Missionary call summons Daughters of St. Paul to Southern California, leaving indelible spiritual mark on the Archdiocese

By Mary Powers

St. Paul’s life was marked by travel and missionary work, founding Christian communities in Greece and Asia Minor, and encouraging Christians in various communities by writing to them and praying for their flourishing. Today, his spiritual daughters live out this same call, fostering spiritual communities that spread the good news of the Gospel through various mediums including books, blogs, social media, and videos.

It is in the spirit of St. Paul that the Daughters of St. Paul are redesigning their presence throughout the United States to bring the message of Christ to others. With heavy heart, the sisters closed their Menlo Park bookstore, leaving the Archdiocese of San Francisco after 58 years of service — moving to Los Angeles to strengthen their presence in the Southwest and the state of California. Like St. Paul, they made an indelible mark on the Archdiocesan community and plan to stay in touch with their “Pauline Cooperators” present here to ensure the spiritual work continues.

On January 13, a Mass of Thanksgiving was held at St. Pius X Catholic Church to thank the sisters for their service in the Archdiocese and to pray for them as they continue to work in the state of California. Sisters from across the country, including their Provincial Superior, Sister Donald Maria Lynch, flew in from Boston, Massachusetts to join in prayer and celebration.

In his homily, Archbishop Cordileone thanked the sisters for their spiritual legacy in the Archdiocese:

“We thank you for saying “yes” to your vocation, for consecrating yourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ in the community of the Daughters of St. Paul, espousing Him as your sole love and sharing Him with the world.  While [your] physical absence will sadden us, [your] spiritual presence remains constant, and your witness and ministry will continue to contribute to and enrich the life of the Church.  With profound gratitude we assure you of our continued prayers, that God will reward you for your goodness to others.  Thank you!”

In her remarks at the end of Mass, Sister Donald spoke on the hope that  the spiritual seeds sown by the sisters would come to fruition.

“We are immensely grateful to have been a part of the faith life of the community here in northern California for so many decades. And though it is with profound sadness that we close our Menlo Park center, we are also filled with hope because we have been privileged to witness the seeds of faith planted in the lives of so many people. And we know and believe that God is faithful in His promises and will bring to fulfillment the good work that He has begun.”

Following the Mass, the sisters were joined by collaborators, friends, and parishioners at a reception in the parish hall. Stories were shared of the impact the sisters made in the community, and the sisters shared their promise of prayers and encouragement to those present.