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Yearning for Back to Normal

April 30, 2021

Dear Friends on the Journey,

I believe that we have been served very well, in this time of pandemic and forced isolation, by Zoom, YouTube, Facetime, and other platforms.
Many people, however, yearn to get back to “normal” – normal being understood as everything we did before March 2020.
However, as followers of Jesus of Nazareth, our future at the Paulist Center Community must be more than just settling back into a rich, but comfortable, in-person worship. While so much remains to be learned, we do know that
  • The future of the Church, including the Paulist Center Community, will include livestreaming as one necessary tool of our community;
  • The future of the Paulist Center Community will include a shrinking in numbers (of persons who used to come here). Many during this time of forced isolation report that they have done pretty well without weekly or biweekly in-person worship;
  • The use of livestreaming by its nature is an act of passive consumption. Indeed, we have seen the rise of some new names to describe new behaviors. As, for example, “homily hoppers”: persons who tune in for, or up to, the homily, listen in and then go to another. Many of our folks tune into Fr. John Unni at St. Cecilia’s. Or former Paulist Center staff Rick Walsh at our Church in Manhattan. And many others. Great! What opportunities YouTube provides! And what directions it takes us in that we might not have reflected on.
As we plan – Staff, Pastoral Council, Worship Team, and others – for the next chapter in our Paulist Center lives, we know that we cannot just go back to how it was before. We must reflect on how this moment provides for our recommitting ourselves, not only to gathering around the Table of the Lord, but also to becoming more intentional, reaching-out, evangelizing followers of Jesus.
A Paulist Center Community who gather in-person around the Table of the Lord is not only so grateful to be back together, but also so eager to reach out and bring others with them.
Next week, I will answer the question, What is the one quality above all others that non-Christian and lapsed Christians look for in a person with whom to talk about faith? Ponder that for a while.
But your input, through a survey we are currently devel-oping, will be crucial as to how we plan for our evolving life together.
What do you think?

Will you join us at Project Bread’s 53rd Walk for Hunger event (virtual this year due to COVID-19) on Sunday, May 2nd. Support other Paulist Center membership and Supper Club volunteers on “The Paulist Center: Home of the Wed. Night Supper Club” team! Here are their names (a work in progress!). To be part of, or contribute to, the team,  Go here.

On April 22nd, we had a very successful gathering of the community to reflect on the experience of more than 60 Paulist Center members who went through an intense program on antiracism. Currently, Social Justice Minister, Susan Rutkowski, is forming a permanent committee from that meeting whose mission will be to keep anti-racism as part of our Christian communal consciousness. Stay tuned.

Hold This Date: 7pm, Thursday, May 20th. “In Your Own Wisdom, Not in Mine: An evening of Story and Song with Paulo K. Tiról” (More information to come)

Worshiping In-Person at the Paulist Center Chapel (imperative if you will be worshiping with us)…
Please reserve a place for either the 5pm Mass on Saturday or the 10am on Sunday.

How to reserve a place?   Please call the Center (617.742.4460) Wednesday through Friday and, on the voicemail, leave your 1) name, 2) contact information (either email or phone number), and 3) which Mass you wish to attend. (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). Thank you for your understanding.

Note Carefully: If you are experiencing ANY symptom that would indicate that you are ill (not just for Covid), please stay home. If in doubt, please stay out! Also, please read carefully the Procedures and watch the video (both links below). Of special note:

The doors open 10 minutes before the service;
Since there is no singing, we invite you to hum along with the songs.


1) Here are the expectations and requirements
2) A wonderful YouTube Video

If you can assist as a Minister of Hospitality 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

1) For the Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 2nd, Live-Streamed Liturgy/Mass from the Chapel, at 10am (available as recording at same link after 11:15am):

Here’s the YouTube Link:
Here’s the Order of Worship

To use the Order of Worship, 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.

2) Paulist Center Families’ Liturgy of the Word, 10am, Sunday:
See Fr. Mike’s Email Missive for the link details.

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

4) All are welcome to a half-hour prayer gathering with/from the Paulist Center’s Young Adult Ministry prayer next Wednesday, 7pm. See Fr. Michael’s email missive for the link.

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 Project Bread’s Walk for Hunger, whose mission is to alleviate, prevent, and ultimately end hunger in Massachusetts. And they are the major funding source for our Wednesday Night Supper Club, now more than 53 years running.. 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, 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 COVID-19 restrictions continue.