Meetings, meals and song (6 minutes)
"A meeting in order to deepen our faith as persons and to strengthen more definitely our mission as La Salette Laity for a reconciled world."
It is through this short phrase that I would like to briefly describe what has been lived through the second meeting of the La Salette Laity which took place at La Salette Shrine in France in October 2016.
Everything that was part of the studies, reflections and actions, as well as every human relation and expression of community which we were able to feel in our hearts, as well as in the silence and spirituality emanating from the Holy Mountain of La Salette always reveals a strong presence, full of tenderness of Mary, the Mother of Reconciliation. Absolutely everything has contributed to the accomplishment of the 2nd International Encounter of La Salette Laity and to the attainment of its objectives.
The participants in the meeting came from different cultural backgrounds and realities, with the various realities of La Salette Mission in each country. Nonetheless every delegate contributed, each in his or her own way, and experienced to make the meeting truly meaningful for themselves and for the life and mission of the Congregation.
This meeting was organized by the General Council of the La Salette. It was composed of several delegations, each composed of La Salette Laity accompanied by a priest responsible for the group in each province or region. The countries represented were: Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, France, India, Madagascar, Philippines, Poland, Spain, and the United States.
A Process of Growing into Our Mission
The first part of the meeting was dubbed "getting to know each other". Each delegation presented its history and experience. It was a moment of mutual enrichment in diversity. Each one learned from the experience others. It was possible to build a true sentiment and spirit of La Salette family, which enabled each one to have a more open vision of our world of today, which is very much in need of reconciliation in all areas and in every country.
The second phase was dedicated to the challenge of allowing oneself to be open to the "sensibilities" with regards to the work and the possibilities of the mission of reconciliation today. This phase has allowed each member of the La Salette Laity to reflect more profoundly on the spirituality of reconciliation and on the presence of this spirit of reconciliation in the life of the lay person who is acquainted with the event and message of the "Beautiful Lady of La Salette.
There was a strong invitation to turn toward the urgencies of the reconciling mission, in order to find out where we are at, each with his or her fears, difficulties and weaknesses, but united in the action of making the world "more reconciled".
At La Salette, Mary invites us not to be afraid, "to dare to come out" as Msgr. Guy de Kerimel said. He is the Bishop of the Diocese of Grenoble-Vienne, who attended the meeting. It is necessary to establish a profound relationship with Christ, so that we may become more and more “Reconcilers”. For that goal it is necessary for us to rediscover the profound and infinite love of God, through our personal encounter with him in our mission.
The last part of the meeting was dedicated to "action". In this portion of the meeting, certain decisions were discussed and adopted in view of providing unity and identity for the La Salette Laity within the Congregation and in our pastoral ministries and communities.
La Salette Laity, as members of the Salettine Family, are not just a project, but truly a reality, forming a wider, more varied and gifted family
As was commented at the end of the meeting – the important thing is the presence of each of us in the life of each one of us. That is the sense of being La Salette Laity and living the charism of reconciliation.