306 Pages




In Thecla: A Prophetic Voice in Media Evangelization, enter the fascinating world of Venerable Thecla Merlo, cofoundress of the Daughters of St. Paul. She believed that women could be actively associated with the preaching apostolate through the "Good Press." This lively, intelligent woman used her uncommon gifts to become a prophetic voice for evangelization. Thecla was moved by one intention: "To do good" by spreading the Gospel. Published on the centenary celebration of the Daughters of St. Paul.



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Published 20 June 2015
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EAN13 9780819875280
Language English
Document size 30 MB

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Thecla A Prophetic Voice in Media Evangelization
by Domenico Agasso
The Scripture quotations in this publication are from theRevised Standard Version of the Bible, Catholic edition, copyright © 1965 and 1966 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.
Originally published asTecla: Voce profetica nella comunicazione by Domenico Agasso, Paoline Editoriale Libri © Figlie di San Paolo, 2014, via Francesco Albani—20149 Milano (Italy)
English translation by John Moore, St. Paul MultiMedia Productions U.K., Middle Green, Slough SL3 6BS
U.S.A. and Englishspeaking Canada edition 2015 by Pauline Books & Media, MA, U.S.A.
ISBN10: 0–8198–7527–9 ISBN13: 978–0–8198–7527–3
Cover design by Rosana Usselmann
Cover photos: FSP photo archive; © alexaldo
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
“P” and PAULINE are registered trademarks of the Daughters of St. Paul.
Copyright © 2015, Daughters of St. Paul
Published by Pauline Books & Media, 50 Saint Paul’s Avenue, Boston, MA 021303491
Pauline Books & Media is the publishing house of the Daughters of St. Paul, an international congregation of women religious serving the Church with the communications media.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
19 18 17 16 15
Foreword vii
Preface xi
Translator’s Note xvii
C O Te Beginnings of a Great Adventure 1
C T A New Name 33
C T At te Service of te Gospel 63
C F Like a Great Tree 101
C F Everyone at Teir Post 135
C S Wit Propetic Caracter and Courage 165
C S Harvest Time 193
E Te Unfinised Last Act 221
Cronology 235
e year 2015 marks 100 years of life for te Congregation T of te Daugters of St. Paul, wic was born from te eart of a great propet, Blessed James Alberione, wit te enligtened and wise collaboration of a pint-sized woman, Teresa Merlo, known in religion as hecla. Fater Alberione was well aware tat, a few decades after is invaluable contribution to te inspiration for a new religious family, e would identify June 27, 1915 as a “day of blessing.” his was te day on wic e would meet te young Teresa in te Curc of St. Damian. heir meeting would makete our of God strike, favoring te realization ofa brand new vocationin te Curc (see te carismatic istory of te Pauline Family written by Fater James Alberione,Abundantes divitiae gratiae suae [AD], 109–110). heir encounter would concretize tat “definitive step” of wic Alberione would later write: “. . . writ-ers, tecnicians, and propagandists, but religious [men and women . . .] to give more unity, more continuity; to make it a more supernatural apostolate” (seeAD24). Alberione’s 17, carismatic intuition developed in armony wit is reflections on women’s potential in te work of evangelization. He ad
viii Foreword
already expressed tese reflections in te bookWoman Associated wit Priestly Zeal, wic took on an almost genetic significance for te feminine foundations of te Pauline Family. In January 1938 Fater Alberione would say,“From 1910 . . . you Daugters of St. Paul were tougt of, desired, prepared, born, and raised until tis very day.” Wit te vocation of Moter hecla, te young Alberione’s conviction tatte priestly mission is part of te feminine missionbecame a reality. In te pre-foundational document,Woman Associated wit Priestly Zeal, woman’s presence at te side of man is elevated:
. . . Beside te great benefactors of umanity and te great saints of Cristianity you will always find te sweet figure of a woman wo, in a sense, completes te work being done. At te side of St. Benedict, te great patriarc of Western Monasticism, is St. Scolastica; beside St. Francis of Assisi . . . is St. Clare; beside te Dominican Faters are te Dominican Sisters; beside St. Francis de Sales is St. Jane Frances de Cantal. . . .
From te very beginning Maestra hecla played a mediat-ing role of carismatic grace, trusting completely in God’s cosen instrument. From te earliest days of te Congregation se confessed: “I ave muc trust in te Lord but also in te heologian [Alberione] because I know tat e is sent by God; and were e goes I can be at peace tat I will not make a mis-take.” And tis meant to accompany a Congregation tat started “from zero.” Wit er te community began to grow; it refined its apostolic awareness; it educated itself in its deep rela-tionsip wit te Divine Master; and it took on its own style of simplicity, supernatural spirit, and quickness. Se followed te Founder not in a businesslike way but witdocility of eart, knowing tat troug im, God would sow te way. And
Foreword ix
Fater Alberione felt tat Maestra hecla sared and corre-sponded to te designs of God: e kept er informed of eac step, asked for er presence in visiting te small communities, awaited er viewpoint on different issues and initiatives, and gave er te responsibility of deciding norms for te apostolate so tat te sisters “would do it well and not injure its spirit,” disposing tem to a rigt relationsip wit te oter feminine institutes of te Pauline Family. Prima Maestra received and applied eac directive of te Founder wit te ricness of er gift or, wen te will of God was not obvious, contributed er experience for a more pro-found discernment. And Fater Alberione placed before te Daugters tis Moter in wose footsteps tey needed to walk. “he docility of te Daugters of St. Paul to Prima Maestra explains teir rapid development and te success of teir apostolate.” Always at Fater Alberione’s side on is long apostolic travels, weter by car or by plane, se was able to put togeter all of is confidences, joys, and sorrows. On September 2, 1954, te Founder urged te sisters to take te words of Prima Maestra as if tey were is own tougts: “here are not two tougts but only one, wic I believe to be te tougt and desire of God.” All er life Maestra hecla pursued two objectives:evan-gelical perfectionand tefull development of te Congregation. Her union wit God, by te time of er deat, reaced mystical levels. Fater Alberione spoke of it tus: “I ave been a witness of er life from 1915 to te very end, on February 5, 1964. Prima Maestra was in a constant ascent to God.” He ad seen te Congregation grow and expand under er direction—wic was loving and strong, wise and prudent— leading te Daugters of St. Paul on te road of communication,