Sister Mary Lea Hill, FSP and Sister Christian Miriam Wegendt, FSP working together on a manuscript at Pauline Books and Media Publishing House. Photo courtesy/Sister Ann Richard Heady, FSP
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Ask any Daughter of St. Paul why she entered the community, and the answers will be as varied as the women you ask. At the heart of each response, however, will be an absolute dedication to evangelization, to bringing the hope of the Gospel to today's world with the fastest and most effective means possible, the means of communication.
The Daughters of St. Paul are a community of vowed women religious who dedicate their lives to sharing the mystery of Christ's love with the people of today through the media. God has chosen, called, and consecrated each Daughter of St. Paul to himself so that he might send her to proclaim the Good News of a loving God who sends his Son into a world that is desperate for hope.
Our world has become a global media network that overwhelms us with information but often leaves us empty and longing for more: for love, hope, meaning, and connection. As communicators of Christ, immersed in the culture of communication, the Daughters of St. Paul offer the Gospel to all people as the way to find the "ultimate Connection" -- an encounter with Christ that will not only fill them with hope, but transform them so that they too can be Christ's love, peace, and justice in the world.
Founded in Italy by Blessed James Alberione and Venerable Thecla Merlo in 1915, the Daughters of St. Paul arrived on the shores of the United States in 1932. On June 10, 1953, four Daughters of St. Paul opened a convent on Greenleaf Street, Boston, and a St. Paul Catholic Book and Film Center at 196 Washington Street in Boston. At the invitation of Archbishop Richard Cushing, Mother Paula moved the community from Derby, NY to Boston, arriving on June 16, 1956. The sisters, novices, and postulants took up residence in a convent in Jamaica Plain, which would eventually become the Provincial headquarters and novitiate for the U.S. and English-speaking Canada province, as well as the publishing house for Pauline Books and Media. Today the Daughters of St. Paul have a Pauline Books and Media Center at 885 Providence Highway in Dedham as well as the Jamaica Plain convent.
The sisters are active in all forms of media, from traditional publications to e-books, TV to social media, and the internet to mobile apps -- working in the areas of writing, publishing, recording and broadcasting, screen-writing, media literacy, vocation ministry, as well as offering seminars and workshops. They operate 14 Pauline Book and Media Centers throughout the U.S. and English-speaking Canada.
In this era of global communication, with all its limitations and new opportunities, the Daughters of St. Paul continue to live the charismatic gift of Blessed James Alberione to the Church: "We must always lead others to heaven: not people who lived ten centuries ago but those who live today. We must take the world and people as they are today so as to do good today" (ATP n. 93).
The Congregation of the Daughters of St. Paul is one of the 10 institutes that make up the Pauline Family, founded by Blessed James Alberione with the collaboration of Mother Thecla Merlo. In the archdiocese, the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master, the Institute of Jesus the Priest, the Pauline Cooperators, the Institute of Mary Most Holy of the Annunciation, and the Institute of the Holy Family are also present.
"Today, in the third Christian millennium, many people do not know the Father's face, but if we are totally rooted in Jesus and let ourselves be transformed in him, we can still bear fruit for a world that is so thirsty for love, thirsty for God. In Jesus, we can reveal the face of Love" (Sister Joanna Puntel, FSP).
Visit our website -- www.daughtersofstpaul.com.
Sister Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP, is Manager of Digital Publishing at Pauline Books and Media in Jamaica Plain. She entered the community in 1978, attracted by the spirituality, community life and mission of the community. She has carried out the Pauline mission as author, webmaster, speaker, vocation director, and in one-on-one direct evangelization.