La Salette America
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Walkers enjoying the beauty of nature

ATTLEBORO -- Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages gathered at La Salette Shrine off Park Street on Saturday morning for the grand opening of the Attleboro Springs Wildlife Sanctuary. Tara Henrichon, the director of both the Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary and Attleboro Springs, was pleased with the turnout. "We're really happy to see a great turnout from all of the different partners that were involved. ... The events are going on all day, so we expect about 300 people over the course of the day," said Henrichon.

The sanctuary, which features a half-mile handicapped-accessible trail and a mile-long hiking trail, is an Audubon-run facility on land owned by La Salette Shrine and established in cooperation with the Attleboro Land Trust and the city. The sanctuary is on 117 acres of protected land at the shrine, which was once a part of the turn-of-the-century Attleboro Springs health resort and includes nature trails with level paths, a frog pond, a boardwalk over a vernal pool and other natural and historical attractions. Other features include a pine plantation and remnants of greenhouses and agricultural enterprises that once supported the health farm.

Saturday's event was full of activity as dedication ceremonies and guided tours around the sanctuary took place. There seemed to be something for every person to enjoy at each path. The Massachusetts Master Gardner Association was present to answer questions about gardening. The group's members also directed walkers on the paths, encouraging sightseers to enjoy the scenery.

Crowds of children eagerly asked questions about turtles to April Daley, of the Massachusetts Audubon Society. As Daley showed the differences between land and water turtles, the kids were delighted to see the two turtles, Francis and Joe, up close. "He is an Audubon enthusiast," said Attleboro resident Justine Curry of her 3-year-old son Jonathan. A member of the Preschool Prowlers, a group run by Audubon member Kathi Gariepy, Jonathan was enjoying the turtle display, one of many activities set up for children.

measuring.jpgOne of the things that excited me as a student in Rome during the final sessions of the Second Vatican Council was that the Church emphasized that  by her very nature the Church is missionary and our call to discipleship is a call to be missionary. This is strongly emphasized in the Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium), the Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem) and the Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity (Ad Gentes). For this reason and many more I put great emphasis on Mission Trips.

This summer we sponsored five. We had two for the Middle School, two for High School and one for College students. Each one was unique and very enjoyable. One Middle School and one High School group attended a Catholic Heart Work camp that really enriched them with a new awareness of our call to service. One High School group went to New Orleans to help continue the clean up after Katrina and one Middle School stayed and worked in our parish.

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Lauren Murphy, Coordinator of Youth Ministry
at La Salette Shrine, shares with the teens.

Youth Program Kicks Off
 

The youth program held on the first Friday of every month at La Salette Shrine in Attleboro is taking on a new name and new format in the hopes of getting more teen-aged Catholics involved.

Created in 2007 and formerly known as Extreme East, the newly-named La Salette eXtreme is a monthly program that provides teenagers with an opportunity to grow in and deepen their faith through praise and worship music, hearing the Gospel message, adoration, confession, and fellowship.

The revamped La Salette eXtreme kicked off with a program titled “No Strings Attached” and free pizza for all attendees.

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Demonstration given by Michael Graves;
picture shared by Ann Hussey

We are told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In addition, scripture tells us that we can see God’s presence, power and beauty in nature around us: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky proclaims its builder's craft” (Psalm 19:2).
 
Both these truths were evident in a special program offered by the La Salette National Shrine in Attleboro this past weekend, entitled “Festival of the Art, at the Shrine.” It was a great art educational opportunity for all ages.

Twelve nationally noted “Plein Air Painters” were painting on location at the Shrine and it was free to the public. The artists that participated were: John Caggiano, T. A. Charron, Robert Duffy, Paul Goodnow, Mike Graves, Barbara Lussier, Christopher Magadini, Margaret McWethy, Dianne P. Miller, Tony Nyzio, Catherine Raynes, and Eric Tobin.

They held demonstrations from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon and were seen painting on the Shrine grounds and in remote wooded areas all weekend. The weather was simply wonderful! New art was added to their display all weekend.

theresa1.jpgBaskets have been part of our lives for centuries. Webster’s dictionary defines a basket as “a container made of interwoven cane, rushes, strips of wood etc, and often having a handle or handles.” We remember how Pharaoh’s daughter spotted a papyrus basket, which contained a baby, floating in the reeds near where she bathed. Later on she adopted that baby and called him Moses [Ex 2:1-10]. 

Centuries later Christ told us that one does not “light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp-stand, where it gives light to all in the house” [Mt 5:15]. In that same Gospel we read of how Jesus multiplied five loves and two fish for some 5,000 men – how many would there have been if all the women and children were counted?  All ate and were satisfied, and [the disciples] picked up the fragments left over – twelve wicker baskets full” [14:20].

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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.”