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While the annual Festival of Lights is burning brightly at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, the caretakers of the well-known religious landmark — the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette — are hoping to see light at the end of the tunnel in their appeal now sitting with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.Untitled 1(from left) John Adams Courthouse, Boston and State Seal

At issue is a 2013 tax bill for $92,000 that La Salette is disputing. The Board of Assessors for the City of Attleboro would only exempt the church and parsonage structures on the La Salette property from taxes for that year, along with 60 percent of the other property on the grounds such as its cafeteria and bistro operations. When the state Appellate Tax Board likewise upheld the assessors’ decision, the shrine ultimately took their appeal to the state’s highest court, which originally heard oral arguments on the case April 5, 2016.

“We waited for 130 days, which is the (standard) time limit that the SJC gives to themselves before they come out with a decision,” explained Father Cyriac Mattathilanickal, M.S., Retreat Director at La Salette Shrine. “After the 130 days they wrote us back, waiving their rule and asking for an extension before they could come up with a decision. After about a month or so, we received another letter saying they were unable to reach a majority decision on the case, and therefore they were asking for a second oral argument of the case.”

Untitled 1St. José Gabriele del Rosario Brochero (1840-1914), an Argentine priest, riding his mule, with which he traveled the parish, covering 4,336 square kilometers of valleys and mountains.
José Gabriele del Rosario Brochero was born in Santa Rosa de Rio Primero (Cordoba, Argentina) on March 16, 1840, the fourth of ten children, to a deeply Christian family. On March 5, 1856 he entered Our Lady of Loreto College Seminary and on November 4,1866 was ordained a priest.

In his first years of priesthood, he was assigned to assist with pastoral care at the Cathedral of Cordoba, where he served during the cholera epidemic that struck the city.

Following the completion of his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Cordoba, Father Brochero was named Prefect of Studies in the Major Seminary. In 1869 he was entrusted with the pastoral care of the vast region of San Alberto in Cordoba, which was without streets or schools, and counted only a few inhabitants scattered along the Sierra Grande mountain range, who were living in a state of moral and material poverty.

Father Brochero was not discouraged, however, and from that moment on, he dedicated his whole life to preaching the Gospel, and to educating and assisting the inhabitants, in particular the poorest and marginalized. He also built churches, schools, streets and worked for the opening of postal offices and banks, as well as the extension of the railway.

Through the use of the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius, he achieved numerous conversions. In 1877 he opened a retreat house which welcomed over forty thousand people.

Untitled 1The Rosary Pond is decorated with lights and ribbons and a variety of festive colorsThe… La Salette Shrine in Attleboro, MA., is once more engulfed in lights – over 400,000 of them – for the Christmas season, beginning Thanksgiving Day, with the message of "Make It Known."

Shrine director the Rev. Ted Brown, M.S., says the theme of the 2016 season comes from both Mother Mary and Jesus Christ's message to spread the word of the Gospel, making known the Good News.

"Coming off the Year of Mercy, we want to continue to emphasize Christ's message of love and compassion," Fr. Brown said. "During the Year of Mercy, perhaps we've experienced mercy ourselves, and it's now time to bring it into the world...the mercy we've received, we now want to bring into the world that needs to be touched by God's love and care."

A Cast of Thousands

The Festival of Lights, which draws crowds numbering into the thousands, officially runs from 5 p.m. Thanksgiving Day until January 1, 2017. While many of the popular staples will come back for another year – such as Clopper the Donkey at the life-size Nativity scene, the hot chocolate and toddy booths and the Creche Museum – a new feature will be the lighted outlines of angels at each of the 14 Stations of the Cross.

In addition, the weekends will offer a 20-minute trolley ride around the Shrine grounds to take visitors places where cars cannot go, or to give those who do not wish to walk a chance to view the sights. Admission is free and Brown believes that the Festival of Lights offers a low-cost night out for many families who want to treat their children to something special.

Untitled-1In April, 2011, Fr. Farland delivered the sermon during Easter Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Wahneta (Photo: The Ledger, Pierre DuCharme / Ledger file photo)Lakeland, FL — Members of Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Wahneta, Florida, will remember their late pastor, the Rev. Norman A. Farland, M.S., as someone who met both their spiritual and physical needs.

“As a Catholic my whole life, that’s what it means to help the poor. He’s a clear example of that,” said Brenda Ramirez, 35, a Winter Haven lawyer and member of the Hispanic faith community since it was founded in the early 1980s. “He was extremely simple and so full of faith. He was comfortable with anybody and everybody. He was a member of our family.”

Fr. Farland, 77, a member of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette of the Roman Catholic Church, died at the Our Lady of Guadalupe rectory at 2150 Bomber Road, where he had served for 23 years.

Untitled-1When we think of disaster relief we perhaps think of the Red Cross or FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) but for the people of St. Ann’s Catholic Church, a La Salette Ministry in Marietta, Georgia, they perhaps think of their own Disaster Relief Ministry.

The Mission Statement for this special ministry is: “Charity in Action! The Disaster Relief Ministry responds and reaches out to our neighbors in need regardless of their religious affiliation. Our goal is to provide a 'hand up' by assisting in a meaningful way when possible through prayer, financial assistance and/or a physical presence. We will be a source of support for our neighbors in their hour of need."

This ministry has as its special mission to provide immediate response and recovery efforts within a geographic area and classification within the defined capabilities of our ministry. The Ministry is organized to allow our parish community to respond in the event that we, or our neighbors, are impacted by a catastrophic event.

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La Salette Missionaries, Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas

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.”

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