La Salette in Argentina

Editor: Eugenia is a committed member of the group of La Salette Associates in Attleboro, Massachusetts and speaks Spanish and English.

This following brief 50-second video is from the Diaconal Ordination of Bro. Diego Diaz, M.S. (shown below in this article), with the imposition of hands of Auxiliary Bishop Pedro Torres, on November 6, 2016 at the Regional House of the Missionaries of La Salette in Cordoba, Argentina. His mother vests him after his ordination as a deacon.



We had the wonderful experience of attending the meeting of the La Salette Missionaries and Laity in Cordoba, Argentina from January 23-31, 2017. Traveling with Fr. Ray Cadran of the Provincial Council, we had a pleasant and uneventful 15-hour journey from Attleboro.

Untitled 1(from left) Fr. Ray Cadran, M.S., Bro. Germán Ojopi, M.S., Eugenia Reidemeister (kneeling), Bro. César Atahuichi, M.S., after celebrating the temporary vows.
Arriving in the southern hemisphere, we truly enjoyed an incredible feeling of welcome and hospitality from our hosts, much like arriving back at home. Warmth also came from their January summer weather.

Fr. Norman Butler and Deacon Diego Díaz brought us into the warmth and joy of the Argentinian people as we visited the local parish in Cordoba.

Our visit to the “barrio” church, Cristo Resucitado, included sharing Liturgy and lunch with Fr. Javier Pereira, M.S. We witnessed the commitment they have to building a small center for their Catechist Ministry.

Taking part in the assembly were numerous La Salette Missionaries and several laity, all part of the “Familia Saletense (La Salette Family)”. The program commenced with a morning prayer in the chapel of the retreat house including music, worship, petitions and thanksgiving to “Maria de La Salette”.

This was followed by the main program of the retreat, led by our retreat leader, Teresa M. Gallardo, O.P., a Dominican Sister. We were spiritually enriched by her presentations and the faith sharing that flowed from them. The topics were “Life, Vocation of the Laity, Reconciliation, and Mission” and allowed all of the participants to engage in different activities, and communicate and share their thoughts freely.

Every evening, we celebrated Mass, enjoyed dinner together, and on some evenings we watched a movie relating to the theme of the following morning’s discussion.

Untitled 2At the altar are Deacon Diego Díaz, M.S., Fr. Alfredo Velarde, M.S. (now deceased), and Fr. Ray Cadran, M.S., leading the celebration of vows.
In addition to the retreat and meetings, we were able to participate in the celebration of the temporary vows of Brother César Atahuichi, M.S., and Brother Germán Ojopi, M.S., as well as the 25th anniversary of religious life of Brother Moisés Rueda, M.S.

These celebrations were followed by a “Cultural Asado” (Cultural Barbecue) to taste the diversity of meats and traditional Argentinian cuisine. Our interaction was certainly not limited to our scheduled discussions but we also had a lot of opportunities to share our thoughts at “the table” while enjoying a meal, cup of coffee, or during our social time at night.

After dinner, we spent some time listening to some of the La Salette’s playing the guitar and singing traditional songs of Argentina and Bolivia.

The work of the Regional Assembly to help plan and evaluate the community life and ministry of the La Salettes was met with enthusiasm and great effort to make our La Salette ministry more effective for God’s people.

The laity in the region are asking the La Salette Missionaries to keep them well- informed about the life, issues, and ministry of the other provinces and regions around the world if this information will help their own interaction with La Salette.

Untitled 3Fr. Ray Cadran congratulating the new La Salette Brothers, Germán and César.
As they raised this petition among the local laity, we can also see if this same request would be good to doing in the United States in order to keep our lay La Salette community closer to the life and ministry of the other La Salettes around the world. This can deepen our appreciation of the message of Our Lady of La Salette among our communities and families.

We grew closer in understanding each other and how to cooperate in making Mary’s message of hope, compassion, and reconciliation more well-known to her people. The faith and caring of the people was evident as was their pastoral concern for the hurting and grieving in their community.

Being part of the La Salette family through our visit to Argentina gave us all a sense of joy and unity in our common mission. We are very thankful for the opportunity to be witnesses of the love for “María de La Salette” of the local parishes of Argentina, as well as the wonderful enthusiasm of the local La Salette Missionaries.

The love and dedication of the La Salette Missionaries and the local La Salette laity are planted deeply in the atmosphere of daily life in Argentina. Words cannot describe our eternal gratitude to all of those involved in this hosting this great meeting.

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