THE PAULINE COOPERATORS
(A Lay Vocation in the Pauline Family)
Who are we?
We are an ecc1esial association of lay persons born of the apostolic heart of Blessed James Alberione, the Founder of the Pauline Family. Since 1918, the date on which our association was approved by the Church, we are present in all continents.
We are men and women, adults and young people, single and married, who have discovered the treasure of the call to the Pauline life and who live it in the world, according to our specific vocation in life but united to the Pauline Family, by sharing the same spirit and mission.
Our project of life springs from the prophetic inspiration of Fr Alberione, who welcomed the call of Jesus to new forms of evangelization.
Fr. Alberione felt that in order to meet the challenge of announcing the Gospel through the instruments of social communication, not only rapid and effective means were needed but most of all were needed many consecrated religious and lay people committed to this work of evangelization: generous individuals inflamed with the same missionary passion that motivated the Apostle Paul. In fact, Fr. Alberione gave the Pauline Family the Apostle of the Gentiles as Father, Teacher, Model and Protector.
The vocation of the Pauline Cooperators is a true ideal of missionary life in the Church: a call that enriches individuals and enables them to embrace the vast horizons of the Christian life.
“Our mission is to make known to the whole world Jesus Christ, Way, Truth and Life, through the proclamation done with the use of the media of social communication.”
(Statute of the APC)
What Do Cooperators Do?
Pauline laity have flexibility to decide how they will cooperate with their professed sisters and brothers in the Pauline mission. While they do not vow obedience or work under a superior, they keep their eye on St. Paul and insert themselves into the world.
As communicators, Pauline Cooperators do all of the following, and more: write books and pamphlets; edit manuscripts; and participate in every aspect of civic life and Christian ministry.
Cooperators also work alongside professed Paulines and are well-known as lay men and women who are willing to “pitch in and get the job done.” They contribute financial and material means so that the religious branches of the Family can continue the work of media production, dissemination of books, DVDs and magazines, and response to vocations, etc.
Pauline Cooperators also participate fully in the life of the local Church, within their individual parishes, at a diocesan level, or in small home groups. Individual members work in the areas most suited to their individual talents:
- pastoral work
- catechetical functions
- youth ministry
- adult education
- civic and social work
In all areas, we look to incorporate the tools of media and social communication.
“Spurred on by the apostolic anxiety of St. Paul, who yearned to bring the Gospel to everyone, we infuse all these contexts with the dynamism, creativity and content of the Pauline apostolate.” (A Lay Vocation in the Pauline Family)
Our spirits are fed, not only by prayer, Mass, Communion, and Eucharistic adoration, but also by annual Cooperator retreats under the direction of the Daughters of St. Paul. Cooperators try to meet also on a regular basis.
“The Cooperators work in the environment in which they live (work, parish, diocese, social and religious realities); the ways of working shall be taken in communion with the persons responsible for them, the delegates and the Pauline Institute with which they refer; they shall bring to reality the Founder’s apostolic project in manners that are more consonant to the environmental reality in which they work.”
(Pauline Family Unitary Project)
“We are called to follow a path which entails mutual acceptance, trust in relation to the values and traditions of other people, in order to establish a dialogue of life and of heart in which daily experience becomes the ‘setting’ for a mutual exchange which enriches all.”
(The Pauline Family Unitary Project)
Who can be a member
Persons who understand the value of the mission of the Society of St. Paul and want to collaborate in its fulfilment, thus finding a precious opportunity to use their skills to fulfil their Christian vocation and enable the talents they received from the Lord to bear fruit. In welcoming his/her special call, the candidate adheres to the Pauline ideal and commits him/herself to incarnating it in daily life according to the directives of the Church, which invites the laity to “share more intensely in the spirituality and mission of various religious Institutes” (VC, 54).
Specifically, those who can be members of the Association of Pauline Cooperators of the Society of St. Paul are:
- lay faithful of every age and condition who are aware that Christ called them to the perfection of charity and to work for evangelization.
- priests and religious who understand the validity of the specific mission of the Society of St. Paul and intend to collaborate to its realization.