ABOUT THE CHURCH - PAULIST FATHERS
The Paulists seek to meet the contemporary culture on its own terms, to present the Gospel message in ways that are compelling but not diluted, so that the fullness of the Catholic faith may lead others to find Christ's deep peace and "unreachable quietness." Paulists do not condemn culture, nor do they try to conform the Gospel to it. Rather, we preach the Gospel in new ways and in new forms, so that the deep spiritual longings of the culture might find fulfillment in Jesus Christ. To this end, Paulists use printing presses, movie cameras, and the Internet to give voice to the words of Christ - the Word Himself - to a new generation of Americans.
The Vision of the Paulist Founder
The founder of the Paulists, Isaac Hecker, was a spiritual seeker, a wandering soul. He lived for a time in Transcendentalist utopian communities where he consulted the leading thinkers of his day. Though a seeker, he became a man of conviction: once he found the truth in the Catholic Church, he gave his whole life to it. His only desire was to proclaim the truth to others so that they too could find their true selves as North American Catholics.
The Spirit at Work
Today our Paulist family grows, joined by Associates and lay collaborators in foundations throughout North America. The vision of Hecker – through our hearts and voices – is at work in the Spirit to:
- Seek out those who desire healing and reconciliation,
- work toward Christian unity and dialogue with faiths outside our tradition
- in parishes, on the campus, through video and publishing
We Give the Word A Voice!
Paulist Mission Statement
We give the Word of God a voice in pulpits and print, on radio and television, on the Web and the wide screen.
We search out those who have no church home, and welcome home those who have been away.
We share the passion of St. Paul for unity in faith and solidarity in mission among all the baptized in the body of Christ.
We build bridges of respect and collaboration with people of other world religions.
We welcome people of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds in our parish, city center and campus worshipping communities.
The Gospel we preach calls for all the children of God to be treated with dignity and justice.
We claim Isaac Hecker as our founder, the Holy Spirit as our primary guide, St. Paul as our patron and laity as our valued partners in mission.
We are Paulists. Missionaries to North America.
Paulist Mission Direction Statement
In the new millennium, the Paulist Fathers and their lay colleagues continue to draw upon the legacy of our founder, Isaac Thomas Hecker. Attentive to the movement of the Holy Spirit in our midst, and faithful to the example of St. Paul, we recommit ourselves to evangelization in all its forms as our central mission. This apostolic vision must recognize the multicultural reality of our society, the diversity of North American religious experience, and the value of Paulists and laity working together as partners in the transformative work of Spirit-driven ministry.
Evangelization extends to the whole human experience, transforms cultures by Gospel values, promotes justice, originates and culminates in the preaching of the Good News.
Within our Paulist history and tradition, our charism lies in awakening seekers to the love of Jesus Christ. In service to the wider church and in a spirit of collaboration, we call and form disciplines in mission who invite others through proclamation and witness to share in the rich Catholic tradition.
Living the Gospel calls us to work for Christian unity, the goal of giving a more visible expression to our deep communion in the one Body of Christ. Ecumenism opens us to the spiritual riches and Gospel traditions of other Christian churches and communities. The one Spirit of Christ, poured into all hearts, urges us to work with our brothers and sisters for union in faith, life, worship and mission towards the unity God wills for the one church of Christ.
Promoting justice and healing, reconciliation makes tangible the compassionate, forgiving embrace that is the church. Paulists enter into God's action of seeking out the lost, the alienated, the hurt, and the broken. We minister especially in welcoming people back to the church. In broader terms, the Spirit impels us to find common ground, working for cross-cultural understanding, peace, justice and human liberation. We recognize that action on behalf of justice is constitutive of the preaching of the Gospel.
Attuned to the whole human experience, interreligious relations open us to our unique spiritual kinship with the Jewish people and to the movement of the Holy Spirit in Islam and in other world religions. This work engages us in a dialogue of life, action, spiritual experience and theological exchange. These forms of dialogue, good in and of themselves, deepen our understanding of one another and cultivate respect for diverse religious heritages as we journey together in and toward truth.
The Paulist community affirms the central mission of evangelization and its related ministries of Christian unity, reconciliation and interreligious relations. Therefore, we dedicate ourselves with our lay and religious associates to advance these missionary endeavors.
For more information about the Paulist Fathers and their mission, go to www.paulist.org