Blessed James Alberione

Opera Omnia


Advanced search

Since charity is a wellspring of initiatives, the forms of promotion increase in proportion to the particular initiatives of the individual promoters. These forms can, however, at least in a general sense, be grouped under three main headings: organization, formation, and action.

This form of promotion is generally undertaken by distribution centers. It can assume two main features: a study of the area that makes up the zone of apostolate, and organizational initiatives.
Study of the area. This includes all general and particular information as to time, place, people and circumstances that may or may not foster
the apostolate. On the basis of such data an action plan can be drawn up. It is the study in particular of people's spiritual needs and the pedagogical way of meeting such needs at the appropriate psychological time.
Organizational initiatives. These set out the various works of the apostolate and open the way for people. Such initiatives constitute what is generally known as "publicity". These can take on a life of their own and come in various shades and forms, depending on the circumstances.
Among the many are: bibliographic reviews; - general and particular catalogs; - book reviews in Catholic dailies and in the more important and large circulation newspapers; - reviews on the books themselves; - flyers for book centers, parishes, community groups and private individuals; - posters and illustrations; - letter writing to relatives, friends and acquaintances; - free samples and so on.

This form of promotion is the most extensive and wonderful but it is also the most difficult. Its aim is to recruit cooperators for the apostolate and its concern is for their formation, organization and guidance.
The aim of recruitment is to have a group of people who will jointly help by means of prayer, sacrifice, work and deed. Prayer
and sacrifice are a possibility for all but the people to be asked in particular are those who dedicate themselves to the interior life. Work can be in the form of writing to help the editorial sector; in the form of skills, machinery, equipment, know-how and so on to help the technical sector; in the form of promotion by helping in the spread of the press apostolate. This last requires a lot of people, the choice of whom should be across the board: from big and small towns and from all classes of society.
The cooperators' formation, like that of the apostle, must be complete, that is, intellectual, moral and technical.
Apart from the knowledge of religion and the natural sciences, inasmuch as they are necessary, or at least useful, for the apostolate, intellectual formation also includes knowledge of the press apostolate, as well as its purpose, range and comprehensiveness.
Moral formation aims to train the cooperator to be a Christian apostle. Such people are therefore to be practicing believers, and thus know how to give a witness to the Lord of their own life and work.
Technical formation trains them in the exercise of the apostolate in greater depth and as effectively as possible.
The secret of success lies in the organization and guidance of the cooperators.
It is a matter of forming a strong and compact army following instructions under a sole command. An army vowed to a sole aim: the defeat of an enemy (the bad press) and the conquest of a treasure (souls for God through the press).
The cooperators must therefore follow the line that the apostolate takes, even if they are spread worldwide. There are to be clear and precise rules that set out the rights and duties of all. The apostle is to keep a vigilant eye on everyone. He is to be a guide and support for all and, when necessary, to make himself available.
Among the many forms of organization the ideal one seems to be that each parish have a "Good Press" group. Such a group consists of five people (a young man and woman, two adults, one male, one female, and a male leader) and takes care of its own parish. The parish groups should answer to the diocesan groups, the diocesan groups to a national group and the national groups to a sole general authority.
The parish and the diocesan groups can have helpers who lend their service.
This is the form of promotion that the apostle carries out directly himself. It is a twofold activity: filling direct orders and a work of penetration.
Filling direct orders includes shipping, mailing correspondence, and bookkeeping.
Shipping may be one-off and periodical (as for subscribers to books, magazines and periodicals). It may take various forms such as express train, slow train or bus, or as freight, postal packages, or mail subscription...
Mail correspondence must keep inquirers informed on such matters as books that are out of stock, the reason for inevitable delays, information on changes...
Bookkeeping concerns the regular recording of income and expenditure, the compiling of registers and balance sheets and all that falls under the heading of administration.
Shipping, mail correspondence and bookkeeping are to be prompt, precise and at regular intervals. Mistakes, setbacks and mishaps upset and alienate people, not to mention that they may also offend against charity and justice.
What we mean here by a work of penetration has not so much to do with promotion at the level of organization or formation as it has with the apostle's direct contact with
people. It thus takes in house to house promotion, visits to cooperators, making use of the telephone, radio and motion pictures, the establishment and organization of distribution centers, the setting up and management of libraries and all those promotion enterprises undertaken directly by the apostle.
While leaving it to each one's personal initiative and zeal, depending on need and circumstance, we will briefly mention the principal forms of this kind of promotion in the following chapters. These are distribution centers, libraries, house to house promotion and the feast of the Divine Master.