With Cardinal Cushing's invitation to Maestra Paula to establish their Novitiate House in Boston, a new phase of development and growth was initiated in the American province. One after another, the Daughters of St Paul opened Book Centers and convents across the US. In fidelity to the Founder's inspiration and direction, the sisters sought to make their Book Centers “centers of light and warmth in Jesus Christ.”

Between 1957 and 1975, convents and book centers were established in Buffalo, Miami, Bridgeport, the Bronx, Oakland, Cleveland, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St Louis, Cincinnati, Honolulu, and Alaska.

From each of these locations, the sisters went door to door in homes and businesses, visiting people with the Word of God. It is from the Eucharist and their daily adoration before the Risen Christ that the sisters found the strength and the wisdom to be these “angels of the Lord” in the modern world. Alberione stated, "After receiving the Eucharist, we depart strengthened and spread the sweet odor of Christ.” These visits were often channels of grace in which people were brought back to the Church and the sacraments, marriages blessed, and new meaning found for life. Sr. Timothy Coniglio recalls from the years she was stationed in New Orleans this story: 

A couple of the Sisters were visiting a small town in Louisiana. We learned that a man in a small apartment was considering suicide. The sisters went there and knocked on his door but he wouldn't answer although he was home. Finally he came to the door but wasn't too polite. He refused any books and reluctantly accepted a leaflet, “Don't Quit.” Later, one of the sisters received a letter saying that he read the leaflet and it inspired him, and he put all thoughts of suicide out of his mind.

Meanwhile, in the Boston publishing house, there was a continuous effort to improve and multiply the books and periodicals being produced. By June of 1962, Publisher's Weekly reported that the sisters had published more than 300 titles and printed more than 3,000,000 copies. 

Mother Paula Cordero used to tell the sisters as they carried out their mission, “In giving us the apostolate of the media of social communication, our Founder has provided us with the means of reaching countless souls. And, as he pointed out, our apostolate will never grow old, for when new means of communications are invented, we will use them.”  

Beginning in the 1970s, the sisters expanded into the area of audiovisuals. They began producing slides, filmstrips, 16mm films, cassettes and records, although printing remained their most effective means of communication. They launched into English radio and the music apostolate, establishing the Daughters of St. Paul Choir. The James Alberione Sound and Video Studios were built in Boston in the 80s. Sister Maria Ruth Reyes, from Colombia, began the Spanish Radio apostolate which airs programs on hundreds of stations worldwide. Communities were founded in Chicago, Alexandria, Virginia, Seattle, Charleston, and in Los Angeles less than a mile from Lorimar, later Sony, Studios. 

In 1989 the house of Toronto, Ontario, merged with the U.S. province. The circumscription became known as the province of the United States and English Speaking Canada (US/ESC). In 1995 Rose Pacatte, FSP, founded the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Boston to develop “media mindfulness,” that is, media literacy, for parents and teachers within the context of culture, education, and faith formation. 

On February 13, 1991, Mother Paula died after almost 60 years of near continual presence in the United States. In every aspect of Pauline life, the province would feel her absence. 

In 1995 Rose Pacatte, FSP, founded the Pauline Center for Media Studies in Boston to develop “media mindfulness,” that is, media literacy, for parents and teachers within the context of culture, education, and faith formation. 

The Pauline apostolate is an ever widening horizon in which souls can be reached. The Christmas concert tour of the Daughters of St Paul choir, the websites, social media presence of so many of the sisters, Theology of the Body expertise and workshops, online groups and conferences for healing and hope, virtual vocation retreats, ebooks and audio books.... Like a mosaic the daughters of the great Apostle Paul follow him in their obedience to the Spirit who calls them into mission to announce Christ to the world. 

Blessed James Alberione often compared the mission of the Daughters of St. Paul to that of the priest, and he would add that while the priest gives Christ to those who come to church, the Daughters of Saint Paul reach even those who do not come. “Leave the sacrisities,” he would encourage us, “go in search of souls. Yours, too, is the mandate Jesus gave his apostles and priests: ‘Go and teach all nations.’”





Dec 31, 1900

In prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, sixteen-year-old seminarian James Alberione received the initial inspiration to found the Pauline Family

Night of Light

“A special light came from the Host, a deeper understanding of Jesus’ invitation, ‘Come to me, all of you.’ He seemed to fathom…the true mission of being apostles today and of using [modern] means.... In the depths of his being, he felt the need to prepare himself to do something for the Lord and for the people of the new century… He had a clear grasp of his own nothingness, while at the same time he [understood that he] could count on the Host—on Jesus—for light, nourishment, consolation, and victory.” –Blessed James Alberione’s account of the “night of light.”              

Aug 20, 1914

In Alba, Italy, Father Alberione founded the first institute of the Pauline Family: the Society of St. Paul, a congregation of priests and brothers evangelizing with the media

The Pauline Family

The ten institutes of the Pauline Family founded by Blessed James Alberione now have over 11,000 members worldwide:     

  • Society of St. Paul—August 20, 1914
  • Daughters of St. Paul—June 15, 1915
  • Association of Pauline Cooperators—June 30, 1917
  • Sister Disciples of the Divine Master—February 10, 1924
  • Sisters of the Good Shepherd—October 7, 1938
  • Sisters of Mary, Queen of the Apostles—June 20, 1958
  • Institute of St. Gabriel the Archangel—April 8, 1960 (received papal approval)
  • Institute of Mary of the Annunciation—April 8, 1960 (received papal approval)
  • Institute of Jesus the Priest—April 8, 1960 (received papal approval)
  • Institute of the Holy Family—June 19, 1982 (received papal approval)

Jun 15, 1915

The Daughters of St. Paul were founded when Father James Alberione met Teresa Merlo and invited her to begin a group of women who would be dedicated to the good press

Daughters of St. Paul

The new group’s devotion to St. Paul eventually earned them the name “Daughters of St. Paul.” Within 18 months, the first Daughters of St. Paul began to produce inexpensive catechisms.
“The sisters must have a heart and mentality as vast as that of Jesus and St. Paul, who ‘made himself all things to all people in order to win all to Christ.’ They are to seek to grow in virtue; and in spiritual, intellectual and moral strength, and to widen their horizons in order to understand people of all continents, nations and regions.” – Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo                                                                         

Jun 30, 1917

Father James Alberione began the Pauline Cooperators—associates of the Pauline Family

Pauline Cooperators

Present throughout the world, the Pauline Cooperators are mainly laity who live in communion with the Pauline Family. They live the Pauline spirit and cooperate in the Pauline mission with their prayer, gifts, and talents—growing in holiness and evangelizing today's communication culture. Scattered over many nations and cultures, the Cooperators are united in their commitment to communicate hope in Jesus Christ using all the means of social communication.    

Jul 22, 1922

Teresa Merlo, together with eight other young women, made perpetual vows. She took the religious name of Mother Thecla, and was named superior

Early Milestones

On October 28, 1928, the sisters received the religious habit and wore it for the first time. On March 15, 1929, the Daughters of St. Paul received diocesan approval.“The firm basis which Mother Thecla gave to the Congregation was manifested in great balance. She gave careful attention to the apostolate but with equal energy she cared for the religious and communitarian life of the sisters and for their prayer life, according to the ‘four wheels’ indicated by the Founder: piety, study, apostolate and poverty.” – Mother Ignazia Balla                        

Jan 15, 1926

The Daughters of St. Paul opened their first house in Rome

With the Church

“We must be at the side of the Pope in the apostolate so as to repeat what he teaches with the media that the Lord has given us. These are the means…press, film, radio, television, and in general the technical media of social communication. We are to be at the Pope’s side in his actions, to be at his service, to be at the side of the bishops and priests, to be of service, that is, in obedience to and collaboration with the Church.” – Blessed James Alberione 

Oct 21, 1931

The Daughters of St. Paul opened their first foreign foundation outside of Italy in San Paolo, Brazil

Their Classroom Is the World

During Mother Thecla’s lifetime, the Daughters of St. Paul opened new foundations in 22 countries.“The modern media are the quickest, most vast and effective means of reaching souls. Truly, you have a great vocation. So, if you increase in number, cling to your Pauline spirit, and, animated by the spirit of St. Paul, strive to establish yourselves in one nation after another. You will hasten the reign of God, expand the Church, and lead souls to Jesus Christ, their salvation.” – Blessed James Alberione 

Jun 28, 1932

Twenty-three year old Mother Paula Cordero and her companions arrived in New York City to begin the Daughters of St. Paul in the USA

Pauline Pioneers


Let us have faith and trust in God. He is a loving Father… and he takes care of us. How I love to think that nothing is impossible with God! Many times things seemed impossible, but they turned out well in the end. How did you do it, you ask? I don’t know. It was God’s grace. We have to have greater faith, greater confidence in God. It is precisely when things are really impossible that the Lord steps in.” – Mother Paula Cordero    


Mar 26, 1936

Mother Thecla traveled by boat across the ocean to visit the new communities in Argentina, Brazil, and the United States

“Give Wings and Feet to the Gospel!”

Mother Thecla made several other visits to the United States. In 1949 she accompanied the Founder on a round-the-world journey to India, the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, and the United States.

“There are so many souls who await salvation, and those working for the Gospel are few. Just think, half of the people of the world do not yet know God.” – Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo                                                                 

Aug 09, 1939

The Society of St. Paul produced their first feature film, "Abuna Messias." The Daughters of St. Paul began distributing the films produced by the Society of St. Paul

“Do the Most Good”

Abuna Messias received an award at the Venice Film Festival. Especially with new initiatives such as the film apostolate, Mother Thecla offered Father Alberione attentive support, promoting all his directives. She encouraged her sisters to make use of every modern means for carrying out the Pauline mission: “Bring to souls what will do them the most good, whether by means of the press, cinema, radio, or any other instrument [of communication].” 

May 10, 1944

The Daughters of St. Paul in the USA opened their first St. Paul Center in Youngstown, OH

Founded in Faith

After they purchased their first convent in Staten Island, NY, in 1937, and established their first novitiate in Derby, NY in 1949, the Daughters of St. Paul continued expanding across the USA and Canada with their book and media centers and adjoining chapels and convents. Currently, the Pauline sisters evangelize at Pauline Book & Media Centers in: 
Dedham, MA  *  Manhattan, NY * Alexandria, VA  *  Charleston, SC  *  Miami, FL  *  Metairie, LA  *  San Antonio, TX  *  Chicago, IL  *  St. Louis, MO  *  Los Angeles, CA  *  Redwood City, CA  *  San Diego, CA  *  Honolulu, HI  *  Toronto, ON, Canada                

May 26, 1948

The Daughters of St. Paul began the Pauline mission in Mexico City, Mexico

That Everyone Be Saved

“The mission of the Daughters of St. Paul is this: to diffuse the truth. You must fulfill, according to the Pauline spirit, what Jesus Christ our Lord desires: that all will come to the truth. For God wants everyone to be saved, and to be saved they must know the truth, that is, the doctrine contained in the Gospel as taught by the Church. Your ministry is a Pauline ministry. What was the mission of St. Paul? Precisely this: to give the world what he had received from God, from Jesus Christ. And what did he receive from Jesus Christ? The Light!” – Blessed James Alberione Founder                                            

Jan 03, 1952

The Daughters of St. Paul established the Pauline presence and mission in Canada in Montreal, QC. On August 23, 1956, they began their mission in Toronto, ON

To the Great White North

“Opening new houses in a relatively quick time period witnessed to the fact that the institute was rapidly growing in personnel and consequently in apostolic activities. This could be seen in the founding of typographies abroad and the mission of diffusing the Word of God carried out in the forms most adapted to each nation.”  – Mother Ignazia Balla, first Superior General of the Daughters of St. Paul after Mother Thecla Merlo                                                                           

Mar 15, 1953

The Daughters of St. Paul received definitive approval from the Holy See

In the Will of God

“It is with great joy that I communicate this news to you and I am sure that it will cause you also to rejoice. Let us, therefore, burst forth with a heartfelt ‘Thanks be to God!’ Let us rejoice because today, with the certainty that comes with official recognition by the Church, we can say: we are in the will of God. The path we are following is that which will lead us to sanctity.” – Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo        

Jun 15, 1956

Richard Cardinal Cushing invited the Daughters of St. Paul to establish their novitiate house and publishing apostolate in the Archdiocese of Boston

Spirit of St. Paul

“Truly you have the spirit of St. Paul… If St. Paul…were on earth today, he would utilize every modern means of communication for spreading the good tidings of great joy that our blessed Lord came upon this earth to preach, and for…which he also established his Church. You came here with a modern program. You were interested in radio, television, in motion pictures, in literature of all kinds. You were…convinced of the power of the press. You had something modern to offer the apostolate of the Church in the twentieth century.”  – Richard Cardinal Cushing

Dec 04, 1963

Vatican Council II’s "Decree On the Media of Social Communications" was signed and promulgated by Blessed Pope Paul VI and the Council Fathers, including Father Alberione

Media at the Service of Humanity

“The Church recognizes that these media, if properly utilized, can be of great service to mankind, since they greatly contribute to men's entertainment and instruction as well as to the spread and support of the Kingdom of God…. The Catholic Church, since it was founded by Christ our Lord to bear salvation to all men and thus is obliged to preach the Gospel, considers it one of its duties to announce the Good News of salvation also with the help of the media of social communication and to instruct men in their proper use.” – Inter Mirifica, #2-3  This decree profoundly affirmed the Pauline mission and the Founder’s lifetime dedication.    

Feb 05, 1964

Mother Thecla Merlo entered eternity, accompanied in her last hours by Father James Alberione. She died having offered her life that all Daughters of St. Paul would become saints

All for God’s Glory

Mother Thecla Merlo was declared “Venerable” on January 22, 1991. “Mother Thecla saw everything in God, as coming from God, ordained by God; all her actions were directed toward the glory of God. When a soul reaches this point it is ready to enter heaven, because heaven is the glorification of God. Hers was a contemplative soul; she prayed continuously and found union with the Lord anywhere and everywhere… The sole purpose of her existence was to promote God’s glory.”   – Blessed James Alberione 

Nov 26, 1971

Father James Alberione entered eternity at age 87 and was beatified by St. John Paul on April 27, 2003. St. John Paul called him, “the First Apostle of the New Evangelization”

Heart of St. Paul

In the heart of that chosen priest from the diocese of Alba beats once again the heart of the Apostle Paul who, won over by Christ, sought to announce him as ‘the Way, the Truth and the Life.’ Attentive to the signs of the times, Father Alberione did not only open the modern ‘pulpits’ of the media to evangelization, but conceived of his work as an organic action in the Church and at her service. – St. John Paul II    

Dec 02, 1973

The Daughters of St. Paul in the USA began work on their first 16mm film documentary, "Freedom’s Challenge," which was released in 1976

Media at the Service of the Gospel

Earlier in the 1960s, the Daughters of St. Paul in the U.S. began audiovisual production with slide shows, filmstrips, and, in early 1970, their first animated 16mm film, God’s Rules for Me. In the 1980s, the Pauline Video Department produced dozens of home videos and Catholic cable TV programs. Today the sisters continue to strive to present the Word of God in image, sound, and story to touch the hearts and minds of people of all ages, so that they may come to experience Christ and his message of truth and hope in their lives.      

Feb 20, 1988

The Daughters of St. Paul Choir was born. Since 1988, the choir has won multiple awards and recorded songs used in three Hollywood movies

Pauline Music

The three films that used songs from the Daughters of St. Paul Choir’s albums are: Lorenzo's Oil, A Bronx Tale, and Noel. The choir’s popular annual Christmas concert tour brings families and friends together through both holy and joyful music. With their Pauline music, the choir wants to touch the hearts of listeners, inspiring in them a thirst for the true, good, and beautiful. Through music’s universal language, Pauline Music seeks to create a spiritual oasis of peace, hope and joy, where people can connect more profoundly with God, who is love.                                                                               

Feb 13, 1991

Mother Paula passed into eternity after 60 years as a missionary dedicated to spreading the Word of God in the spirit of St. Paul

True Pauline Apostle

“Practically penniless and with few friends, Mother Paula, trusting in the Providence of God, initiated a Catholic educational program through the distribution of books and pamphlets ultimately throughout our nation. Only the persistent perseverance of a saintly and great soul like Sister Paula, dedicated to the spread of Christ’s teaching, could accomplish what is known today as the mission of the Daughters of St. Paul in America.” Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle      

Dec 14, 1992

The radio apostolate in the USA took a step forward with the start of Radio Paolinas—original Spanish programs that today reach over 100 radio stations in 16 countries

Announcing Good News

“Set up Catholic stations and increase religious broadcasts to gradually permeate the world of radio broadcasting in such a way that ordinary programs reflect Catholic tastes and thought. To this end we need executives, technicians and writers who are trained in a Catholic way. Provide content that is refined and noble, that our faith offers us: Catholic dogma, morals and worship.” Blessed James Alberione               

Feb 20, 1994

The Daughters of St. Paul launched a new missionary project to open centers in 14 new countries. Today, the Daughters live and give Christ in 51 nations

Centenary of Mother Thecla’s Birth

The missionary project launched in 1994 commemorated the centenary of the birth of Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo. The Daughters of St. Paul began new foundations in these countries: Romania, Czech Republic, South Africa, Zambia, Russia, Thailand, Dominican Republic, Singapore, Paraguay, Angola, and the Ivory Coast. Later, they were able to open in South Sudan and Mozambique. On February 20, 2015, the Daughters opened a new foundation in Malawi. The Pauline sisters in troubled parts of the world sometimes risk their lives for the love of the Gospel and the people they serve. 

Dec 10, 1995

The Pauline Center for Media Studies was established in Boston, MA, and later moved to Los Angeles in 2002. An east coast office opened in New York in 2015

Media Mindfulness

The Pauline Center for Media Studies focuses on developing and encouraging media literacy and media mindfulness within the context of culture, education and faith formation. Because we live in a world shaped by media values, messages and technologies, media literacy is imperative in educational and faith formation today. Media mindfulness uses critical thinking skills to question the media in a faith context, discerning the values and ideologies of media messages and engaging them with the values of Jesus.                      

May 20, 1996

The phone lines opened at the Daughters of St. Paul’s newly established Paolinas Distribuidora, the Pauline Spanish Distribution Center in Miami, FL

Apostolic Hearts

Paolinas Distribuidora provides Catholic books in Spanish to the general public, but also to Catholic and Christian bookstores all over the USA and Canada.    

“The heart of an apostle must embrace all mankind—the faithful and non-believers, those who have accepted Jesus and those who do not yet know him. Insofar as it depends on you, strive to give Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, to everyone!” – Blessed James Alberione                                                                              

Apr 15, 2009

The Daughters of St. Paul continued to reach out to children in the USA and Canada by beginning Pauline JClub Book Fairs for the Catholic schools. “J” stands for Jesus

Bring the Gospel of Love

In addition to Pauline Books & Media’s remarkable line of children’s catechetical resources, JClub offers children Catholic books and media that reflect a positive worldview, foster Catholic values, promote human dignity, and share our Catholic faith in Jesus Christ.  

Nov 26, 2009

The Daughters of St. Paul expanded their digital presence at www.pauline.org

Technology at the Service of the Gospel

Recognizing that the great digital continent involves not only technology but is made up of real men and women who bring their hopes, sufferings and concerns, in the pursuit of truth and goodness, the sisters expanded their digital presence with an online store, eBooks, apps, streaming and downloadable music, digital magazines, video streaming, audio books, and blogs. They are looking forward to beginning e-courses and podcasting.

Jun 15, 2015

In thanksgiving to God, the Daughters of St. Paul celebrate their 100th anniversary of foundation.

Ever Onward

“Ever onward!  According to the motto of our Father St. Paul: ‘I strain forward.’ Ever onward! You have reached all continents; yet, as you go from one nation to another, or fly over mountains in a plane, or cross oceans, do not speak about what has been done. Move on toward eternity. Ever onward, Daughters of St. Paul! Advance toward holiness. You live in the world, but you are not of the world. You work in the world, but you wait until heaven for your reward. Bearers of Christ…living and active members of the Church… Onward! Bring the truth in love!” – Blessed James Alberione.