We would like to introduce you to the La Salette Associates – who we are and what we do. We are a group of lay people who choose to bond ourselves closely with the spirituality, charism, ministry and community of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette in a setting of mutuality.
Mutuality recognizes that both professed Missionaries and Associates, although they have distinct and different rights and responsibilities within the La Salette Community, contribute to the La Salette mission in the world today. Each does this according to the particular gifts and talents received by God. Mutuality implies the enrichment in ongoing relationships with one another on a personal and a community level.
Associates feel a call in response to the message of reconciliation that Mary proclaimed in her merciful apparition of 1846 in France and are inspired by her words. Through prayer, fraternal love, support, and encouragement, we dedicated ourselves to the service of God’s people, to spreading the message of La Salette, and joining in the ministry of reconciliation with the La Salette Missionaries. This calling inspires us to learn more about what Mary’s words mean to us today and how we can get the message across to others as Mary has called us to do.
We are all different, in our backgrounds, family lives, style of prayer, and depth of faith, but those differences allow us to express this calling in a variety of ways. We come together for prayer, faith sharing and to give each other the support and encouragement we need to carry out our mission.
Mission and Vision
Mission: The La Salette Associate Program consists of groups of men and women committed to Jesus’s mission of reconciliation proclaimed in Mary’s message at La Salette. As a people of God, we are called in communion of spirit with the Missionaries of La Salette to bring love, healing, justice, and acceptance through our personal lives, our prayer, our spirituality, and our group activities to “all my people”.
Vision: The La Salette Associate Program will consist of diverse groups throughout the Province of Mary Mother of the Americas flowing from and linked by the charism and message of Mary at La Salette.
Expectations: The Associate Program expects that each group adopt the above Mission and Vision and include in their guidelines a formation program incorporating the pillars listed below and a promise of commitment. There would be autonomy within each group to develop “group-specific” guidelines.
Each Associate would be expected to:
1) accept and understand the Mission and Vision of the program
2) know the message and charism of La Salette
3) desire and be willing to live out that charism in their daily lives
4) share the message of La Salette with others
Each group would develop their own formation program that would include but is not limited to the following four pillars:
1) La Salette – The message and charism of La Salette
- The history and formation of the Missionaries of La Salette
- The structure of the La Salette order
2) Community – Explore all types of community. Including the associate programs throughout the United States and understand the elements of forming “community”.
3) Ministry – Explore the types of ministry available to group members
4) Personal Spirituality – Understanding that personal spirituality is a life long process that is nourished by faith sharing, community participation, and personal prayer.
Once a candidate has been accepted a covenant commitment is written and renewed yearly as close to the feast of Our Lady of La Salette as possible. This event should be commemorated in the context of either a liturgical ceremony or other prayer service.
The Covenant should include the following elements;
a) a desire to foster a La Salette devotion
b) a desire to share Eucharist with the La Salette Missionaries whenever possible
c) a commitment to attend regular meetings as outlined by the local group
d) a commitment to ongoing formation programs that will encourage spiritual growth
e) a desire to celebrate special feast days and holidays with the community
Other La Salette Associate Guidelines
The following guidelines have been established by the Provincial Associate Board to serve as a resource for associate groups.
1. Eligibility: Associate membership is open to mature men and women who desire to participate in a Catholic faith community and who are willing to share their individual gifts and talents with the group. The various phases of discernment, orientation, and formation lead to a decision to enter into a covenant with God along with the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette.
2. Orientation: The orientation phase takes place at the local level and requires, on the part of the welcoming community, an atmosphere of hospitality in welcoming the applicants. The local leaders (or a designated member) will lead the applicant through the following steps:
a) initial interview
b) application form
c) some involvement in the local groups meetings, ministries, or social activities
d) regular meetings with the local leader or delegate who oversees the process and assures its forward movement.
At the end of the orientation period, the local leaders in consultation with the local group decide if the candidate will be admitted to the formation phase of the program.
3. Acceptance: Toward the end of the formation period, the candidate should meet with the local liaison to evaluate the formation year and discuss their intention to make a covenant. The local liaison would then discuss this intent with the local leaders.
If all are in agreement, the local leaders, after a discussion with the local Associate group, recommend the candidate for acceptance
4. Direction of the Program: The Co-Directors and the Provincial Associate Program Board with the approval of the Provincial Council advise and guide the La Salette Associate Program province wide.
Each local group will have two leaders who assume the responsibility for nurturing the members of the group and the day-to-day functioning of the program.
5. New Groups: A group of interested people may initiate the formation of an Associate group in their area with the guidance and direction of the Provincial Associate Board. Each new group is expected to follow the “La Salette Associate Program Guidelines” and must include a formation program, a covenant commitment, and ongoing development.
The group would develop its own local guidelines that spell out the expectations of its members such as meeting attendance requirements, annual retreat expectations, and financial support. The Provincial Associate Board would suggest a Local Liaison from the professed community for the group.