The Church as Missionary

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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Revamped "La Salette eXtreme”

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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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Artists at Attleboro

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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.

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The Blessing Basket and Feeding the Hungry

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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The Charism of Reconciliation and Its Practices

world.jpgIt is certainly an auspicious time for you as Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette to return once again to reflect on your charism, the work of reconciliation. In the past twenty years, there has been a renewed interest worldwide in this theme, coming from a variety of quarters. The upsurge of conflicts within nations in the 1990s focused leaders on the need to heal deep divisions in their societies.

Native peoples in the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand found their voice to witness to centuries of suffering at the hands of colonial masters and to seek pathways of renewal and reconstruction of their societies. An acknowledgement of the abuse, both physical and sexual, enacted on women and children brought into the public sphere the widespread nature of these violations of the most vulnerable, and has caused new measures to deal with the damage this has wreaked on so many lives and to put in place measures to reduce such activities in the future.

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