Learning To Read Brings Hope

Editor: This article describes part of the project that is being financed by the "project money" that the Parish of Our Lady of La

Paulo Reglus Neves Freire,
Ph.D (1921–1997) was best
known for his influential work,
“Pedagogy of the Oppressed,”
which is considered one of
the foundational texts of the
critical pedagogy movement.
Salette in Cordoba, Yofre Norte, Argentina is running.

Doctor Paulo Freire, a noted Brazilian educator and philosopher, a champion of empowerment and transformation, said: "We all know something, we all ignore something, so we always learn…” In another place he said: “The oppressed must be their own example in the struggle for their redemption.”

Literacy Meetings in Villa Esquiú and El Quebrachal

In the parishes of Our Lady of Valle in Villa Esquiú and Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Quebrachal in the "Something Different” Cooperative, there is a program for beginning catechists, provided for by the Parish Project with the support of the Team for Mental Health, under the support and supervision of the priests and parishioners. It has begun to establish “literacy spaces” for people in these communities.

For some time there has been a need for many youth and adults to be able to complete their primary level education. In particular this is a need for those women working and living in the poorer area of our cities, who have school children but themselves need to attend an adult school.

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Pope Francis with Youth

Pope Francis enthusiastically
at the crown at World
Youth Day in Brazil

Thousands of Argentinian youth in Rio for World Youth Day met with the Holy Father yesterday afternoon. Pope Francis had personally requested that his schedule be rearranged to have a moment to meet with them. The meeting was held in the Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro.

The Holy Father began his address by expressing his hope that the World Youth Day would bring about a “mess” in their dioceses, a term he used to describe a call to action in announcing the Gospel.

“I want people to go out!” he explained. “I want the Church to go out to the street! I want us to defend ourselves against everything that is worldliness, that is installation, that is comfortableness, that is clericalism, that is being shut-in in ourselves. The parishes, the schools, the institutions, exist to go out! If they don’t go out, they become NGOs (non-governmental organization of citizens involved in humanitarian causes), and the Church can’t be an NGO.”

The 76 year old Pontiff went on to speak of the rising exclusion of both young people and the elderly, or as he described as “the two poles of life.” The elderly are often uncared for and unheard in today’s society, while the youth are excluded from having a stable employment.

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Creches Find a Home

Editor: A carved, wood-stained nativity set from Germany is part of the new International Nativity Sets Display at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Enfield. It is among more than 450 sets donated by the Rev. Msgr. Charles DesRuisseaux, a retired priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester.

Bro. Claude Rheaume, M.S., marvels at the
Christmas Crèche collection he helped to display.

ENFIELD — This summer, the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette opened a permanent exhibit of more than 450 nativity sets from more than 50 countries. "We're wondering if it isn't the largest collection in New England, 450 is a good number," said Shrine Director Fr. René J. Butler.

The entire collection was donated to the shrine by the Rev. Msgr. Charles DesRuisseaux, a retired priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester, who lives in Manchester. He started the collection in 1973 when his aunt made him a nativity set using unique materials such as old spools from Manchester's Amoskeag Mill as well as egg shells.

Then in 1980 while on a trip to Acapulco, Mexico, he was charmed by the Mexican interpretation of the crèche with St. Joseph wearing a sombrero and bought the nativity. "I love to travel so I've been to many places all over the world, Africa and Asia and Europe and Latin America," he said, of the places he bought nativity sets. "I'd have to have at least 15 or 20 news ones each year. I'd always have to buy a suitcase to bring all my nativities home."

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Tuition-Free School Closer

The first “Rev. John J. O'Neill Awards Ceremony” was held on May 22 at the St. James School in Danielson. All 207 students in kindergarten through eighth grade received one of 46 different awards.

Fr. John J. O’Neill, M.S.,
Pastor of St. James Parish
All 207 students will also receive tuition assistance for school year 2013-2014. The idea of giving financial aid to every student has been in the pipeline for more than 21 years, according to Fr. O'Neill, who has been pastor for the same amount of time.

“When I studied economics at Boston College, I realized church management was crucial,” he said. “Schools wouldn’t make it with the programs set up. You can’t make it. Even though our second collections and fundraisers are second to none, we’re still $100,000 short every year.”

The problems facing the Danielson school are the same ones facing Catholic schools across the nation. According to the National Catholic Education Association, nationwide enrollment declined 12 percent for 2012-2013.

O'Neill's solution was to build an endowment fund, solidify the Friends of La Salette, a group dedicated to the school, and to call on friends around the world for help. “We brought in the base,” O'Neill said. “We’re ecumenical. We’re international. We have all kinds of awards.”

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New Parish in Haiti

When Mary appeared at La Salette to the two poor, unschooled cowherds, she was teaching us by her attitude of concern and compassion as well as by her words, that we must reach out to “all her people,” especially to the most needy.

St. Anne’s Church in Haute Feuille, Haiti
From its very beginnings, the Parish of Our Lady of the Cape in Brewster, MA, has been reaching out in many ways. Its own local community certainly has its own needs. Also their increased summer membership who come to share in the parish’s vibrancy and faith is another event of outreach. But the parish community’s significant 25-year efforts in its ministry of twinning with Saint Claire’s Parish in Dessalines, Haiti, is simply exceptional and yet a true blessing for all concerned.

From the first establishment of their connection with and visits to the main church in Dessalines, the parishioners of Our Lady of the Cape have given of their time, talent and treasure so that their sister parish could continue and flourish, including its eight chapels, a clinic and five schools with an enrollment of 3,000 students. The needs of their sister parish in Haiti are extensive and their response of deep gratitude has been just wonderful.

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