In 1947, Fr. Alberione wrote to Don Cordero (the SSP's first director-priest): "This morning the Lord answered me that the mission of the film is serious….and those who want to heal the cinema are still so poor in virtue, faith, and grace!…Success depends on three points:
a) great purity of heart, intentions, and works (single-heartedness);
b) to live the “without me you can do nothing” from real sacrifice and a crusade of prayer;
c) to set out with small steps, humbly, constantly toward the great goal…God wills it.”
“For your apostolate, so broad and urgent, no human restrictions or insurmountable bounds. The means, the instruments, the commitment are to be in proportion to the needs of humanity. Difficult and complex duties await you, that require boldness and specialized skills, in a society undergoing rapid progress, as is the press, the image, sound, and electronics. God wills it! It is necessary to begin!”
As early as 1939, the Founder had already prepared the Daughters of St. Paul for the film apostolate by asking them to place the intention for the film apostolate in their hour of adoration. Meanwhile, Mother Thecla Merlo absorbed the Founder’s personal spiritual formation for the project—discipline, sacrifice and the apostolic spirit—and guided the FSP in that same way according to three fundamental values:
¨ clear principles (broad vision),
¨ ardent desires (God’s glory and peace to humankind),
¨ and intense commitment to the interior life (humility and trust).
Mother Thecla herself worked IN the film apostolate. (No wonder she's helping us with film now!) One of the Daughters who spent most of her life working in the film apostolate, Sr. Luigina Borrano, fsp, called it a "martyrdom."