Jesus said to his apostles: "I have come to set a fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already blazing!" "I have come," Jesus stated. Not "I’m telling you...," "You must...," "I wish...." Rather, the second person of the Trinity, the Word of God, came. The Word became flesh, became one of us, almost indistinguishable from us. He entered into a specific culture, was born in a particular place, at a definite point in time. Through his coming all cultures, all persons, all times have been redeemed and are bathed in the glory of his resurrection. Because of his incarnation, every culture, every person, every time is filled with the gracious life of the Spirit. Every culture, every person, every time, calls out to the Lord, "come."
The point of life as a Daughter of St. Paul is exactly that: "come." She both symbolizes and walks with people whose attitudes, values, styles of life, and choices have been significantly formed by the TV shows they watch, the music they listen to, the video games they play, and the books and newspapers they read. She understands people’s language and can appreciate their beat. She is a woman of lively creativity, whose imagination is enriched by millions of pictures of what she has observed, contemplated, personally experienced and interiorized. The movies she watches and the music she listens to become the roads she walks toward people, to invite them to "come" with her to Christ.
The Daughters of St. Paul follow the "style" of Jesus. Entering into the heart of the culture of communications, we seek to transform society and hearts with the fire Jesus is spreading. In over 100 major cities on the American Continents, including such bustling centers as Toronto, Montreal, Boston, New York, San Francisco, Miami, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Colombia, Bolivia, Caracas, Santiago, and Saõ Paolo, to name just a few, women today offer their lives in order to evangelize people and transform society. These sisters touch the hearts of individuals while broadcasting a message to as many as possible: the message of salvation in Christ.
In Boston, Sr. Ruth prepares radio programs aired by satellite throughout Latin America and the United States. At our Pauline Books & Media Center in Los Angeles, Sr. Frances helps people meet Christ through the vast inventory of books, albums and videos, and most importantly in the small chapel for adoration. Sisters across the country meet each year in the sound studio to record their best selling albums, such as In Paradisum and Adoration. Sr. Annette keeps our website up-to-date (www.pauline.org) and Sr. Jennifer fulfills orders on our online store. Sr. Rose and Sr. Hosea travel across the country speaking to young people and educators about media education. Editors and designers work together creatively to publish books which become means of life, healing and grace for people. At our formation house in St. Louis and Boston, our postulants and novices prepare themselves to respond to the call of Jesus the Divine Master to dedicate their lives to God and the Church through evangelization. In the large convent chapel you can always find several sisters in Eucharistic adoration. Prayer, community, study and mission are the backbone of our activity.
Where did this vision originate? It all goes back 100 years. On the last evening of 1900, a sixteen-year-old seminarian knelt in Eucharistic adoration, praying for the 20th century about to begin. Kneeling in the cold Cathedral of Alba in northern Italy, a penetrating light from the Eucharist filled his heart with a strong desire "to do something for God and for the people of the new century." One hundred years later, over 5,000 men and women have followed this seminarian, fired with the same dreams, offering their lives as Pauline religious in order to share Jesus’ mission by using the means of social communication.
The fire Jesus came to set on the earth is blazing. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection and by the gift of his Spirit, history is moving toward its culmination. Jesus has made himself one with each person in every age. Multiplying his words, his voice, his presence on the earth through the media, our vision of communication is that of Jesus, the Word made flesh, who so long ago and still today communicates the life, the truth and the way of the King.
By Sr. Kathryn James Hermes, FSP