La Salette America

CHESHIRE – Even after 50 years, the La Salette Seminary boys basketball team's most crowning achievement remains vivid in the mind of co-captain Jim Callahan.

The CHAMPS: Front row, left to right: Robert Ippolito: scorer,
Alfred Jasnocha, John Miller, Paul Baxer, Thomas Kelly,
Donald Delery, Charles Langevin, Edmund Normantowicz:
equipment manager; Back row, left to right: Jerome
Misiewicz: manager, Chester Sygiel: statistician, co-captain:
James Callahan, co-captain: Philip House, Jeffrey Gallahue,
coach: Fr. James Lowery, Robert Oblon, Michael Verrengia,
Michael Donahue, Albert Chase: assistant manager.

"Seminaries from all over came down to watch us play," Callahan said, "and after the game, they picked each of us up and carried us on their shoulders throughout the streets of New Haven celebrating."

On the night of March 13, 1964, La Salette had plenty to celebrate as co-captain and point guard Phil House scored 13 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and dished out 11 assists to lead the Crusaders to a 62-43 win over Woodbury at the Payne Whitney Gymnasium in the 1964 Class C state championship.

But the celebration was short-lived, as Callahan recalled. "When we got back on the bus to go back to Cheshire, it was grand silence," said Callahan. "Being in the seminary is much like the military, and you don't break rules."


Untitled-1ATTLEBORO — This Christmas season more than 250,000 pilgrims from all over the world made the pilgrimage to the Festival of Lights at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette. Traveling in unpredictable New England weather and sometimes over snow-covered roads, they waited in long lines of traffic and braved biting winds to walk this holy ground.

An annual tradition, Catholics gather in community at the December Festival, but Our Lady of La Salette continues to summon faithful after the lights are extinguished. Year-‘round she urges people to embark on pilgrimage to this holy place.

"To people the world over, pilgrimage is a spiritual exercise, an act of devotion to find a source of healing, or even to perform penance," writes Phil Cousineau in The Art of Pilgrimage. "Always, it is a journey of risk and renewal. For a journey without challenge has no meaning; one without purpose has no soul."

The Bible chronicles the earliest pilgrimage 4,000 years ago when Abraham left Ur in search of the presence of God in the desert.



Facade of new Church

For Monica Sterchele, a founding parishioner of Good Shepherd, the dedication and blessing of the Orlando church’s new building on December 20, 2013, became “one of the happiest” days of her life. “I know the heavens are here because I have been thinking all day about all of my dear friends who also helped start Good Shepherd and did so much work. (They) are looking down in all of their glory in heaven, and are seeing this accomplishment,” Sterchele said. “They are celebrating with us.”

Sterchele presented the Eucharistic gifts to Bishop John Noonan during the Mass of Dedication. Hundreds of faithful filled the church, spilling into the narthex, to celebrate and witness the dedication of the new building during the bi-lingual celebration. Among those were several Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette priests. Their community has ministered in the parish since 1981.

Fr. Philip Salois, M.S.

Father Philip G. Salois has been named Veteran of the Year for 2014 by the United Veterans Council of Woonsocket, Rhode Island. In addition to serving as VVA’s National Chaplain, Father Phil, who is president of VVA Chapter 818, serves as chief chaplain at Veterans' Administration Boston Healthcare System and chaplain at VA New England Healthcare System.

As reported by the Valley Breeze, the Council’s selection was based on Father Salois' lifelong work to help Vietnam veterans and their families overcome the trauma that results from combat and loss of life.

Fr. Phil Salois, M.S., who has been named Veteran of the Year for 2014, serves as chief chaplain at Veterans' Administration Boston Healthcare System, chaplain at VA New England Healthcare System, and president of the Lincoln Vietnam Veterans' Post 818. According to a release from the Council, nomination for the award by Post 818 was based on Salois' lifelong work to help Vietnam veterans and their families overcome the trauma that results from combat and loss of life.

"In Vietnam while assigned to the 199th Light Infantry Brigade and armed only with a grenade launcher, a young and yet-to-be-ordained Father Salois and his buddy braved the front to rescue comrades, despite the danger," the release explained. "Bringing bodies home, alive or not, was the objective. On the field in the chaos and confusion of preserving life, Father Salois made a promise. If he returned without injury, he would acknowledge his destiny to God. And return without injury he did."

Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette, Father Robert Susann, M.S., Diocese of Orlando airport chaplain, was honored by the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) on December 4, 2013, for his years of dedication, service and ministry to the more than 35 million travelers, visitors and 17,000 employees of the Orlando International Airport. The GOAA presented him with the resolution and declared the day “Father Susann Day,” before a standing-room-only audience.

Fr. Robert Susann, M.S., Airport Chaplain
for Orlando International Airport, speaking
at the meeting of the Greater Orlando
Aviation Authority (GOAA)

“Fr. Susann is the very first person I met when I walked into this room for the first time as a Board member,” said Frank Kruppenbacher, chairman of the GOAA Board. “This kind gentleman came up to me and said, ‘Hi, I am Father Susann and if there is anything I can do for you or anyone at the airport, I am here.’ I have never forgotten that, Father. I think it is your hallmark just how open you are to the human spirit.”

The resolution spoke in part of Father Susann’s contributions to the airport community throughout the past nine years. Father Susann was named chaplain at Orlando International Airport in 2004 as part of the diocesan Tourism Ministry, which is dedicated to sustaining the spiritual well being of millions of airport patrons every year. He is known throughout the airport community and is recognized for his constant presence providing comfort, guidance and reassurance to people of all faiths, through his visibility, accessibility, and humanity.

In addition, the resolution reads, Father Susann’s daily sharing of blessings, and contributions and small kindnesses, help impart a sense of serenity to ease the stresses of travel, as he remains committed to his calling to make a difference in the world by ministering at the airport, where the world’s diversity of nationalities, cultures, and beliefs is represented as part of the global congregation.

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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.”