|Visitors stolling through the La Salette
Christmas Festival of Lights in Attleboro, MA
An opportunity at La Salette for wholesome family entertainment
The National Shine of Our Lady of La Salette, officially recognized recently as one of the best places to visit in Massachusetts, has been a favorite spot locally for decades.
The site on Park Street in Attleboro is renowned throughout New England, certainly, for its annual Christmas lighting display. That tradition began more than half a century ago and now includes 300,000 lights over 10 acres of land and attracts thousands of visitors annually, without an admission charge.
There are indoor and outdoor chapels, displays of Nativity scenes from around the world and places for contemplation and reflection. For many families, in fact, the holiday season is not complete without a visit to see "the lights." In the summer, the shrine, with its gardens and walks, provides a quiet retreat from the hectic pace of the outside world, no matter what your religious beliefs may be. Now the shrine may be known for something else; a destination for family fun. An art festival, fashion show, high tea and a performance by a well-known Irish vocal group are among a series of events planned over the next several weeks at La Salette.
|In the 1950s, pilgrims walk around La Salette Rosary Pond.|
The shrine's Brother Bob Russell recently told Sun Chronicle reporter Rick Foster that the local landmark is adding more popular entertainment and cultural events meant to attract a wider range of visitors.
The new events, including a giant yard sale and a golf tournament, are aimed| at people who have never visited La Salette, as well as those who regularly come to worship or participate in shrine activities.
Is the shrine compromising its religious mission by becoming a site for more secular events? Not at all, since proceeds from the events will go support the shrine and other local charities.
The shrine is hardly the only religious organization in this area to support activities that are not necessarily connected to worship. That does not detract from their primary mission of caring for their members' spiritual welfare. If that were so, then a lot of bingo games and penny sales around our area would go out of business.
Any time there's an opportunity for wholesome family entertainment, it should be encouraged. And any activity that introduces more individuals to the environs of La Salette, with its spiritual and physical resources, should be applauded. And, of course, if it brings more visitors to the Attleboros, well, that's something we support as well.
In fact, it's practically the answer to a prayer.
Article by Mike George, Editor, The Sun Chronicle, Attleboro, MA. Reprinted with permission.