same name. Late in 2020, Helen lost a brother to Covid. With that as the backdrop of her thoughts, Prejean said that the year’s greatest gift was that she didn’t have to travel as much, so she could be home in New Orleans be with her brother: “It’s a very delicious thing.” In addition, she mused about her regular communication with Manuel Ortiz, a death row inmate for close to 30 years: “With Covid-19, you cannot visit in person. So I utilize every means to email hm, get him on the phone every week and stay connected with him. So that is God for me. God is that connection—staying faithful to [Mr. Ortiz]. He is an unbelievable , wonderful human being—and innocent.”
Fr. Greg Boyle (2012). Greg is a Los Angeles Jesuit who has devoted his priestly ministry to working with gang members. The most important thing that Covid-19 has taught him? “You surrender to what is. Covid taught me this. The Serenity Prayer helps.” [= “God, grant me to serenity to accept the things I cannot change. The courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”] What did God teach him during the pandemic year? “The highest form of spiritual maturity is tenderness. It is the only thing that can scale the walls where folks are barricaded in shame and brokenness. The virus used muscles of tenderness that have atrophied in better times.”
Sr. Simone Campbell (1982). Simone is a sister of the Most Blessed Sacrament, organizer of “Nuns on the Bus,” and executive director of NETWORK, a national social justice lobby. Looking back over the year, she reflected, I am most grateful for “Survival. And Zoom—technology. The fact that while we have trouble we can still stay connected.” What sustained her? “A contemplative practice. It’s like Zen but done with Christian content. Every morning, I do meditation for a half-hour and then some reading. That gets me started.” New hobby? I “rediscovered crossword puzzles. A way to feel like I’m putting some pieces in place that stay there.”
And you, what got YOU through 2020? (I notice that none of the persons I’ve shared with you is married, has children, or is elderly. So if you have ONE THING that got you through 2020, send it on to me and I will share some with our Paulist Center Community…at firstname.lastname@example.org.) Thank you so much!
Need a prayer to say as you put on your mask, before you leave your home? Try this. I like it!
Household of Faith LENTEN Planning Session
Sunday, Feb 7 @ 10:45am
Can you believe Lent begins in a few weeks? Many of us feel that we have been through an extended Lent this year with much fasting from hugs and activities, and with praying double-time for this pandemic to end. If you are not sure how much energy you have for Lent this year, join Susan Rutkowski, Pastoral Minister of Family Religious Education, for a working session to plan for Lent in your household of faith. Let’s together take stock of our weariness, laugh together (cry if you need to!), hold each other up, and decide what will work best for us and our family during the forty days of Lent. Easy activities, worksheets, and family discussion opportunities will help each of us decide how to best draw close to God this Lenten season without getting over- whelmed. Invest an hour to be led through the process so you don’t have to figure it all out yourself!
Paulist Center Families Lent Gathering, Feb 7, 2021, 10:45 AM. Here’s the Zoom link.
Worshiping In-Person at the Paulist Center Chapel
(imperative if you will be worshiping with us)…
How to reserve a place?
Please call the Center (617.742.4460) Wednesday through Friday during business hours (10am-5pm). Sal, our receptionist, will take your name and contact information (either email or phone number. 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).
Here’s the YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/NvENqv2_qUE
2) Paulist Center Families’ Fourth Sunday Liturgy of the Word, 10am, Sunday, January 31st:
See Fr. Mike’s Email Missive for the link details.
3) Paulist Center Rosary Circle. 7:30pm every Monday.
Here’s the Zoom Link: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/487503158
Meeting ID: 487 503 158; Passcode: 021078
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 url.
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 the Church in Latin America which provides support for pastoral projects in financially poorer dioceses in Latin America and the Caribbean.. 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:
- 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 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 “shut down” continues.