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Sunday, May 12th, an atmosphere of celebration and serenity, underlined the day of celebration for the 75th anniversary of the founding of the community of Canfield OH. At the celebration presided over by His Excellency, The Most Reverend George Vance Murry S.J., Bishop of Youngstown were present numerous faithful,  in addition to the superior of the community and organizer of the event, Fr. Matthew Roehrig and to Fr. Tony Bautista, Delegate for the US Province. Members of the Holy Family Institute, Knights of Columbus, lay collaborators, friends and benefactors have gathered around the community to show their affection.

His Excellency recalled the importance ... and thanked for the warm welcome received in our community.

After the ceremony, broadcasted live by CTNY (Catholic Television Network of Youngstown), whose studios are hosted in the Pauline monastery, all the guests met in the community hall for a moment of fraternity and exchange of greetings.

Of particular importance and interest is this brief history of the Canfield community written by fr. Jeffrey Mickler:

“The Society of St. Paul on Staten Island had candidates who were ready for novitiate. Canon Law stated that the novitiate of a congregation had to be away from a purely apostolic community. No diocese understood our mission in communications and therefore none would accept us.

Bishop James McFadden, the first bishop of Youngstown, knew and highly respected Father Borrano who had preached several missions in the Cleveland Diocese to Italian parishes. While visiting the Society of St. Paul on Staten Island he extended the invitation to come to his new diocese that had just been formed one year earlier. The Ursuline Sisters owned a 250-acre property in Ellsworth Ohio and he offered to sell that to the Society so that the sisters could move closer to the city. The Society accepted the offer and the first Paulines arrived in Ohio May 9, 1944.

Along with the three novices, brothers and priests three Daughters of St. Paul were sent to help establish the community and look for their own opportunity to launch their own apostolic initiatives in the Diocese of Youngstown. The Daughters of St. Paul were early on replaced by the Pious Disciples of the Divine Master to care for the novices, brothers and priests and bring their own spirituality to the house. The property consisted of 250 acres of farm land, a late 19th Century Mansion owned at one time by the Harding Family, a barn and several other buildings. A chapel was established in the barn and within a year a new print shop was built so that the novices and members could launch a variety of apostolic activities.

Laity rallied to the aid of the nuns, priests and brothers. Bishop McFadden liked the term “Monastery” and he named the facility accordingly. Though not monks, the location has been popularly called St. Paul Monastery ever since.

From the very beginning the community erected outdoor statues to Queen of Apostles, Our Lady of Fatima, Christ and St. Paul. They were determined to give the rustic property a feeling of the sacred and they established just that. As a way to promote devotion and to raise funds early on Fr. Borrano established a shrine on the property to St. Anthony. As a congregation that was founded in Italy this was quite appropriate but Fr. Borrano realized that St. Anthony had an appeal that was and is very broad among all Catholics. The first shrine to St. Anthony was made of wood and had a statue of Mary Queen of Apostles and an impressive, large crucifix along with a statue of the beloved saint. In early 1948, however, this shrine caught fire and was utterly destroyed. A smaller outdoor location with a statue to St. Anthony was erected and was replaced by the current shrine build in the late 1950s. The location was a center of booming spirituality have nurtured lay cooperators and sponsoring a men's retreats on the grounds. The current “Wayside Shrine” to St. Anthony is open twenty-four hours a day and draws about 5,000 people a year to it. Prayer requests come to the shrine from every corner of the nation.

The novitiate was supplemented by teaching theology to the clerical candidates and on May 31, 1947 at the Cathedral of Youngstown Bishop McFadden ordained six men to the priesthood. The Canfield community has remained a community of formation through all the years that we had novices and junior professed members.

The community had apostolic initiatives from the very beginning. Catholic Home Messenger a national magazine began in 1946 with Fr. Victor as its first editor. Eventually the magazine reached a circulation of close to 200,000 copies. It ceased publication in 1968. In 1953 Pastoral Life a Magazine for priests was begun and eventually reached close to 8000 priests. Years later, unfortunately, the publication ceased.

In the 1970s stores were opened in the Southern Park Mall in Boardman, in the Eastwood Mall in Niles and near Belden Village in Canton. A store was also located on the Society's property in Canfield. The mall stores, the store on our property with changing shopping habits and declines in sales these locations of truth were forced to close. Nevertheless, for several decades these stores met the spiritual and intellectual needs of tens of thousands of people. A new store has been established in Boardman at the heart of the communities shopping and dining district and is carrying on this great Pauline tradition.

The production of audio-visual materials began in Canfield and in 1968 Alba House Communications was launched to produce and distribute cassettes, filmstrips, records and other communication materials. Currently the department has over 500 back titles featuring the leading theologians, scripture scholars and spiritual experts of the United States. The department has 140 titles on Audible Books ready for instant downloads.

In 1980 the Society in Canfield entered an extremely fruitful collaboration with the Diocese of Youngstown and established the Catholic Television Network of Youngstown in the basement of the main building. The stationed was transferred to local cable outlets at first through disk and tower transmissions and now through cable optic wire. Homes and institutions in North Eastern Ohio receive religious programs 24 hours a day from this network. Hundreds of thousands of people have been touched, informed and inspired through these programs. Today, the station does more locally produced programs than ever. The Society produces a Sunday Mass that lasts 45 minutes and features both Society of St Paul, other religious, and diocesan priests. Programs produced at the station have been used on in Boston, New York and Long Island. They have been shown nationally through Catholic TV Boston. The station also produces an award-winning weekly radio program “Wineskins.” that is broadcast over several stations.

The community continues to carry out its apostolic initiatives while caring for its elderly members.

The Triduum 2018 of the Holy Family Institute was held at the Shrine of our Lady of Lebanon in North Jackson OH from 21st to 23rd September 2018, and it was a real time of grace. About 60 members of the Institute were present, coming from all the United States, Fr. Matthew Roehrig (HFI Delegate(, Fr. Tony Bautista (Delegate of the Superior General for the United States) and several members of the Staten Island and Canfield communities.

The retreat was preached by the Italian Pauline Fr. Angelo Colacrai, an expert on St. Paul and on the Bible. The speaker touched on several Pauline topics, such as John 14:6 (Jesus Way Truth and Life), the family of Paul (according to Paul) and the Pauline Family. Then he presented an entire vocabulary (i.e. over 30 Greek words, with phonetics, occurrences in the 13 letters, a selected verse as an example for each word, with cross references). He dealt, specifically with: The house - household, how to build and rebuild a house, home; The couple, man and woman, one for the other (togetherness); Parents and Children; Father(s) and Mother(s); Brothers and Sisters (people belonging to the same domestic Church); The women of Paul, one by one, as, Prisca (with Aquila), Apphia, Julia, Claudia… Phoebe, Damaris; Kinsman; Separation and Divorce. He ended the Triduum by suggesting some Pauline Perspectives, starting with quotations from Amoris Laetitia (by Francis), on “fulfilment”, “completeness”, “dialogue”, the “media education”, “virginity”. Another (secondary) topic was the Lectio divina in 10 steps (lectio, meditatio, oratio, contemplatio, contritio, consolatio, discretio, deliberatio, actio apostolica, oblatio). The end was about a Pauline Pyramid – hierarchy according to Paul, exploring the relationship (sometimes tense) between Paul and Peter (Cephas) and Apollos in the church of Corinth and in Galatians. Fr. Colacrai ended the meeting brandishing his mobile phone and suggesting: “Being like Paul or like Peter or Apollos? What really matters to the Pauline Family is to unify a nowadays divided Church, due to the differences in doctrines, languages, politics, costumes, religions (so many claiming to be true) by using the most modern media of communication, by co-working with others, by creating new communities in the net and in this today so global wired world we live in, and belong to”.

During the Triduum, we joyfully witnessed several renewals and perpetual professions as well as the entry into the novitiate of the Annunciationist Tahlia Fernandez.

Books and objects exhibits, were held by Br. Peter Lyne SSP, Sr. Mary Peter Martin DSP, Dee Primavera and Jacquie De Alvarez HFI.

Father Valdir José De Castro, Superior General, accompanied by Father Jose Pottayil visited the Province of the United Stateswhich began on May 14, through May 22nd. During this visit Father De Castro and Father Jose Pottayil met with the members of the communities of Staten Island, N.Y., Chicago, Illinois and Canfield, Ohio.
The meetings consisted in a fraternal manner and provided eachmember the opportunity of speaking individually with Father Valdir and Father Jose in order to share their feelings and concerns.
On May 18, the U.S., Province held its second ProvincialAssembly of all the members at the community of Staten Island,New York. During his visit to the United States, Father Valdir José De Castro concelebrated the Funeral Mass of Father Thomas Fogarty, SSP, which was held at the Canfield, Ohio community on Saturday,
May 20.
The following day, May 21, Father Valdir met with the membersof the Holy Family Institute who were in attendance for the Funeral Mass of Father Fogarty. In the United States the Holy Family Institute members number over 400, the second place in the world after Italy.

Saturday, December 9th, the first day of the first snow on New York, crowns the first recollection with the collaborators and employees of the community of Staten Island. A morning dedicated to reflection and prayer, organized by the current Delegate Superior, Fr. Tony Bautista and Fr. Jeffrey Mickler as the recollection director.  Fr. Jeffrey in his talk, lead everyone to a fruitful meditation focusing on the charism of our congregation and the role of our collaborators and employees in our ministry and apostolate. The recollection concluded with an hour of adoration and Mass after which everyone partakes with a fraternal lunch in the community with the priests and brothers.
 
 

 

On Saturday, October 8, 2016, the Most Rev. John O'Hara, Auxiliary Bishop of New York, blessed the ST PAULS BOOK and GIFT Center of the Society of St. Paul in Staten Island New York.

The newly remodeled Book Center will focus on the promotion and diffusion of the Holy Bible and Biblical commentaries. It will feature Bibles and Books in English, Spanish, Italian, Polish and Korean. In addition to books published by the Society of St Paul, there will be also books and articles from meaning other leading USA Catholic publishers.

In the early 1950's a very modest Book Center was opened just yards away from the present location.It was, like many Pauline endeavors, a very humble beginning. Time passed and the Book Center was moved to a small room in the Priests and Brothers Residence Building. This Book Center remained there for a few years and once the new Publishing Building was constructed, a small portion was allotted for the re-establishment for a new Book Center.

The amount of Priests, Sister, Brothers and Lay people quickly proved to be too small so another addition was added on — yet again, proving it small, more space was provided.

Through the 50 years of effort of the late Brother Benedict Santoro, Brother Augustine Condon and Brother Emmanuel Cana, the present Book Center has become "A Crowning Jewel" for the Catholic population of Staten Island and even to the Metropolitan area of Brooklyn, Manhattan and New Jersey.

Much time, and with a true labor of love, our own Pauline brothers, Fr. Tony Bautista, Brother Zbigniew Gawron, Father Juan Huerta, and Brother Joshua Siedl contributed artistically and physically to the renovation and remodeling of the Book Center.

Now through the power of the Holy Spirit, Father Juan Huerta, SSP, the new Book Center manager will carry on with an entirely new light.

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