La Salette America
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Just like clockwork, every three years the members of our Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas, gather in a “Chapter (in Latin, Capitulum)” meeting. This is considered a graced moment to discern the future course of our life and ministry as a religious community.

Seventy-two members of our Province gathered in Orlando, Florida, at the Renaissance Orlando Hotel from Monday evening, October 19th until Friday Morning, October 22nd, 2015. Some of our membership serve in Europe and South America and join us as well.

Note: Father Robert Butler, Regional Superior of the Missionaries of La Salette, spoke before hundreds who had come to the Parish of Perpetual Help Church in Las Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina, to honor the priests who have faithfully and fruitfully served during this period.

Untitled 1La Salette Frs. Steve Krisanda (left), Jack Bradford (2nd from left) and Jim Weeks (extreme right) with previous pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual help in Las Termas de Rio Hondo, Argentina in 1965 as they began their new missionFifty years are not so many but are not so few. They are the years that we, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, have given to the human and spiritual growth of our people as we fulfill our mission begun from the Parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Las Termas de Rio Hondo those many years ago.

We have been able to build on the work of others like Father Bringas. Concretely we have contributed with our charism of reconciliation, always eliciting the participation and solidarity of the laity, who responded generously. This work in favor of the whole person is seen particularly with the Saint Louis Gonzaga Athletic Club, the Basket Festival, and the Parish Secretariat for Human Rights and Social Ministries.

We want to remember in a special way the first three Missionaries of La Salette who came to this La Termas Parish: Fathers John Bradford, Stephen Krisanda and James Weeks. They were young but already had pastoral experience and dedicated themselves in this parish, ministering both in the countryside as well as in this city.

All of them came to be loved very much by the people and, in turn, the La Salette Missionaries came to love them and devote themselves entirely to those to whom they had been sent, especially to the poorest. After these dedicated men came many more Missionaries of La Salette with the same spirit of service and love for the people and they also made their own special contribution.

Hopefully, we can continue indefinitely with this work of love. Pray for vocations to the Religious Life and Priestly Life. Encourage the youth who might be interested in discovering if God is calling then to this life, and perhaps even as Missionaries of La Salette.

The parishioners and clergy of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Smyrna, GA, know that any worthwhile endeavor comes with sacrifice.
Untitled-1Fr. Brian R. Sheridan, M.S.,pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Church, in Smyrna, GA, cuts gold ribbon to begin the June 28, 2015 Rededication Mass. (Photo: Michael Alexander)
Since the beginning of the year, parishioners have been celebrating Mass in the social hall, while Holy Week and Easter Masses were held at Jim Miller Park in Marietta. As many as 14 weekend Masses were held to serve the estimated 5,000 families.

But on Sunday, June 28, they celebrated a bilingual Spanish and English Mass in a newly renovated sanctuary. La Salette Father Brian Sheridan cut a shimmery gold ribbon at the entrance as Mass began. The sound of joyful drumbeats accompanied the procession of priests, deacons and altar servers into the sanctuary. Children in native African costumes brought in the Book of the Gospels.

A Mass of Rededication

Bishop Luis R. Zarama, principal celebrant of the Mass of rededication, acknowledged it can be hard to work on parish improvement projects but said now is the time to rejoice. “Being in the meetings is no fun. You are looking to do something for the church,” acknowledged Bishop Zarama. “We are celebrating today.”

And the king will say… ‘Amen, I say to you,
whatever you did for one of these least… of mine, you did (it) for me.’ (Matthew 25:40)


Untitled-1Fr. Roger Plante, M.S.According to Fr. Roger Plante, M.S., he and Fr. Joe Gosselin, M.S., are “traveling preachers” for the lay Catholic foundation, Unbound, when someone has sponsored one person through this organization, that benefactor actually “did for five of these least brothers of mine.” The reason for this fivefold factor? It’s because the sponsored person typically has several immediate family members who also benefit from the relationship.

 

Reach Out and Touch

 

Using that formula, Fr. Roger calculates that, since its founding, Unbound has accumulated 808,125 sponsors. Therefore, Unbound has affected the lives of over four million people in places like Uganda, Madagascar, Honduras, India, the Philippines, plus 16 other countries.

Nineteen years as an itinerant advocate for Unbound have resulted in Fr. Roger alone giving 359 parish presentations, contacting 22,875 sponsors and touching well over 100,000 lives. In 2013, Unbound, which is highly rated and recognized by third party organizations that evaluate charities, provided $100+ million for program support to sponsored friends at a direct assistance rate of 93%.

 

Each Give to the Other

 

Additionally, the financial commitment on the donor side, is enhanced and complemented by an obligation on the receiving end. For example, mothers must attend mothers’ groups, workshops on nutrition, as well as dental and medical clinics. Similarly, children need to succeed in their educational efforts. Likewise, families have to start a savings account (matched by Unbound), and seek livelihood initiatives.

Editor: Bro. Donald Wininski, M.S., has been with the La Salette Community since 1970 and took his first vows in 1972. He has recently moved from the La Salette House in Altamont, NY, to the La Salette National Shrine in Attleboro, MA.

Untitled-1Bro. Donald Wininski, M.S., works on picture of the Madonna and Child in his workshop (photo: Michael Koff from The Altamont Enterprise, Altamont, NYAs a child of five, I lived in a foster home. The woman in charge of our home was an artist, who enjoyed putting color on canvas with paint. I was inspired by her and one day I picked up one of her charcoal pencils and a pad of paper from the floor and began to draw what she was painting at the easel.

As I got older, I received presents of colored pencils, water colors, pads of artist paper, instead of the usual toys. My childhood was surrounded by colors and, as self-taught artist, I simply learned by doing. One day I received my first oil painting set and that launched my career in the medium of oil paintings.

I chose oil painting as my medium because oils are very forgiving; that is, if I make a mistake, I can easily change the image. However working in watercolors, I cannot change very much.

My schooling in art was limited to one course in mechanical drawing. It helped me to establish proper perspectives in my drawings. I didn’t like working in basic black and white but very much enjoyed working with the vast spectrum of colors. They lift my spirit and help me better express my ideas on canvas.

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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.”