Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Media as Wondrous Gifts of God, Given for Our Sanctification

The Media as Wondrous Gifts of God, Given for Our Sanctification

On the Alberione web site Sr Rose and Fr. Bonnet (Hallmark Channel)marked the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s approval of Inter mirifica, which translates "among the wonders", with some great articles celebrating "Media Gifts of God."

Monday, January 28, 2008

Fr. James Alberione was no "media baron"

Fr. James Alberione was no "media baron"

Dear Fellow Cooperators,

This is Rae in Delaware. I wanted to share some thoughts about Blessed James Alberione and the Pauline Family, from my recent reading. I am trying to pray and study so that I can more fully grasp the call the be a Pauline Cooperator.

Fr. Tom Fogarty, SSP makes some comments in 1982 in his book APOSTLE FOR OUR TIMES that are relevant to the Pauline mission today. He writes of the 1960's when the Church at large caught up with Blessed Alberione's vision of the importance of mass media for communication of the gospel:

An interesting aspect of modern mass-media influence is that... the information presented, not always very interesting, must be made interesting by underlining the darker or more controversial side of the picture. This is understandable. Unless we are stirred to our depths by a certain dramatisation of the urgency, many things that should be done will never get done.

It is not easy for [the media men (sic)] to adopt a friendly tone when they come to treat of God or of religion -- for the simple reason that a friendly approach to anything tends to run into ruts. Like any other subject, religion easily becomes boring so, if it is introduced at all, it is presented as nothing better than pepped-up humanism or, if the truth must be told, as something controversial.

This explains why those who watched the original extensive coverage given in the sixties to Vatican II and who said happily that the Church needed only latch onto this friendly collaboration via a good Press Office were quickly disillusioned. The old saying, "There is no such thing as bad publicity", has scarcely proven truth for the Church.

Much of the confusion we have experienced is the work of media men who in their tireless search for a good "story" huffed and puffed unsound or purely speculative theology out of all proportion to reality. In their turn, the theologians fell under the spell of being darlings of the media and were understandably led to confirm positions which they had not really taken.

The final result has not been development of doctrine, which is legitimate and necessary, but distortion of doctrine for which we shall pay dearly to the end of the [twentieth] century and beyond
When Fr. Fogarty wrote that in the 1980's, our media culture had not yet adopted its current competitive mandate to deliver exciting and controversial news 24/7. We in the Pauline family would do well to keep Fogarty's prescience in mind as we try to make an impact using the means of social communication.

He goes on to talk about material success and spiritual reality in the Pauline mission:

We are dealing with a spiritual reality when we talk about spreading the Word of God. Obviously it has a material dimension but this dimension can be very misleading. Admit it or not, we still have the subconscious persuasion that what we really need to convert the world to Christ are more and better Press, Radio and TV facilities. Thus, if the Church oculd truly make her voice a commanding force in every corner of the world, the world would reform overnight.

Nothing, unfortunately, could be further from the truth.

... The plain fact is that the mere presentation of Church teaching, however well or extensively done, is not enough. It must be supported by spiritual effort. And when we say this we immediately throw light on Father James' entire life and work.

In the mid-sixties when Church use of the media became official, following Vatican II, the Pauline Family had already been fifty years in existence. It had begun with principles which were now finally recognised as having always been valid and, in those years, it had not only expanded materially but, most of all, it had expanded spiritually.... It had expanded to include continuous prayer for God's blessing on the whole undertaking. There was a daily Holy Hour for everyone, Perpetual Adoration where this was physically possible and many other devotional exercises in honour of the Eucharist.

Most of all, it had expanded spiritually in the person of the Founder. Advanced in age but much more advanced in the grace, his daily schedule of prayer and utterly-dedicated life were a constant source of wonder to those who had the privilege of living with him.

[Father Alberione] had no intention of founding anything in the nature of a "Communications' Empire" in the modern sense, though he certainly did all in his power to increase the range of the apostolate.... What are we to think, for example, of his tenacious insistence that the Society's radio work badly needed to be developed - and this when he was over 80 years of age?

But he was no business baron. What he really set out to do... was to give life to a Religious Family whose members would be active in the mass-media field but whose main activity would be spiritual. His concern was that they should put prayer, witness and permanent commitment as the indispensable foundation and source of their work...

Father James was small in stature but he was a spiritual giant... The place and importance of the Religious Family he founded can be judged by the degree to which it is faithful to his spirit.

That is why the permanent and perennial work of the Pauline Family is not, and cannot, be measured in mass-media terms... In his own lifetime, Fr. James was almost unknown - even to his own sons and daughters. This was as it should have been. He was no superstar, blazing briefly in a personal display of religious brilliance. Instead, his mission was to be the first of many brethren, he was to give the Church a new type of work and an intense spirituality to sustain that work.

And so the success or failure of his Family is not measured either by number of members or by number of products. The measure is, and always will be, the degree of closeness to Christ each member cultivates, the degree of perfection with which he or she imitates the life of Christ. It is not all that difficult to communicate the Gospel. But what the world badly needs is people to live it.

Rae Stabosz - 402 S. College Ave. - Newark DE 19711

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Toronto, Ontario FSP News

I said I would bring your greetings and bring back greetings from the Pauline Cooperators in Toronto. While I was in Canada Sr Mary Peter and the sisters of the communinity held a scheduled Hour of Adoration followed by a Cooperator meeting. There we shared our common goal of evangelization; spoke about this new blog/meeting place (Louis Ng was there and he has already contributed to this blog); dreampt about the possible trip to Italy in Paul's Footsteps (April 2009); and promised prayers.

The bookcenter in Toronto is also a distribution center for Pauline Books & Media in Canada. The sisters reach out to schools, parishes and bookstores from Toronto to Quebec and beyond. They work very closely with a Catholic Radio and Television Station (Salt & Light) founded by a Pauline Cooperator who actually knew Blessed Alberione. He grew up in Italy and as young man discerning his vocation was advised by Blessed Alberione to expand the Pauline mission in Cananda as a Pauline Cooperator. He went on to found St Joseph's Publishing and Media in Toronto. His family continues the tradition of assisting Paulines all over the world. Recently St Joseph's Media has helped Paulines print and diffuse Bibles for China.

Another delegation of Daughters of St Paul is in Montreal (French speaking) plus the Society of St Paul and Daughters have wonderful centers in Quebec and Sherbrooke where they also publish.

Sr Margaret

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity


VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, traditionally celebrated every year from January 18 to 25, begins on Friday.

The theme chosen for this year's initiative, taken from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians, is: "Pray without ceasing". The texts for reflection and prayer have been prepared by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.

Each day of the Week will have a different theme:

18 January: Pray always. "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5, 17).

19 January: Pray always, trusting God alone. "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5, 18).

20 January: Pray without ceasing for the conversion of hearts. "Admonish the idlers, encourage the faint-hearted" (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).

21 January: Pray always for justice. "See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all" (1 Thessalonians 5, 15).

22 January: Pray constantly with a patient heart. "Be patient with all of them" (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).

23 January: Pray always for grace to work with God. "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5, 16).

24 January: Pray for what we need. "... help the weak" (1 Thessalonians 5, 14).

25 January: Pray always that they all may be one. "Be at peace" (1 Thessalonians 5, 13b)

In the basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls at 5.30 p.m. on Friday, 25 January, Feast of the Conversion of the Apostle Paul, Benedict XVI will preside at the celebration of Vespers to mark the close of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Monday, January 7, 2008


I will be crossing the border tomorrow to be with our sisters in Toronto. I am arriving in time to participate in the Pauline Cooperator meeting and Hour of Adoration. I bring your greetings and will bring you back news from Cananda.
Sr Margaret

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Sr Mary Augustine writes from Kenya

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for all of your e-mails and concerns about if I am okay or not. I assure you that I am fine, as are all of our sisters here. But I do ask you to please pray for the families of all of our Kenyan sisters who are scattered all over the country. So far, they are all okay.

But the situation is not good at all and everything has been at a standstill since the elections on Dec. 27th. You probably know more than I do of what has been happening because our news is somehow hampered and not everything is allowed to be shown on TV, although we do see a lot. We listen to BBC a lot on the radio and it keeps us up to date. Very few of our staff have been able to come to work since there is no way of traveling - all the buses and other means of transportation are stopped or else cost so much that no one can afford them. Most people are walking miles to go to work.

This is a situation which is very difficult for us Americans to understand - the whole problem is tribalism and people taking advantage of the situation to loot and burn and to take revenge on people they do not like ( eg. the other tribes.) But they are very few who are doing all this damage. Most people want peace and the churches are crowded with people praying. We had an all night vigil last night and all of us took turns to make the hour of adoration so that peace may come once more to this beautiful country.

I will try to keep you informed, but ask you not to worry about me. We are not in any danger. Our book center is in town, but the sisters did not go today because there is supposed to be a rally this morning and no one wants to take any chances of going out. They did go yesterday and said that things were calm.

Please keep your prayers going for us and also for our sisters in Pakistan who are in much more danger than we are. We have many Pakistani sisters, plus a few from other countries and they are in the midst of all their riots, etc. but so far, they are all okay, thank God.

May God bless all of you. Love and prayers,

Sr Mary Augustine

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Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Easter Almuena from Hawaii Shares Blog Sites

From: Easter Almuena []
Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2008 7:27 PM

Happy New Year! Aloha from Hawaii!

Here are my blogsites:
Mostly Prayers

and my newer one,
A Tribute to Our Priests

I was so excited to see your blog for the Pauline Cooperators. It will be on my sidebar as soon as I finish typing this message.

Life of St Paul on BBC Audio Documentary

Happy New Year!!! 'Thought you might find it interesting to listen to and share with Pauline Family the BBC's audio documentary on the life of St. Paul, the Apostle:

Wishing you all the best in 2008!