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The Paulist Community is a society of apostolic life in the Roman Catholic Church. Founded in 1858 by New Yorker Isaac Hecker, the Paulists serve as ordained missionaries to North America. Their instinctive orientation is reaching out-particularly to those without faith or on the edge of faith, and to other believers. They seek visible expressions of unity in faith, worship and work with other Christians, and relationships of respect, understanding and collaboration with members of other religions.

The Paulists greeted the new millennium by opening a Paulist North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations presently located in Boston, MA. The work of the office is directed by Fr. Thomas Ryan, CSP (Community of St. Paul).

Born and raised in southern Minnesota, Tom did his graduate studies in theology at the Washington (D.C.) Theological Union and the University of Geneva. He was ordained a Paulist in 1975, and served in campus ministry at the Ohio State University (Columbus) and at McGill University (Montreal, QC.), prior to directing the Montreal-based Canadian Centre for Ecumenism for 14 years and working in all ten provinces of Canada. Perceiving the need for places where Christians of different traditions could gather to share faith and life with each other as well as with members of other religions, he spearheaded the founding of Unitas in Montreal, an ecumenical center for spirituality and Christian meditation co-sponsored by eight different denominations. He served as its director for five years prior to answering the call of Paulist leadership in January of 2000 to set up and develop the Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations which he directed for 21 years--7 years in New York City, 9 years in Washington, DC, and 5 years in Boston, entering into Senior Ministry status in 2021. He now lives at The Paulist Center in Boston.

The Paulists

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 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.

For more on the Paulists, go to: www.paulist.org

For a Catholic Profiles interview with Fr. Tom, click here

For an America magazine interview click here


Rev. Thomas Ryan, CSP
The Paulist Center
5 Park St
Boston, MA 02108
Tel: 617-948-2406
Email: [email protected]

To see some of the forms his work takes, visit some of the other
pages on this site.