Monday, November 26, 2012

Feast Day today!

Father Alberione.
It's the feast (technically, a memorial) of Blessed James Alberione! "Who?" You might ask? Only  the priest Blessed John Paul II called "the first apostle of the New Evangelization." And as the first apostle of the New Evangelization, he spent his life raising up more apostles of a missionary movement that would prove "new in its ardor, new in its methods and new in its expression" (as JP2 put it in Haiti in 1983 when he introduced the phrase).

When I was first introduced to Alberione in postulancy, I really connected with what  he wrote in 1954, when he was telling the story of that New Year's Eve of 1900 when the Holy Spirit had so powerfully moved him to understand as if from within the cry of Jesus, "Come to me, all of you!" Writing in the third person, he said "It seemed to him that in the new century, generous souls would feel what he had felt, and that when united they would accomplish what [Blessed Joseph] Toniolo had said [at a conference
Alberione just attended]: 'Unite! If the enemy finds us alone, he will defeat us one by one'." I suppose that in the 1970's I, too, felt that our Catholic efforts in media were too weak, too isolated to be effective. Even Fulton Sheen was getting feeble! And here was this whole community (and, as I later learned, a whole family of congregations and associations) who existed to do just what I wanted to do: put the media at the service of the Church! (In the words of Pope Paul VI to Father Alberione, "You have given the Church new means with which to express herself.")
What a great day to watch the trailer for the upcoming documentary on Blessed James! (written by Sr. Helena!)

Our Pauline Cooperators' blog features this nifty interactive timeline of the life and works of Blessed James:

No comments: