Melbourne: St Joseph the Worker parish, North Reservoir
It is an annual tradition for us to gather as a Pauline Family to commemorate the anniversary of death of Blessed James Alberione and to do so in the different parishes where we work in Melbourne.
This year we celebrated the event on 22nd November in the parish of St Joseph the Worker, North Reservoir, where Sr Estelita Manabo is involved in pastoral care ministry alongside Fr Manny Bonello, parish priest.
Mass was attended by a large number of our Pauline Cooperators -Friends of Jesus Good Shepherd - together with the usual Saturday evening congregation. Fr Manny kindly agreed for Sr Estelita to talk during Mass about Fr Alberione, his life, inspiration and foundation of the Pauline Family. This fitted in beautifully with the feast of Christ the King and the mission of the Pauline Family to live and to give Jesus Christ, way truth and life to the world using the most modern means of social communication. Many parishioners expressed their gratitude after Mass for the opportunity of a deeper knowledge of Alberione and the 10 branches making up the Pauline Family including our own Congregation.
We were most grateful to Fr Manny for his exquisite hospitality and support of the event in his parish. The Tuesday Italian Group that works closely with Sr Estelita, very generously provided and helped serve the refreshments after Mass and for this we are very much indebted do them.
May Blessed James Alberione intercede for us that we may grow in our love for Jesus and his Gospel and share the gift with all we meet.
The celebration of 100 years of foundation of the Pauline Family is for us a time to rejoice, to remember, to give thanks and to renew our trust that the work that God has begun will be brought to completion in his time.
On Saturday 30th August 2014, members of the Pauline Family in Melbourne gathered with a group of Cooperators and Friends for a day of reflection on the origins of the Pauline Family focusing mainly on our founder, Blessed James Alberione, Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo, Venerable Mother Scholastica Rivataand and Blessed Timothy Giaccardo. The day was facilitated by Sr Doreen sjbp and it included input from members of the Pauline Family, time for quiet prayer and a shared lunch.
At the Start of the day Sr Doreen gave a brief presentation of Fr Alberione. She quoted the words that Paul VI used to describe him at the audience of 1969 when Alberione was 85 years old. He is a marvel of our time. “Here he is: humble, silent, tireless, always vigilant, ever recollected in his thoughts that run from prayer to work, ever attentive to the ‘signs of the times, ‘ that is, the most ingenious forms of reaching souls, our Fr. Alberione has given the church new instruments to express herself, new means to add vigor and breadth to her apostolate, a new capability and new awareness of the validity of the possibilities of her mission in the modern world and with modern means”… Doreen also made reference to the title Pope John Paul II attributed to him as “prophet of the new evangelization”.
Sr Doreen also reminded us of the great love Fr. Alberione had for his sons and daughters in 6 continents and how, we are told, he stood each night before an open window in his small bedroom, to bless them all.
Sr Estelita sjbp presented the ten branches that make up the Pauline Family, giving a brief description of each literature and highlighting the reality of the world into witch Alberione felt called to do something for the people of the 20th century.
Sr Mildred fsp shared a lovely PPT presentation on Venerable mother Thecla Merlo, co-foundress of the Daughters of St. Paul. She portrayed her as a woman of great faith and passion for the mission entrusted to her and companions. One quote from Sr Mildred’s presentation captures something of her spirit: “I am extremely happy with my vocation. I wish I had a thousand lives so as to dedicate them all to this noble apostolate, evening the midst of many troubles and problems.”
Sr Paolina pddm felt privileged to speak of Venerable Mother M. Scholastica Rivita, the first sister disciples of the Divine Master and first Mother General who distinguished herself for her trust in God and whose motto throughout her life had been: “Lord, you alone are enough”. A disciple imbued with a wisdom drawn daily from Eucharist and the Word of God. Sr Paolina also made reference to Mother Scholastica’s unwavering obedience to the directives of the Founder and her love for her sisters.
Sr. Doreen sjbp also spoke of Blessed Timothy Giaccardo who was the first priest in the Society of St Paul and who served as the Vicar General of the society which Fr Alberione had founded in 1914. He became alberione’s “right hand man” and closest friend and was called him the “most faithful of the faithful”.
At the conclusion of the day, our co-operators were invited to contribute their impressions and ask questions, such as: “you all have different works, do you have something in common?” We answered: “We have the one father and our main devotion is to Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life.
We all then finished with Prayer and the invitation to come together again for the Eucharistic celebration in commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the death of Fr. Alberione, which will be celebrated at St Joseph the Worker Parish, North Reservoir on 22nd November 2014.