Ministry in Las Termas, Argentina

Fr. Jim Weeks, M.S. above a view of exterior of
Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church in Las Termas
de Rio Hondo, Argentina.

I am presently retired in our La Salette House in Hartford, CT. However several years ago I was involved for several years in active ministry with three other La Salettes in Las Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.

Our parish ministry takes in a whole county and in some ways it’s like a whole diocese. There are two different realities to the parish: the city and the campo or countryside. In the campo we serve 127 chapels and 76 schools. In the city we have the main, central parish, with 11 chapels or faith communities attached.

Read more: Ministry in Las Termas, Argentina

Fr. Sullivan Served the Poor in Argentina

Fr. John Sullivan, M.S., in a
reflective pose for the La
Salette Publication, Our
Lady’s Missionary, in 1965.

Attleboro – As a missionary priest at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, Father John Sullivan's vocation has taken him from the Alpine mountain heights of the Valley of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette in France to the southern tip of South America where he served in the poorest barrios of Argentina for 18 years.

While their paths never crossed in Cordoba, Pope Francis and Father Sullivan share the same mission. "We have drawn life from working for the poor," said Father Sullivan, who has spent 50 years in religious life.

Growing Up in Dorchester

Born in Boston in 1943, Father Sullivan was raised in Dorchester. "Because both my parents were born in Ireland, they were very strong Catholics," he said. "Our faith was so much a part of our lives – it was the air you breathe."

Read more: Fr. Sullivan Served the Poor in Argentina

Kids say the darndest things

Untitled-1As we go through some of the letters the kids from Namibia wrote to Arpita Joyce – always in conjunction with her project ( We recognize that kids do say the darnedest things! Once again we bring you their letters as they wrote them. Remember English is their third or fourth language.

Hy, my friend.

My name is Frieda all the way from Objozongarmbe. I’m schooling at Opuwo Good Shepherd Pre-school. I am 6 years old now. I think that I grown up and I have a responsibility. I’m no more a baby!

Read more: Kids say the darndest things

Feeding the Hungry in Bolivia

Alalay-Soup-Kitchen-ChildrenI would like to tell you about Hilda, a mother of five children abandoned by her husband and therefore must survive on her own. She exemplifies so many of our families who are forced to live on the edge.

If the family is the foundation of society then it must be a priority of our ministry. Thankfully our new Parish of Our Lady of La Salette in Cochabamba, Bolivia has had the needs of the family in the forefront. First our religious education is family oriented. Secondly we have a group of people from our community coordinated by Susan, a lay missionary from the United States (she, her husband and two daughters live in our parish).

Read more: Feeding the Hungry in Bolivia

La Salette Statue Near Iron Mine

At our La Salette Shrine in Twin Lakes, WI, there is a beautifully crafted bronze statue of Our Lady of La Salette. This statue has an intriguing history.

The bronze statute of Mary (left) was at one
time placed at the entrance of an iron mine.

A friend of our Missionaries found it in an antique store in San Francisco. It seems that for years this statue was placed at the entrance of an old gold mine. It was a custom of the miners to touch the statue as they would enter the mine. After the mine closed the statue eventually found its way to the store and ultimately to our Shrine at Twin Lakes.

No one knows how the statue began its odyssey to a mine’s entrance and then to the antique store in San Francisco. But this is just another example of how the Virgin of La Salette can touch our lives, sometimes in some very circuitous ways.

This story illustrates the fact Our Lady of La Salette has a remarkable ability of getting around, of showing up in the most unexpected or out of the way places. It leaves you wondering who did this, when and how?

Read more: La Salette Statue Near Iron Mine

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