Good Shepherd Dedicates Their Church

 

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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.

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Fr. Salois – 2014 Veteran of the Year

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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."

Read more: Fr. Salois – 2014 Veteran of the Year

Fr. Robert Susann Honored

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.

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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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Relics of the Past

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Bro. David Eubank, M.S., holds
one of his first-class relics
from his personal collection.

As the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro celebrates its 60th anniversary under the theme of “60 Years of Serving God’s People,” this year’s Festival of Lights will see the return of Father André “Pat” Patenaude and his Christmas concerts, Clopper “heehawing” every night next to the outdoor Nativity set, a new synchronized light display set to music — and for the first time, relics of saints will be on exhibit for the many faithful who make the shrine an annual visit during the Christmas season.

Collecting relics is a passion for La Salette Brother David Eubank, shrine publicist and young adult ministry coordinator, who says those who know of his collection of 102 first-, second- and third-class relics have jokingly referred to him as “Brother Relic.”

Some names of the blessed and the saints listed in his vast collection can be easily recognized: St. Bernadette Soubirous; St. Stanislaus Kostka; St. Vincent de Paul; St. Marguerite d’Youville; St. John Bosco; St. Dominic Savio; Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati; and Blessed John Paul II are just a few.

His collection also includes a gift from a vicar in Rome: a piece of the Holy Sepulchre, a piece of the crown of thorns (or something near to it, said Brother Eubank) and a piece of the scourging post; “Even though they’re things, anything from Jesus Christ is consider first-class, and I do have the certificate for that,” said Brother Eubank.

His collection began in the form of a couple of relics he received as gifts a few years ago, including a relic of Blessed Pier Giorgio. As Brother Eubank began to study his history, he got to know who Pier Giorgio was and who his patron saints were — SS. Peter and Paul. Upon inquiring through a friend, Brother Eubank was able to procure SS. Peter and Paul relics, and from there his collection has continued to grow.

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An Attleboro Christmas – Some Tidbits

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First Sunday pilgrimage in 1952, gathering
in prayer around the façade of the castle.

The years 2013-2014 are anniversary years for the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, MA. We are celebrating sixty years of our Shrine Ministry – and the Christmas Festival of Lights – as well as the fiftieth anniversary of our Retreat Center Ministry.

A Truly Grand Opening

Of course, our Christmas Festival of Lights had its fledgling beginnings on Tuesday, December 8, 1953, the official opening of the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro. This coincided with the beginning of the Marian Year promulgated by Pope Pius XII to mark the centenary of the proclamation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception (declared on Dec. 8, 1854 by Pope Pius IX). On this occasion, there was the first Christmas light display – some 5,000 Christmas lights – along with a splendid fireworks display, and outdoor nativity scene. About 5,000 people were present to witness this grand opening.

Fr. Pat – Sing, Sing, Sing!

When Fr. André Patenaude, M.S., – known to many as Fr. Pat – was Shrine Director, he realized that at Christmas time the buses that carried senior groups and those that came from afar generally arrived early. Since the lights did not go on until 5:00 PM, he decided that something should be provided for our visitors. Fr. Pat took out his guitar and began strumming. That was in 1982.

Read more: An Attleboro Christmas – Some Tidbits



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