La Salette Sisters
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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.

 

One of them, Sr. Carol, shortly after taking her vows, had to return to her homeland. She intended this to be a short visit because of the ill health of a family member. However, once in the country the government would no longer let her out of the country to return to the Philippines. Hospitality was offered to her at a nearby religious residence by the Sisters of St. Francis Xavier. This was a difficult situation for a newly professed sister who would ordinarily have continued her religious formation in her own community.

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Sr. Sonia (center) with the four original
Myanmar La Salette Sisters whom she
directed in their novitiate year.

A few years later one of the Filipino sisters in charge of formation, Sr. Sonia, was able to enter the country and join her. What a joy that must have been! The local bishop, recognizing their difficult straits, gave then a place of their own to live in Tatkone, a section of Myitkyina, the capital city of Kachin State.

In retrospect, these events proved to be a blessing. When the three other La Salette Sisters from Myanmar were able to return to their homeland the community had not only a place to live but ministries they could continue. On November 2, 2006, they were officially installed in northern Myanmar where they are still living, ministering and attracting other vocations.

(Article reprinted from Vision and Mission, November, 2008, a publication of the La Salette Mission Center, St. Louis, Missouri)

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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.”