Dear Companions on the Journey,
From the Biblical Book of Proverbs, one sentence has always struck me: “Without a vision, the people perish.”
Here at the Paulist Center, we have a vision statement which continues to resonate with me (it’s on the front page of our bulletin): “Attentive to the Holy Spirit and nourished by vibrant liturgy, we are a Catholic community that welcomes all, fosters healing and reconciliation, and acts for justice.”
As a ministry served by the Paulist Fathers, the Holy Spirit’s place right at the beginning and at the heart of our Paulist Center spirituality makes a lot of sense. We believe that God’s Holy Spirit calls us, animates us, sustains us, and accompanies us in all our endeavors.
As followers of Jesus, the heart of our communal life is our weekly gathering at the Table of the Lord where both the Word of God and the Bread of Life give us direction and sustenance.
Our Mennonite Christian brothers and sisters have an interesting practice: at all their meetings, they designate one member to be the vision-keeper, one person to always remind the community of its vision. All communities have tendencies to division and to spinning out. I envision our Pastoral Council in this role of vision-keeper: they meet monthly, sometimes with very mundane agenda, but always with the overall task to see that we are staying true to our Mission. They help us to keep our vision.
Over the years, every now and again, the community has stepped back to review and recommit to just how we are living out our mission. A few times, a full-fledged strategic planning process has been the proper route to take. Other times, we have stepped back to assess how we are fulfilling our Mission Statements. Still others, we have asked ourselves the fundamental questions of Christian community: WHO we are as the Paulist Center Community; WHY we are the Paulist Center; and HOW we might better serve the mission of the Paulist Center.
Please reserve the hour after the Mass you will attend on the weekend of October 5th and 6th to gather with other members of your community to ask ourselves these fundamental questions. This is not strategic planning, as such, but drawing energy and inspiration from the Dan Schutte concert and workshop, we recommit ourselves to being Catholic Jesus followers in downtown Boston. This is about our future, this is about our vision, this is about our faith. And without a vision the people perish.
What do you think? And let us pray for/with one another.
The Paulist Center