Evangelization in Text and Context

It was Pierre Babin who said regarding the language of the communication culture: “We no longer speak of text but of context.” Our media culture invites us to put all that we do in context. Text is the means. Context is how we place the means in a framework and how we prepare the environment to tell the whole story of faith – so that the transforming gospel reaches the whole person, mind, will and heart.

As Paulines our context includes the place we meet people, how we prepare to meet people, how we present the message to people, and most of all, who we are. Not only do we provide hope through our publications and media (text) we especially provide hope through our very lives and through the framework of our encounter (context).

sr margaret

Full article found under the Pauline Sources link on this site.

Three Invitations to Evangelize from Cardinal George, Chicago

2008 Year in Review from our Sisters in Chicago, IL

Mother General Visits Chicago
In June, our Mother General, Sr. Antonieta, visited us from Rome. While here, she had a meeting with Cardinal George who asked three things of the Daughters in Chicago: Help parents help their children discern media; teach us how to use the “new media”; gather Catholic media professionals for spiritual enrichment. A big bill to fill, but we’re working on it.

Christian Communicators in the Global Village

Echoes of Blessed James Alberione from the Center for Research and Communication in Canada:
The Symbolic Way of Pierre Babin, OMI
At the dawn of a new century a new culture is developing. I would like to promote a way of communicating faith that is more in keeping with the spirit of our time: media and technologies. I would like to collaborate in the birth of the era of communications, denouncing fears and errors and proposing a new way to see the world by integrating –in a Gospel perspective- individual, group and mass media. This is a new way of Spirituality. I would like to answer the main problem of our time, the loss of our soul, the loss of our inner being. As an answer I propose a faith linked with the “global village” - the main stream media that secretly drive our world. A faith that fits with the main aspiration of our media culture and the unity of the world. I consider the new technology (Computer, Internet, radio and TV) as an historic chance to build unity in the world, for peace and common knowledge. This faith that is more linked with the media culture which is based on fundamental human desires, the drama and pleasures of humankind more than on teaching. A faith with images. A faith that considers, through new technologies, our daily suffering, fighting, solitude and fear of death allowing the culture to reach fullness of life.
Applications of the Symbolic Way.
1. To nurture a spiritual life in the media culture. 2. Creating media as a priviledged way to build the future of the world and the kingdom of God for our time. 3. After the resurrection of Jesus the first missionaries – the apostles – traveled the world to preach Jesus (oral culture) Later the printing press as used for the transmission of faith. This began a literary tradition and transmission of the faith. Now with the new technologies there is a powerful language with the capacity to reach the culture and our mind, will and heart with the Gospel message.
For the whole Symbolic Way: (translation is from the French)

Poetry, theater, music and diffusion: Evangelization in China

Beijing (Agenzia Fides) – Christmas is a part of Chinese society today, although it is often eclipsed by the consumerist aspect. Aware of this social concept of the meaning of Christmas – which is more characterized by the consumerism than by religious origins – Chinese Catholics have launched various initiatives to spread awareness and promote the true meaning of Christmas, the Christian one. Thus, the community is preparing art contests with evangelization themes, as well as sacred music concerts and Christmas music concerts, Christmas plays...All with the purpose of giving Christmas back its true meaning, amidst the colored lights, the big Christmas trees, and the constant and excessive consumerist appeals...in the name of Christmas.On December 13, the Cathedral of the Diocese of Tai Yuan organized its first Evangelization Contest, in preparation for Christmas. 28 catechists, pastoral ministers, and other lay faithful went out on the stage to show their artistic talent, in the form of poetry, prayers, and theatrical performances on themes related to evangelization, the spirit of St. Paul, Sacred Scripture, the sense of Christmas, the experience of the faith...The audience, formed by both Catholics and non-Catholics and for the most part young people, showed their approval with their roaring applauses. The parish of Fan Ga Da, in the Diocese of Xian Xian, began the Christmas Novena on December 16, with a public act, distributing information on Christmas to all passers-by. The theater group at the parish also began its Christmas Tour, performing in parishes and towns in the area. Every show is a “live catechesis on Christmas,” prepared with the assistance of the priest. A benefit event was also held for the Lourdes Oasis Rest Home. The parish of Saint Michael in Beijing, which is in the historic center and commercial area of the city, is preparing a sacred music concert for December 20. A Korean choir will join the parish choir in singing at the event. Several famous Catholic artists will also perform with their magnificent voices, in an act of praise to the Lord at this time of His Birth. (NZ) (Agenzia Fides 17/12/2008)

Lesson of mercy: a movie for evangelizers

A movie for Evangelizers: The Tale of Despereaux
Producer Gary Ross talks grace Rebecca Cusey
...We sat down at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica to discuss Despereaux.
The characters in Despereaux wound each other in serious ways, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not, but are all transformed by forgiveness. "These people had wounded or hurt other people or had transgressed in a way that was holding them back in their own lives," said Ross, "and only through being forgiven and forgiving could they free themselves from that." See the whole article at:
“True peace is not possible unless justice reigns....our world thirsts for peace and justice.” Benedict XVI
God chooses poverty and weakness. May we allow “the fire of love and a passion for justice to mobilise us, impelling us to go beyond feeling sorry [for the weak, the poor, the suffering] to seeking a solidarity that leads to transformation and begins with our own ongoing conversion.”
Cardinal Njue, Kenya

Sacrificial love: The Christmas gift that keeps on giving

We're paying a lot for our crash course in Purpose of Life 101. Many men who married the stock market now see it as a spouse who humiliates them in front of their friends and family. Many women now see it as an abusive husband. Recent events provide more evidence as to why the Bible refers to the church as the bride of Christ. Jesus is a faithful spouse; accept no substitutes.

See full article by Marvin Olasky: http://www.worldmag.com/articles/14789

Evangelization and the return of Jesus

“The Apostle Paul, writing to the Christians of Philippi, is obviously thinking about Christ's return, and he invites them to rejoice because this return is certain. Nevertheless, the same St. Paul, in his first Letter to the Thessalonians, warns that no one can know the moment of the Lord's return and puts them on guard against all alarmism, as if the Lord's return were imminent. Thus, already at that time, the Church, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, understood more and more that the "nearness" of God is not a question of space and time, but rather a question of love: Love is near! Christmas will come to remind us of this fundamental truth of our faith and, before the crèche, taste Christian joy, contemplating in the face of the newborn Jesus the God who drew near to us for love.” Benedict XVI

As Evangelizers we are called to announce the nearness of God through joy and reflecting the face of Christ who shines through us.

Blessed Alberione on Movies

Blessed James Alberione is the first Blessed who directed, produced and acted in a film. The film was Mary - a full length feature. Mother Thecla Merlo was Anna and Blessed Alberione was a priest baptising a baby. This film has been restored in Italian.

Useful for the understanding of the unity between spirituality and apostolate is the affirmation contained in an exhortation of 4 June 1960 to the Daughters of Saint Paul to sensitize them to the apostolate of cinema: “Our concerns must be two: save ourselves and save, save the cinema! What a great thing: redemption that is applied even in this area! That cinema be truly Christian, that teaching be that of the Church (...) Perhaps we have not yet paused enough to meditate about this in front of the Lord and to make a course of exercises about this mission”.26

A course of exercises to meditate before the Lord on the urgency of the apostolate of cinema: this helps us to understand better the style of Fr. Alberione! Fr. Sassi, Superior General

25 Alle Figlie di San Paolo, Spiegazione delle Costituzioni, 273. 3.5.

Daughters of St Paul Mega Book Fair in India

News by Ancy PaladkaDaijiworld Media Network—Mumbai (CN)
Mumbai, Dec 5: The Daughters of St Paul’s will be organizing a mega book fair for eight days at the Pauline Book and Media Centre, near Bishop’s house, Vasai.
The fair will begin on Saturday December 6 and end on Sunday December 14. The daily timings will be from 9 am to 9 pm. A variety of books on various topics, catering to people of all walks of life, will be available at the fair.
These include simple topics like ‘read and colour’ for kids to novels for grown-ups to general knowledge to spirituality and medicine as well as crafts, health and cookery. CDs, VCDs, DVDs, and cassettes, will also be found at the fair.
Sr Gloria, Sr Stella, and Sr Clandette, have taken on the responsibility for organizing this book fair for the second time in Vasai.

The Internet a New Forum for Proclaiming the Gospel

The Internet is certainly a new forum understood in the ancient Roman sense of that public space where politics and business were transacted, where religious duties were fulfilled where much of the social life of the city took place, and where the best and the worst of human nature was on display. It was a crowded and bustling urban space, which both reflected the surrounding culture and created a culture of its own. This is no less true of cyberspace, which is as it were a new frontier opening up at the beginning of this new millennium. Like the new frontiers of other times, this one too is full of the interplay of danger and promise, and not without the sense of adventure which marked other great periods of change. For the Church the new world of cyberspace is a summons to the great adventure of using its potential to proclaim the Gospel message. This challenge is at the heart of what it means at the beginning of the millennium to follow the Lord's command to "put out into the deep?: Duc in altum! (Lk 5:4).
John Paul II

A Space to Explore Evangelization Pauline Style

Recently one of our sisters sent around an e-mail about the Vatican opening a new bookstore. The description given is similar to the Pauline charismatic view of evangelization:

"This new bookstore is offered as a place of evangelization and authentic human promotion, providing texts and publications that respond to the expectations, demands and challenges of contemporary culture. This is what makes the required economic and human investment worth it -- with the sole intention of rendering an eminently pastoral service, in close and convinced collaboration with the ministry of Peter. The bookstore can serve as a sounding board for the divine Word -- effective, creative and saving to give voice to Catholic culture so that it can influence the fabric of today's humanity."In constructing cathedrals and basilicas, our fathers wanted to transmit the faith they had received.Today, along with places of worship, it is good that places to spread the truth are also developed, spaces of seeking and going deeper into the Christian message incarnated in society so that it is spread and penetrates the world." Cardinal Bertone

Similarly this new blog space will explore the thought of Blessed James Alberione in the Pauline Charism of Evangelization as a place for us to "seek and go deeper into the Christian message incarnated in society."