Before God sent the media world Bishop Fulton Sheen, we had Father James Alberione. Pope Francis calls Blessed Father James Alberione a “great apostle of communications.” This new movie about Alberione’s life, Media Apostle, is produced and directed by the Daughters of St Paul and Pauline Media.
Watch the trailer…
From the film’s website:
Blessed Father James Alberione, SSP, 1884-1971, was a priest from Northern Italy who had profound insight into the world of media and did much to get the Church evangelizing with the latest media technology. He founded the PaulineFamily.com, 10 congregations and institutes of bishops, priests, religious and laity–forming them in his Pauline apostolic spirituality, and calling them to be St. Paul the Apostle living today. Father Alberione’s official international website: Alberione.org.
Watch the film in a 50 minute or 90 minute video format. You can rent the short or long versions for $2.99 and $3.99 respectively. Or you can purchase the film for $12.99.
I watched the 90 minute version and learned a lot about this priest whose work has influenced millions through the Pauline Family! That 90 minute version is a great length for personal and home viewing. Yet the shorter version might better fit a religious education setting, or a event whereby you want to have time to discuss the film afterwards.
Speaking of the Daughters of St Paul, the Boston Globe featured their work this week in this article.
Here’s an excerpt featuring Sr Helena Burns, FSP, the writer/director of Media Apostle. (You might recall her being a former guest on my podcast, Among Women.)
“Our founder, Blessed James Alberione, had this sense that whatever the new [technology] was you grab it and use it for the gospel,” said Sister Helena Burns, a Pauline stationed in Toronto who originally hails from Belmont. “He had a very comprehensive vision. . . . It was not all religion, religion and preachy, preachy.”
In honor of the order’s centenary year, a documentary about Alberione debuted this month. Today he is known as the “Media Apostle,” though Pope John Paul II called him “the first apostle of the new evangelization.” The film, which took seven years, is a first for the order and was written and directed by Burns, who studied screenwriting at UCLA. It can be purchased or rented at Mediaapostle.com and streamed online.
In lessons she teaches on media literacy, Burns looks at intention and consumption in this world of endless information.
Following the example of their founder, these nuns embrace new technology. On any given day, divine petitions could be tweeted in 140 characters or said aloud. Retreats at the convent and feast days are celebrated and honored in the chapel and online. Instagram captures the daily life of a Pauline with filtered photos and the occasional biblical meme.
Here’s a fun bonus: