Fr. René Butler MS - 29th Ordinary Sunday -...
Finding our Place (29th Ordinary Sunday: Exodus 17:8-13; 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2; Luke 18:1-8) In 1876, the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, not yet 25 years old, were faced with a decision. A proposal was made, to develop the Congregation in two branches: one... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 28th Ordinary Sunday -...
Gratitude for Healing (28th Ordinary Sunday: 2 Kings 5:14-17; 2 Timothy 2:8-13; Luke 17:11-19) Since we are going to reflect on gratitude, we begin by thanking all of you, our faithful readers, and those among you who occasionally send helpful and encouraging... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 27th Ordinary Sunday -...
Increase our Faith (27th Ordinary Sunday: Habakkuk 1:2-3, 2:2-4; 2 Timothy 1: 6-14; Luke 17:5-10) When the apostles asked Jesus, “Increase our faith,” they were implying two things: first, that they already had it; and second, that it was his... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 26th Ordinary Sunday - A...
A Merciful Heart (26th Ordinary Sunday: Amos 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; Luke 16:19-31) We enter into our reflection with today’s Entrance Antiphon: “All that you have done to us, O Lord, you have done with true judgment, for we have sinned against you and... Czytaj więcej
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Items filtered by date: April 2022

Tuesday, 26 April 2022 08:58

Rosary - April 2022

Published in LAY ASSOCIATES (EN)

All Things New

(5th Sunday of Easter: Acts 14:21-27; Revelation 21:1-5; John 13:31-35)

The closing words of today’s reading from the Apocalypse, “Behold, I make all things new,” seem to radiate through all of today’s liturgy. The word “new” occurs at least eight times: three times in antiphons and prayers, once in the Gospel, and four times in the second reading.

We have been celebrating Easter already for four full weeks. Three more lie ahead. Hopefully we are still filled with the joy and newness of the resurrection.

Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment, and goes so far as to say, “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Faithful observance of this law of love is certainly a challenge, but it ought to make it more natural for us to keep the rest of the commandments. It creates the new heart promised by the prophet Ezekiel (26:36).

No one can doubt that it was love that moved Our Lady to appear at La Salette. Like the light of the apparition, her love, too, is a reflection of the love radiating from the image of her crucified Son, who died and rose for our sake. She is telling us, “I love you as much as my Son loves you.” She promises a new manifestation of God’s tenderness and power.

By urging her people to turn away from sin and turn back to the practices by which they would be recognized as Catholic Christians, she was, like Paul and Barnabas in the first reading, “exhorting them to persevere in the faith.”

We can do the same. Some of you reading this are missionaries, bringing the Gospel to peoples of other lands. Most of us need only step outside the door of our homes and hearts to meet people and, by word or action, “strengthen their spirits.” Either way, it is a challenge as we fulfill the new commandment.

We want to contribute to the manifestation of the new heaven and the new earth, here and now. The psalm expresses our hope: “O Lord, let your faithful ones bless you. Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might.”

“The old order has passed away,” says the Lord, as he offers us a new heaven, a new earth, new hearts, new courage.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

The New Evangelization

(4th Sunday of Easter: Acts 13:14, 43-52; Revelation 7: 9, 14-17; John 10:27-30)

In our second reading, from Revelation, John describes “a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue... who have survived the time of great distress.”

This cannot mean only those who escaped death during persecution. It is their faith that survived. Once evangelized, they remained faithful to the Lord Jesus. They are, if you will, the descendants of the new Christians described in the first reading: “The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord. All who were destined for eternal life came to believe, and the word of the Lord continued to spread through the whole region.”

As we know from much of Church history, enthusiasm for the Gospel needs to be renewed from time to time. In this context today we speak of the New Evangelization, which “calls each of us to deepen our faith, believe in the Gospel message and go forth to proclaim the Gospel” (USCCB website).

Pope Benedict XVI put it this way: “There are regions of the world... in which the Gospel put down roots a long time ago, giving rise to a true Christian tradition but in which... the secularization process has produced a serious crisis of the meaning of the Christian faith and of belonging to the Church” (June 28, 2010). That was the situation addressed by the Beautiful Lady at La Salette, and about which all La Salette Laity, Missionaries and Sisters, are spontaneously concerned. We share her tears.

In today’s Gospel Jesus says: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” Our call as evangelizers is to enable others to hear his voice, and help remove the noise that distracts the listener or distorts the message.

Mary asked: “Do you say your prayers well, my children?” Isn’t that the beginning of our evangelization? When we open ourselves to the word of God speaking to our hearts and souls, our faith is deepened, and we are better prepared and motivated to share it.

At the same time we can hear the Gospel message “re‑proposed” to us. That is always a good thing.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)
Wednesday, 13 April 2022 18:38

Letter - Easter 2022

“He has risen from the dead, and is now going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him”

(Mt 28,7)

Dear Confreres,

A heartfelt and fraternal wish for a Happy and Holy Easter to each of you, wherever you are in the world, immersed in the ministry of proclaiming the Good News and full of the light that appeared on 19 September 1846 on the mountain of La Salette. This identity character of our presence in the Church is defined in a simple and clear way by our Constitutions which read:

“By our Baptism we are incorporated into the Church and share in its mission. By our profession of the public vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, we are consecrated in a new way to this mission and we bind ourselves to live in a religious community which is a sign of the Kingdom” (RdV, 3).

Easter: Word and Life

The Easter Proclamation of the Resurrection, which is the triumph of life over death, of mercy over sin, of good over evil, of love over hatred, is carried out by us in two concrete ways, with preaching and with the witness of religious life lived in community. How much we proclaim aloud to others will naturally have to find a sounding board in our daily way of life. Only in this way can our word be credible and therefore easily accepted. Truly, we the Missionaries of La Salette, guided by the charism of reconciliation that is proper to us and encouraged by the message of Mary on the Holy Mountain, are happy and also proud to offer our little contribution to the cause of the Gospel and to the mission that the Church is called by the Master to perform over time.

War time

Easter this year is marked by the unexpected shedding of so much innocent blood and the sacrifice of a large number of victims originating from a "fratricidal" war at the gates of Europe. A war defined by Pope Francis, with courage and in no uncertain terms "repugnant, inhuman and sacrilegious"; truly incomprehensible and difficult to accept especially after the tragic experience of the two world war events of the last century which influenced and even changed the history of the world in a decisive way. With deep conviction, I invite everyone to make their own the great concerns and motivated fears that inhabit the heart of our Pope who is asking insistently and with the simple force of prayer for an end to the fighting by silencing the roar of cannons and blocking the launch of missiles for foster and promote a reasonable and constructive dialogue between the parties. 

As I wrote in my letter dated on 5th of March 2022 , the war being fought in Ukraine is also putting a strain on the personal life and mission of our 11 confreres who work in the country. The Congregation is close to them with all the affection and spiritual and moral support due in these moments of trial, uncertainty and fear. Since the beginning of the conflict they have decided not to leave the country, to remain close to the suffering people entrusted to their pastoral care. Their courageous testimony moves us and at the same time makes us proud to have similar brothers in our religious family of La Salette. I sincerely thank the Provinces and communities who have responded with generosity and fraternal spirit to the requests for help from these confreres of ours who work tirelessly, and under the continuous and nerve-wracking threat of bombs, in favor of the weakest and most fragile people, in particular of the women, children, the elderly and the sick present in the parishes they serve and in other places of ministry.

We all hope that this war, which is sowing death everywhere and destroying both civilian and strategic objectives in the country, will end as soon as possible. The trail of horrors and hatred that it will have produced will leave behind it deep and lacerating divisions in families and painful wounds in the social fabric that are not easily healed. Ukraine will be a country to be rebuilt from all points of view: human, political, identity and spiritual.

Tanzania: A new beginning

This Easter of Resurrection also carries within it a sign of hope for our Congregation. In fact, on March 22, 2022, the blessing and official opening of the first formation house in Bukoba (Tanzania) took place by Mgr. Methodius Kilaini, auxiliary bishop of the diocese and in the presence of me and Fr. André Zontek MS, General Treasurer, as well as of the community of Rutete with the first three aspiring missionaries. Also present were some religious, some priests of the diocese and some public administrators of the neighborhood. This celebration takes on a symbolic and relevant value for the history of the La Salette presence in the land of Tanzania. It took place six years after the first missionaries from the Philippines and India arrived in the country. I hope and pray that Mary's missionary invitation addressed to Maximin and Melanie in his Apparition to La Salette: “Come forward, my children, do not be afraid… make it known to all my people”. The official formative journey of the young aspirants ( six candidates) will begin in August, 2022.

Together with the Church

The synodal journey of the Church has taken off…. and our Congregation together with it. I am sure that each Province is working hard, doing its best, at the local and diocesan level, to be convinced with the spirit of listening and communion, which emanates from this path, with a view to building an "outgoing" Church and Congregation and service as never before of the people of God in today's world. The General Council, for its part, has already sent the fruit of its work to the Union of Major Superiors in Rome which, together with that of the other Congregations, will soon be presented as a contribution to the General Secretariat of the Synod. This commitment must not be lived only according to the moment we live but must gradually become a habitual and stable way of being and acting of the Church as well as of every single religious family in the near future. It is the great dream that animates the mission today of our Pope Francis and which must also become ours.

"To encounter ... to become artisans of dialogue and communion" is the slogan that the General Council proposes to the Congregation this year so as not to easily forget the synodal commitment to which we are all called by Pope Francis. It was also conceived and wanted as a precious help in the first stage of preparation for the next General Chapter which will take place in April 2024.

The verbs and words that make up this slogan express dynamism, commitment and research, sharing and dialogue, passage from “I” to “we” and a positive outlook on the world around us as a reality to be evangelized and served. Furthermore, properly elaborated, they can make the synodal journey more expeditious and fruitful.

Conclusion

On behalf of the General Council, I wish to extend these Easter greetings also to those confreres whose ministry at this moment consists in the daily offering to the Lord of the burden of age and illness as well as to those who are in vocational difficulties, without forgetting the numerous young people present in our formation houses and in particular those who are preparing for Perpetual Profession. With the same intensity my greetings also goes to the dear La Salette Lay people throughout the world and their families as well as to the SNDS who this year celebrate the 150th anniversary of their presence at the sanctuary of La Salette / France and who share with us charismatic roots and apostolic and missionary zeal.

Joyful and Holy Easter of Resurrection to all!

Fraternally yours,

Fr. Silvano Marisa MS

Superior General

Published in LAY ASSOCIATES (EN)
Wednesday, 13 April 2022 16:34

Letter - Easter 2022

“He has risen from the dead, and is now going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him”

(Mt 28,7)

Dear Confreres,

A heartfelt and fraternal wish for a Happy and Holy Easter to each of you, wherever you are in the world, immersed in the ministry of proclaiming the Good News and full of the light that appeared on 19 September 1846 on the mountain of La Salette. This identity character of our presence in the Church is defined in a simple and clear way by our Constitutions which read:

“By our Baptism we are incorporated into the Church and share in its mission. By our profession of the public vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, we are consecrated in a new way to this mission and we bind ourselves to live in a religious community which is a sign of the Kingdom” (RdV, 3).

Easter: Word and Life

The Easter Proclamation of the Resurrection, which is the triumph of life over death, of mercy over sin, of good over evil, of love over hatred, is carried out by us in two concrete ways, with preaching and with the witness of religious life lived in community. How much we proclaim aloud to others will naturally have to find a sounding board in our daily way of life. Only in this way can our word be credible and therefore easily accepted. Truly, we the Missionaries of La Salette, guided by the charism of reconciliation that is proper to us and encouraged by the message of Mary on the Holy Mountain, are happy and also proud to offer our little contribution to the cause of the Gospel and to the mission that the Church is called by the Master to perform over time.

War time

Easter this year is marked by the unexpected shedding of so much innocent blood and the sacrifice of a large number of victims originating from a "fratricidal" war at the gates of Europe. A war defined by Pope Francis, with courage and in no uncertain terms "repugnant, inhuman and sacrilegious"; truly incomprehensible and difficult to accept especially after the tragic experience of the two world war events of the last century which influenced and even changed the history of the world in a decisive way. With deep conviction, I invite everyone to make their own the great concerns and motivated fears that inhabit the heart of our Pope who is asking insistently and with the simple force of prayer for an end to the fighting by silencing the roar of cannons and blocking the launch of missiles for foster and promote a reasonable and constructive dialogue between the parties. 

As I wrote in my letter dated on 5th of March 2022 , the war being fought in Ukraine is also putting a strain on the personal life and mission of our 11 confreres who work in the country. The Congregation is close to them with all the affection and spiritual and moral support due in these moments of trial, uncertainty and fear. Since the beginning of the conflict they have decided not to leave the country, to remain close to the suffering people entrusted to their pastoral care. Their courageous testimony moves us and at the same time makes us proud to have similar brothers in our religious family of La Salette. I sincerely thank the Provinces and communities who have responded with generosity and fraternal spirit to the requests for help from these confreres of ours who work tirelessly, and under the continuous and nerve-wracking threat of bombs, in favor of the weakest and most fragile people, in particular of the women, children, the elderly and the sick present in the parishes they serve and in other places of ministry.

We all hope that this war, which is sowing death everywhere and destroying both civilian and strategic objectives in the country, will end as soon as possible. The trail of horrors and hatred that it will have produced will leave behind it deep and lacerating divisions in families and painful wounds in the social fabric that are not easily healed. Ukraine will be a country to be rebuilt from all points of view: human, political, identity and spiritual.

Tanzania: A new beginning

This Easter of Resurrection also carries within it a sign of hope for our Congregation. In fact, on March 22, 2022, the blessing and official opening of the first formation house in Bukoba (Tanzania) took place by Mgr. Methodius Kilaini, auxiliary bishop of the diocese and in the presence of me and Fr. André Zontek MS, General Treasurer, as well as of the community of Rutete with the first three aspiring missionaries. Also present were some religious, some priests of the diocese and some public administrators of the neighborhood. This celebration takes on a symbolic and relevant value for the history of the La Salette presence in the land of Tanzania. It took place six years after the first missionaries from the Philippines and India arrived in the country. I hope and pray that Mary's missionary invitation addressed to Maximin and Melanie in his Apparition to La Salette: “Come forward, my children, do not be afraid… make it known to all my people”. The official formative journey of the young aspirants ( six candidates) will begin in August, 2022.

Together with the Church

The synodal journey of the Church has taken off…. and our Congregation together with it. I am sure that each Province is working hard, doing its best, at the local and diocesan level, to be convinced with the spirit of listening and communion, which emanates from this path, with a view to building an "outgoing" Church and Congregation and service as never before of the people of God in today's world. The General Council, for its part, has already sent the fruit of its work to the Union of Major Superiors in Rome which, together with that of the other Congregations, will soon be presented as a contribution to the General Secretariat of the Synod. This commitment must not be lived only according to the moment we live but must gradually become a habitual and stable way of being and acting of the Church as well as of every single religious family in the near future. It is the great dream that animates the mission today of our Pope Francis and which must also become ours.

"To encounter ... to become artisans of dialogue and communion" is the slogan that the General Council proposes to the Congregation this year so as not to easily forget the synodal commitment to which we are all called by Pope Francis. It was also conceived and wanted as a precious help in the first stage of preparation for the next General Chapter which will take place in April 2024.

The verbs and words that make up this slogan express dynamism, commitment and research, sharing and dialogue, passage from “I” to “we” and a positive outlook on the world around us as a reality to be evangelized and served. Furthermore, properly elaborated, they can make the synodal journey more expeditious and fruitful.

Conclusion

On behalf of the General Council, I wish to extend these Easter greetings also to those confreres whose ministry at this moment consists in the daily offering to the Lord of the burden of age and illness as well as to those who are in vocational difficulties, without forgetting the numerous young people present in our formation houses and in particular those who are preparing for Perpetual Profession. With the same intensity my greetings also goes to the dear La Salette Lay people throughout the world and their families as well as to the SNDS who this year celebrate the 150th anniversary of their presence at the sanctuary of La Salette / France and who share with us charismatic roots and apostolic and missionary zeal.

Joyful and Holy Easter of Resurrection to all!

Fraternally yours,

Fr. Silvano Marisa MS

Superior General

Published in INFO (EN)

Love and Witness

(3rd Sunday of Easter: Acts 5:27-41; Revelation 5:11-14; John 21:1-19)

There are countries where it is a crime to try to win converts to Christianity. But in other parts of the world, maybe even close to home, we may hear echoes of the high priest’s words in the first reading: “We gave you strict orders to stop teaching in that name!”

Such was the case in large areas of France at the time of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette. In fact, the situation deteriorated to the point that religious orders, including the Missionaries of La Salette, were obliged around the year 1900 to relocate to other countries in order to survive.

Like the Apostles, who “left the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they had been found worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name,” we too can rejoice in that persecution, which led to the growth of the Congregation and the dissemination of the La Salette message and charism.

Peter and the others were witnesses, called to share what they had seen and heard, regardless of opposition. Ideally, the same should be said of all believers today. But where do we get the strength?

The answer is in today’s Gospel. Look at Peter’s reaction when the other disciple said, “It is the Lord!” His heart was so full of love for Jesus that he couldn’t even wait for the boat to get to shore.

Shortly after that, the Lord asked him three times, “Do you love me?” Each time he answered, “You know that I love you” and Jesus commanded him to feed his flock. Never again would Peter hesitate to acknowledge or proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Apply that scene to yourself. When you profess your love for Jesus, how does he reply? What does he expect of you? In one way or another it will involve some kind of witness, if only by full and faithful participation in the life of the Church. This is the minimum the Beautiful Lady asks of us.

The second reading describes a sort of liturgy, different in form from ours, but expressing the same desire: “To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever.”

In our worship and in our life, let that be our aim.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

The One who Lives

(2nd Sunday of Easter: Acts 5:12-16; Revelation 1:9-19; John 20:19-31)

Scholars generally agree that John, the author of the fourth Gospel, also wrote Revelation. In both, Jesus often uses the phrase “I am” in a way that is reminiscent of God’s words to Moses, which we read not long ago: “I AM WHO AM.”

We have an example in today’s reading from Revelation: “I am the first and the last, the one who lives.” Jesus gives himself important names, describing who he is in his very being. He goes on to say that he is “alive forever and ever”—an even more emphatic version of his words at the Last Supper, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.”

Then we read a mysterious saying, “I hold the keys to death and the netherworld.” It seems to combine the notions of power and judgment, such as we find at La Salette when Mary speaks of “the arm of my Son.”

The Beautiful Lady’s words are subject to various interpretations, but taken in the context of other parts of her discourse, such as: “If I want my Son not to abandon you,” and “I warned you last year with the potatoes,” it is hard not to accept the traditional reading.

But today is Divine Mercy Sunday. You have seen the image, with rays emanating from Jesus’ heart. In our La Salette context we have often noted that the light of the Apparition came from the crucifix which Mary bore on her breast. The great news she came to deliver comes from that cross. La Salette is a merciful apparition.

Jesus, the one who lives, breathes on us as he did on the Apostles in today’s Gospel. To them and their successors he gave special power and judgment to forgive or retain sins. To us he gives our charism of reconciliation, which shines forth with special brilliance on this day.

Forgiveness is the goal, freely offered to all who will choose to submit to the divine will and change their lives accordingly. It was among the “signs and wonders” mentioned in the first reading.

We haven’t forgotten the doubting Thomas. Let us stand with him and the other Apostles as we gratefully and lovingly accept Jesus’ greeting: “Peace be with you.”

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)
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