Wishes for the New Year of Our Lord 2018

Once again the celebration of the New Year of Our Lord 2018 offers the opportunity for me to pray that Emmanuel — God with us — fills everyone with his presence and his grace.

“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14)
 
01 This event of God among us — at the heart of the Christian message — means that the God of the Bible is faithful to his promises and that he never disappoints us, because he loves with a special love the creature that comes forth from his own hands. This is also the experience that the people of Israel had in their long and difficult journey to the Promised Land.

The assurance of God given to Moses on Mount Horeb, “I will be with you (Ex 3:12),” will mark the history of the people of the Covenant in good times and in bad, as it marks our own. This promise will be realized in the birth of the Savior in the stable at Bethlehem, thereby filling the need for the infinite present in the heart of every person.

His coming among us will be marked by the refusal of comfortable lodging suited for the particular experience Mary and Joseph were going through, and by a more squalid indifference on the part of the inhabitants of Bethlehem.

The world we live in does not seem to be so different from that described in the Gospels. In fact, caught up in the whirl of its problems and unaware of the passing of God on the streets of its life, it seems to care little about him. Yet God has never stopped thinking of human beings and loving them in their fragility and littleness to the very point of becoming like one of them in the person of Emmanuel.

Our step out in faith to serve in Mozambique

02 This Christmas of 2017 marks an important step in the journey of our Congregation in that the following day is the opening of the first La Salette mission in the country of Mozambique. As with every new birth, I hope that this one too will be for us all a bearer of life and joy.

I offer up sincere prayers that this most recent mission commitment, which opens new apostolic horizons for the Congregation, may be experienced as a gift and as a time of grace reserved in a special way for us, as well as for all those Laity who desire to be nurtured by the same spirituality which is drawn from the Apparition of the Beautiful Lady at La Salette.

Furthermore, I hope that this becomes an incentive for every individual religious, for every community, and for our young people in formation, to rediscover the beauty of the call to La Salette religious life and, without any reservation and with renewed enthusiasm, to put all one’s human and spiritual capacities at the service of reconciliation in the Church and in the world today and especially where “the cry of the poor” is more obvious and insistent.

May this Christmas and New Year bring a breath of fresh air into the heart of each one of us and into our communities — a breath of fresh air that has the flavor of a shared religious and missionary ideal, of sincere solidarity, of effective collaboration, of mutual respect, of brotherly love and of forgiveness received and offered with joy.

Blessings for La Salette Sisters and Laity

I want to extend this wish to all those who under various titles collaborate with us in our houses and in the apostolate, as well as to our benefactors, to the Sisters of La Salette and to the La Salette Laity, who, sustained and encouraged by the words of the Beautiful Lady, commit themselves to announce the Good News with enthusiasm wherever they live.

Once again, and in the name of the General Council, best wishes for a Happy New Year — during which we will celebrate the 32nd General Chapter of our Congregation to be held in April in Argentina!

Prayer for the 2018 La Salette General Chapter

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen! 

03 Praise to you, Lord and Father, for you created the universe and continually maintain it in existence. 
Praise to you, Jesus Christ, Son of God, for you were sent into the world by the Father to save us through the sacrifice of your Passion, Death and Resurrection. 
Praise to you, Holy Spirit, divine force of the Father and the Son, for you give life to your disciples in every age. 
Praise to you, Most Holy Trinity, One God, for the gift of salvation, ever present in the Church through your word and the sacraments, especially in the Eucharist.
 
Jesus Christ, Teacher and Lord, we the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette desire to thank you in a special way for giving us your Mother to be our Mother as she stood at the foot of your Cross. 
We thank you for her merciful Apparition at La Salette, that so urgently calls our confused, disoriented world to conversion and reconciliation. 
We thank you for having called us into existence and for sustaining the members of our community, through “dialogue, witness, spirituality and prophecy,” as missionaries of the tears Mary shed at La Salette. 
 
As the General Chapter of our Congregation draws closer, we ask you, Triune God, through the intercession of Our Lady of La Salette, for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit on our Congregation, that we may continue to bring the Good News of salvation and the message of the Beautiful Lady to every corner of the world, “in the joy of our religious consecration.” 
 
We ask you to bless also all the participants of the General Chapter and to enlighten their hearts and minds, that they may listen for your voice speaking to the Church, “as they move out toward the new geographical and existential peripheries of the world.” Amen! 


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