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THE MASTER-SHEPHERD:
THE INHERITANCE OF FR. ALBERIONE
FOR THE PASTORELLE SISTERS

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

by Elena Bosetti sgbp

 

Notes

1 "In three parishes he especially exercised the pastoral ministry... It was then that he thought of forming the female collaborators of Pastors, the Pastorelle Sisters" (AD 82). (come back to text)

2 R. Esposito defines this period as "the magical three years of the Alberione pastorality" ("The Pauline specific aspect of the sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd," in Un carisma pastorale. The proposal of James Alberione to the Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd, Rome 1985, 60). He remembers that in those years a course of pastoral theology was also initiated for new priests, and that the Founder handled the course himself. Another indicative experience seems to be the diocesan congress of parishes, celebrated in Alba on 1-5 September 1937, with the participation of 50,000 persons: cf. UCAS, 198-199; Un carisma pastorale, 62-63. (come back to text)

3 Fr. Alberione willed that the new parish be dedicated to "Jesus Good Shepherd". The chronicle of the erection of the parish is reported in UCAS, February 1937, 34-35. It is remembered that Msgr. Pascucci, a person close to Blessed Giaccardo, in the homily, "explained the meaning of the title of the new parish by applying to the parish the words of Jesus: Ego sum Via, Veritas et Vita," a relevant fact of the Pauline spirituality, which already attests to the connection "Jesus Good Shepherd Way, Truth, Life" (see below). (come back to text)

4 Purpose of the magazine: "to give to the Pastor, briefly but exhaustively, and above all in a complete form, what could matter to him as teacher of truth, spiritual guide, and sanctifier." It was published entirely in Latin and into it flowed some exercises done by the new priests during the aforementioned course of pastoral theology, and those of other Paulines. Cf. R. Esposito, in Un carisma pastorale, 62-63 and G. Barbero, "Ripensando a una rivista, Pastor Bonus": Boll. Bibl. Inter., Dec. 1950, 296-299. (come back to text)

5 The formulation is the same as that of UCAS (April 1937); cf. D. Ranzato - G. Rocca, 50 anni di una presenza pastorale. Le Suore di Ges¨ Buon Pastore, Rome 1988, 32-34 and 185. (come back to text)

6 Sr. Alba Nazzari, having entered as postulant with the Daughters of St. Paul, narrates that when Fr. Alberione called Sr. Nives (Claudia Negri), chosen by Fr. Alberione as superior of the new congregation, along with Sr. Paola Mannai, that time also a postulant, and Sr. Letizia Ellena, already a professed members of the Daughters of St. Paul, to start the parish apostolate, they began to make the Eucharistic adoration to Jesus Good Shepherd.. She remembers that the invocation to obtain vocations was the following: "O Jesus eternal shepherd of our souls, send good laborers to your harvest." Such an invocation was familiar to the community of Genzano, as it shows in a sermon by Fr. Alberione (1940: PrP I, 81f). But it already belonged to the patrimony of Pauline prayer; it is in fact found in the Preghiere della Pia SocietÓ S. Paolo, Alba 1922, introduced by the subhead: "For vocations to the Good Press" (p. 9). Here is a first connection, on the level of Pauline prayer, between Master and Shepherd. (come back to text)

7 The manuscript specifies then the kind of cooperation that the Pastorelle Sisters are called to achieve: "This cooperation is private and public: the private is exercised with the apostolate of interior life, of good example, of prayer and of suffering. The public is exercised by serving and participating in the pastoral apostolate in a way that conforms to their conditions and aptitudes, and according to the spirit of the Church": Manuscript with no date, published by D. Ranzato, "La spiritualitÓ pastorale nella proposta di don Giacomo Alberione alle Suore di Ges¨ Buon Pastore" in La spiritualitÓ pastorale delle Suore di Ges¨ Buon Pastore, Rome 1994, 211-212. (come back to text)

8 1954 (4 August): PrP VII, 86-87; cf. also AAP 1961, 119-122. (come back to text)

9 In Alberione’s sense of the term, as total dedication of self to the person loved: cf. PrP I, 12. (come back to text)

10 PrP I, 7: "On the day of profession, Jesus Good Shepherd expands your heart and marks it with the mark of his love; a double love for Him and for the souls" (December 1947: AS 67). In a sermon in 1948, he affirms: "Your spring is the heart of the Good Shepherd, it is piety, it is the spirit. When you shall love much the Lord, you shall be inventive and you shall find a thousand means to give Jesus to souls" (PrP III, 201). (come back to text)

11 AAP 1958, 112. (come back to text)

12 Cf. Preghiere delle Suore di Ges¨ Buon Pastore, Albano 1953. Starting from 1960, the prayers specific to the Pastorelle Sisters are gathered in a 16-page insert at the center of the common book, Le Preghiere della Famiglia Paolina; cf. M. Berni, "Ges¨ Buon Pastore Via VeritÓ e Vita nelle nostre preghiere" in La spiritualitÓ pastorale, 284-288; E. Ma˝abo, The pastoral aspect in some Prayers composed by Fr. James Alberione for the Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd, Diss. Institutum Spiritualitatis, PUG - Rome 1993. (come back to text)

13 Doc. 259 published in La spiritualitÓ pastorale, 207-208; cf. 284. (come back to text)

14 Mary is asked to "keep her holy hand on our head," an expression dear to Fr. Alberione; see the prayer, "Dear and loving mother Mary," proposed at the start of the day. (come back to text)

15 In the Preghiere of 1953, both apostles are mentioned, according to the habitual order: Peter and Paul (cf. pp. 38-40). (come back to text)

16 Typewritten with handwritten corrections by Fr. Alberione (Archivio storico SGBP); cf. Preghiere 1953, 97-105. (come back to text)

17 Doc. ms. 69 published in La spiritualitÓ pastorale, 334-335. (come back to text)

18 The figure of the master and that of the shepherd are already connected in the Bible; in particular, the sapiential movement presents the figure of the shepherd as very close to that of the master: "The words of the wise are like goads... they are given by only one shepherd" (Eccl 12:11). Cf. E. Bosetti, La tenda e il bastone. Figure e simboli della pastorale biblica. Milano 1992, 139-144. The synoptic tradition also connects the two figures: the compassion of Jesus for the crowds that are "like sheep without a shepherd" is expressed first of all bringing the word: "he began to teach" (Mk 6:34; cf. Mt 9:35). (come back to text)

19 PrP III, 7. When he addresses the Pastorelle Sisters, Fr. Alberione habitually speaks of Jesus, "Good Shepherd". In some sermons, however, as during the end of the 50s and the first half of the 60s, he returns with a certain frequency to the title "Master"; cf. AAP 1959, 226-227 and above all 244: "The gift the Lord has given to the Congregation: that one lives according to the Divine Master, Way, Truth and Life". To draw from this a systematic intention of the Founder is something quite arduous; at times it could be but a simple mistake. (come back to text)

20 Fr. Alberione commented on 24 April 1965: "Everything that concerns the press, the movies, the discs, everything must be inspired for the pastoral apostolate, because all the Pauline Family is geared towards pastoral. But you (Pastorelle Sisters) represent... the better part" (AAP 1965, 54). And on 27 March 1966 he added: "The Vatican Council II is entirely for pastoral. And this therefore represents that the Church wants to act in view of the salvation of souls... It is your time! Your institute (Pastorelle Sisters) is the Institute of the current times" (AAP 1966, 33). (come back to text)

21 AAP 1964, 275; cf. also AAP 1964, 276,673; AD 132. (come back to text)

22 1948: PrP III, 205-207. The Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd have studied this charismatic fact in the context of two seminars: the first was dedicated to the figure of the Shepherd in the Bible and in the teachings of the Founder (constitutional texts, prayers, letters and conferences); the second, instead, to the specific relationship "Good Shepherd - Way, Truth and Life." For further deepening, I refer to the Acts of the two seminars: Un carisma pastorale, Rome 1985; La spiritualitÓ pastorale delle Suore di Ges¨ Buon Pastore, Rome 1994. (come back to text)

23 The first announcement of our Congregation, made in UCAS 1937, already implicitly refers to the "Way, Truth and Life." In fact, the triple work of instruction, formation and sanctification with which the Congregation intends to cooperate with the zeal of Pastors, mirrors the sense of such a trinomial: cf. V. Odorizzi, "Il ministero delle Suore di Ges¨ Buon Pastore," in Un carisma pastorale, 258-289; D. Ranzato, in La spiritualitÓ pastorale, 196-198. (come back to text)

24 1938: PrP III, 9. (come back to text)

25 1939: PrP I, 44. (come back to text)

26 E. Sgarbossa in this book remembers that the bond between "Jesus Master Way, Truth and Life" is affirmed in the Pauline Family between 1923 and 1924. On this matter, let it be noted that the synthesis "Jesus Good Shepherd Way Truth and Life" is already present in the Roman Breviary of 1914, in the antiphon to the Benedictus of the Good Shepherd Sunday: cf. G. Alberghina, "As the binomial Jesus Good Shepherd - Way, Truth and Life is present in the Constitutions of 1947 and in the Rule of Life of 1948" in La spiritualitÓ pastorale, 248-249. (come back to text)

27 PrP III, 78-79. (come back to text)

28 January 1955: PrP I, 7. More: "The pastoral spirit is to communicate Jesus Christ to souls, just as He called himself in a summary definition: ‘I am the Way, the Truth, the Life’: to raise and sanctify the whole man: mind, sentiment, will: through dogma, morals, worship" (UPS I, 376). (come back to text)

29 PrP III, 280-281. (come back to text)

30 AAP 1959, 226-227; see above, footnote 19. (come back to text)

31 AAP 1960, 493. (come back to text)

32 Cf. E. Bosetti, "Ges¨ Buon Pastore nell’insegnamento di G. Alberione" in Un carisma pastorale, 232-234. Going through the pages of his teaching, there was noticed, on one hand, a fundamental coincidence with the eucharistic dimension of the Pauline spirituality witnessed by AD 15-16; 82.157, and on the other hand that typical pastoral accentuation which characterizes the fourth Congregation. (come back to text)

33 The letter continues to show the connection between the Eucharist and priesthood: "The Good Shepherd in the Eucharist nourishes, works, enlightens, sanctifies lambs, sheep and Shepherds. The Good Shepherd can be historically considered in the Gospels but above all now, he must be considered by us as living in Pastors; he is living, praying, working in the Tabernacle: ‘I am with you till the end of time’." (PrP III, 128-129). (come back to text)

34 Preghiere delle Suore di Ges¨ Buon Pastore, 1953, 97f. (come back to text)

35 AAP 1959, 25. (come back to text)

36 AAP 1961, 126. (come back to text)

37 The architectural lines are well expressed in the "chaplet to the Apostles Peter and Paul": Preghiere 1953, 48-52. In the mosaic of the chapel in Albano (Rome), the apostles Peter and Paul are represented beside Mary Mother of the Good Shepherd, who is presented at the central position together with Jesus; cf. AAP 1959, 54-65; AAP 1960, 135-138. (come back to text)

38 Cf. E. Bosetti, in Un carisma pastorale, 239. Fr. Alberione refers to this specific relationship of collaboration also in the homily of his 50th anniversary of priesthood: "The apostolate most in conformity with that of Jesus Christ and the most traditional in the Church is the pastoral apostolate of the hierarchy. To this, the Sisters of Jesus Good Shepherd collaborate according to their state and condition" (29 June 1957: CISP 181). (come back to text)

39 See the meaning of the "fourth vow" of the SSP and the spirit for which its being in Rome: cf. AD 115. (come back to text)

40 1948: PrP III, 188. (come back to text)

41 1954: PrP VII, 46. (come back to text)

42 Doc. 234 published in Un carisma pastorale, 240. (come back to text)

43 He affirms in one sermon of 7 March 1948: "When we speak of the Pastorelle Sisters, this is their specific devotion: to collaborate and cooperate with the priesthood. The devotion of the Pastorelle Sister is proper to the priesthood, this is the substance of their life and of the Constitutions themselves... He who wants to follow the Good Shepherd must follow the pastors" (PrP III, 149-150). (come back to text)

44 Fr. Alberione had these words engraved behind the medal of the apostles Peter and Paul, part of the large rosary, which used to be attached to the Patorelle’s religious habit. (come back to text)

45 PrP III, 120. (come back to text)

46 PrP IV, 105. (come back to text)

47 1949: PrP IV, 181-182. (come back to text)

48 Doc. 271 published and commented by E. Bosetti, in Un carisma pastorale, 158. (come back to text)

49 AS 9; for further deepening cf. D. Ranzato, in La spiritualitÓ pastorale, 193-195. (come back to text)

50 1953: PrP VI, 23. In April 1959, he invited that from Mary be asked "the grace of understanding the heart of the Good Shepherd, of understanding his desires: ‘Come all of you to me’ (Mt 11:28) that all men may come to him" (AAP 1959, 27). (come back to text)

51 Costituzioni delle Suore di Ges¨ Buon Pastore, 1947, art. 8. (come back to text)

52 AAP 1966, 283. (come back to text)

53 Cf. AD 82-86: "All that regards the press, all that regards the movies, the discs, everything must be inspired after the pastoral apostolate, because the whole of the Pauline family is geared towards pastoral. But you [Pastorelle Sisters] represent ... the better part" (AAP 1965, 54); cf. also R. Esposito "Approccio pastorale" in Don Alberione ai Sacerdoti. Editoriali di Vita pastorale 1932-1966, Rome 1996, 6-12. (come back to text)

54 Cf. Sir 51:23-27; the similarity between the words of Jesus and those of Ben Sira concerns especially three terms: to labor (kopiao), to find rest (heurisko anapausin) and burden (zygos). Cf. F. Christ, Jesus Sophia. Die Sophia-Christologie bei den Synoptikern, ZŘrich 1970, 110-119; M. J. Suggs, Wisdom, Christology, and Law in Matthew’s Gospel, Cambridge, Mass. 1970, 77ff; B. Witherington iii, Jesus the Sage. The Pilgrimage of Wisdom, Minneapolis 1994, 335-380. (come back to text)

55 Cf. E. Bosetti: "Alla scuola di Ges¨, il povero di Jahweh (Mt 11:28-30)" in Parole di Vita 38, no. 3 (1993) 174-185; G. N. Stanton: "Matthew 11:28-30: Comfortable Words?" in ExpT 94 (1982) 3-9: E. Lˇpez Fernßndez: "El Yugo de Jes˙s (Mt 11:28-30). Historia y sentido de una metßfora" in StudOvet 11 (1983) 65-118; C. Deutsch, Hidden Wisdom and the Easy Yoke. Wisdom, Torah and Discipleship in Matthew 11:25-30. Sheffield 1987. (come back to text)

56 "You shall not plow with an ox and an ass harnessed together" (Dt 22:10); cf. Lev 19:19. With this norm in the background, Paul exhorts the Corinthians not to permit themselves "to be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers" (2 Cor 6:14). (come back to text)

57 The sentiments of Jesus are expressed here by the verb esplagchnizomai which denotes an intense and visceral emotion: esplagchna are precisely the "viscera", especially the mother’s bosom: see also Mt 9:36; 15:32; 18:27; 20:34; Mk 1:41; Lk 7:13; 15:20. (come back to text)

* Homily given by Fr. Alberione to a group of this organization, on an indefinite date, but about 1960. (come back to text)

 

           Jesus Master yesterday, today and for ever

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