To prolong Christ’s self-giving in today’s world
Representative: Sr. Anna Maria Parenzan, FSP
Daughters Of St. Paul P.O.BOX 9763 Area 10 Garki, Abuja
Mobile: +2347084357516, +2348164358654
Founded, Date/Place: 15th June 1915, Alba, Italy
Founder: Blessed James Alberione
Canonical Status: Pontifical Institute
Charism: To Live and Communicate Jesus Christ the Master, Way, Truth and Life
Who We Are:
The Daughters of St. Paul (abbreviated as FSP – figlie di San Paolo in Italian – and not dsp) are a community of vowed women religious who dedicate their lives to sharing the unfathomable riches of the mystery of Christ with the people of today through the means of social communication. God has chosen, called, and consecrated them to himself so that he might send them to proclaim the Good News of a loving God who sends his Son into a world desperate for hope.
It is an international religious congregation founded in Italy by Blessed James Alberione on June 15, 1915. He was assisted by Sr. Thecla Merlo, our co-foundress and first Superior General, to found the congregation and bring about its growth. They are about 2,600 Sisters serving Christ and the Church in not less than 54 nations in the five continents of the world, with not less than 254 communities and their Generalate is in Rome. Here in Africa, they are in twelve countries namely: Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, DR Congo, Mozambique, Zambia, South Africa, Madagascar, Ivory Coast, Angola and Sudan.
The Founder Blessed James Alberione:
He was an Italian priest who gave his all for the spread of the gospel through the media. He was one of the most creative apostles of the 20th century. He was born in San Lorenzo di Fossano (Cuneo), Italy, on 4 April 1884 and baptized the following day and at the age of 16, James entered the seminary of Alba. On the night of 31 December 1900, the night that divided the 19th and 20th centuries, he prayed for four hours before the Blessed Sacrament and contemplated the future in the light of God. A “particular light” seemed to come from the Host and roused in him a sense of obligation “to do something for the Lord and for the people of the new century”: he felt “obliged to serve the Church” with the new instruments provided by human ingenuity.
Why Paul – Like St. Paul the Apostle, we are called to be apostles of Christ to the world of today. The Pauline vocation demands that the Daughters of St. Paul keep watch, like sentinels, with our gaze fixed ahead, studying the ever-widening and continually changing horizons of communication. The answer to that question why Paul, paints the horizon of their spirituality, of their mission, of their living together as community, indeed, of every aspect of their consecrated life.
According Blessed James Alberione the Founder; “The Pauline Family was raised up by St. Paul to continue his work. It is St. Paul alive today, composed of many members. We did not choose St. Paul; he is the one who chose and called us. He wants us to do what he would do if he were alive today. And what would he do if he were alive today? He would fulfill the two great precepts as only he knew how to do. …He would use the greatest ‘pulpits’ fashioned by modern progress: the press, cinema, radio, television; the greatest discoveries [to transmit] the doctrine of love and salvation: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. St. Paul made himself our ‘form.’ … Let us be true Paulines. Paulines!”
Becoming Christ – “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” The Pauline mission is to prolong Christ’s self-giving in today’s world. Their Eucharistic spirituality is an integral part of their mission. In each of their Book Centres is a chapel where both the sisters and people coming to the book centres often find a moment of rest and comfort. “It’s not enough that we use the media of communication to spread the Gospel, but we ourselves need to become a communication of the Gospel. Communication is central to everything that I as a Pauline am and want to be” (Sr. Marie Paul Curley, FSP).
Communicating – “Where is humanity going?” (Bl James Alberione)
At the turn of the last century, Blessed James Alber ione, founder of the Daughters of St. Paul, perceived with penetrating clarity and prophetic foresight the needs of the people of God. Seeing the power of the press and the newspapers to reach and move the masses, who were leaving the Church in ever increasing numbers, he wanted to put these same powerful means at the service of the evangelization in the Church. He saw the mission of communication not as a “business,” but as preaching, as an exercise of the ministry of salvation, in which we offer Jesus as a gift to others.
What makes Pauline Sister’s “publishing” to be “preaching”? Blessed James Alberione often told them that their mission was a written “preaching” alongside the oral preaching of priests. Their books, CDs, DVDs, podcasts, radio programs, facebook pages, blogs, YouTube videos, apps and e-books are places where people can encounter the God who is forever seeking them out. Blessed James Alberione told his followers to leave the sacristies and to go out where people live their lives and to make God present there. He believed that saints were needed to tread this new path of holiness and mission in the Church. He declared: “Missionaries are needed-new missionaries for this new and fruitful apostolate!”
Together- “You are the body of Christ….” If the most central element of religious life is the following of Christ, then the heart of this following is relationship, living in community with each other. In community the Daughters of St Paul live a daily yes together. Through the beauty of relationships they make visible the loving, merciful, free, and liberating face of God, whom we are called to communicate through mission.
Rooted in the teaching of St. Paul, our communities seek to be places of communion and mutual respect, where each one opens up so as to understand the other, build up the other, and find the way to share in the other’s joys and sorrows. Venerable Mother Thecla, our Co- Foundress, often said: “Community should be a corner of heaven, not because there are no shortcomings, but because there is virtue that overcomes and passes over so many little things.”
Pastoral Work For Vocations:
The Daughters of St Paul have travelled around the country for book displays and vocation work. Their apostolate is highly valued by many and some young women, having seen the fruit of their work in their publications, have entered the congregation. Due to the great demand for their apostolate also in the countries close to Nigeria, their sisters have travelled over the years, to Cameroon and Ghana for book displays and in search of vocations too.
In 2002 a formation house (Postulancy) was built in Lagos to carter for formandees from Nigeria and the neighbouring countries. Thanks to God today they have Nigerian and Cameroonian professed sisters, with both countries having formandees in all the stages of initial formation. They have one international novitiate for the whole of Africa in Nairobi, Kenya.
Sisters In Perpetual Vows
- Sr. Carmel Joseph, FSP
- Sr. Angela Kileo, FSP
- Sr. Oluwakemi M. Akinleye, FSP
- Sr. Beatrice Iguem Efembele, FSP
- Sr. Norine Kenfack, FSP
- Sr. Amarachi Cecilia Okwor, FSP