Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ten Verbs Dear to the Heart of Blessed Alberione

Next week, we will conclude our summary of the 2017 Pauline Cooperator Convention. This week, we let the Founder, Blessed James Alberione, speak for himself about the Pauline apostolate. Ten verbs jump out at his Pauline Family from his writings, used over and over again to describe the carrying out of his vision. The quotations below are taken from the writings of Blessed James Alberione.
Alberione and St Thecla's Retreat House
Composite photo by Sr Margaret Charles
Onward! The word is an adverb, used as an imperative, with the verb "to move" implied. Blessed Alberione used it often. "Onward! Blessed are the footsteps of those who bring the Gospel, who bring peace. Blessed are the walkers of God! Today the world has changed, and to travel the paths of this world we must update ourselves, using all the means that can serve to communicate the Gospel."

"St. Paul carried out the work of communicating Jesus Christ. Our Family was raised up to continue this work, to be Paul alive today. The first thing our apostolate requires is standard knowledge and then a knowledge of communications. The pastoral spirit is to communicate Jesus Christ as he defined himself: 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.' "

"Diffusion is evangelization. It is a continuation of the public ministry of Jesus: 'I came into the world to bear witness to the truth' (Jn. 18:37). Without diffusion, the apostolate of the press is like a light under a basket."

"The Liturgy of the Blessed Virgin Mary says: Edidit Salvatorem 'She has given us the Savior'.The glory of God and the salvation of all people: this is the purpose of the apostolate of the editions."

"In order to form people, one must have knowledge, will power and common sense. Jesus formed his apostles by giving them a heavenly doctrine accompanied by the example of a holy life, and by praying incessantly for them."

"God works on behalf of those who work for him. Thus we must always work as if everything depended on us, pray and hope in the Lord as if everything depended on him."

Be a tree, not a twig! "Organize the good. Organizations have great power. Even if a person is holy, alone he/she is just a twig. Everyone should harmonize with the others, like the members of a beautiful opera."

"To preach is to communicate Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life. Our machines are pulpits; our apostolate rooms are like churches; our workers are preachers: all these realities should be understood in this new and unique way."

"Those who do not pray abundantly do not make much progress. Until we reach the point of believing that prayer is as necessary to life as bread and air, we will be inadequate, empty and inconstant. Prayer is the soul of every apostolate."

"Transform yourselves into the pens and mouths of God, through Jesus Christ our Master. To write is a spiritual work of mercy toward 'our' poor: those who do not know God. It is the apostolate of the pen."

Verbs are action words. What verbs inspire you to action in the Apostolate?

Sr. Margaret Kerry, FSP, celebrates 40 years of life and mission as a Daughter of St. Paul. With a Masters from Boston College School of Theology & Ministry, she gives presentations on the vocation and mission of the laity, media literacy, and evangelization. She directed the Association of Pauline Cooperators for 15 years and was creative editor of The Pauline Cooperator magazine. An author (St. Anthony of Padua: Fire & Light; Strength in Darkness: John of the Cross), Sr. Margaret is working on a young adult book. You can reach her at


SrLaura Brown said...

Love this one Sr Margaret...Ever onward Daughters of St. Paul & Pauline Cooperators! Ever onward!

M-L Handal, NYC said...

Action Words! Your list can provide a wonderful "examen" for any Pauline reflecting on how faithfully we are deepening our commitment to the apostolate. Thank you, also, for the reminder that prayer is, indeed, an action word -- a part of our work. And, as Sr. Laura demonstrated in her post a couple of weeks ago, there is great power in prayer.

Maryann Toth said...

Thank you, Sr. Margaret, for this excellent list of action words. To pray continues to inspire me. When all else fails and we can't do all of the good we want, we can pray. During my formation as a Pauline Cooperator, we often questioned what we could do for the apostolate. The sisters always reminded us that we could always pray. In these difficult times, we need to remember the power of prayer.