Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Why Cooperate?


What attracted you to the Pauline Family?  
Why do you keep coming back?  
How are you involved in the apostolate in your own life?  

So often many of us Pauline Cooperators do not have the time or opportunity to have these conversations among our own groups of Cooperators.  How much harder is it to engage with and learn from Cooperators who live across the country or around the world?

We are starting a periodic series of Cooperator profiles on the blog in order to start these conversations among the wider Cooperator community.  Blog Coordinators Christine and Rae have asked me to begin.  Please use these questions as a jumping off point to share your own story -- or feel free to adapt them!  Let’s share our stories.

How did you learn about the Pauline family?

I used to live in Chicago for a few years and would sometimes pass by the Pauline book and media center downtown.  I never went inside for some reason, but I was vaguely aware that it existed.  Several years ago, I was looking around for some sort of lay association.  There are so many religious orders in Boston, where do you even start to find the right match?  I started off with some communities that looked like they would be great fits on paper, but they didn’t quite fit.  The Daughters of St Paul provincial house is in my neighborhood, within walking distance of my house so I thought I should check them out at least once.  I was hooked and kept coming back!

What attracted you about the Pauline charism?

When I was finishing college, I read Dorothy Day’s autobiography Loaves and Fishes.  In the
opening scene, Peter Maurin is bursting into her apartment telling her that as they were about to start this Catholic Worker movement she needed to start a newspaper in order to facilitate “the clarification of thought.” I was just finishing my undergraduate years where I had majored in philosophy, was editor-in-chief of our college newspaper, and had been the head of our campus fellowship group.  This idea of using a newspaper to facilitate “the clarification of thought” seemed to be made for me.  Then life went on and I started to get settled into adulthood I stopped thinking about that.

Years later, as I started reading about Father Alberione and the Pauline charism all those memories started to come back.  How can I be contributing to the Clarification of Thought?

How has your involvement with the Pauline family enriched your spiritual life?

I love the Pauline emphasis on Jesus as Divine Master, Way Truth and Life.  Being a Christian disciple is not only a matter of going to church on Sundays and saying my prayers, as important as those are, but should shape how I am an employee, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a neighbor, a consumer, a citizen, and everything else.  Pauline devotions keep reminding me that Jesus must not only be my Truth but my Way and Life as well.

I appreciate the practice of a Visit -- to settle myself down in a chapel, set my cell phone alarm for an hour and just stay there until I hear the alarm sound.  Sometimes I may have a lot to talk about and sometimes I am just settling in and being in the presence of God.  I find that setting aside those extended periods of time and giving the Holy Spirit space to do his thing is a discipline that feeds my soul.

How are you participating in the Pauline apostolate now?

I participate in the Christian Humanist Radio Network, which is an ecumenical group of scholars exploring their various fields from a confessional Christian perspective.  I very occasionally appear on air but am more often behind the scenes specifically organizing our interview program Christian Humanist Profiles which features in-depth conversations most frequently with authors who have recently released books.  I work with publishing houses and authors to keep a steady stream of guests coming for Profiles.  We’ve featured a St. Paul’s Press book Letters of Fire, and have had a variety of big names including Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright and Father James Martin SJ.

How about you?  How do you live the Pauline charism in your own lives?  Please consider sharing your story, using these questions or using your own, so that we can learn from each other in our journeys following Jesus our Divine Master.  When you are ready to share your story you can email Christine at crdufresne@comcast.net .

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Kristen Filipic has been involved with the Pauline family since 2010 and completed the Cooperator Formation program in 2014.  She is a native Midwesterner but has lived in Boston for the last twelve years, where she works as a civil rights attorney.  She serves as a lector and a Bible study leader in her home church.

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