Issues Vol. 168‎ > ‎

Vol. 168 No. 46 - November 18 - November 24, 2017

01 Cover

posted Nov 17, 2017, 1:14 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 1:14 AM ]


03 Index

posted Nov 17, 2017, 1:13 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 1:13 AM ]


04 Official

posted Nov 17, 2017, 1:11 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 1:11 AM ]


05 Engagements

posted Nov 17, 2017, 1:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 1:02 AM ]


07 Editorial : James Alberione:  The First Apostle of the New Evangelization

posted Nov 17, 2017, 12:58 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 12:58 AM ]

Perhaps he was the only founder who was privileged to have had the visit of a Pope (Paul VI), hours before he breathed his last. That was the kind of impact and legacy Blessed James Alberione left behind for his children, and for the Church at large. Pope Paul VI, who in 1969 awarded the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice to Alberione, saying, "Permit the Pope, dear Father Alberione, to rejoice at this long, faithful and unwearied effort and the fruits it has produced for God's glory and the good of the Church" would later call him "the media marvel of our times."

Later, on April 27, 2003 while declaring Alberione Blessed, Pope Saint John Paul II called him the "First Apostle of the New Evangelization." Truly so, for he was able to visualise in 1914 the influence that the media of social communication would exert on human lives and its indispensable role in evangelisation, much before media consciousness was awakened in the Church. 50 years later, the Church officially recognised the role of Media during Vatican Council II (1964) by promulgating an official document of Social Communication - Inter Mirifica.

Blessed James Alberione was a 'visionary-communicator' par excellence! As desired by Pope Leo XIII at the turn of the 20th century, the young Alberione set out to prepare himself 'to do something for God and for His people' in the new century. Kneeling in front of the Eucharistic Lord, young Alberione heard a voice from the Lord, "Be not afraid! I am with you. From here (the Tabernacle) I wish to enlighten. Be sorry for sins." Interestingly, "Be not afraid! I am with you" (Is 43:5) is the scriptural theme for Pope Francis' message for the 51st World Communication Day this year.

Courage—lack of fear—is an essential ingredient if we wish to communicate the 'truth' to the world. Pope Francis, in his message, encourages everyone "to engage in constructive forms of communication that reject prejudice towards others and foster a culture of encounter, helping all of us to view the world around us with realism and trust." He further exhorts us to "search for an open and creative style of communication" and "inspire a positive and responsible approach on the part of its recipients."

This is exactly what young Alberione courageously set out to do in 1914. It would not be an exaggeration to identify Blessed Alberione as a trailblazer in the apostolate of Mass Media. He wanted to fight the 'bad press' with the 'good press' and did all within his power—printed books, magazines, booklets, newsletters, prayer cards, produced documentaries and films—to offer people of his time stories that are "at heart 'good news'", as Pope Francis says in his message.

To carry forward his vision for evangelisation through the mass media, Alberione founded 10 institutes of which four—Society of Saint Paul, Daughters of Saint Paul, Pious Disciples of the Divine Master and Pauline Cooperators—are present in India today. Alberione challenged his children to think 50 years ahead of their time in their pastoral-apostolic initiatives.

Alberione might not have foreseen the explosive impact of the digital media in our lives, as it is now. Digital media was not a challenge of his times. It's our challenge, and definitely we can draw inspiration from the visionary initiatives of Blessed Alberione to think ahead of our time to become efficient, effective and relevant evangelisers in today's 'swiping' generation.

Fr Joby Mathew is General Editor at ST PAULS /BETTER YOURSELF BOOKS Publications

08 The Challenge of being a Digital Christian - Sajith Cyriac, SSP

posted Nov 17, 2017, 12:54 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 12:54 AM ]

Though the Bible has no mention of any kind of digital technology, it reveals a God who uses new mediums at specific times to get His message across – from bright shining stars, pillars of fire, burning bushes and a talking donkey, to finally a Cross to convey His love. In the history of Christianity, the story of the Apostle Paul could be the first 'viral' success story in antiquity, for the simple reason that he understood how a message could be exponentially magnified through both the written and the spoken word. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century influenced not only what Christians communicated, but also how. The subsequent inventions of radio and television had much to offer Christians, whereas the advent of the Internet and the latest digital tools surpassed their predecessors in their capabilities.

No Christian in the past two millennia could have conceived that within seconds, they could have the gospel disseminated to billions of people across the world, instantly and inexpensively. Recognising the digital world as an unchartered mission field, Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 encouraged Christians thus: "Without fear, we must set sail on the digital sea, facing into the deep with the same passion that has governed the ship of the Church for two thousand years... we want to qualify ourselves by living in the digital world with a believer's heart, helping to give a soul to the Internet's incessant flow of communication."

In practice, Pope Francis himself exemplified the above in February 2014 by uploading a personal video message captured on an iPhone. Although a mediated presence, in the said message, Pope Francis recognises the potential for inviting genuine encounter and shares of himself in this unprecedented way, creating an unofficial public communication of the most known official public office in the Church. In addition, the Pope's Twitter account has been recorded to be the most influential in the world. We are living in a fast-paced world of digital technology. If we wish to fully integrate the Christian Faith into our lives, then we must also integrate our faith into our lives online, truly becoming faithful digital citizens. If our faith defines who we are and becomes part of our expression, it should move through our keyboards and illuminate our computer/mobile screens.

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09 “Ours is a Teaching Institute” - the educative dimension of Pauline Charism - Dr Dominic Xavier D’Silva, SSP

posted Nov 17, 2017, 12:53 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 12:53 AM ]

From the advent of the printing press to the present Information Age, humanity has achieved unthinkable progress in every aspect. We live in a time of rapid social change and technological innovation. Mass communication has become one of the most dominant features of the contemporary global village. Never has there been an explosion of information with such velocity and sophisticated technology as we witness today. Communication media touches every sphere of human life. On the one hand, we take pride in human achievement in communication media, but on the other hand, moral accountability for the right use of media is always a challenge.

In the 21st century, changes in society are associated most often with the development in communication media. Obviously, media has exercised its influence over society, religion, culture, value systems, economy, scientific research etc. There always exists a close relationship between human progress and the communication system. As a consequence of the global economic slowdown, we today have to survive in a highly challenging era of 'social, cultural, ideological, moral, political, ethnic, ecological and security crises' (Servaes, Lie 2013, p. 4). How can media become a constructor to society's moral, social and economic security?

Roots of the Educative Dimension

Blessed James Alberione, the marvel of our times, comprehending the potential and necessity of using media properly in the 20th century, on August 20, 1914, had founded the Society of St Paul to offer a new perspective to the use of media in the service of the Church and humanity. "To make this call a reality, we utilise the media of social communication for preaching, that is, the press, cinema, radio, television, audio-visuals, mini media and the like, giving preference to those with mass appeal. These media state and strengthen fully and clearly our apostolic presence, giving it the potentiality of immediate social consequences." (Society of St Paul 1984, p. 66)

According to Bl. Alberione, one of the expressions of Pauline charism is its teaching character. He affirms, "Ours is a teaching Institute. It makes its own the Church's truths and teaching. […] The overall aim is people's salvation: 'Veritatem facientes in caritate'. The Institute is to teach everything: first, what expressly promotes getting to heaven, that is, faith, morals and worship; then "quidquidbonum, quidquidverum…"(Alberione 1998, p. 292).

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09 “Ours is a Teaching Institute”- the educative dimension of Pauline Charism - Dr Dominic Xavier D’Silva, SSP

posted Nov 17, 2017, 12:44 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 12:44 AM ]

From the advent of the printing press to the present Information Age, humanity has achieved unthinkable progress in every aspect. We live in a time of rapid social change and technological innovation. Mass communication has become one of the most dominant features of the contemporary global village. Never has there been an explosion of information with such velocity and sophisticated technology as we witness today. Communication media touches every sphere of human life. On the one hand, we take pride in human achievement in communication media, but on the other hand, moral accountability for the right use of media is always a challenge.

In the 21st century, changes in society are associated most often with the development in communication media. Obviously, media has exercised its influence over society, religion, culture, value systems, economy, scientific research etc. There always exists a close relationship between human progress and the communication system. As a consequence of the global economic slowdown, we today have to survive in a highly challenging era of 'social, cultural, ideological, moral, political, ethnic, ecological and security crises' (Servaes, Lie 2013, p. 4). How can media become a constructor to society's moral, social and economic security?

Roots of the Educative Dimension

Blessed James Alberione, the marvel of our times, comprehending the potential and necessity of using media properly in the 20th century, on August 20, 1914, had founded the Society of St Paul to offer a new perspective to the use of media in the service of the Church and humanity. "To make this call a reality, we utilise the media of social communication for preaching, that is, the press, cinema, radio, television, audio-visuals, mini media and the like, giving preference to those with mass appeal. These media state and strengthen fully and clearly our apostolic presence, giving it the potentiality of immediate social consequences." (Society of St Paul 1984, p. 66)

According to Bl. Alberione, one of the expressions of Pauline charism is its teaching character. He affirms, "Ours is a teaching Institute. It makes its own the Church's truths and teaching. […] The overall aim is people's salvation: 'Veritatem facientes in caritate'. The Institute is to teach everything: first, what expressly promotes getting to heaven, that is, faith, morals and worship; then "quidquidbonum, quidquidverum…"(Alberione 1998, p. 292).

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11 Media Apostolate: - Fr (Dr) Devasia Puthiyaparammbil

posted Nov 17, 2017, 12:42 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 12:42 AM ]

The Charismatic Vision of Bl. James Alberione

In the year 1960, considering the end of all foundations, Blessed James Alberione, the Founder of the Pauline Family, affirmed: "The hand of God has been upon me from 1900 [the year when Alberione received inspiration from God to do something for the people] to 1960. The Lord's will is accomplished, despite the wretchedness of the one who was to be its unworthy and unsuitable instrument. Both at the outset and along the way, everything came from the Tabernacle: light, grace, warnings, strength and vocations." (Utperfectus sit homo Dei, I, 374)

Pauline Charism


Though Bl James Alberione founded five Congregations, four Secular Institutes and one Association of Pauline Cooperators, he had only one charism: Evangelisation through the Mass Media. He was convinced that the Press is not merely complementary to oral preaching, but a new, complete and autonomous form with equal dignity for evangelisation. In fact, the true charism that distinguishes Fr Alberione from other founders and missionaries is the conviction that it is necessary to preach the Gospel, not only through the living word, but especially through the press and with the instruments of social communication. From 1914 [Foundation of the Society of St Paul] till 1942, all the Pauline foundations were oriented towards the Press Apostolate (as part of Mass Media). This orientation is valid not only for the Society of St Paul and the Daughters of St Paul, but also for the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master (PDDM); the liturgical apostolate of the PDDM then was to complement the Press Apostolate. The Sisters of the Good Shepherd (founded by Fr Alberione in 1938) also, from the beginning, were inserted in this context with the aim of reaching out to everyone.

The vision of Bl. James Alberione

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12 Digitally Ours: - Fr Renold Pascal SSP

posted Nov 17, 2017, 12:41 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Nov 17, 2017, 12:41 AM ]

Pastoral guidelines for a Christian Community

I was amused to read an interesting piece of news recently, where there was a 'tooth and nail' brawl mid-air between a husband and wife on Qatar Airways flight QR-962. The Captain had to land the flight and offload the couple at Chennai Airport. Apparently, the wife discovered 'inappropriate' digital images on her husband's smartphone which led to a 'digital' fight.

Although this may be a bizarre, one-off incident, the truth is that events of this nature have steadily increased in the last five years. Situations deriving from various degrees of digital Connectivity and Content have been upsetting the already fragile family set-up. Thanks to the 4G networks clamouring for customers at every corner with their unlimited data packages, things have actually got worse.

Digital technology-challenged parents are left with no clue about handling their zillennial kids, for whom Google is a creation of God, and yes, getting a Wi-Fi connection is a birthright. In this high rising digital ecosystem, the unthinkable is a life without 'connection'. As to being unwired, life would be impossible!

Pope Francis, our Pastor-in-chief, stands up for digital Cloud. He has taken a positive approach towards this growing digital ecosystem, saying, "The Internet offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity" and it is a "gift of God."

He fully understands the potential of digital space in forming human relationships today. He writes, "E-mail, text messages, social networks and chats can also be fully human forms of communication." He says, "It is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways, simply 'connected'…Connections need to grow into true encounters."

The Pope, who has over 40 million followers on Twitter and 5 million on Instagram finds time to meet and tweet every day. "Every day, through his tweets, Pope Francis makes himself available to men and women through social media, at times offering a spiritual thought," the Vatican Secretariat for Communication said mid-October.

Thus, Pope Francis himself has shown how to be a Christian and virtuous, even on a digital platform. "Like the good Samaritan who stopped on the road to help a person in need, travellers along today's communication highways should offer support to those they encounter there. The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires, but of people," he said in his 48th World Communication Day message.

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