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36 • Part I. The Creed: The Faith Professed

and their superiors. The meeting did not go well and resulted in the

expulsion of Isaac and four others from the order. Blessed Pius IX, having

been informed of the plight of Hecker and his companions, dispensed

them from their vows to the Redemptorists and encouraged them to

found a new congregation with a missionary emphasis. Soon thereafter,

Isaac Hecker became the first superior of “The Missionary Society of Saint

Paul the Apostle,” later known as the Paulists.

Throughout his life Isaac diligently worked to promote evangelization

in American culture, particularly through the print media. He organized

the Catholic Publication Society and became the founder of

The Catholic


magazine, the director of Catholic Youth, and the author of three

books. He did all this while continuing to be the first superior of the Paulists

and preaching tirelessly to thousands across the country.

The motivation behind these efforts was always the drive to teach

everyone the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith. It was the love of

this faith that led Isaac Hecker to dedicate his life to serving Christ and

Catholic Americans. Today the Paulists, following in the footsteps of their

founder (who died in 1888 after a long illness), are present in parishes,

campus ministry, major city information centers, publishing, and elec-

tronic, print, and broadcast media.

Knowing our faith and then sharing it with others is the responsibility

of every Catholic. Fr. Isaac Hecker is a good example of one who lived out

that responsibility.



By his Revelation, “the invisible God, from the fullness

of his love, addresses men as his friends, and moves

among them, in order to invite and receive them into his

own company.” The adequate response to this invitation

is faith.

—CCC, no. 142, citing DV, no. 2