La Salette Worldwide
 Perpetual Profession of Srs.
Margaret, Theresa and Mary, SNDS

The new La Salette Mission in Myanmar is shared, each in a particular way, by both the La Salette Sisters and La Salette Missionaries. On November 22, just a few days after the care of the Chanthagon Marian Shrine in Mandalay, central Myanmar, was confided to the Missionaries, the Sisters celebrated a special event in Myikyina, farther to the north. It marked a definitive engagement to living religious life when Srs. Margaret Zing Htung Hkawn Ri, Theresa Kareng Hkawan Htoi and Mary N-Htung Hka Yun Ja pronounced their perpetual profession. Sr. Margaret shared with us some of her reflections while preparing for that event at the Chanthagon Shrine:

God is not just the starting point of my life…He is the source of it. God planned where I would be born and live. My race as Jinghpaw and my nationality as Myanmar are no accident. It’s all for a purpose.

 The Bible tells us, “God is love.” LOVE is the essence of God’s character.

The three vows I made are expressions of my love for God. My vowed life is a journey which is far greater than my own personal fulfillment, my peace of mind or even my happiness. It requires a change in my priorities, my relationships and everything else. It will sometimes mean choosing a difficult path instead of an easy one. …
Nothing shapes my life more than the commitment I chose to live forever through the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. As a La Salette Sister, I am vowed to love, and share, to embrace all, especially the poor and the helpless in society. Thus, perpetual profession for me is to receive a new creation, new life, new strength and a new commitment as I go on in the way of Mary’s life-giving style of listening, praying and acting.

The Tsingy Forest

Fr. Joe Shea sent me this note about the village of Bekopaka. Once it was a small, unknown, distant village in Madagascar along the banks of the Manombolo river.Today it is undergoing a tremendous metamorphosis.

Bishop Donald is up North in Bekopaka, district of Antsalova, dedicating the new church. This represents a tremendous step forward for the Catholic Church. A few years ago the

Lepilemur in the Tsingy

 

inconspicuous village of Bekopoka was just another small, sleepy, non-descript village along the winding  Manombola river. Every few months a missionary would visit it . A few years down the road, it will become a separate missionary district, with a resident priest and a school.

During the General Chapter, May 2006, the La Salette Region of India was raised to the level of a Province. Their first Provincial Chapter – and it will include the election of the new Provincial Superior – is scheduled to take place in January 2007. While at the General Chapter I spent some time with Fr. Matthew Manjaly, MS – the Regional Superior – and Fr. Andrews Kallannoor, MS – the Indian delegate who is presently ministering in Arizona – and they spoke of what this new reality means to them.

In his book No Room at the Table Donald Dunson brings to our attention the miserable plight of thousands of children, especially those living in the poorer countries of the world. Many are homeless. Most go to sleep at night hungry. All live without experiencing fulfillment of the most basic human need – to be loved, to be welcomed into someone else’s life. Rather they experience the awful feeling of being cast aside as nobodies. Jesus said, Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me [Mt18:5]. One day the author took a group of abandoned children into a fast-food restaurant in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. Almost immediately the manager asked them to leave because his more affluent customers could easily be offended by the presence of these “street kids.” They took their food and went out into the street to eat. There was no room for them at the table! He then makes a powerful statement. “I came to learn, however, that the sense of welcome had unspoken limits.”

Let it never be said that the La Salette mission in Myanmar is dormant – rather that it is alive and vibrant! When La Salettes, after a 30-year absence, were re-installed in November 2005 at the request of the Bishop Conference, they began by accepting responsibility for running the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary at Chantagone, Paleik, in the diocese of Mandalay. Five zealous Myanmar La Salettes – Frs. Bernie, Nicodemus, Philip, Jerome and David – accepted as well the charge of two other mission parishes. They also began preaching missions and retreats throughout the country and organized pilgrimages to the Shrine. In October 2006 two more Myanmar La Salettes – Bros. Anton Nyo, MS and Thomas Htan Shan Mong, MS – were ordained deacons in the Philippines. When they have finished their studies in theology in the Philippines they will return home and will spend about six months re-adjusting to their native culture. Hopefully they will be ordained at the Shrine on October 9, 2007 – a significant date because exactly 70 years earlier the first La Salette Missionaries arrived in Myanmar (called Burma at that time).

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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.”