Saturday, July 7, 2018


On July 7, 1858, Servant of God Isaac Hecker and three companions, Fr. Augustine Hewitt, Fr. George Deshon, and Fr. Francis Baker (like Hecker, themselves also all converts to Roman Catholicism and until recently also Redemptorist priests) signed the Programme of Rule and Constitution of the Congregation of Missionary Priests of St. Paul the Apostle, thus creating the religious community commonly known ever since as The Paulist Fathers – the first men’s religious community to be founded in the United States. In a circular letter printed in Catholic newspapers around the country, the new community announced that they “had organized themselves as a religious congregation for the vigorous prosecution of the missions and other works of apostolic ministry.” 
Fr. Hecker, in the words of the 2018 Paulist Fathers’ General Assembly,  “provides a way to think about the search for God, the experience of conversion, the giving of oneself heroically in service, serving the Church’s mission, and attentiveness to the direction of the Holy Spirit. These are elements not only for the Paulists themselves but also for the spirituality of the wider Church.”

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