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"Points of Convergence Between the Vision of John Paul II and the Society of Saint Paul on Social Communication at the Service of Integral Evangelization"

Angelo Paolo O. Asprer, S.S.P. (Philippines)

Master of Arts in Theological Studies (M.A.)
Adviser: Fr. James Kroeger, M.M., D.Miss.


History remembers Saint John Paul II as one of the most compelling evangelizer-communicators in contemporary times. The Pontiff’s mediagenic personality and effective utilization of communications media for evangelization, however, did not supersede his theological-pastoral vision. The Pontiff introduced a “paradigm shift” by calling for the Church’s integral-personalist approach that goes beyond the functional-instrumentalist outlook dominant in secular communications. Communication is no longer simply understood as means or method, but a mindset or mentality of evangelization, and a milieu that needs evangelization (cf. Redemptoris Missio, n. 37c). The Pontiff’s prophetic “media humanism,” then, calls not only for the professional utilization of the modern techniques and technologies of communication, but more importantly, for the re-alignment of the media culture with Christian values so that it may better serve peoples and societies.

The same passion for the Renewed Integral Evangelization in and with social communication underlies the foundational vision of the Society of Saint Paul (and of the whole Pauline Family). Paulines strain forward “to be Saint Paul alive today” in “creative fidelity” to the charism of Blessed James Alberione, Founder of the Pauline Family, and to the Magisterium and pastoral guidance of the Pope with their fourth religious vow (cf. Constitutions and Directory of the Society of Saint Paul, n. 47). Consequently, Paulines deepen their missionary fervor as they integrate more profoundly the teachings of John Paul II who was the Pope at the advent of the Digital Age and who spoke and wrote most about the crucial mission of humanization of the “new culture” of communication through Jesus Christ.Thus, the fundamental question that the thesis seeks to answer is: What elements of Saint John Paul II’s theological-pastoral vision of social communication converge with the charismatic-apostolic vision of the Society of Saint Paul to serve integral evangelization? Both John Paul II and the Paulines believe that the Great Commission of all Christians today is to give witness, and in so doing, proclaim the “entire” Christ; to create spaces for connection and communion, and in so doing, communicate profoundly; and to discern how to live well in the Digital Age, while in the spirit of stewardship, mastering the use of the latest tools and means of communication for evangelization.

Final Defense:

Date of Oral Defense: September 28, 2017

Board of Examiners: Sr. Bernardita Dianzon, F.S.P., S.T.D., Ph.D. (Principal Examiner), Fr. Jose Mario Francisco, S.J., Ph.D., and Fr. Fernando Preckler-Guillen, Sch.P., S.T.D.

Proposal Defense:

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Loyola School of Theology