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To be an apostle today


It is said that the Union of Catholic Apostolate, the original foundation of Vincent Pallotti, like the composition of his contemporary Franz Schubert [1797-1829], is similar to his “unfinished symphony”. The Union of Catholic Apostolate is an incomplete work, first of all because the Founder died prematurely without being able to complete it, but also because the time was not right as the project of a universal apostolate was ahead of its time. Furthermore, it seems that the Union was meant to be incomplete because it is not a fixed model established once and for all, but it is rather a prophetic sign of the reality of the Kingdom of God, a parable of apostolic unity.


As a consequence of this the Union must always remain “in a state of continual incompleteness”, always open to the needs of the Church and the world, and also to be “faithful to the future”. This is the true and specific identity of the UAC as intended by the Founder: “I pray now and always, and I intend to pray even after my death (…) that you in your charity and your religious fervour (…) will be committed in the permanent institution and in the rapid and most profitable propagation of the pious Society as if you were elected by our Lord Jesus Christ to be its Founder” (OOCC III, 28-9).

unfinished symphony denishawn1

Therefore from its very foundation the Union of Catholic Apostolate was presented as being both a “high-point” and a “beginning”. It is a “high-point” because it was thanks to a gradual process that the ideas of Pallotti were clarified and defined; but it is also the “starting point” of a foundation which is open to the future in which the first steps of the Founder were the prelude to an “unfinished symphony”. It can be said that the Union of Catholic Apostolate, the “unfinished symphony” of St. Vincent Pallotti, like that of F. Schubert has just two movements: ‘allegro moderato’ (moderately quick) and the ‘andante con moto’ (at a walking pace with motion). The Union expects that every generation of Pallottines will supply the third movement of which the entire symphony is usually composed and which is the ‘allegro vivace’ (a lively and bright marching tempo)! So it is up to us to continue the completion of this foundation with the conviction that Vincent Pallotti “… has left us as our heritage not only that which he had already undertaken but also that of which he dreamt” (Pope Pius XII).


From: “Apostles for Today”, June 2008

1st – Painted by Peter Granitsin

2nd – Denishawn ~ Music Visualizations, Synchoric Orchestra dancing Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, first performed in 1919 at Ted Shawn’s Grand Ave., Los Angeles studio