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of the Seminar on "Jesus, the Master"

Acts of the International Seminar
on "Jesus, the Master"
(Ariccia, October 14-24, 1996)

by Fr. Silvio Pignotti, Superior General ssp


Having reached the end of this Seminar, let us together thank and praise the Divine Master for the providential occasion that has been offered us. It is a gift for our entire Congregation represented here by the brothers from different Circumscriptions. And it is a gift for the whole Pauline Family represented by the delegates, men and women, from the other Congregations and Institutes founded by Fr. Alberione.

Through personal and community prayer, through individual reflection and group activities, with the contribution of the speakers, we have deepened the "substance" of our charism and the common heritage of the Pauline Family: to live and communicate Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life.

1. The person of Christ, considered under the double definition which he has given himself, "Master" and "Way, Truth and Life," is the spiritual experience that allowed the young Alberione "to be converted" to God and "to do something for the Lord and for the men of the new century with whom he would have lived" (AD 15). In the Divine Master Fr. Alberione makes the whole of Christ relate with the whole of the human person. After the example of St. Paul, Fr. Alberione considers conversion to God and missionary commitment as a single unit: to the "I live now not I but Christ lives in me" he inseparably adds "I made myself all things to all people in order to win some of them to Christ". The inseparable unity between the disciple and the apostle, between contemplation and action, between being sanctified and sanctifying, between thirsting and quenching others’ thirst, expresses in the life of Fr. Alberione the harmonious synthesis between personal experience of faith and the desire to communicate this same experience to others through the apostolate.

2. The missionary anxiety of making the person of Christ meet the man of today, the desire for God and attention to history, these allowed Fr. Alberione to attentively observe the needs of the Church and of the society of his time. The exodus of the masses from the Christian proposal done in parish life and the attraction cast on them by the new means of social communication made mature in Fr. Alberione the idea of bringing in contact the whole Christ with the whole person. It is a mentality and a pastoral method which brought Fr. Alberione to be convinced of the equivalence between oral preaching and preaching done through the press, the movies, radio, television, discs, etc.

3. The spirituality of the communicator delineated by Fr. Alberione is inseparable from the mission. The communicator is immersed in a process of "Christification" in order that he may become a transparent witness of Christ who lives in him. Meanwhile, Christian commitment in communication is neither business nor commerce nor a subsidiary commitment, but it is a true work of witnessing that requires "saints who precede us in these paths not yet trod and partly not pointed out. It is not an occupation for amateurs, but it is for real apostles."

4. Insofar as it is the work of apostles, the content of the products of communication presents the whole Christ (dogma, morals and worship) and it reads everything human with the Christian key lived by the totality of the person (mind, will and heart). Apostolic commitment bears a supernatural outlook over persons and means used in evangelization; Fr. Alberione defines them apostles, pulpit, temple, church. The mission of proclaiming Christ Master requires the best means and the best manners of expression. Professionality is a consequence of spirituality.

5. The missionary dimension of the spirituality of Christ Master, Way, Truth and Life orients all the aspects of Pauline life: vocation, consecration, religious vows, studies, government, community life, administration, etc. "It is a must that we form the Pauline apostle and not just a generic apostle."

6. This Seminar on "Christ, the Master" has emphasized once more the inseparable unity among spirituality, apostolate, formation and vocation proposal. This is a truth that must be cultivated through reflection and concretized in practice. Pauline integrality shall have to find, in the animation that will follow this Seminar, a propitious occasion to establish more strongly love for our vocation and the joy of belonging to the Pauline Family.

7. We have the duty to live seriously and to maintain in its totality this precious inheritance well knowing that we have to keep it and pass it on to the new generations through a process of creative fidelity which is capable of integrating the Christological contents of Vatican Council II and the opportunities offered us by the great innovations in multimedia communication.

8. The spirituality of Christ Master is source, content, method, life style for the whole Pauline life (apostolic activity, formation and vocation activity, community life). "The devotion to the Divine Master is not an accessory devotion: it covers our entire spiritual life, all our studies, the whole of our apostolate, all our external activity: everything" (Prediche del Primo Maestro, 6 [1958], 5).

* * *

Before concluding it, I feel it is proper to point out, how a straight line could unite the "round table discussion" on the apostolate held in Alba in 1992, the Seminar on Formation in 1994 and the current Seminar on "Jesus, the Master." It is a straight line that belongs to the nature of things and which the Founder underlined vigorously. He who lives intensely of Christ-Master cannot keep Him for himself but feels the urgency of communicating him to others and in order to do this it is indispensable that he has a solid formation and preparation.


           Jesus Master yesterday, today and for ever

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