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 Washington, DC. 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 his community in January of 2000 to set up and develop the Paulist Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations.
For more on the Paulists,
To see some of the
forms his work takes, visit some of the other