Meet A La Salette
Where were you born and raised?

Untitled 1My name is Anne-Marie Etienne, the youngest of five children – three brothers and a sister – born on May 25, 1939 in Plumelec, on the southern edge of the Breton Peninsula in northwestern France. My parents owned a farm in the municipality of Plumelech.

Though not rich, we were very happy. As a family, we went to church, and at night we did our prayers kneeling at the foot of our bed. My father was very good, always ready to help neighbors. I thank God to have grown up in a good family environment.

What has been your religious journey?

At the age of fourteen I entered active life, first helping my sister who had two young children and had a small trade. Then I assisted a local family, but I liked that job a lot less!

The school in my village was run by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was there that, at twelve years of age, I felt the Lord's call, while I was working at the clinic in Malestroit. There I met the Augustinian Sisters and I received the call to religious life, and especially serving the poor and elderly.

I made my first vows in 1965 at the Augustinian monastery of St. Martin des Champs near Morlaix, a busy scenic Breton seaside town in northwestern France. At the retirement home of St. Francis, adjacent to the monastery, I held the service function of caring for the residents of the home. I was also Prioress of the community for twenty years and have remained faithful to my vocation of caring for others.

Where were you born and raised?


Untitled-1Fr. Juju Abraham, M.S., Director of Anuranjana (which means “Reconciliation”) Counseling Center in Parakkadavu in Karala, IndiaI was born in Kadambode, Karala, in southern India. My father’s name is Abraham, a farmer, now deceased; my mother, Mercy, is a housewife. I have two siblings: Jini Roy, my sister and Jino, my brother. My family is a traditional Syrian Catholic family and our faith is central to our life. In fact, my uncle is Bishop Kurian Valiakandathil of Diocese of Bhagalpur, in northern India;


How did you first hear about La Salette?


When I was in secondary school, I had decided to become a priest and received a vocational leaflet about the LS Congregation and was interested because it was Marian-centered. Soon I applied to enter and was accepted into the La Salette Seminary in Parakkadavu, about 20 miles away from my home.

After an orientation year, I entered Philosophy in Suvidya College, as a seminarian of the La Salette Matha Province of India. After completing Novitiate in Mysore, I took theology in Goa, southwest India. I was ordained on Feb. 4, 2010, and began my ministry in Karala as an Associate Vicar in St. Mary’s Church in Thariode.

Where were you born and raised?

Untitled-1Fr. Noel Cruz, M.S.I was born in Bustos, Province of Bulacan, in the north-central Philippines. My father’s name is Conrado, a professional surveyor, and my mother, Natalia, is a housewife. We were originally seven children – four boys and three girls – and then one sister, Patricia Ann, was adopted when she was only seven days old. My brother, Fr. Froilan Cruz, O.F.M., serves as a priest in the northern Philippines.

We are a very close-knit family and, on Sunday, we would always go to Church together. For meals, everyone had to be present; in fact, we would wait until all were present; our parents truly valued our eating together and always began with prayer before meals.

Our family’s special occasions were, of course, Christmas and Easter but also attending the three services of the Easter Triduum.

How did you first hear about La Salette?

After I had lived at the Franciscan seminary (semi-contemplative) for five months, I went into the library and found information on the La Salette Missionaries, who were an active religious order. In the Franciscan Seminary, only an hour travel from my family’s home, we had family visits every two months, a bit too restrictive for my family, who wanted to see me more often.

Where were you born and raised?

Untitled-1Fr. Dominique Mabboux, M.S.I was born on October 7, 1941 in Sallanches, located within the Rhône-Alpes region of east-central France, the third of eight children of a working class family. In my family the older children helped to educate the younger ones.

How did you first connect with La Salette?

The vicar of the parish advised me to seek out the La Salette Missionaries. I was just 18 years of age and went for a two-day stay. Mom and Dad were worried.

It was by chance that I met La Salette. I found that I was not able to continue my studies in the Haute-Savoie College System in my area. However I had a secret desire to become a priest in the image of my uncle, who was a Missionary of the Paris Foreign Missions Society and served in China.

Where were you educated?

At the Holy Mountain of La Salette, I was first impressed by Our Weeping Mother and her message. Fifteen days later, I resumed my studies at Voiteur Apostolic School in eastern France, not far from Switzerland.

When did you first encounter La Salette?

Untitled-1(from left) Fr. Jósef Piela, M.S. and
La Salette Ministry in Rzeszow, Poland
My name is Fr. Jósef Piela, M.S. Idid my training in High School in Rzeszow, Poland That's where I met Fr. Bronislaw Fura, M.S., and the community of La Salette. It was for me a living witness which gave me the desire to become a La Salette Missionary. I arrived as a volunteer over 22 years ago! I worked in the laundry room with the Sr. Antoinette who gave me a good La Salette training! I came back later for a retreat.

So what was your background?

In 1981, I did a month of Postulancy and my year of novitiate in Debowiec near the Shrine of La Salette. I made my first vows in 1982. I was part of the first team of seminarians. We were eighteen. I did my two years of philosophy and four years of my theology in the University of Koszalinska in Krakow, Poland.

In 1986 I was ordained a deacon with fifteen other seminarians in Debowiec. I lived my diaconal year in Rzeszow, in the service of the parish with two other deacons. The following year, on May 9, 1987, we were ordained priests at the Shrine of Debowiec.

Where have you service in your priestly ministry?

My Family Background

Untitled-1Fr. Gerard Comeau, M.S.
(Photo Copyright © BGZ)
My name is Fr. Gerard Comeau, M.S., and I come from American-Canadian ancestry. I was born on January 14, 1934 in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA. I'm the only boy and have three sisters. My father was born in the United States and my mother in Canada in the Province of Quebec. My father worked as a laborer in a nearby Paper Mill. I attended Grammar Scholl with the Holy Cross Sisters and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

My Connection with La Salette

My first contact with a La Salette was when Fr. Roland Bédard, M.S., came to my home parish to preach a Mission on Our Lady of La Salette. Our parish priest, Fr. Gérard Comtois, would have loved to see me become a Diocesan Priest but, instead, I chose to go to High School at the La Salette Minor Seminary in Enfield, NH. One reason my family chose the Enfield Seminary was because the La Salettes offered to provide half on my tuition because my parents could not pay for everything.

Enfield is a small paradise next to Lake Mascoma. I felt very much at home in La Salette and after four years, I decided to continue my seminary studies with them. Of course, my pastor was disappointed.

Where were you born and raised?
My name is Fr. Biju Abraham Chempottickal, M.S. I was born on February 2, 1975 in Kerala, in southwestern India. I am a member of the Syro-Malabar Rite, an Eastern Catholic Rite in full communion with Rome. We are known as Mar Thoma Nasranis or Syrian Catholics. Our particular Eastern Rite has 4.6 million believers worldwide and traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of St. Thomas the Apostle who came to Kerala in 52 A.D.

My family is very faith-filled. Every evening when I was a child we would pray for an hour before our family meal. This time included praying the Rosary, reading of the scriptures, prayer and praise requests, and intercession of the saints.

Although India is a secular country, for ten years I was faithfully involved with religious education offered in my parish every Sunday.

How did you first contact the La Salette Missionaries?

Often a local La Salette Missionary would come to assist our parish priests. The testimony of faith of these La Salettes – their simplicity and missionary experiences – inspired within me a deep desire to become a La Salette Missionary like them. In 1990, a Carmelite priest from our parish introduced me to the nearby La Salette Seminary!

What La Salette formation have you received?

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Taunton, Massachusetts. May father, Robert, was a construction laborer and my mother, Shirley, was a nursing aide. I had five siblings. We had a very simple family life. We all went to Untitled-1Fr. Jim Nunes, M.S.public schools and were involved in Catholic Religious Education in Sacred Heart Parish, in the Weir Section of Taunton.

How did you first hear about La Salette?

Since we were a half-hour drive from the Attleboro Shrine, we came regularly to the Christmas Festival of Lights since I was a youngster. My first contact with the La Salette Missionaries was during a Young Adult Retreat Program called Emmaus. When I was at the University of Massachusetts at North Dartmouth, and was involved in my undergraduate studies in marketing, many of the retreat leaders of the Emmaus program were affiliated with the La Salette Retreat House in Attleboro.

After the Emmaus Retreat, they invited me to join them as a Family Retreat Counselor at the Retreat House, and I volunteered. I worked with the yearly Family Labor Day Festival – about five days of booths, food and games for the hundreds of families that came day-to-day. That’s where I met my first La Salette, newly ordained Fr. Ted Brown, part of the retreat center staff.

Where we you born and raised?

Untitled-1Fr. Paulino Nguli, M.S. (born: 1975; professed: 1999; ordained:
Aug. 1, 2004)
I am Fr. Paulino Nguli, M.S., a native Angolan, born in 1975. I joined the Province of France and went for further for studies in psychology. Presently I am Superior of the community of Vienne, at the Shrine of Notre Dame de Pipet. I am often asked to serve as a translator for La Salette International meetings.

How did you first hear about La Salette?

At home we spoke only Portuguese so I have learned my mother tongue, Umbundu, from living and playing in the street. I discovered La Salette as a child by meeting Fr. Joachim Hatewa, M.S., who often spoke of the message of La Salette.

He founded the La Salette Laity in Angola. Also, on July 22, 1992, he founded the Angolan expression of the Congregation of the Sisters of La Salette who subsequently joined the Sisters of Our Lady of La Salette (SNDS).

Fr. Joachim was a musician who composed many songs in Portuguese. Singing about the need for conversion, reconciliation with God, others and with oneself, in a country that was just emerging from civil war.

How were you affected by Angola’s civil war?

Actually I was born in the midst of civil war. I grew up in the war and went to school. The hardest part is having gone away from home to the Minor Seminary was being away from my family. We could not move far without taking the risk of being attacked by marauders or stepping on an IED (improvised explosive device).

Where were you born and raised?

Untitled-1Fr. Maurice Linehan, M.S.I was born in Watertown, MA in Dec., 1925. My father, John, and mother, Ellen (O’Callaghan), were both born in County Cork, Ireland. I had three sisters, and two brothers; I was the third youngest. My father was streetcar driver or motorman in Boston and Watertown for 41 years. My mother worked at home.

We were all educated in Catholic Schools and were regular attendees at Mass at St. Patrick’s Parish in Waretown, MA.

How did you first learn about La Salette?

My brother, John, was the recruiting officer for the Army in Hartford, CT., and knew that I wanted to become a priest. He was dating the niece of Fr. William Riddle, M.S. (1892-1964), who was then pastor at Our Lady of Sorrows in Hartford, CT. He suggested that I explore the possibility of entering the La Salettes in the Hartford Seminary, next to the parish church.

I entered the college seminary in Harford in December of 1943, through the assistance of Fr. Joe Higgins, M.S., who was from nearby Woburn, MA. I entered the Novitiate in 1944 in Bloomfield, CT and professed vows on July 2, 1945.

How have you served as a La Salette?

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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.”