The History of the Pauline Family
Prompted by the Spirit, Fr. James Alberione founded a number of Institutes between 1914 and 1960. Known as the Pauline Family, all are connected to one another by the same spirituality and by a profound bond of communion. Speaking about this intense relationship, our Founder said: “There is a strong family bond among us because we were all born from the Tabernacle. We all share the same spirit, namely: to live Jesus Christ and serve the Church.”
Fr. James Alberione, Founder of the Pauline Family, was one of the most creative apostles of the 20th century. He was born in San
Lorenzo di Fossano (Cuneo), Italy, on the 4th of April, 1884 and baptized the following day. The profoundly Christian and hard-working
Alberione family, made up of Michael and Teresa Allocco and their six children, were farmers.
At the end of the Holy Year of 1900, James, who had read and reflected deeply on Pope Leo XIII's
encyclical, Tametsi Futura, underwent an experience that would give direction to the rest of his life.
On the night of December 31st, 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 of social communication provided by human
ingenuity. In this, he was over 50 years ahead of his time!
On the apostolic level, Fr. Alberione promoted the printing of popular editions of the Bible and used the swiftest instrument of the time (periodicals) to help the message of Christ reach even those furthest away. He had already begun the magazine Vita Pastorale (The Pastoral Life) in 1912 for parish priests. In 1931, he launched Famiglia Cristiana, (Christian Family) a weekly magazine to nourish the Christian life of families. Many other periodicals, magazines, and Catholic newspapers followed. Later, Pauline radio stations and TV stations joined the Work of Evangelization, and more recently, an array of digital media has been streaming from various Internet apostolates of his 10 congregations.
Fr. Mike Harrington, Jesus Priest Institute Fr. Jeff Mickler, PhD, SSP
Honoring the patron and spiritual Father of his congregations, Blessed Alberione built the beautiful Church of St. Paul in Alba, which was then followed by two Churches dedicated to the Divine Master and the magnificent Sanctuary of the Queen of Apostles in Rome.
Blessed Alberione was perhaps the most prolific religious founder in Church history. He established 10 church organizations. They include 9 Institutes of Consecrated Life (religious and aggregated Institutes) and a group of lay Pauline Cooperators.
The Society of St.Paul (1914)
This was the Founder's first endeavor. Pauline priests and brothers work with all of the modern means of social communication: television, radio, audiovisual media, books, and the Internet, "to give the whole Christ, Jesus Master, Way, Truth and Life to the World", for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.
The Daughters of St. Paul (1915)
They have the same mission as the Pauline priests and brothers. Although
their works are numerous and include all of the means of social communication
listed above, the Daughters are probably best known for their St. Paul Book
and Media Centers throughout the World. These centers are not simply book
and media outlets but places of spiritual comfort, light and peace for the soul.
The Sister Disciples of the Divine Master (1924)
These Sisters were the fulfillment of Fr. Alberione's dream. He was convinced that the mission of the Pauline Family would not be fruitful unless it was sustained by intercessory prayer before the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration for the needs of the Church and the whole world. Furthermore, the Sister Disciples have the Priestly and Liturgical Apostolate.
The Good Shepherd Sisters (1938)
These Sisters carry out the Pauline mission though their work in diocesan Parishes. They aid pastors in bringing the love and message of Christ to the faithful, through their participation in various parish ministries.
The Sisters of the Queen of the Apostles (1957)
These Sisters work exclusively to encourage and nurture various vocations for the Church.
Institutes aggregated to the Society of St. Paul:
Institute of Jesus Priest (1960)
This Institute gives Diocesan priests an opportunity to share in the Pauline apostolate and to enrich their priestly vocation with consecration in the Pauline Family.
The Archangel Gabriel Institute (1960)
For single men who wish to devote their lives to serving God in the Pauline apostolate while living a consecrated life in the World.
Our Lady of the Annunciation Institute (1960)
For single women who are called to live a consecrated life while remaining in the World and carrying out the Pauline apostolate.
The Holy Family Institute (1960)
For married, widowed and engaged persons who are called by God to live a consecrated life in the World. Holy Family members are dedicated to Pauline prayer and practice, while continuing to live a traditional married life in their regular daily environment. The Holy Family Institute is one of the greatest gifts that God has bestowed upon married couples! The Constitutions of this Institute were developed in consultation with married couples, so that, far from being an added burden for the couple, membership in the Institute enhances their family life while imparting an infinitely increased value to their every thought, word and action.
Organization for Lay Collaborators:
Pauline Cooperators (1917)
Lay men and women who wish to dedicate themselves to the mission and ideals of the Pauline Family. They provide help, inspiration and their prayers to aid the Pauline apostolate. They share in the spiritual benefits of Pauline prayer and sacrifices made by our members, throughout the World.