La Salette Worldwide
On August 14th, 1937, Father Philip J. Gardner (1905-1942), Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette, bade fond farewell to home and country, and set sail from New York, one of a pioneer mission band of five, whose destination was far away Burma (now Myanmar).

A Sad Passing and Too Soon…

Untitled 1Fr. Philip J. Gardner, M.S. (1905-1942), Missionary to Burma
Eight years to the day after departure, another scene, mournful yet hallowed with resigned faith, was enacted in the Church of St. Theresa, Manchester, New Hampshire. Religious confreres, parents and friends, mindful of Father Gardner's heroic sacrifice at the hands of Burmese bandits, attended the Pro-Burial Mass which was being offered to his revered memory. A message from His Excellency, the Most Rev. Timothy Crowley, C.S.C., Bishop of Dacca, Bengal, India, had officially confirmed the report of Father's tragic passing, more than three years ago, in the early days of Japanese conquest in the Far East.

Death came to the young missionary some five years after he had set foot in Burma and begun his strenuous work among a benighted people. Few yet fruitful had been these brief years in the darksome land of pagodas. The sudden closing of a promising missionary career brought a crowning glory to Father Gardner's cherished dream – that of laying down his life for his people. Blessed was he with the words of the Master, "Well done", as he appeared before him to report "Mission Completed".

An Unfortunate Situation

The sad Odyssey of Father Gardner's death trek began in Mandalay, in central Burma. When he learned that the storm of war was approaching his favorite mission in Prome District, he bravely set out with his companion, Father Joseph A. Proulx, M.S., to make his way back to one of his Catholic Chin villages near Prome.

Untitled 1The Chapel and Grounds for the Augustinian Sisters in Morlaix, FranceThis place became a meeting place for the Laity Salettins of the West. Together with Sister Anne-Marie and another sister, regularly four times a year, the group prays, reads and shares its experience in community, in light of the Gospel and the Great News entrusted by the Beautiful Lady. It is in this rereading that the life of laity and religious sisters finds breath and is excited by the mission entrusted to them by Mary: "Make this message known to all my people."

 

The eldest daughter of La Salette

By the concluding days of 1846, the Great News of the event of La Salette found a special resonance at Morlaix among the Augustinian Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus. In her message the sisters immediately discovered a God who, through Mary, came to tell the world not about God’s vengeance toward the sinner, but of God’s infinite mercy. The Beautiful Lady confirmed "her people" in her ability to pray for change – "if they convert..."

 

Augustinian Sisters of La Salette

In 1834 the first community of the Augustinian Sisters of the Mercy of Jesus arrived in the area of Morlaix (Saint Martin des Champs), France. They managed a hospital and boarding school, carrying out by their ministry as caregivers their mission to testify to all of the Mercy of God.

Habari! Greetings from Tanzania!


Untitled-1A gathering of concelebrants for MassWe would like to give you some news from here in Tanzania since our Superior General, Fr. Silvano Mrisa, M.S., left on July 24, 2016. In our first month here, some of the diocesan clergy who were not able to attend the inauguration on the July 17th were coming to visit us and to personally welcome us into the Bukoba Diocese. We experienced the warm welcome from every priest that we met here as well as from the religious (women) in the diocese.

Our parish is composed of 43 Small Christian Communities from the 15 villages entrusted to our care. For now, we already visited some of the villages and celebrated Mass there but we are not yet visited half of them. We have 3 sub-stations, including the Parish Center.

Here are some of the highlights of our stay here:

Untitled-1The Weeping Mother by the French artist, ArcabasWe are reminded in the La Salette Rule of Life that: “Invoked under the title of Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, Mary is the Patroness of the Congregation. The anniversary of her Apparition is celebrated with solemnity by all the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette.” (Rule of Life, 2cp)

Pope Francis also recites again the marvelous qualities of God: “Throughout the history of humanity, God will always be the One who is present, near, provident, holy and merciful” (Misericordiae Vultus, #6)…

 

Our Merciful Mother of La Salette

 

. . . for 170 years the Beautiful Lady’s message of reconciliation and of mercy has resounded throughout the Church and the world, thanks above all to the witnessing of the shepherds, Maximin and Melanie, and that of the Missionaries and Sisters of La Salette who have accepted this heritage; as well as the witnessing of so many faithful laity – men and women who have embraced and appropriated for themselves this charism of the Apparition.

This is truly a significant host of persons who have been touched by the tears of the Virgin, and who have not hesitated, throughout these years, to commit themselves in their journey of personal and community faith, to announcing and spreading the Gospel in light of what has transpired on the Mountain of La Salette September 19, 1846.

With a great full and joy filled heart I am happy to announce that the construction of the St. Reginald Chapel in Kimony, Madagascar has been completed. I give thanks to God for all the generous benefactors, family and friends who have contributed to make this chapel in memory of my dear departed youngest brother, Reginald Morais.
Untitled-1Fr. Jeremy with some of the local children in front of the new chapel in Kimony, Madagascar.
The St. Reginald Chapel in Kimony, Madagascar has been erected by our Bishop Raharilamboniaina Marie Fabien OCD (Bishop of the Diocese of Morondava) as a Chapel directly connected and responsible to the Cathedral Maria Manjaka (Cathedral Mary Queen) in Morondava.

 

A Day to Remember

 

The dedication of the St. Reginald Chapel in Kimony took place almost a year ago on October 4, 2015. Because of the absence of the Bishop and Vicar General of the Diocese it was confided to me as Pastor of the Cathedral to dedicate and bless the new chapel.

The Mass at the Cathedral was canceled and all the Christians of the Cathedral came to Kimony as a gesture of solidarity and symbol that this chapel belongs directly to the Cathedral of Morondava. In Malagasy we say the St. Reginald Chapel in Kimony is a “zanak-piangonana ny Katedraly Maria Manjaka”, (translated, “the chapel is a child or son of the Mother Church of the Cathedral, Mary Queen of Morondava”).

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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.”