Relics of the Past

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.

Read more: Relics of the Past

An Attleboro Christmas – Some Tidbits

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

La Salette Sisters in Vancouver

How were the La Salette Sisters invited to serve in Vancouver?

The Installation of the SNDS Canada
Community at Holy Trinity Parish was
celebrated on Nov. 18, 2012 during Mass;
(L to R) Sr. Marilyn Antonio, Fr. James Comey
(pastor),Sr. Minerva Boado, Sr. Marijo Valenton,
Sr. Margaret (Mimi) Ei May Kyin, and Fr. Rey.

In 2009, a General Council Member, Sr. Sonia Silverio, SNDS, while visiting her relatives in Vancouver had the occasion to meet J. Michael Miller, CSB, Archbishop of Vancouver. The Archbishop mentioned that he was open to welcoming the La Salette Sisters into his archdiocese.

In August of 2011, Sr. Elisabeth Guiboux, SNDS, and Sr. Marilyn J. Antonio, SNDS, spent twelve days visiting the different parishes that requested our presence and ministry. The welcoming spirit of the people and helpful assistance of the hosting priests and the Archbishop were simply wonderful.

After much prayer, we selected Holy Trinity Parish in North Vancouver, British Columbia because it offered a convenient complex, including a convent with a large chapel, a school and the parish church. We spoke with Archbishop Miller, requesting ministry at Holy Trinity and offered to open the School in September of 2012.

With the decisions being made in July 2012, our Superior General, Sr. Elisabeth Guiboux, SNDS, gave the mandate to me as Sister in charge of the Canadian Mission. The Province of the Philippines also sent Sr. Minerva I. Boado, SNDS, to be a member of the new community.

On August 19, 2012, the two La Salette Sisters from the Philippines arrived and were welcomed warmly. On October 19, 2012, Sr. Margaret Ei May Kyin, SNDS arrived from Myanmar. On November 18, 2012, we were formally established in the Archdiocese by Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB through a letter read during the celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Rev. James Patrick Comey, Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in the presence of Sr. Maria Josephine Valenton, SNDS, Delegate of Sr. Elisabeth Guiboux, SNDS.

Read more: La Salette Sisters in Vancouver

Lay Fast for Priests

Untitled-1ATTLEBORO, MA. — It was eight years ago that Anna Rae-Kelly, a parishioner at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Attleboro, was first inspired to do something to support the Catholic priesthood, which had been coming under constant attack since the clergy abuse scandals broke in 2001.

“Just after the priest abuse scandal hit Boston, as Catholics we all felt drawn to pray much more intensely for the priesthood which seemed to be under such tremendous attack at the time,” Rae-Kelly said. “Being aware that without priests we have no Eucharist, we have no sacrament of reconciliation, and we have no one to administer the last rites, I felt compelled to pray for them.”

Knowing how priests make tremendous sacrifices of their own for the faithful and the Church to fulfill their ministry, Rae-Kelly didn’t feel like simple prayers were enough. So she decided to take a cue from Jesus and embark on a personal fast of her own.

Prayer and Fasting – Powerful Tools

Read more: Lay Fast for Priests

La Salette Feast – California Style

In our parish of St. Christopher’s in Moreno Valley, California, the story of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette was not very well known by our parishioners. However over the last three years, through our persistent efforts as Lay La Salettes, the message and mission of Our Lady of La Salette is fortunately becoming more familiar to our people.

2011 – An Intercultural La Salette Liturgy for All Her People

Outdoor Candlelight Procession
In September of 2011, on the occasion of the celebration of the 165th anniversary of the La Salette Apparition, we decided to make a major effort to spread the good news. With the support of Fr. Joven Junio, M.S., our pastor, we involved members of the several ethnic groups of our parish in the La Salette Sunday Liturgy. We received participation from our Euro-Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, Vietnamese, Filipinos, Koreans, Pacific islanders, African-Americans, those recent immigrants from Africa: Uganda, Sierra Leone as well as many of our young people. We also asked these communities to share the food of their country for fellowship after the Mass.

We invited two younger children, a girl and a boy, to be Readers; the General Intercessions and Mass music were multilingual and our celebrations were applauded by our parish community.

2012 and 2013 – Making Our Intercultural Experience Better

Read more: La Salette Feast – California Style

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