Friday, August 27, 2010

A Fruit of Pauline Summer Retreats

Summer Retreat Program 2009

Summer Retreat Program 2010

My daughters, Cyrene and Ashley, have had the occasion of attending the summer retreat program in Boston; twice, in fact: last year and this year.

Looking back, I have seen the hand of God at work in this part of their journey: My husband got a part-time job and my book is selling well. Those are the two important gifts God had placed in our family that made travelling of my daughters from Hawaii to Boston and back feasible. God is faithful, indeed, and knows what to give my daughters to accomplish his plans for them.

Today, I read more about Mary Anne Marks, a 2010 Harvard graduate with an undergraduate degree in classics and English. She wants to become a Dominican nun! Yesterday, I got excited about this person and the turn of events in her life that I made a quick post about her on my blog Mostly Prayers.

Delving into more pages found at National Review Online today brought me to an even more amazing truth. Below is the wonderful discovery that allowed me to see more vividly and appreciate more profoundly the graces poured out upon my daughters, Cyrene and Ashley: when God made it possible for them to go to Boston for those wonderful, wonderful retreats!

Here is that precious gem:

LOPEZ: Have you known religious sisters in your life?

MARKS: Yes. When I was young, my family often visited the Daughters of St. Paul bookstore in Manhattan, and I attended a retreat at their convent in Boston after freshman year of high school. Around 2000, I encountered my own, then very young, Dominican community and got to know the vocations director...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

God, Model of the Apostle Writer

I have been reading "The Publishing House" (written by Blessed James Alberione in 1944) and finding treasures that I had no idea were in there! I also downloaded the PDF file and transcribed it into a text file so I could create a presentation for an upcoming book in the Classic Wisdom Series (hopefully!). Here are some gems:

Through the press apostolate, books, periodicals, and other publications acquire effectiveness in virtue of the Bible, the preaching of Jesus Christ and the Gospel. The more they draw from, adhere to, depend on, reproduce, show devotion to and apply the Bible, and the Gospel in particular, the greater will be their effectiveness.

The apostle will achieve this if, for his part, besides his daily reading and meditation of the Bible, he knows how to act before God as did the hagiographers. They relied not on their own strength but on God’s; they focused not on secondary goals but on God, and on his glory and the spiritual good of all men and women.

Recommend highly the viewing of motion pictures that are truly worthwhile. In this way the public will be able to go to the cinema without any misgivings; people will prefer to see good motion pictures and, as a result, these will acquire prestige for the producers, the distributors and also for the owners of the movie theaters.

Generally speaking, it is not advisable to make a lot of noise about immoral motion pictures or to organize protests. This could produce the opposite effect to the one desired.

In sum: the press placed at the service of the cinema aposto¬late and in collaboration with it makes it stronger, in view of the glory of God and the benefit of the spiritual life of people.
What needs to be done is to set up Catholic stations and in¬crease religious broadcasts, to gradually penetrate the world of radio broadcasting in such a way that ordinary programs reflect Catholic tastes, feelings and thinking. To this end we need ex¬ecutives, technicians and writers who are trained in a Catholic way.
New Technology
Although it has taken on a new form, the press apostolate, inasmuch as it imprints God’s word, is as old as the apostolate of the spoken word because, like the latter, it comes from God, was adopted by the Church and is employed everywhere.
Commuication Spirituality
Compare the feelings of your heart with those of Jesus Christ. Ask pardon for your selfish¬ness, for your simply natural affections and attachments. Re¬solve to love God and, in him, to love others more ardently, more generously and more passionately. You ask such a grace of the Divine Master and you go to drink life, to eat Jesus! You set off again, bearing Jesus wherever you go, allowing him alone to live and work while in him and in his work you remain hidden and secluded, for “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal.2:20).
The PDF is found online in various formats by searching with these key words: Opera Omnia Alberione

Friday, August 20, 2010

Alberione's Prophecy

"I need to tell you something that the Lord
let me know about on the feast of Saint Bernard."

The Letter from Susa, Italy to the first Paulines
On 22 August 1924 Fr Alberione wrote the following letter from Susa. It reflects the thoughts going through his own mind; thoughts that he now recommends to his sons to animate them to conform bet-ter and better to their Pauline vocation. Fr Alberione perceives and conveys the greatness of this vocation, even if he links it immediately to the notion of the “account” that he and all Paulines will have “to render to God.”

To the members of the Pious Society of Saint Paul

I just wrote [to you] yesterday, but today, too, I need to tell you something that the Lord let me know about on the feast of Saint Bernard.

I don’t know if this will make you feel happier or more scared; perhaps more scared than happy at first, because, just as the Theologian did, so you, too, will have to think of the greater account that we shall have to render to God.
I don’t know if, sometimes, you ever think of making a comparison between our House, little as it is, and the great tree of the Salesian Family, or the mighty oak of the Family of Saint Ignatius; or the two Orders of Friars, the Dominicans and the Sons of Saint Francis, or, even more, the amazing development of the Sons of Saint Benedict.

Well now, all this is very little in comparison to what the Lord wants, expects and asks of us.

I am reading the life of that missionary adventurer, Saint Francis Xavier. I can tell you that more than half of you are destined to do the good he did; while others [among you] will do three times as much and even more. What marvels Jesus has enclosed in his Heart

Marvels of love, grace and vocations. The Lord wants to give us things that I don’t think you can yet experience, since even Jesus told the Apostles that he had things that he was keeping to himself until the coming of the Holy Spirit, be-cause “non potestis portare modo.” And you will not be able to bear it because all of us are still quite far from the humility, self-denial, charity, poverty and faith that the Lord wants.

Have we a tiny bit of all this?
Dear friends, read this letter during the Visit to the Blessed Sacrament: let us reflect that the graces are there, [and that] judgment awaits us; whether we like it or not the world is ours: woe if we don’t embrace it. I am almost struck with terror and I must cling with both arms to Jesus who says to me: “Ego sum, nolite timere, omnia possum.”

Written at Susa on 22 August 1924.


Friday, August 13, 2010

Meet Angela Santana

After the Catholic New Media Celebration, Angela and I spent some time exploring Boston (and the Pauline Cooperators) - Well we actually explored Billerica (St Thecla's Retreat House) becasue I volunteered for airport runs for retreat directors. From there we did a quick drive by Concord (the Old Manse, the Alcott house, Emerson's digs, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, the bridge where sounded "the shot heard round the world.") and then back to the airport. Angela spent time touring the Pauline sister's publishing house. There we found Sr Bridget setting up the recording studio for a new recording and Sr Ruth in her radio studio. We walked to graphics where Sr Linda and Rosanna were working on e-books and in print design. We stopped by marketing, the web store, and the publisher's office. We even walked around the house to get a lay of the land.

Welcome Angela to the Pauline Lay Association formation program! Here is her blog: and you will find her on Facebook. Before I met Angela she knew us forrm our San Antonio center and recently joined Sr Rose Pacatte and Sr Margaret Obrovac for a Social Media Workship in San Antiono.

Sr Margaret

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Catholic New Media Celebration Day

Greetings from the Pastoral Life Center in Boston where the CNMC is being hosted. We have had a full day of blog and podcast insights. Lino from Catholic Radio Sirius gave a rousing presentation that reminded me of Blessed Alberione's reminder: use the language of the medium. The medium is the message in this case so professional use of the media is imperative. Enter the media culture, as Paul entered the Areopagus in Athens by looking around in the city, acknowledging the good in the culture and pointing out the questions. While Paul was walking around the city he saw a statue to an unknown god. As communicators we also look for the unknown gods in our culture - those longings that remain unfulfilled because it is God we are really longing for. Paul said: let me tell you about this "god" and brought the message of Jesus risen from the dead.

Fr. Roderick is here from Holland. He is the founder of for Catholic new media. He likened entering the media sphere with the story of the three magi who followed a star - a new star led them on a journey of promise. They didn't know they were seeking Jesus. They had no idea that they would be led to the manger. When they did arrive they realized that it wasn't the star that would fulfill their longing - it was Jesus. They laid their gifts at the feet of the child who was giving them the greatest gift. People today also follow various stars. Catholic new media may shine a start that leads to Jesus. Father has shows on losing weight for example and eventually people get to know their real longing and where the answer to fullness is found.

New videos from this program will be up soon. The Cardinal is speaking now.
Sr Margaret

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Media Spiritualilty

The slideshare is available (without notes) from my presentation on a communication spirituality.

Questions & the Theology of the Body Conference

Sr Marinanne Lorraine walked into the Office of Pauline Laity just a while ago. She had attended a number of conference at the Theology of the Body (TOB) Conference. I was very interested in hearing  what the topics were and how TOB was presented. TOB originated with John Paul II's series of articles in the Vatican paper later bound and published under the title A Theology of the Body by Pauline Books & Media. From this book various books were written. Christopher West popularized the "theology" and a grass roots movement began. The first TOB Conference was just held in Philadelphia. Over 450 people attended a number of workshops.

I had my questions and the dialogue with Sr Lorraine began. Now I want to get it on video!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Spirituality of a Communicator

Tomorrow I am presenting a workshop to the young "junior" professed members of our community. The topic I was given is Sprituality and Media. Researching and praying over a workshop like this always gives me so much more insight into a topic. During the presentation I expect to recieve even more insights from the sisters attending. The program will be up on SlideShare soon - in a basic PowerPoint format. I will also post some of the insights gained from our sharing here on this blog. Stay tuned!
Sr Margaret