I wish to introduce you partly to the Daughters of St. Paul in Italy.
As the congregation Daughters of St. Paul was born in Italy, number of its members and the scale of convent-houses are the biggest in the world. In Italy, the apostolic and production center is in Rome and Milan. Editorial department is in Milan, and the other production sections are in Rome. They are situated in Antoninopio near Basilica of Queen of apostles, with the Society of St. Paul where the founder’s room is kept preciously..
Basilica of Queen of apostles
The convent and the Apostolic building are connected by a well-lit lobby, with the portrait of Sr. Tecla Merlo, the founder and the first Mother general. The chapel is near-by and there are always some people praying.
Apostolic section is a square, one-floor building. In the beginning the large floor has been used as bindery, but about ten years ago, it has been renovated into several rooms. In the center, there is a corridor-lobby type of space and the entrance from outside is facing the portrait. Outside this entrance is the Basilica of Queen of apostles. On both sides of the center space, there is another corridor with many rooms. Let us visit from the right side.
Corridor on the sides
First, there is a room for mini-media. In Italy also, the Word of God is transmitted to people through book-markers, cards and small publication.
room for people in charge of mini-media
In the next room the Italian web-site is produced, and Sr. Paola explained to us. She is working as a team with another Sister and a lay faithful. Each person in charge is working each in a room, but they can get together in a bigger room. It is so lucky that one has a private quiet room and also a meeting room.
Sr. Paola’s office
Next is the audio-visual section. Here is also a team-work, and they showed us the newly released production such as CDs, and religious education CDs and cassettes together with text books for children. In Japan, we are using CDs mostly and less cassettes, but in Italy, they still have many cassette-tapes.
Sister in charge of audio-visual
I thought that the apostolic building had only one floor, but found out that there was a basement. The land itself was graded and it looked different coming from the convent side or from behind.. In the lower level, was the production marketing section.
On this shelf, Sr. Maria Pacis explained, there were books published during this month of January 2007. “What ? only January ?” The number of books was more than what we, Daughters of St.Paul in Japan, published in one entire year ! Of course, in Italy, the number of Catholics is incomparably bigger than in Japan.
Let us go up-stairs once again, and walk on the other aisle. There are magazines of Catholic faith education for children and young adults in the first area. There are magazines for children, and also for those teaching the children. The editorial director is a young Sr. Gabriella, in her fourties.
At the end of the corridor, there is a room where a number of Sisters work together for publication of faith education books in series.
Everywhere it is spacious, and looks like one can work in pleasant atmosphere. I have not been to Milan yet, but the editorial department in Milan is even more spacious.
Facing the Basilica of Queen of apostles, there is the Society of St. Paul. It is great that the brother-convent is in the same ground. The founder wished men and women working together, but as it was not permitted by the church, the two convents became independent.
Even in different countries, meeting members of the same congregation give us so much encouragement. Great privilege of an international congregation. We do wish to accomplish our mission, praying and helping each other.
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