Our History
Untitled 1Fr. Lionel Aubin, M.S. (1914-1969), as a young priest, author of this article
They say he was never handsome. In early infancy a victim of smallpox, the terror of mothers and the scourge of youth, he bore its lasting scar. Temporarily blind, he had but slowly recovered from this dreadful malady, not escaping entirely its hideous imprint. Pitted and extremely short in stature, he might be considered repulsive, yet those who knew him easily overlooked nature's defects, for in his grave countenance they saw reflected the kindness of Christ and the serenity of saints.

His Ministry of Teaching Other Priests

For over half a century in Grenoble's Major Seminary, his priestly heart and mind had formed other priests to continue Christ's redeeming ministry. Loudly they praised their humble professor, truly a man of God. Eloquently the learned Gury styled him an intellectual giant, while Father Auvergne, his contemporary and historian, epitomized his life in the words once applied to Barnabas by Saint Luke: "He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith."

Untitled-1
Bp. Ullathorne’s book,
published several years
after the apparition

Editor: This article simply entitled “La Salettes”, published on Oct. 26, 1901, gives a testament to our first La Salettes on the Diocese of Hartford. They were men of faith, surely making Mary’s message known in any way they could, including distributing (and selling) copies of Bp. Ullathorne’s classic book on his visit to La Salette just eight years after the apparition.

We have received from the Missionary Fathers of La Salette, Hartford, Conn., a copy of the first American edition of "The Holy Mountain of La Salette," by the well known English prelate, the Right Rev. William B. Ullathorne, O.S.B., Bishop of Birmingham from 1850 to 1887.

This book of 220 pages, with fifteen full page illustrations, treats of that mysterious apparition of the Blessed Virgin to two illiterate peasant children, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Mathieu, at La Salette, not far from Grenoble in France, on Sept. 19, 1846, which date, that year, fell on a Saturday, and the eve of the feast which celebrates the Dolors of our Blessed Mother.

The missionary priests who are now banded together in memory of this singular event have, in the Diocese of Hartford, Conn., a motherhouse for the vicariate of the United States and Canada, established in 1892, and a preparatory college; and they have branch houses at Danielson, Conn., and at Fitchburg, Mass.

Editor: Bp. Macaluso delivered this homily at a special Mass for the delegates to the General Chapter of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette together with the membership of the Hartford House on April 21, 2012. 
It is my particular pleasure to be with you today and to celebrate Mass for the success of your deliberations at your 2012 General Chapter being held in Willimantic, CT for the next few weeks. Part of the pleasure is that, as a youngster, my parents several times each year, would take leave of our regular parish and bring my sister and me to Our Lady of Sorrows Church for Mass, ministered by the La Salette Missionaries. We looked forward to it. 
 
We knew that it would mean a stirring homily and after Mass, if we had behaved, cupcakes from Michelson's Bakery around the corner. We loved and admired the La Salettes and got to know a few of them over the years but we didn't know much about the Congregation. I have learned much more about it in the past several weeks as I did research for this homily.
 
The first thing I have learned is that this is where it all started for your North American foundation. It is a wonderful story that I would like to repeat for you in abbreviated form. Much of it I discovered in an old commemorative booklet celebrating the Seminary's fiftieth anniversary.

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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.”