Our Parish HIV/AIDS Ministry: My Twenty Year Journey

A Surprising Beginning

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Fr. Gene Barrette, M.S.

I am a longtime happy member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Marietta, GA. One evening, almost twenty years ago, I received a call from a friend. He didn’t sound good; he wasn’t going to be able to keep our appointment. He said that his cold had turned into pneumonia and then he said, “Sharon I have something else to tell you. I have AIDS.” I said, “Terry, I am so sorry.” At that time I didn’t know much about HIV/AIDS but I knew it wasn’t good. I also knew that, at that point in time, there was not much hope for curing of his disease.
 
About a month later I noticed an announcement in my church bulletin. A La Salette priest by the name of Fr. Gene Barrette was planning to start an AIDS Ministry at our church. Something clicked but, of course, I ignored the invitation. I saw the announcement a few more times more and still ignored it.

I had been raised Catholic, went to all Catholic schools, considered myself a pretty good Christian but never wanted to “get involved and become a church lady”. Well, the Holy Spirit turned that click into a bang and a shove. I finally called Fr. Gene. He said there had been a good response and there would be a meeting soon.

Read more: Our Parish HIV/AIDS Ministry: My Twenty Year Journey

Retirement Fund Gift

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Fr. Thomas A. Reilly, M. S. is presented with a check for
$4,000 to benefit the La Salette Missionaries Retirement Fund

Having just celebrated the “Year of the Priest”, many of our La Salette parishes had special ways of honoring their priests.

On Saturday, June 5, 2010, the Catholic Church of St. Ann in Marietta, GA, celebrated the conclusion of this special year with a dinner and a “Roast of the Priests of the Parish.”  The evening concluded with a toast to each individual priest, mentioning the qualities they bring to their priestly ministry.

This event was sponsored by the Knights of Columbus and was a great success. The past Grand Knight, Frank Daniels, and present Grand Knight, Larry Moyer, presented Fr. Thomas A. Reilly, M. S., Pastor of St. Ann’s, with a check for $4,000 to benefit the La Salette Missionaries Retirement Fund. Holding the microphone is Chris Arra who was the Master of Ceremonies for the event.  About 180 people attended the event.

Read more: Retirement Fund Gift

Cardinal O’Malley visits Attleboro Shrine

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Cardinal O'Malley with priests and Vietnamese children

On Sat., July 31, 2010, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Archdiocese of Boston celebrated a Pontifical Mass in honor of Our Lady of Lavang to conclude a Vietnamese Pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, MA. About 3,500-4,000 Vietnamese Catholics spent the day from 10AM-6:30PM in honor of Our Lady of Lavang and the relics of the Vietnamese Martyrs. The day was filled with opportunities to relax, pray, attend conferences, celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, process and worship.

Cardinal O’Malley mentioned in his homily his deep appreciation for and gratitude to the Catholic Vietnamese people – their deep faith and courage, their devotion to Mary and their strong cultural values that strengthen the

Read more: Cardinal O’Malley visits Attleboro Shrine

My Sabbatical: A Renewal of My Faith

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Fr. Manuel Pereira, M.S. (right) in
Vatican Palm Sunday Procession

My feelings are summarized well in the words of Psalm 117: “Praise the LORD, all you nations! Give glory, all you peoples! The LORD’S love for us is strong; the LORD is faithful forever. Hallelujah! (Ps 117:1-2)”

It is with a heart filled with joy and thanksgiving that I share these words with you. I was ordained in September of 1995 and for a long time I have been thinking about taking a sabbatical to learn, reflect and deepen my relationship with the Lord. After praying to the Holy Spirit for guidance and consulting with our Provincial Administration, who were very encouraging, I was granted permission to go on a 3-month sabbatical.

A Full Program of Renewal

Read more: My Sabbatical: A Renewal of My Faith

La Salette Ordination and Profession

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Very Rev. Joseph Bachand, M.S., receives the
perpetual vows of Bro. David Eubank, M.S.
On the weekend of July 17-18, 2010, the La Salette Missionaries gathered at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, Ma. to celebrate two wonderful occasions – the Ordination to the Priesthood of Fr. Joseph Lamartine Eliscar, M.S. and the Perpetual Profession of Bro. David Eubank, M.S. Hundreds of people came for both celebrations. The following are brief descriptions of their journey to become La Salette Missionaries.

Bro. David Eubank, M.S.

Born: Sept. 12, 1969; First Profession: July 22, 2007; Perpetual Profession: July 18, 2010; Present Ministry: Recently assigned to the Shrine and Retreat Center Ministries, Attleboro, MA., specializing in youth programs.

My vocation to religious life has been a long and joyous journey with my conversion to Catholicism in 1991. During the Easter Vigil at Christ the King Chapel in Buffalo, New York, I received the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation with my family and fellow students looking on. I knew God was calling me to something special but it took time to realize it.

When I met with the La Salette Vocation Director, Father Pete Kohler, M.S., in Massachusetts, I found a sense of community, my sense of home. After a period of time in prayer and discernment, I believed that my thoughts and actions were leading me on the road to joining the La Salette Community.

Read more: La Salette Ordination and Profession



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