Fr. James Alberione
on August 20, 1914, founded the Society of St. Paul.
The war to end all wars had erupted on July 28
and the guns of August were tearing apart the bodies of Europe's
young. The soul of a civilization was being tested and a world
was caught up in the obscenity of total war. Against this background
Fr. Alberione founded a religious congregation of priests and
brothers to use the media to proclaim the truth of the Gospel
and the values of a Kingdom that transcended this world. It was
the first in a series of foundations known as "The Pauline Family."
From the beginning, Fr. Alberione relied on lay cooperators to make his dreams of putting the modern means of communications at the service of the gospel come true. He understood that the laity was called to holiness and heroic virtue. Fr. Alberione was convinced that as in all previous centuries, lay creativity, generosity, and enthusiasm, would propel forward the Gospel in the twentieth century. He needed the laity's special knowledge and skills. Most of all, however, he needed the prayers of the laity. He knew that his young congregation would need the spiritual support of the people of God if it was to survive and grow. Though the notion of a congregation dedicated solely to communications and publishing was novel and difficult for the hierarchy to completely comprehend, the laity understood the need for good literature and uplifting publications right from the beginning.
In 1915, enlisting the aid of a dynamic young woman, Thecla Merlo, Fr. Alberione founded the Daughters of St. Paul. They were to take part in every aspect of the communications apostolate and bring their own zeal to telling the story of Jesus to the Church as a whole. Like the first women to tell the news of the resurrection to the apostles, he was confident that women would be able to spread the good news to the homes of fallen away Catholics and those without any faith or spiritual history. The strength of women to endure in the service of the Gospel of love has proven true and in every corner of the world the Daughters of St. Paul spread the light of Christ.
In 1924, Fr. Alberione founded an extraordinary
group of nuns to nourish the soul of the Pauline Family and
to serve the Church as a whole. Through their focus on the eucharist, ministry to priests,
and their liturgical service, they remind the people of God of what is
truly valuable. In their contemplation, they become still points
in the midst of a swirling world. They focus their total
attention on the Divine Master, the way, truth, and
life. The Sister Disciples
of the Divine Master spend three hours a day before the blessed
sacrament and twenty four hours a day being open to the
transforming power of God. Their love is expressed in their music,
art, archictecture, and their special care of priests in need.
On October 7, 1938, Fr. Alberione founded the Sisters of Jesus the Good Shepherd to be "mothers and sisters, everyone's friends, rays of sunshine and joy in the parish." He wanted them to model their efforts on the early Church's model where women excelled in their service to the community. He wanted them to be great by serving all. They are found in twelve countries on five continents. The kingdom that they serve, however, has no boundaries and transcends the continents of this beautiful planet.
The Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostles
In 1958, Fr. Alberione founded the Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostles to help the people of God hear God's calling voice. A voice that can only be heard in the tiny whisper that Elisha heard and is so often hidden by the noise of our so called civilizations. Fr. Alberione wanted to aid people in discovering where they could best serve God and in the process become true heroes in the kingdom. The Sisters of Mary Queen of Apostles mission is to aid people in discerning what God expects of them. They promote vocations to all the religious congregations, orders and societies in the Church. They promote vocations in Italy and Brazil but their mission to arouse in the heart of people the desire to serve God is desperately needed in all corners of the Church.
In 1958, while the West was prospering materially but languishing spiritually and communism was in full vigor but humanly bankrupt, Fr. Alberione invited men and women while continuing to live in a secular word to follow the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience. They bring their intensity and deep love of God into the workplace, along the highways of the secular city. They gently show that God is alive and well.
The Institute of Jesus Priest
Fr. Alberione was originally
trained as a diocesan priest. In 1959, he invited diocesan priests and
bishops to share in the same spirituality as the rest of the Pauline Family.
He founded the Institute of Jesus Priest and aggregated it to the Society of St. Paul.
The priests under obedience to their bishop utilize the tools given
to them by the Pauline Family to better serve their people. With a special
regard for social communciations they try to draw people ever more
closer to Jesus, the way, the truth and the life. Every aspect of parish and
diocesan life is effected by communications and the priest of today and
tomorrow will have to utilize these powerful tools to edify their people
and to teach them the ways of God.
Of all the walks back to God, the way of marriage is the most common and most important. Out of this wondrous sacrament comes new life for the world. In our children the kingdom of God is forever young. In marriage human love becomes sacred and the commandment of Genesis to be fruitful and multiply finds its fulfillment. Fr. Alberione in 1960 invited married couples, widows and widowers to follow the example of the Holy Family of Nazareth and to deepen their love of God through following the spirit of poverty, chastity and obedience according to their own vocations. They share in the spirituality and the apostolic mission of the Pauline Family. They bring the spirit of St. Paul to their parishes and the love of Mary Queen of Apostles to all they meet. In all things they seek to serve Jesus, the Divine Master the Way, the Truth and the Life. They share their faith with their children and all those who would be great in God's Kindgom. Be sure to check out their U.S. site that can be reached from our links page.
Its a great comfort to the congregations of the Pauline Family to see married people trying to perfect their love for one another while serving the God of Love. We know that all of us are a part of a family that is rooted in the Divine and will ultimately teach the world itself the sweet mysteries of a love that is at the root of all things visible and invisible.
The darkness is passing and the light is just over the far horizon. It is a light that dispels the shadows and warms the coldest human heart.
Society of St. Paul Home Page
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