At the turn of the last century, Blessed James Alberione, founder of the Daughters of St. Paul, perceived with penetrating clarity and prophetic foresight the needs of the people of God. Seeing the power of the press and the newspapers to reach and move the masses, who were leaving the Church in ever increasing numbers, he wanted to put these same powerful means at the service of the evangelization in the Church. He saw the mission of communication not as a “business,” but as preaching, as an exercise of the ministry of salvation, in which we offer Jesus as a gift to others.
What makes our “publishing” to be “preaching”? Alberione often told us that our mission was a written “preaching” alongside the oral preaching of priests. Our books, CDs, DVDs, podcasts, radio programs, facebook pages, blogs, YouTube videos, apps and e-books are places where people can encounter the God who is forever seeking them out. Alberione told his followers to leave the sacristies and to go out where people live their lives and to make God present there. He believed that saints were needed to tread this new path of holiness and mission in the Church. He declared: “Missionaries are needed–new missionaries for this new and fruitful apostolate!”
Passion for the mission springs from our interior life—from our vital relationship with the Master and our loving response to the important question that inflamed the heart of our Founder: “How many times do you ask yourselves: where, how and toward what is humanity moving, this humanity that is constantly renewing itself on the face of the earth?”
If St. Paul were to come to earth today, he would immediately take up a microphone, begin podcasting, create a facebook page, publish books and create apps—because he would want to use the fastest, most efficacious ways of reaching the largest number of people with the message of God’s incredible love for us shining on the face of Christ.
“The Daughters of St. Paul are not Catholic publishers whose main concern is to produce religious products; instead, we are witnesses to a certain way of living the Faith and proposing it in the world of communication” (Don Sassi, Superior General of the Society of St. Paul, 2007).