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Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis An Overview James Alberione Founder of the Pauline Family

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A presentation by Fr. Jesus Guzon, SSP


Page 1: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

Donec Formetur Christus in VobisAn Overview

James AlberioneFounder of the Pauline Family

Page 2: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Canon Chiesa’s three books in 1927 (Way, Truth, Life)

• Gesu Cristo Re (Mind, Heart, Will) “Pius XI: Quas Primas”

• Gesu Maestro (Example, Enlighten, Sanctify)

• Ego Sum Vita (Our Life, Christ’s Life, Live the life of Christ)

- A proposal for a way of life

- for the Pauline Family

- A Booklet

- Measuring 16 x 10 cm., with 110 pages.

- Published by Fr. Giacomo Alberione

- In 1932

Page 3: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Genesis of the title

- (Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis: Gal 4:19)

- Canon Chiesa repeatedly points to Gal. 4:19:

- The occupation of the entire spiritual life

Page 4: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Not a book written

for discursive reading

with a systematic exposition

- Not a collection of outlines

or disconnected summary notes

- A Classical Work

Page 5: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- 1925: Encyclical Quas Primas of Pius XI

on the Feast of Christ the King

- 11 Oct 1927 to 23 May 1928:

Meditations given to adult members of the casa

- Ignatian Spiritual Exercises

prolonged in day-to-day life

- 1929: Encyclical Divini illius Magistry

of Pius XI on Christian Education

- 1930’s - up:

The continuous expansion of the Pauline Family

- In the number of persons,

in the foundation of new houses

- Thus the indispensability of a “ratio formatonis”

Page 6: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Preamble

- Way of Purification

- Way of Illumination

- Way of Union

- Means of Grace

- Press Apostolate

- Useful Notions

Page 7: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- (The life lived by Fr. Alberione

and the First Generation Paulines)

• Two Parts: The Time of Alliance

The Book of Holiness

• The Time of Alliance

(The Beginning of the Pauline Family)

- The Founder’s personal journey

and the journey of the Pauline Family

• The Founder’s personal journey

- The Abundantes Divitiae Gratiae Suae

Page 8: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Giacomo Alberione

was born on April 4, 1884

- He was born in San Lorenzo de Fossano

- Grew in the rural environment

in the small city of Cherasco

- His Parents: Teresa Alloco his Mother

and Michele Alberione his Father

- His elementary school teacher Rosa Cardona

- In the environment of the Parish of San Martino

- Before going to school he used to stop

with the Madonnina Sanctuary

- The Rector, Fr. Francesco Maria Faber

entertained them with explanations

Page 9: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- First and Second elementary:

Rosa Cardona: “I want to be a priest”

- Third Grade: Tommaso Rabbia:

Giacomo was first in his class

- Fourth Grade: Giuseppe Riado:

Giacomo got the highest grades

- First Year High School:

Used to take lunch at the convent of his pastor

- The Pastor being Fr. Giovanni Battista Montersino

- During these meetings along with his teachers:

He learned to love books and became fascinated

with music, literature, history and philosophy

- It is from this small circle of persons

and the Church as his natural environment

that the spiritual and cultural itenerary

of the future apostle began

Page 10: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- In the Seminary of Bra

- In the Seminary of Alba

- The night of passage between the two centuries

- Toniolo’s message

- His mind and heart became so fixed

on the Eucharist, the Gospel, the Pope,

the new century, the new means,

on the need for a new band of apostles...

- He had a clear grasp of his own nothingness

- The conviction of being loved by the Lord brought

Alberione to correspond by wholly giving himself

for his development in view of his mission.

- The need to develop the whole personality:

mind, will, heart

Page 11: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- The inscription in the tomb

of his friend Borello (1904)

- Leo XII ‘s Encyclical Temetsi Fotura,

Il Redentore, the Letter to the Romans

- A change of course similar

to the conversion of St. Paul

- 1954: Holy Persons

that gave him orientation:

Can. Dannuso, Can. Chiesa,

Msgr. Re, Can Priero

- 1906: First attemp to publish;

Blessed Virgin of Graces

Page 12: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- The new chapel of the seminary:

a perfect synthesis of Alberione’s formation

- Everything begins in the Trinity:

- The Son of Man - The Spirit – Mary

- The Eucharist - The Gospels (A-L-B-A)

- via cruxis - The Saints

- Seminary Patrons:

Mother of Good Counsel,

St. Charles Borromeo,

Francis de Sales, Philip Neri,

Alphonsus de Liguori

and Thomas Aquianas, Aloysius Gonzaga,

Stanislaus Kostka and John Berchmans.

Page 13: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Two providential priests

towards his future ministry:

- Fr. Giovanni Battista Montersino

- Canon Francisco Chiesa

- 29 June 1907:

The moment of his priestly ordination

- His image of a priest: I-God—People

Page 14: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Assistant Pastor

of San Bernardo Abate in Narzole

- Spiritual Director of the Seminary in Alba

- As a Librarian

- Master of Ceremonies

and Sacristan of the Seminary

- Master of Ceremonies of the Bishop

- His cooperation in

social organizations and works

- His contacts with Catholic Action People:

Card. Maffi, Prof. Toniolo ...

- His special vocation which he did not abandoned

- 1910: He took a definitive step,

the writers, technical personnel

and promoters would be religious men and women

Page 15: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Sources:

The three Notebooks

and the Quoderno di Indice

- 1908 – 1914:

Meditations in the Seminary of Alba

- The indispensable condition

to become a spiritual father

is for one to become spiritual himself

- Two teachings on the need

and manner of making meditation:

-Relationship with God


-Development of one’s personality


Page 16: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Exercises of Saint Ignatius,

Francis de Sales, St. Alphonsus ...

- 1909 - 1918: Annual retreats

during summer vacations

- 1911 - 1912: A cycle of mediation

on the apsotle’s Creed

- Two great teachers:

Cornelius Krieg and Swoboda

- Krieg’s teaching on unified knowledge

- Krieg’s teaching on the

three methods on moral theology

- Speculative, Mystical, Practical

Page 17: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- The style of God’s action

and the manner of responding to such action

- God’s ordinary method:

Fortiter et Suaviver (mightily and swiftly)

- “to let oneself be guided”

— between nature and grace

- Signs that the time is ripe for the foundation

- 1913: The study of History in Philosophy,

the study of Church History

- 1918: Began looking for young boys and girls:

Invited Giuseppe Giacardo

- The contribution of his being

a Spiritual Director of the Seminary

Page 18: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Directorship and ownership

of Gazzetta d’ Alba

- The publication of La Civilta Cattolica:

Analyzed the great power of the press

- 24 January 1914:

Giovanni Borna’s il Re dei tempi,

Mano all Stampa

- What is to be found:

- Something that have the social strength of the press

- Something like a Catholic University

- Something that would train

men and women apostles to the needs of the time

Page 19: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- 20 August 1914

: “Scuola Tipografica Piccolo Operaio”

- Small Workers Printing School

: “Pia Societa San Paolo

- Pious Society of Saint Paul

- Formation: Fr. Alberione

- Administration and Professional Training:

Giovanni Battista Bernocco

- First Publications:

Piccolo Catechismo by Pius X

Woman Associated with Priestly Zeal

The Parishioner’s Prayer Book

- 15 June 1915: Started the Workshop for Women

Page 20: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- First sub-division:

Branch of Men-Religious - First Order

Branch of Women-Religious - Second Order

Branch for the Lay; Men-Women - Third Order

- 8 December 1917:

The first Consecration through Private Vows

- Serious Problems: War, Hunger, Pestilence

- 12 March 1918:

Sermon about the Alliance or of the Pact with God

- 29 September 1918:

Approval of the Statutes of the Union of Cooperators

- First Publication of

Unione Cooperatori Buona Stampa (UCBS)

- Death of Maggiorino Vigolungo and Clelia Calliano

Page 21: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- St. Paul: The Universal Apostle

- Ketteler:

“If St. Paul were born now,

he would be a journalist.”

- Foundations in Susa for Women

- New Linotypes

- Christmas Night of 1918:

Fire at the printing press

- 6 January 1919:

First Recitation of the Formula of the Pact

- Inspired after Mt 6:33

“Seek first the Kingdom of God”

- The search for holiness

in the total self-giving of the apostolate

- Holiness takes the first preoccupation

Page 22: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- 30 June 1919: First Renewal of Vows

- One hour adoration

- Devotions during first week of the month

- May 1919 in Giaccardo’s Diary:

The need to form the Family

“Pauline Family”

- Giaccardo:

22 June 1919–Minor Orders;

29 June1919–Subdeaconate

20 September 1919–Deaconate;

19 October 1919–Priesthood

Page 23: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- 1920: The Year of Consolidation

- Leaves his commitment in the Seminary

- The Directorship of Gazzetta de Alba

was entrusted to Fr. Giaccardo

- Writes and explain to the Bishop

the meaning of the Printing School

- June 1920:

Started the building of the new house

- April 1921:

Installation of the press bought

in Sesto San Giovanni

- Threats to Alberione and the Printing Press

- In the Diocese, The Fascists and the Socialists

- Aggression against Giaccardo

as director of Gazzetta d’ Alba by Fascists

Page 24: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Face with dangers

and his unstable health

“being imprudent:

summoning people to mission

with the grave danger

of abandoning them.

- 1921-1923: Recalled only in 1938:

“The Dream”

“Do not be afraid, I am with you;

from here I want to enlighten; only

maintain yourselves in humility...

and, it seems to me, be sorry for sins.”

Page 25: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- 5 October 1921:

At the Blessing of the New House,

Two Moving Ceremonies:

- The First ever Constitution

of the Society of St. Paul was held

- The First ever Perpetual Profession

in the Society of St. Paul

“14 Older Members bind themselves

to the Evangelical Vows

- 22 July 1922:

- The First ever Perpetual Profession

in the Daughters of St. Paul

- The First ever Superior General

Teresa “Thecla” Merlo

Page 26: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

-by December of 1922:

- Another portion of the house

was built to accommodate 236 persons

- Parish Bulletins have grown to hundreds

- The Gazzetta d’ Alba has grown

in Circulation 350,000 copies

- The collection of Beneficial Readings

has reached 30 volumes

- The collection of Ascetical Books

has reached a dozen

- More than half a million catechism booklets

to every part of Italy

- The capability of the printing press

of producing a 300-pages book everyday

- An average of 2000 books sold everyday

in the bookstore

Page 27: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

- Preamble

- Bears the framework

wherein one can undertake the journey

- Way of Purification

- Being Human before God,

to be in perfect attunement before God

- Way of Illumination

- Before Christ: “Am I Saved?”

-The Mysteries of the Life of Christ

- Way of Union

- On the Holy Spirit, The Church,

and the Theological Virtues

- Life in Christ and in the Church

- Useful Notions - The works of the Holy Spirit

Page 28: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

“The Donec Formetur can be considered,

therefore, as the book that encloses in itself many

other books, with the purpose of achieving a single

end: to interpret that inexhaustible document

which is the life lived by Fr. Alberione and by the

first generations of Paulines, totally dedicated to

correspond to the call to holiness.

Because of this, it cannot be read simply as

collection of bare notes, but has to be considered,

just as it is rightly so, the Book of Pauline Holiness.

Page 29: Donec Formetur Christus in Vobis

Donec FormeturOur FounderOur FatherPath to HolinessBl. AlberioneSt. Paul

Way of Purification

-being human before God

Way of Illumination

-The Life of Christ

-Before Christ: “Am I Saved?”

Way of Union

-Life in Christ

-Life in the Church

My Story

-My humiliating Story

God’s Story

-God’s Mercy

-Light from the Host

-The DreamGod is the Light

-A half blind man

-Being led / enlightened

-to proceed further


-It is when I am weak

-That I am StrongConversion

-Falling to the ground

-A great light / Heard a voice

-Experience of ChristWay of Union

-I live now not I

-Christ living in me

To Be Saint Paul Alive Today