Meet A La Salette

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?

I was ordained on May 1, 1952 in St. Peter’s Church, in Lowell, MA by Bp.Thomas F. Markham (1891-1952), Auxiliary Bishop of Boston. My first assignment was a professor of English and Religion in the High School Seminary in Hartford for four years.

Untitled-2Bp. Thomas F. Markham (1891-1952), Auxiliary Bishop of BostonThen I was sent to serve in St. Peter the Apostle Church in Houston, Texas. I was there for six years and loved the people and the ministry and also was a 5th-8th grade coach for football, baseball and basketball. Myself and my brother just loved those three sports.

I was then involved in parish and prison ministry, leadership including assistant Provincial and then Provincial for two three-year terms in the (Midwestern) Province of Mary Queen. These leadership ministries were certainly a challenge but I was always at peace.

I was assigned to St. Patrick’s in Lufkin, Texas and consequently learned Spanish in order to minister to all our parishioners. When we recently left that parish in 2010, I was sad at hearing the news.

I retired in 2002 and have been continuing in active ministry as much as I can, while stationed at the La Salette House in Hartford. I continue in ministry because I love to help people and therein also get closer to the Lord.

What does the La Salette Apparition mean to you?

In many ways, our own Pope Francis speaks about the basics of faith: about Jesus and active faith and loving and serving others. Mary at La Salette also spoke about these same basic elements of our life of fatih – about our relationship with her Son, Mass, prayer and Lenten observances. I have great devotion to Mary, the Eucharist and to the Holy Rosary. All this gives me a lot of insights for my life, my homilies and my daily living.

What are your reflections about your anniversary of 70 Years of vows this year?

Well, certainly, I have a feeling of tremendous gratitude to God for these many years in ministry and religious life. I do ask God to help me continue to be faithful to my call to discipleship as a La Salette Missionary.

I know that reconciliation is an important part of my daily life; reconciling with myself, God, and others. I would hope that this charism of reconciliation and the grace of the Holy Spirit will continue to deepen in our life and ministry for our new province and for all whom we serve.
Untitled-3La Salette House in Hartford, CT, variously
used over the years (1892 to the present) as
a High School, College, Novitiate, Rectory
for Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, and is
presently a Retirement House.

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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.”