Praiseworthy Language

Reaching out to poor children and
transforming their lives is one way the
La Salettes participate in the work done
so selflessly by Sr. Stephany

Reaching out to poor children and transforming their lives is one way the La Salettes participate in the work done so selflessly by Sr. Stephany

A few times over the years I have written about Fr. Norman Butler’s outreach to street kids. When we received special gifts for needy children, his was the first name that came to mind, and the money was sent to him to help the work he was involved with in Bolivia. A few years ago, together with Norman, I assisted at the graduation from high school of a teenager whom Norman had encouraged to continue his education. Some of the money we had received was used to help put this youth through school. At other times the money was given to a sister who worked closely with poor kids. In a recent letter I found out who that sister was, and about her unique way of witnessing to the Gospel in her neighborhood. She exemplified well what Pope Benedict wrote about in his first encyclical “God is love” : Anyone who needs me, and whom I can help, is my neighbor [15]. Here is Father Norman’s eulogy – in the original Greek sense of the word, meaning “praisworthy language” – of how Sister Stephany was a neighbor to the street kids she found in Cochabamba.

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Links in a Chain

Similar to the mighty Mississippi which
traverses North America, this Irrawaddy
River snakes through and is a lifeline for
the country of Myanmar.

Similar to the mighty Mississippi which traverses North America, this Irrawaddy River snakes through and is a lifeline for the country of Myanmar.

Living on an island – Madagascar – for many years, it was natural to think of the water surrounding the island as something that separated me from family and friends here in the States. One day I was discussing the idea of “Mission” with a group of teenagers. One mentioned that he would find it difficult to leave home and go “over the waters” – an-dafy in Malagasy – to preach the Gospel. Then someone said: “Water is not an element that separates us from others. Rather, all those drops of water are like links of a chain that join us together.”
I recalled this as I stood on the banks of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar several years ago. In 1937 the first five La Salette Missionaries sailed down the waters of the Hudson River to end up on the banks of the Irrawaddy. As I crossed the waters of the Irrawaddy on my way to the parish, leper colony and orphanage in Thayet Myo, I thought of how all those tiny droplets of water joined the Fathers in Burma with their families and friends here in the States, inviting all to be part of the Mission.

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Helping the Poor Children of Naples

cg13_ITALIA_Avittabile_Angelo_b.jpgEditor’s note: We share with you an article written by Fr. Angelo Avitabile, M.S., on the occasion of his parish’s 25th anniversary. His commitment to the people of his parish, Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler, in Naples, Italy, in the poorest section of the city, was remarkable. His intelligence, dedication and seemingly endless enthusiasm and ongoing outreach to the poor, estranged and helpless of his area was extraordinary, as is evidenced by the program he outlines for us.

Over the last few years, Fr. Angelo developed cancer and finally went home to God on August 1, 2010, at the age of 50. The grace of his ministry will last forever in the hearts of the countless people he touched. May God grant him eternal rest.

As the Universal Church is preparing for the Jubilee Year 2000 ...our parish in Naples is celebrating its Silver Jubilee. In the past, it has administered the sacraments, undertaken projects, and organized many events; yet what the parishioners, and God, treasure most is that we have all tried to love one another sincerely and honestly.

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Two Lourdes Shrines in Myanmar

our-lady-of-lourdes_window_01.jpgOur Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Nyaunglaybin

The National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Nyaunglaybin, Yangon Diocese, attracts about a hundred thousand pilgrims every year. Many flock there, coming by train, bus or private vehicles.

More than 40,000 people come from thirteen dioceses in Myanmar to gather in Nyaunglebin, 145 km north of Yangon, to mark the 104th anniversary of a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes. Present for the three-day celebrations, from 17 to 19 February, They were joined by more than 50 priests and members of religious orders.

The program of celebrations included daily Mass, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confession, meditation and hymns to the Blessed Mother. This feast was marked for the first time here in Nyaunglebin, Bago division, in 1902.

Now that the National Shrine has been open for over one hundred years, they welcome pilgrims from New York City, USA to Perth, Australia. Even though it is open throughout the year, there are only a few days

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A One Room Schoolhouse

School-kids-in-class.jpgBishop Donald Pelletier wrote about how a Missionary’s life and work continue to follow after him, even though he is no longer working in the mission field.

Anyone who ever knew the late Father Joe Shea, MS would never forget his contagious enthusiasm, his overpowering impulsiveness, his stubborn determination to overcome all obstacles. Needless to say he was a man of vision and therefore of surprises. Once that vision was clear to him he never backed down – not only did he make his point but saw to it that others would go along. It was good that he never let a title – even the title of Bishop – scare him or derail him when discussing his plans and ideas with the late Bishop Bernard or with me.

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