Laity

Editor: These are reflections by two La Salette Missionaries during the celebrations in 1992 for the 150th anniversary of the La Salette Apparition that are as current as yesterday.

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Fr. Gilles Ginest, M.S.

Fr. Gilles Genest shared:

As we gathered to discuss the topic, Laity and Religious in the La Salette World, it became clearer and clearer to me that this collaborative relationship was no longer simply optional. Our review of the Church documents since Vatican II as well as our study of our La Salette Rule left no doubt in my mind where our future direction lies. It was especially encouraging to learn that the call of laity to share our La Salette charism had already been heard.

Throughout the Congregation, there are many experiences of authentic journeying with our brothers and sisters of the laity, in particular with the La Salette Associates from Enfield, NH. They came to share what they wanted and needed from us. They stated boldly and clearly that they also have a vocation to respond to Mary's invitation: "Make it known to all my people!" They want to – and actually do – share in our La Salette spirituality and charism as reconcilers.

They described their association with us as not only an opportunity for ministry but above all an opportunity to deepen their love and commitment for all that Mary represents at La Salette. They spoke with vigor and enthusiasm about their desires of shared spirituality, ministry and lifestyles.

And I suddenly realized that professed religious are not the only ones who can be truly called La Salettes. I now more powerfully understand that Mary's vision of her La Salette family is much broader than the narrow restrictions we as La Salette religious placed on it. Mary's challenge to all of us is to find a way to live as one La Salette Family, joined by our love and devotion to the message, mission and charism of the Weeping Mother of La Salette.

Fr. Ephren Musgni shared:

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Fr. Ephren Musngi, M.S. (right) with (from left)
Frs. Rosanno Sorianno, Philippine Provincial,
and Silvano Marisa, La Salette Superior
General, in a recent visit to Myanmar

Where would La Salette be without her lay people? Just as it is impossible to think of the Church without lay people, so it is quite difficult to conceive of the La Salette Missionaries fulfilling their mission of reconciliation without the collaboration and help of the laity.

From Madagascar to Argentina, from North America to the Philippines, and from Poland to Italy, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette count on the collaboration of countless lay men and women. There is a tremendous variety of relationships between the La Salette Missionaries and their lay collaborators. It ranges from salaried lay people and volunteers working with us in our ministries, prayer and common vision – all inspired by Our Lady of La Salette and her message of reconciliation.

I was most impressed by the Lay Associates of Enfield and Attleboro who have been so inspired by Our Lady and her Message at La Salette that they have entered into a covenant expressed in a yearly Ceremony of Promises. It was both inspiring and challenging to me personally to listen to them recount their respective journeys. This is indeed the modern "Grace of La Salette" renewing itself through God’s grace.

To me, this calls for a deeper commitment on the part of all of us La Salette priests and brothers, to support and educate the lay people with whom we collaborate. We need to journey with them and share with them so that they too will grow in appreciation of La Salette and in their commitment to our common Mission of Reconciliation.

(Reprinted from SaletteInfo, 1992, no. 3)

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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.”