The Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette, on September 19, 1846, carries with it the signs of the Cross of Our Lord. In this particular event, Mary, the Mother of Jesus, appears as the Mother of Sorrows at the foot of the Cross of her Son, the Cross that she carries on her breast. She weeps because of her people who continue to crucify Jesus.
The people of La Salette lived in a human situation of misery because of the famine that brought death to many persons in the region. It was also a deplorable situation from the moral and religious point of view, because indifference, unbelief and blasphemy were widespread and deeply rooted in the life of the people.
Mary’s tears, her lamentations and the Cross she carried on her breast, reveal the pains that she suffered because of her children who had strayed from the ways of the Lord. Her incessant call that her people live the spirit of Lenten conversion is a sign of her compassion for them. Our Lady, patient and merciful awaits the return of her children to the house of the Father.
Her call was listened to and aroused the reconciliation of the people with their God. Prayer, the practice of Christian life and penance, as a way to conversion, brought a new life to the people of La Salette. The cross of the people, by the grace of God, became a road to the Resurrection.
Recently we began a special Friday Evening Family Movie Program, Mercy in the Family, at the La Salette Shrine in Attleboro for families with children. It’s a time to sit back with your younger kids and together enjoy a cheap movie in our Welcome Center with popcorn and antsy kids everywhere, watching movies with a meaning that our children can easily understand.
I spoke with Fr. Ted Brown, our La Salette Shrine Director. He was delighted at the positive response from the dozen or so families that took their kids to the movies at La Salette with our large-format screen! It was a hoot!
In describing this special movie experience, Fr. Ted said: “It’s a real delight to help families recognize faith values in our culture today. At the end of one of these sessions, a dad came up and asked 'Why aren't there more educational programs like this with children in mind?' And, by the way, both children and their parents seem to get a lot out of these family gatherings!”
Fr. Ted added: “What’s also fun is that candy treats are given out – appropriate to each movie; for example, for Willy Wonka we gave out chocolates; for ET, we gave out Reese’s Pieces candy; for Frozen, a frozen treat.” After each session, Fr. Ted distributes a study guide for the parents to discuss with their children at home. He will put all these discussion guides on our Shrine website: lasalette-shrine.org. He also credits the British site, thinkingfaith.org, for the initial idea for this program.
Our Community: The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette are deeply rooted in the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette which occurred near the hamlet of La Salette in southeastern France on Sept. 19, 1846. The Missionaries were founded in 1852 by Bp. Philbert de Bruillard, Bishop of Grenoble, France, and presently serve in some 25 countries.
Our Province: The Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas, was founded in 2000AD and is one of several provinces in the congregation. The members of this Province serve mainly in the countries of Canada, the United States and the Region of Argentina/Bolivia.
Our Mission: Our La Salette ministry of reconciliation responds to the broad vision given by Mary at La Salette as well as in response to the needs of the Church. As reconcilers, we together with the laity take seriously Mary’s mandate: “You will make (Mary’s) message known to all (her) people.”