Improving St. Ann’s in Ambatolahy


Fr. Jeremy Morais, M.S., with children in his parish
school of St. Ann’s in Ambatolahy, Madagascar
In late 2010 Fr. Jeremy Morais, M.S., was director of the mission district of Ambatolahy, Madagascar. Before leaving for his new assignment in Morondava he had completed a new building with four classrooms at St. Anne's school. Here was his latest communiqué before leaving.
The blessing and inauguration of the new Catholic secondary school of St. Anne, Ambatolahy took place amid wonderful celebrations. Our local Ordinary, Bishop Fabien Raharilamboniaina, accompanied by four visiting priests, did the honors. The church was packed as we began the celebration of Mass, with the voices of all the school children, their parents and other parishioners, all of whom participated in the construction of the new school buildings, reverberating off the walls and out into the city. What a wonderful way to begin the celebration of World Mission Sunday! In his homily, the Bishop emphasized the importance of a solid Catholic education — a theme that he has made a pastoral priority in the diocese.

Read more: Improving St. Ann’s in Ambatolahy

The Holy Mountain is Bustling


Spring flowers on the Holy Mountain in France
About six weeks ago, I came here at the Holy Mountain of La Salette in France. I’d like to let you know about the members of the international community here at La Salette Mountain and share some information about our life here.
La Salette remains the same as before; the mountain is so beautiful with flowers. Yesterday the friends of La Salette came with machines to cut the grass in the mountain, apparition site and surroundings of the Basilica. On June 1st there was snowfall and then the temperature begun to rise. On June 21st the season of summer officially started in Europe and still we got a few rainstorms in these days.
In June there were lot of pilgrims here at La Salette sanctuary; most of them were from Germany and East Europe especially Poland. There were also significant numbers of pilgrims from Italy, Brazil, and Singapore etc. The number of French pilgrims is less compared to the number of foreign pilgrims.

Read more: The Holy Mountain is Bustling

Madagascar and Family Life

I invite you to take a look at family life in one of our foreign missions, namely the Malagasy Republic (Madagascar). I have been fortunate in having had the opportunity to speak at length on this matter with five La Salette Missionaries from Madagascar, on different occasions. Along with three Americans – Fr. Jack Nuelle, Bro. Mark Gallant and Bp. Donald Pelletier – I would like to acknowledge also Fr. Tristan de Salmiech of France and Fr. Marian Sajdak of Poland. To all of these La Salettes I am most grateful, and I am very happy to share their reflections and insights.

Priest baptizes a Malagasy infant

In Western society, marriage is generally the starting point of a distinct new family, which is self-sufficient, with a legitimate claim to goods and property of its own. A family is most commonly defined as consisting of parents and their children.

Family, and Marriage – Madagascar Style

It is quite another matter in African society. There, marriage does not give rise to a new, distinct entity, but serves chiefly to continue the life of the broader family. It provides for a flow of life, that the life received from the ancestors will be passed on from generation to generation.

A “family,” therefore, in Madagascar is much larger than in Europe and America. This is brought home more forcibly when we learn that the Malagasy language has no word for “aunt” or “uncle” or “cousin."

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My Burmese Nunc Dimittis

Fr. Bernie Taylor (U Mya Thein), M.S., shares his feelings as he celebrates the fortieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. He is the first Burmese La Salette Missionary. He looks forward to the next generation of native La Salette Missionaries as they share their gifts and take on the mantle of leadership.

(from left) Fr. Bernie Taylor, Fr. David, Fr. Nicodemus, Fr.
Isidro Perin (then Superior General), Fr. Philip, and Fr. Jerome

My Fortieth Anniversary of Priesthood

This is the fortieth time I have celebrated Holy Week and the Easter Week as a priest in my native land of Burma. Last December I had my 40th Christmas Mass. I have celebrated it in the jungles, in the small villages (barrios), in small towns, in big cities, in the beach, in the seminaries, in small chapels, in the metropolitan churches, etc. Many times I was the main celebrant, and at other times I concelebrated.

I had the Mass in Latin, English, Burmese, Khumi Chin, Tagalong, Ilocano, Spanish, etc. I have been with small communities, medium-sized communities and big communities. What a privilege! All I can say is: “Deo Gratias.” I thank the Lord for such a variety of experiences and graces, crosses and resurrections as well as for the people he has placed in the different parts of my life.

The Passion, Death and Resurrection – the Paschal Mystery – has been a part of my life even if I tried to escape it occasionally. I have made some mistakes in my lifetime. I also received some great blessings which I attribute to the love and mercy of God. Now it is time to put all these things in proper perspective.

Read more: My Burmese Nunc Dimittis

Our Indian Mission Expands

In this map of India, the area of Andhra
Pradesh is indicated in yellow

Fr. Andrews Kollannoor, M.S., had just finished preaching mission appeals. Prior to returning home to India, he agreed to do ministry in Hawaii for a month. Before leaving our house in Saint Louis, he told me about the upcoming blessing of the fifth La Salette residence in India.

Parackadavu Seminary, La Salette Bhavan:
Chapel on left, Seminary on right

Each of the five La Salette residences in India has a specific name. The first residence is in Parakadavu and is called La Salette "Bhavan" - a name meaning La Salette "house." Young seminarians in the postulancy program live and study there. They share the residence with priests who focus on renewal programs and counseling for the local people. The second residence is in Bangalore and is called La Salette "Sadhan" also a name for "house” – where students studying philosophy live. The third residence is in Mysore and is called La Salette "Nikethan" – again meaning "house." All pre-college seminarians and novices live there. The fourth residence is in Kayakunnu and is called La Salette "Ashran" - meaning monastery. This is a place for prayer and counseling. The fifth and newest residence is in Andhra Pradesh and will be called La Salette "Nilayam" - yes, also meaning "house."

Read more: Our Indian Mission Expands

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