“By myself I can do nothing,” I remember my ears perking up the first time I heard my sisters pray this prayer together in chapel. I was just a postulant and still learning the ropes of morning prayer together in our community. Immediately, I started fumbling through our Pauline Prayer book to find the page to this prayer to no avail. My sisters knew it  by heart. This short, holy prayer was over before I could find the page. But its impression lasted. The prayer continues “but  with God I can do all things, for the love of God I want to do all things to Him honor and glory to me the eternal reward.” In that moment, one of the essentials of our religious life began to sink in. That my vocation included not only my personal call but a response together to Christ that I was embarking on with my sisters. 

With only a few more years that have past, now being a newly professed member of the community I have learned that living in community and working together toward a common goal is both the biggest challenge and greatest strength.  This intense  rubbing elbows living along side my sisters often looks more like a  three legged race. Awkward to get in stride at times, but with a strong pull of love toward the finish line. A race for glory together with our eyes fixed on a common goal: To bring souls to Christ with our hearts resounding as one, “with God I can do all things for the love of God I want to do all things to Him honor to me the eternal reward.”

Sr. Carly Paula Arcella, FSP

   
 
"You are the body of Christ...."
(Saint Paul)
 
  

If the most central element of religious life is the following of Christ, then the heart of this following is relationship, living in community with each other. In community we live a daily yes together. Through the beauty of relationships we make visible the loving, merciful, free, and liberating face of God, whom we are called to communicate through mission.

Rooted in the teaching of St. Paul, our communities seek to be places of communion and mutual respect, where each one opens up so as to understand the other, build up the other, and find the way to share in the other’s joys and sorrows. Venerable Mother Thecla, our Co-Foundress, often said: “Community should be a corner of heaven, not because there are no shortcomings, but because there is virtue that overcomes and passes over so many little things.”

We seek the will of God together, listening to the Spirit, accepting the poverty of relinquishing our own ideas and opinions in order to respond together as a group of apostles to the new invitations of God in a spirit of co-responsibility, collaboration and communion.

Joy and festivity are characteristic of the family spirit of the Daughters of St. Paul, as we build up communities open to values, to reconciliation, and to hope.

“Letting herself be touched by the tenderness, meekness, and compassion of Jesus, the Daughter of St. Paul is able to live a way of relating that prefers and chooses attention over indifference, solidarity over individualism, forgiveness over violence, gentle words over harsh words” (Sr. Joanna Puntel, FSP).


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