From Sharon Markowitz:
|Sharon Markowicz (center) with
Fr. Ernie Corriveau, M.S. (left) and
Fr. Jack Nuelle, M.S.
Drawing on my experience as an Enfield, NH, La Salette Associate, my advice to lay people interested in associating with the La Salettes in a covenant community:
- be honest and share your feelings;
- be persistent in your desire to respond to your calling;
- be patient with the religious because this is a new situation for La Salette religious and often new things take time to get used to. And lastly,
- do not expect all the La Salettes to be interested in the lay program or to want to participate in it. Draw strength and support from those who are interested.
To the La Salette religious who are interested in beginning a Lay Missionary program, they should appreciate that:
- lay people can also have a strong calling to be reconcilers and to spread the message of Mary;
- laity want an opportunity to respond to that call and seek your support to do so; religious should use the energy and resources available to you through the lay people to achieve your mission. Most of all,
- have no fear that the lay people will want to "take over"! They really don't.
From Scott Campbell:
|Fr. Silvano Marisa, M.S. (left)
with two La Salette laity
My original reason for deciding to go to the mission in Madagascar was simply to have a one-year experience in a foreign country, as I am a student of political science: international relations. However, I soon realized that working and living with the Malagasy offered more than just practical experience in the field. My one-year commitment was therefore extended twice to become a total of three years.
One of the most attractive dimensions of this missionary experience was the opportunity to have a meaningful exchange with people of another culture. To learn from them a different approach to life and their perspective and view of the world.
I appreciated in a most profound way the simplicity of Malagasy life – its richness, its natural rhythm. Such a refreshing change from the over-accelerated pace one often finds at home in the United States. In Madagascar one has time to live and to appreciate the world in all its subtleties.
I believe my success as a lay missionary will be measured in how well I can apply the lessons I've learned from the Malagasy and the wisdom they've shared with me. But I can also quite honestly state at it is moment that my missionary experience was and will continue to be something of great value that has changed my life for the better.