|Fr. Fogarty, and |
Fr. Ed Riley of Boston
We Daughters of St. Paul often refer to “our mission.” That’s what it is, but just as often we remind ourselves that it’s not ultimately “ours.” It’s really the Church’s mission of evangelization in which we participate, doing our part to sow seeds of the Gospel within the culture of communications, usually with the media themselves.
Actually, though, even the Church can’t claim this mission as her own. It’s been entrusted to her by her Lord; in fact, it’s his. Blessed Timothy Giaccardo, SSP, first vicar general of the Society of St. Paul, wrote this very thing decades ago, saying that it’s Jesus who preaches, Jesus who teaches, Jesus who carries out the mission in and through us. Yet even Jesus pointed to Another as the source of his mission: “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me” (Jn. 7:16). Anointed by the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is the ambassador, “the Apostle,” of the Father, the “one sent” (Heb. 3:1). Who we are and what we do go way beyond ourselves, and we are amazingly privileged to be part of it. It’s “an apostolate that the angels envy,” Alberione would say.
|Teen sons and daughters of HFI members gather|
around that all-important text message.
This was the principal message in the presentation I gave on the second day of the triduum. It was part two of a series on the “Apostolate of the Cinema in the History of the Pauline Family.” What a fascinating story! Do you want to know what Mussolini’s favorite Pauline film was? Do you know which SSP movie was the first color film in Italy? What textbook was made into not one, but fifty films? More amazing even than that were the miracles that God accomplished among and through the faith of such pioneers when they worked together to evangelize with this modern medium of communication. Click here for last year’s presentation. Click here for this year’s.
Sr. Helena Burns gave a one-hour PowerPoint presentation to help the parents and grandparents in the Holy Family Institute to harness media and the media culture to grow themselves and to share their values with their families. She made a great analogy between media literacy education and driver’s ed. Just as no parent there would ever toss the car keys to their teen and wish him or her well without preparation, so no parent should expose young people to the world of media without teaching them to navigate it. Nor would they try to prevent their teens from driving at all, knowing that someday they probably would get behind the wheel. Just so, parents and grandparents could do much better than throwing out the TV or shutting out the media world, aware that outside their home, those same young people are faced with a huge number of media messages that require considerable discernment skills. “Control is for the moment; communication is for a lifetime.” If you’d like a copy of Sr. Helena’s PowerPoint presentation, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can see Fr. Jeff’s slide show of photos here. If you’d like more information about the Institute you can scroll down to my blog post of September 23, 2010. One of the members is beginning a blog for the Institute. Keep an eye on Pauline Faithways; once his blog is ready, I’ll be sure to let you know.
Photo credits: Fr. Jeffrey Mickler, SSP