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Daughters of St. Paul Celebrate Centenary Mass in Boston!

One hundred years ago some major, earth shattering events took place across the world: Albert Einstein introduced to the academic world the Theory of General Relativity, an idea that has became a cornerstone for modern physics; additionally, an Italian immigrant couple sang happily in the square city of Hoboken, New Jersey as they welcomed their first and only child, Francis Albert Sinatra, a man who would entertain people the world over; and finally, American people celebrated in style the completion of the Panama Canal that would pave a quick access route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. But with all that, probably the greatest achievement of the year, effected through the collaboration of the faithful hands of a purposeful priest Fr. James Alberione and the equally devoted and persistent hands of a young aspirant named Theresa Merlo, was the birth of the Catholic Religious Community called the Daughters of St. Paul. Over the past century, the history of the Daughters of St. Paul has been one of miracles and hope. Although Frank Sinatra could lift his concert-goers up with his swinging jazz hits and then knock them off their feet with his tender ballads, the singing of the Daughters of St. Paul has stirred the very depths of the human soul inviting self reflection and leading countless people to give Glory to God. Although the Panama Canal has offered an access route connecting two great oceans, the Daughters of St. Paul continue to pave a way in the footsteps of the one who has united heaven and earth. And although Einstein’s Theory of Relativity has guided many intelligent minds through the Cosmos, the big bang of the Daughters of St. Paul has led to a ministry of communication that has soared beyond the planets and stars into the realms of eternity and the embrace of God.

With that being said, you can see why 2015 is a year to celebrate the Daughters of St. Paul.

One might say that what I have written above is a little over dramatic. My response is, long after this world is passed, and the blessed are  celebrating in the afterlife, they will no longer be speaking of the usefulness of the Panama Canal, the Theory of Relativity and the wonderful singing of Frank Sinatra but they will be speak of how the Daughters of St. Paul helped them get there and they will be uniting their voices, and I hopefully include Sinatra and Einstein in this mix, to the Daughters of St. Paul giving glory to God.

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On Sunday June 14, 2015, the Daughters of St. Paul living in Boston gathered with members of the Pauline family and many of their friends to celebrate their 100th birthday. Like with everything they do, the Sisters began the celebration with Jesus and the Holy Mass that was celebrated at St. Theresa Church in West Roxbury (Boston), Massachusetts. For the Mass, they asked Cardinal Sean O’Malley, OFM, Cap. to be the Main celebrant. Nineteen priests concelebrated including Fr. Matthew Roehrig, Provincial of the Society of St. Paul in the United States, 2 priests of the Society of St. Paul, 2 priests of the Institute of Jesus the Priest, many chaplains, advisers and friends to the Daughters of St. Paul. The Mass was attended by many Religious congregations including the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master (also part of the Pauline Family founded by Blessed James Alberione),  the Sisters of St. Joseph, the Sisters of St. Anne, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, the Daughters of Nazareth, the Missionaries of Charity and the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light.

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Cardinal Sean in his homily stated, “We celebrate this birthday, this anniversary, first of all as a gesture of gratitude and a moment to express our love and appreciation for the Pauline Family and today in a special way for the Daughters of St. Paul. Just over one hundred years ago, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Blessed James Alberione launched the Pauline Family. He himself said that this charism was born in Bethlehem, that is in poverty and simplicity.”

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Cardinal Sean later said, “Blessed James said that if St. Paul were alive today he would be using all the means possible to communicate the Word of God and the Joy of the Gospel. For Blessed James Alberione, publishing was a form of preaching and he was quick to take up film as a way of communicating the Word. We can all be sure that if St. Paul of Tarsus were alive today on earth, he would have a Twitter account and the Daughters of St. Paul probably would be running it for him. We see how the Daughters are active in whatever media best serves evangelization from traditional publications to ebooks, from TV to social media, from the internet to blogs and apps and working in the areas of publishing, recording, broadcasting, screen writing, media literacy, religious education, adult faith formation and spiritual development. In 1932, Mother Paula Cordero set out to conquer the world for Christ. She brought with her the Pauline charism she had received from the founders. she was only 23 years old with a couple of years of primary school education. she spoke no English and had little money. But the faith and courage of St. Paul made her ready to announce the gospel from the rooftops. She used to tell the sisters, St. Paul is our father. go to him because he loves you. Thanks to her boldness and generosity, the Daughters of St. Paul are flourishing in North America with many media centers and the publishing house here in Boston. The Archdiocese is blessed to have so many here in our midst. The sister’s presence at the media center in Dedham, the publishing house and formation program in Jamaica Plain and the retreat house in Billerica along with their presence in our parishes and wherever pastoral assemblies are gathered is such a blessing for the Archdiocese.”

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“In the first reading we heard the words of the prophet, ‘I shall place my words in your mouth.’ The Church exists to evangelize…to bring the Joy of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. The Daughters of St. Paul are committed to the ministry of communication so that the word of God may reach every corner, every nook and cranny.

“In the 2nd Reading today, we listen to the words of St. Paul and today those words are addressed to his own beloved Daughters ‘you are our leaven written on your hearts and read by all; written not in ink but in the Spirit of the Living God, not on tablets of stone but on the tablets of your heart and flesh.”

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He concluded his homily with, “Hence it is such a joy to be here today celebrating the vocation of these heroic and generous women who make the Spirit of St. Paul visible in our midst…today we know that one of the gifts that we must treasure is the gift of consecrated life. The Witness and ministry of the Daughters of St. Paul, is a wonderful manifestation of that Consecrated life that continues to announce the Joy of the Gospel and assure people in the midst of their pain and suffering that indeed the Kingdom of God is here. We commend our sisters to the loving protection of Mary and the intercession of St. Paul the Apostle and we pray to the Lord of the harvest to bless their community with many and holy vocations. Happy anniversary!

For the Full Album of pictures of the event and the slideshow Click Here

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