La Salette Worldwide

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.

The headwaters of the Irrawaddy River which flows from
north to south through Myanmar and is the country's
largest river and most important commercial waterway.
From our La Salette History: In a letter written from Prome, Father John O’Reilly, M.S., describes the triumph and the joy that were felt on the occasion of the ordination of the first priest from their mission. After thirty years of difficult, unrewarding labor, this event underscores the patience and devotion with which our Fathers in Burma have given themselves to the task. The ordination that took place in the afternoon of March 18, 1967, is laden with meaning for our group of missionaries. Now that work of the Spirit which demands the witness of an apostle will be pursued by the firstborn of a critically-needed native clergy—the first of a long line we hope. (From our present-day Editor: Since our recent reimplantation in Myanmar on Nov. 18, 2005, we now have several La Salette priests working in a new area of Myanmar.) 

From the La Salette Publication,
Reconciliare, May 1967

“As long as the day lasts I must carry out the
work of the one who sent me.” (John 9:4)

The problems connected with the coming ordination gathered around these central points: the place for the celebration, the feeding of the guests, the training of the clergy and servers and the choir. We had applied for permission from the District Educational Committee (which had “nationalized,” that is, confiscated everything on “our” property outside of the cathedral and the Bishop’s house) to use the property and the buildings, that is the school and the boarding buildings. That application was sent up in January.

Novice Margaret Emaygin, Novice Monica
Sine Aung and Novice Angela Sote Khine
take their vows for the first time as
La Salette Sisters

Sisters Take Vows in Myanmar

“We love because God first loved us.” (1 Jn 4:19) After a few years of the presence of La Salette Sisters in Myanmar, Novice Margaret Emaygin, Novice Monica Sine Aung and Novice Angela Sote Khine took their first profession of three vows of Evangelical Councils on the 2nd of February, 2010. Fr. Bernie, MS, Fr. Jerome, MS, Fr. Valentine, MS, Fr. Robert, MS, Fr. William, MS and Bro. Nicholas, MS attended to witness the profession in Myintkyina despite a day trip by train from Mandalay.

Sr. Mariejo Valenton, SNDS represented the Mother General and accepted the vows. Some members of the Missionaries of Faith joined in the celebration. Angela was once a novice of the congregation. With many priests and the Bishop Francis’ presence, it was a very solemn occasion; with a lot of food too.

Fr. Philip blesses the new aspirant’s house

Due to many factors, vocation recruitment in Myanmar had been stopped in the 1990s. When the La Salette Missionaries returned to Myanmar after twenty-nine years, the moratorium on recruitment was still in effect. There was a need for rebuilding the formation program.

In spite of the moratorium and our lack of active recruiting, many young men were attracted to our La Salette way of life. Since I had declared an open house at the Marian Shrine in Chanthagone, Mandalay, where the La Salette Missionaries are based, many have come to be close to our Blessed Mother at her “home.”

Just as the Lord invited the first disciples to “come and see,” many had come and stayed with us – some for a couple of days and some for a much longer time. Just like the two disciples at Emmaus, our visitors have been living with the missionaries, eating what is given and doing all the hard work that is needed, especially now that our community is building in a new residence.

Bishop Fabien (left) relaxes with Bishop Donald
Pelletier, M.S., previous bishop of Morondava.

Bishop Fabien Raharilamboniana, named bishop of the Malagacy diocese of Morondava, Fr. Fabien Raharilamboniana, was born in Ambohijanahary, a suburb of Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, on January 20, 1968

He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites where he made his religious profession on September 7, 1990, after having studied philosophy and theology at the Catholic Institute in Madagascar at Ambatoroka in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and was ordained to the priesthood on July 5, 1997.

After his priestly ordination, he became a parochial vicar at the parish of St. Paul, at Phoenix, on the island of St. Maurice and served there until 1999 when he was assigned to establish the Order of Discalced Carmelites on the Island of Reunion, where La Salettes also minister.

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La Salette Missionaries, Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas

Our Community: The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette are deeply rooted in the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette which occurred near the hamlet of La Salette in southeastern France on Sept. 19, 1846. The Missionaries were founded in 1852 by Bp. Philbert de Bruillard, Bishop of Grenoble, France, and presently serve in some 25 countries.

Our Province: The Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas, was founded in 2000AD and is one of several provinces in the congregation. The members of this Province serve mainly in the countries of Canada, the United States and the Region of Argentina/Bolivia.

Our Mission: Our La Salette ministry of reconciliation responds to the broad vision given by Mary at La Salette as well as in response to the needs of the Church. As reconcilers, we together with the laity take seriously Mary’s mandate: “You will make (Mary’s) message known to all (her) people.”