It seems to be hard-wired into human nature: from papyrus scrolls and scratchings on clay tablets to posts on Facebook, people keep creating new and ingenious ways to communicate. At the heart of communication is not the transmission of a message or an idea, but a giving of self that involves the whole person. This is where the mission of the Daughters of St Paul finds its greatest expression.
50 years before the Second Vatican Council declared that the media were ‘gifts of God’ intimately linked with preaching, Blessed James Alberione had already gathered a group of aspiring religious, along with energetic lay collaborators, for what was then called ‘the Good Press.’ 100 years later, Paulines continue to proclaim from the housetops the unthinkable newness that Jesus has brought into the world.
On the high streets of major cities, a bookshop would not appear to be a sacred space. Our media ministry, with its stress on outreach, puts us on the ‘peripheries’, to use a term dear to Pope Francis. The peaceful atmosphere may be the first hint that this is not a typical retail location, but a place of encounter.
It is not enough to bring the Gospel to this world of ours; we want to reach the same degree of communion with Christ that Paul did, a transformation of mind, will, heart and relationships by which ‘it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me’ (Gal 2:20). In our daily Hour of Eucharistic Adoration, we receive in a contemplative spirit the Word we hope to pass on to others, and we commit ourselves to pray for all who work in the media – journalists, TV and film producers and directors, actors, radio broadcasters—all those who live in the new culture that is being created by the simple fact that there are new forms of communication.