Thursday, September 23, 2010

AlberioneFilm @ the Holy Family "Triduum"

Canfield, Ohio, near Youngstown is home to the priests and brothers of the Society of St. Paul. Every September, though, their bucolic, sprawling acreage is overrun by upwards of 250 members of the Holy Family Institute--and their offspring--for a triduum, or three-day retreat/conference/"fiesta." These married people, many of them couples, constitute one of the secular, or in this case, aggregated, institutes of the Pauline Family. That is, they are novices and professed lay people from all over the country, who make vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience in keeping with the purposes of their married life, growing in holiness and witnessing to the Gospel in their lives, often in or through the media.

The dates of their rendezvous this year were Sept. 17-19. A special feature was the visit of the crew preparing the new documentary on our--and-their--Founder, Bl. James Alberione, SSP. The videographers and Sr. Helena Burns, FSP, taped dozens of couples' testimonies about Alberione and the Holy Family Institute, along with interviews with several SSP members, two Sister Disciples of the Divine Master (yes, another Pauline congregation) and Fr. Michael Harrington, a recently professed member of the Institute of Jesus the Priest (you guessed it--another institute founded by Alberione, this one for diocesan clergy). Learn more:

Couples renewed their marriage vows, two women entered the novitiate, and others either renewed temporary vows as HFI's or pronounced perpetual vows. What an inspiring witness!

It was my first time with them in such a large group. I knew some from Louisiana and one from California, and it was great to reconnect and catch up a little on old "news." I know, Facebook would really help here. That's my next move. To link up with the film experience they were having, I gave a 40-minute presentation on the origins of the Pauline film apostolate. Of course, I showed the preview of the documentary. (To watch it, scroll down this page and click on the photo of James Alberione toward the right side of the page.) My presentation 
is available at

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