FEBRUARY 11, 2024

Images: left by Ralph, right by Md Imranul Rahman

Feast, Then Fast

Dear Friends,

There's a dual nature to the upcoming week. We'll feast through Tuesday night, before dramatically shifting to fasting and abstaining on Wednesday morning.

Let's remember that the goal of our Lenten fast is not supposed to be suffering or gloominess. Whether we are personally experiencing spiritual richness or spiritual poverty in our lives this winter, Lent is a time to focus on our relationship with God. Even as we each make a personal pilgrimage this Lent, we also journey together as a community seeking to more fully understand God's mercy.

NOW: Preparing for Lent - insert

Feb 10: Preparing for Lent - discussion

Feb 10 & 11: Anointing of the Sick

Feb 11: Community Coffee

Feb 14: Ash Wednesday schedule

- In Memoriam

- A Balm to Soothe Our Ills

- Upcoming Events

NOW: Check Out Our Lenten Insert!

The Worship Committee has prepared an insert about the season of Lent for this weekend's bulletin. It includes prayers & catechetical information for the season, previews some of the special rites for OCIA, and lists the many special activities & liturgies we have going on throughout the season. Check out the full thing here!

Here are the events coming up soonest:

  • Each of our 7 Lenten Small Groups will meet 5 times over the next 6 weeks. Didn't get to join a group? Purchase a hard copy or e-copy of the book they're using, Mercy Not Sacrifice by Paulist Fr. Mark-David Janus.

  • Gus Kellerman leads a Bible Study for Young Adults (ages 18-39) at 6 pm on Thurs, Feb 15. Snacks & socializing begin at 5:30 pm for anyone who can come early.

  • Pray for our catechumen as she continues preparing to receive the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, & Eucharist). At the Rite of Election at Holy Cross Cathedral at 2 pm on Sun, Feb 18, she will be "elected" by Cardinal Sean O'Malley to receive the sacraments at the Easter Vigil.

  • For 4 consecutive Wednesdays at 7 pm, starting on Weds, Feb 21, our LGBTQIA Ministry will lead community-wide prayer services on Zoom. Invite your friends & family near and far to join us!

  • The ancient tradition of abstaining from meat is intended to care for those who do not have enough to eat. Read what you can do to get involved with the Wednesday Night Supper Club or our Emergency Food Pantry. They're always looking for extra volunteers!

4 pm Sat, Feb 10: Preparing for Lent

Join us at 4 pm on Sat, Feb 10 as resident Paulist Father Tom Ryan leads us in refreshening/deepening a few spiritual practices considered as pillars in Christian spirituality. We'll also explore how our challenge is to keep these practices dynamic and ever fresh. The session will help get you off to a life-enriching Lenten season.

The talk will take place in the 3rd floor library. Please enter the building through the double doors after 3:45 pm.

Tom's 20th book, Missionary Priest: A Spiritual Memoir, came out last week! He'll have a few advanced copies on hand for purchase by cash or check.

All 3 Masses, Feb 10-11: Anointing of the Sick

After each Mass this weekend, we will offer the Anointing of the Sick for anyone who wishes to receive this beautiful-but-misunderstood sacrament.

Paulist Father Chuck Cunniff (Associate Director of the Paulist Center, 2018-22) wrote the pastoral reflection last week, reflecting on the meaning of the sacrament for him as he continues his cancer journey.

Sun, Feb 11: Laissez les Bons Temps Rouler!

Let the good times roll! Please join us for a Community Coffee in the auditorium after the 10 am Mass on Sun, Feb 11. Thanks to Kate & Jim Stewart, Nancy Kendrick, and Daria O'Connor for hosting!

Wed, Feb 14: Ash Wednesday Is On Valentine's Day

Lent begins on Wednesday. Roman Catholics in without dietary restrictions are supposed to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday & the following 7 Fridays. Ash Wednesday & Good Friday are also days of fasting for Roman Catholics ages 18-59 in good health.

Our Ash Wednesday schedule:

  • 7:55 am - Mass (spoken)
  • 12:05 pm - Mass (with music)
  • 5:15 pm - Lay-led Service (with music)
  • 7:00 pm - Lay-led Service (with music, and livestreamed)

All 4 services will include the imposition of ashes for all who wish to receive them.

Our Director, Fr. Rich Andre, targeted this weekend's pastoral reflection towards visitors coming on Ash Wednesday. You're still welcome to check it out, of course!

In Memoriam

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Former Paulist Center employee — and Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice recipient — Larry Kessler, who died on February 1. You can read about Larry on this Wikipedia page or in this tribute in the Boston Globe. His funeral will be at 11 am on Fri, Feb 16 at St. Cecilia's.

A Balm to Soothe Our Ills

We love to see you at our liturgies in person! If you can't get here this week for any reason, please join us on the livestream:

Mass for 6th Sunday of

Ordinary Time

10 am Sun, Feb 11

Lay-led Service for

Ash Wednesday

7 pm Weds, Feb 14

Remember: our livestreams are available in real time on our YouTube channel & available there afterwards as a recording.

Upcoming Events

The most comprehensive listing of what's going on at the Paulist Center is in the bulletin. Check it out! Here's a summary of what else is in it:

  • People can now make donations to our general offertory via Apple Pay and Google Pay through DonorBox! This is intended primarily for visitors & members who do not give a recurring gift to us through their bank account or credit card. (It can also be used by members inspired to make an extra contribution.) Be sure to read the bulletin about where these donations will be directed, and how these donations will not be registered as part of your year-end giving tax records.

  • A listing of where the Family Religious Education classes are taking place this weekend. All grades, Kindergarten through Sr. High, are meeting on Sun, Feb 11.

  • Our Racial Justice Advocacy Group (RJAG) has their next meeting online at 7 pm on Tues, Feb 13. All are welcome! Email Tom to get the Zoom link.

  • A brief history of Black History Month by RJAG, with suggested resources for learning more.

  • An invitation to join the next online support group meeting for Family & Friends of LGBTQIA Persons at 2 pm on Sun, Feb 18.

  • Information about Young Adult Ministry events planned for February 21 & 25. Gus Kellerman, our Young Adult Minister invites everyone age 18-39 — whether or not they are Catholic or a member of the Paulist Center Community — to use this form to arrange to meet with him 1-on-1.

  • Information on our Adult Confirmation classes, starting at 7 pm on Thurs, Mar 7. Contact Fr. Rick to learn more.

  • In our Stewardship corner, we provide information about giving online or donating via text to sustain our vibrant liturgies and our mission of healing, reconciliation, and justice.

  • Information on the Massachusetts Bail Fund, one of 52 organizations receiving a share of the 5% of our FY 2024 annual offertory that we give as a Community Gift.

  • An appeal from the Catholic chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital for additional Eucharistic ministers to bring communion to the hospitalized.

  • Information on joining neighbors of many faiths in rallies for Social Justice on the weekend of Sat, Mar 2 & Sun, Mar 3! (See more below in "Around the Community.")

For updates, ongoing events, local events, and longer-range planning, here's additional information:

  • Get excited! On the weekend of Feb 24-25, we expect to have lots of information to share with you about the Auction! We'll be asking you to buy seat tickets and raffle tickets, to sponsor the event, to contribute items & experiences for us to auction off, and to volunteer. Save the date & plan to join us for the Auction on the evening of Sat, Apr 27!

Around the community:

  • Join the Poor People's Campaign at the Massachusetts State House as part of a national campaign on Sat, Mar 2. We will march & rally to bring the demands of poor & low-wealth people for living wages, healthcare, housing, education, environmental justice, and voting rights directly to our lawmakers. Please note that the actual rally is scheduled for 11 am to 1 pm, but organizers are asking people to arrive by 9:30 am. RSVP here.

  • Join other members of the Paulist Center at Greater Boston Interfaith Organization's housing justice rally at the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury at 3 pm on Sun, Mar 3. Get more information on this flyer. Please register as a guest of Hillel Bnai Torah, and email Tom to let him know that you're going.

It's an exciting time at the Paulist Center, and we look forward to growing with you in the upcoming months!

It's an honor to serve you!

Alvaro, Barbara, Dorothy, Gus, Norm, Patty, Rich, Rick, Rob, Sal, Susan, & Timmy

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