Sunday, March 11, twenty Paulines from five institutes and from the association of Pauline Cooperators met together with 57 friends and acquaintances for a day of recollection at the Society of St. Paul’s new conference hall on Staten Island. Lent and prayer are a natural fit, but this was no ordinary retreat. It marked the first time in New York that six of the eight branches of the Pauline Family in North America gathered to introduce themselves to the world as a family in St. Paul the Apostle. So it also marked the first time that most of those attending had ever conceived of us in that way. They kept saying how amazed they were at the size and complexity of the ten organizations in the Pauline network; with 11,468 members worldwide, you’re bound to have a few dimensions to the project.
|Fr. Matthew Roehrig, SSP|
|Sr. Margaret Tapang, PDDM|
People were visibly touched when they heard that many religious and lay Paulines all over the continent had prayed a novena just for them and they agreed to return the favor that day.
Sr. Margaret Tapang, PDDM, and Br. Aloysius Milella, SSP, gave presentations on “Alberione and the Liturgy” and on “The Media Redeemed.” Sr. Margaret pointed out that Blessed James Alberione’s life, which integrated his experience of liturgy with his daily life, made him “an apostle of the liturgy.” Br. Al reminded us that “Father Alberione’s commitment and passion for transmitting the Gospel throughout our contemporary world in a linguistic variety of cultures, stands out in faithful imitation of the great Apostle, and as one of the admirable achievements of his religious family.” Br. Al’s talk will constitute the Pauline Faithways post of March 28, just before we enter into Holy Week. Don’t miss it!
|Br. Peter Lyne, SSP, introduces the day, as Greg and|
Kim Burke, HFI, and Sr. Margaret listen.
Each of the institutes had its day in the sun, with a presentation by one of its members. That’s where the day’s momentum stalled somewhat: it took longer than we had planned, so that we had no time for the intended Q and A session. Retreatants weren’t shy about expressing their disappointment. So we’ll have to work that a little differently next time, in addition to giving people more time to pray. After all, it was a day of recollection!
|Sr. Nieves Salinas, PDDM|
It wouldn’t have come together without the planning and dedication of Sr. Nieves Salinas, the PDDM regional superior in the U.S., Sr. Raphael Mirabelli, PDDM, Br. Gus Condon, SSP, and all those who worked with Br. Peter or me.
And the food! Nick Avicolli from Mangia Buono in Bridgewater, NJ, generously donated meatballs, pasta salad, and heroes for us all and for anyone else who just might have shown up that day. Our own cook in Boston, D Ross, sent down some great snacks, including sugar chocolate chip cookies to pop in the oven. Priscilla Palad, who’s an Annunciationist and the SSP accountant, worked with me for the better part of two hours Saturday night baking…and good naturedly fending off self-appointed taste testers! We ended up stashing the cookies in her accounting office overnight under lock and key.
“It was a blessed day. I experienced a renewed sense of hope through the Pauline presence in the world, and their endeavor to communicate the love of Christ in our world” (A.C., Brooklyn, NY).Photo credit: Brother Xavier Lee, SSP