|Sr. Mila Dela Cruz, SNDS, near
statue of Our Lady of La Salette in
When I was in sixth grade, the first La Salette Fathers who came to my country used to celebrate Mass in my hometown of Ramon, Isabela, Philippines. The group of La Salette priests serving in my hometown included Frs. Conrad Blanchet, René Bisaillon, Maurice Cardinal, and Gerald Biron.
They shared with us the story of La Salette at Mass when they came to visit our barrio of Raniag. Our parents were strongly attracted to the story of La Salette. My family always kept a picture of the Weeping Mother in our home to remind us. Her gestures and her tears continue to touch many hearts and lives.
Whenever Fr. René was driving the children to Mass, he would like to have everyone join in singing some folk songs. My whole family, which included seventeen children and one adopted brother, were close friends of Fr. Blanchet. In fact, during a long drought, he actually helped my father put in a water system on our family farm. He taught my father to do many other things and was often around to help in any way he could. Fr. Blanchet even taught our family how to speak English!
As our farm grew larger, our family become more self-sufficient through the generous help of the La Salette Missionaries. My family will always remember the generous presence and actions of the La Salettes leading all of us closer to God.
|Kachin dancers are involved in the yearly Manaw Festival,
held in Myitkyina and Putao in the Kachin State.
The La Salette Sisters minister in various places in the world, including here in the US (Virginia and Florida). Their expansion to Myanmar was in many ways due to the ministry of Fr. Bernie Taylor, M.S., (his native Myanmar name is Bernie U Thein) who was working in the Philippines.
A few years after the American La Salettes were expelled from Myanmar in 1976, Fr. Bernie went to join the Filipino Province. He returned to his homeland as often as possible and continued to bring the message of La Salette to people there. Some young men wanted to join the Missionaries of La Salette. They went to the Philippines for formation.
There were also some young women who were attracted to the La Salette charism and asked to join the La Salette Sisters. They belong to the Kachin tribe and are located in the northernmost part of the country near China. In fact half of the Kachin people live in China. For their formation these young women were able to go to the Philippines and join the sisters.
Editor: Almost ten years ago Staff Writer Mary Frances McCarthy from the Arlington Catholic Herald spoke with La Salette Sister Connie Parcasio about her ministry to a death row inmate in the 48 hours before his execution.
|La Salette Sister Connie
Parcasio in the Attlboro
"If bloodless means are sufficient to defend human lives against an aggressor and to protect public order and the safety of persons, public authority should limit itself to such means, because they better correspond to the concrete conditions of the common good and are more in conformity to the dignity of the human person" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, Nos. 2266-2267).
On Jan. 24, 1998, Dennis Orbe, during a bout of depression, was nearing the end of a 10-day crime spree. Feeling the need to keep moving, Orbe, without a dime to his name, stopped at a convenience store at Route 17 and Fort Eustis Blvd. in York County at 3:30 a.m., intending to fill his gas tank and leave. Because the pump required prepayment before it would work, Orbe decided to rob the store. Surveillance tape showed Orbe enter the store and brandish a .357 caliber revolver. Store clerk Rick Burnett showed no signs of resistance as Orbe shot him in the chest.
Last month, La Salette Sister Connie Parcasio, Director of Prison Ministry for Catholic Charities of the Arlington Diocese, received a call from Ann McBride, a member of Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. McBride had been writing and visiting Orbe since July 2000. From the first letter he wrote to her, Orbe described how much he loved his daughters and how sorry he was for committing murder.
McBride informed Sister Connie that Orbe was to be executed the next day. The prison had given Orbe permission to call McBride at her house. McBride invited Sister Connie to join her that afternoon to talk to Orbe. The following was taken from Sister Connie’s account of Orbe’s last 48 hours on death row.
|A meeting in Ghardaïa, Algeria, of
Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate,
with (right)Sr. Lalaina, a La Salette Sister
Editor: Recently three La Salette Sisters – (from left: Srs. Anna, Bernadette, and Sr. Lalaina) arrived in Ghardaïa, Algeria, at the invitation of Bishop Claude Rault of Laghouat. The following article gives a brief overview of his ideas and his ministry.
AFRICA / ALGERIA (from Rome, Agenzia Fides) – According to Claude Jean Narcisse Rault, M. Afr. (White Fathers), the Catholic Bishop of Laghouat, Algeria, "Friendship is the key to overcome mutual fear between Christians and Muslims. In fact we must learn and not take everything that is proposed by the press and television as an accurate representation of the Muslim world.”
"As we passed through Rome recently I noticed that whenever we come back to Europe, we feel a certain distrust of Muslims. Unfortunately, there is a lot of ignorance in both communities ignorance that fuels mutual fear. Instead, we must reach out to each other to create bonds of friendship and through them, to form another image of the other," said the Bishop.
La Salette Sisters
The La Salette Sisters
|25th Anniversary of Profession
of Sr. Ma. Milagros dela Cruz,
SNDS with other La Salette Sisters
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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.”