Tag Archives: vatican news

Lay association of the Pauline Family celebrates centenary

VATICAN CITY – Hundreds of members of the Association of Pauline Cooperators from around the world gathered in Italy taking part in an international convention on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of their foundation.

In 1917, Father James Alberione founded the lay Association of Pauline Cooperators. This third group of the Pauline Family followed the foundations of the Society of St Paul in 1914 and the Daughters of St Paul in 1915.

Pauline Cooperators are lay men and women who dedicate themselves through a special commitment to incarnate the mission and spirituality of the Pauline Family. The works they are involved in are as varied as catechesis, volunteer work, journalism, and book exhibitions in parishes. They often collaborate directly at a local Pauline, St Paul, or Liturgical Apostolate Centre. They participate above all in the communion formed among the other nine Institutes that make up the Pauline Family through their particular spirituality and prayer life.

Concluding the celebration of their centenary, hundreds of Pauline Cooperators journeyed to Italy where it all began. The Congress took place on 18-27 May 2018 and included presentations on the theme What It Means To Be a Pauline Cooperator in the Church Today: the Pauline Cooperators in St. Paul and in the Pauline Family. A pilgrimage to Alba to visit the many places linked to Fr Alberione and the other Institutes of the Pauline Family was the highlight of the program.

Several Pauline Cooperators from Singapore and Hong Kong visited Vatican News as part of their own personal Pauline pilgrimage experience. In speaking of the centenary convention and pilgrimage, it is obvious that they were touched profoundly and have found new impetus in their particular vocation within the Pauline Family.

Theresa Khoo from Singapore, a member for over 20 years, said she felt that she was coming home “to where it all started.”   Winifred Loh, also from Singapore and a member for 20 years, called the trip a “miraculous journey.”   It was “special to connect” with other Pauline Cooperators from all over the world, “to connect on the spirituality, to find common ground in various areas of diverse languages, and cultures, and projects, and initiatives,”  Winifred said.

Tina Kwan from Hong Kong has visited many Pauline locations abroad. “Oh my goodness,” she said now that she has met other Pauline Cooperators from all over the world. “Fr Alberione had a message from God, and it’s really like a dream coming true” a hundred years later. For Dominic, a Cooperator of 3 or 4 years from Singapore, and Chum Hon Sun from Hong Kong meeting so many other members of the Pauline Family helped them begin to feel a part of a larger family. “I find that we are very comfortable. I suppose this is either the Pauline Spirit or just being Catholic,”  Dominic said.

Felix from Hong Kong is now more convinced than ever that the “mass media is the most powerful way for us at present to convey…the Gospel message.”   Chum Hon Sun and his wife have been Pauline Cooperators for 10 years. He discovered on this trip that “our role as a Cooperator is to spread the Good News, to follow the footsteps of our Founder, Fr Alberione.”

Evoking laughs from her fellow Cooperators, Lam So Ching from Hong Kong said that she received a lot of joy on the trip but, “I’m very tired.”

Dominic Lau from Singapore summed up his own and others’ experience as well saying that even though the participants came from different cultures and spoke different languages, we “have a common goal: to follow the spirit of Fr Alberione in proclaiming the Word of the Lord.”   He returns home feeling compelled to cooperate even more with the Pauline Family in this mission. – Sr Bernadette Mary Reis fsp, Vatican News

Pope Francis at Mass: Consecrated Life renewed in encounter with Jesus

Pope Francis at Mass on World Day for Consecrated Life (Vatican Media)

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis told the men and women gathered in St Peter’s Basilica for Mass on Friday evening, 2 Feb 2018,  that consecrated life “is born and reborn of an encounter with Jesus as he is: poor, chaste, and obedient.”

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord also marked the 22nd World Day for Consecrated Life.

Young and old
In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on Jesus’ presentation in the Temple and the Gospel encounter between two couples: the young Mary and Joseph, and the elderly Simeon and Anna.

“The old receive from the young, while the young draw upon the old,” he said. “In the Temple, Mary and Joseph find the roots of their people.” He said they also find the “roots of their faith”, which he said is “the art of living with God, learned from the experience of those who have gone before us.”

The Pope said this fruitful exchange between young and old is possible because it is centrerd on Jesus.

Encounter with Jesus
He said this is true also of the lives of consecrated men and women. “Everything started in an encounter with the Lord,” he said. “Our journey of consecration was born of an encounter and a call.”

However, the Holy Father reminded, “we can never renew our encounter with the Lord without others.” He said Jesus must be at the centre of our lives and that the young must learn from the more experienced members of a community.

“For if the young are called to open new doors, the elderly hold the keys. An institute remains youthful by going back to its roots, by listening to its older members. There is no future without this encounter between the old and the young. There is no growth without roots and no flowering without new buds. There is never prophecy without memory, or memory without prophecy.”

Brothers and sisters over screens and projects
Pope Francis warned against looking “at the screen of a cellphone more than the eyes of our brothers and sisters”. He said that when projects, methods, and organisation are given top priority “consecrated life stops being attractive”.

He said consecrated life “frees our affections of every possession in order fully to love God and other people.” Like Simeon, the Pope said, it helps us to hold the Lord in our arms and keep him in mind in all that we do.

“Having the Lord “in our hands” is an antidote to insular mysticism and frenetic activism, since a genuine encounter with Jesus corrects both saccharine piety and frazzled hyperactivity.”

The secret to a vibrant spiritual life, said Pope Francis, is “a willingness to allow ourselves to encounter Jesus and to be encountered by him.”

“If we encounter Jesus and our brothers and sisters in the everyday events of our life, our hearts will no longer be set on the past or the future, but will experience the “today of God” in peace with everyone.” – Devin Watkins, Vatican News

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