Renewal of Temporary Vows of Brother Paul Jussen, M.S. on September 19, 2014; took place at the Chapel of the La Salette Shrine in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, USA; Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas;
Received by Rev. Gerald Lebanowski, M.S., Local Superior and Delegate of Rev. Phil Negley, M.S., Provincial Superior;
Those present include: Rev. Ray Cadran, M.S. Director of Formation (Theology); Rev. James Stajkowski, M.S., La Salette Shrine Staff; Brother Adam Mateja, M.S., Shrine Staff; Brother Anthony Sepanik, (Oblate), Shrine Staff; Rev. Terry Niziolek, M.S., La Salette guest; and Brother Manuel “Trey” Crespo, M.S., Scholastic.
Fr. Skip Negley, MS
La presentation préparé par Pierrot Zaessinger.
The family and reconciliation go together, because the family comes from marriage and is founded on love. It forms the primary cell of the Church and of society. Reconciliation is one of the experiences of Christian life and God´s love. It is the ongoing possibility of welcoming the grace of God that allows the regeneration of man and woman, created in his image and likeness (Gen 1.26). It allows the reconciled to experience the source of blessing. This meeting was in parish our lady of Fátima is our Parish in Namibe. Participated the Marriage group of parish. The conference was given by Francisco Bambi MS and Cícero on May 1, 2014.
It is International Lay La Salette Day
Congregazione dei Missionari di N.S. de La Salette
Feast of La Salette 9/19/2014
“Very well, my children, you will make this known to all my people”
(Mary at La Salette)
“Wake up the world!”
I am truly happy, again this year, to bid a Happy Feast day to all of you who, present throughout the world and always moved by a renewed and unquestionable love for the Church and for our Congregation, are committed to announcing the Good News of the Gospel in light of the message of reconciliation of Mary at La Salette.
May the weeping Virgin of La Salette protect and bless each of you, as well as our numerous friends and La Salette laity who, with great courage and a commendable spirit of sacrifice and service, share with you the joys, the challenges and the difficulties of the mission.
This annual celebration invites us, once again, to reread and rethink our personal story with the eyes, the mind and the heart of the God of the Bible, who chooses his people, makes a covenant with them and makes them companions on the journey. May we then rediscover in ourselves the beauty of our vocation as religious and missionaries by reawakening, should this be necessary, the spirit of belonging to our great La Salette religious family.
Pope Francis, in the meeting of last November 29, asked the Superiors General to have their members dedicate the great part of their human and charismatic energy to “reawaken the world” in this particularly difficult moment in which the world and the Church exist.
The verb “reawaken” evokes sleep, tiredness, discouragement, somnolent values, spiritual distraction, superficiality and a lack of interest with regard to faith. These are negative attitudes with which the world and the people of God in particular are very familiar, since they experience this everyday in their own lives. In other words, the great mission which Pope Francis has confided to religious is to make the proclaiming of the Gospel dynamic and captivating in the eyes of today’s world.
The history of the Church, with the holiness of life of its many members, clearly witnesses that in moments of crisis and difficulty of all kinds, religious life has always constituted a significant reference point for the resumption and the quality of the Church’s mission and a strong calling back to evangelical faithfulness.
In order for this invitation of the Pope to be able to reveal itself as truly positive and useful, the change has to begin first of all with each one of us. Always used to speaking to others, we too easily forget that we ourselves are the first to be evangelized. It is first of all ourselves that must be converted, restoring to our daily lives the faithfulness to the religious consecration which we have perhaps sometimes undervalued or not cared for enough.
It is we who need to “reawaken” our awareness and our way of life, better conforming them to that of Christ. Only in this way will our witness be able to render generous service, adequate and profitable to evangelization. The great misunderstanding into which we can easily fall is that of believing that all this discourse is for others and not for us. In so doing, we in effect risk losing a providential occasion to make our religious life purposeful and a real alternative to those values proposed and supported by today’s world.
The celebration of the “Year for Consecrated Life” in 2015 was really born from the strong desire to stimulate those consecrated to make their way of following of Christ “an effective memorial and living out of the Gospel.”
For this reason, the Church hopes that the “Year for Consecrated Life” truly becomes an occasion for study, research, deepening and verifying of religious life throughout the world, so that the light of holiness may shine ever more brightly – that light which spreads from the face of Christ to all who have chosen to follow him more closely through the choice of evangelical radicality.” (Letter of CICLSAL to the Superiors General, August 2014)
I pray that such a hope is transformed into a personal and community commitment by everyone in our Congregation.
To rest on our laurels without projecting our gaze beyond the present and beyond the horizon of our daily activity, is not helpful to the Church or to ourselves. We must always get up again and take up the journey knowing well that, as Romano Guardini said, the Christian, and even more so the religious, is a being continually in search of God and of how to serve him better in today’s world and Church.
Fr. Silvano Marisa MS
During the first week of the SRMS, all arrived - eventually! Some had difficulty with travel arrangements, but we number the full 30 expected participants: 3 translators, 3 members of the General Council, and 24 La Salette "Seniors," from nine different countries. We explored the relationship between consecrated life and our faith in the Triune God. Joe Bachand (Council member) spoke of God the Father and La Salette; Yves Simoens, SJ, a professor from the Biblicum in Rome, gave an in-depth exegesis of Johannine texts relating to the centrality of Jesus in our life; and Janusz Krecidlo, a La Salette confrere from Poland, also used the farewell discourse in John's Gospel to discuss the promises of the Holy Spirit/Paraclete in our life of faith, and led us to consider the connection to our religious consecration. A full week of work!! Sunday, we left the mountain to visit our parish in Grenoble, where we concelebrated the Mass with the people and were treated to a veritable banquet. We stopped at the retirement house in La Tronche as we headed back up the mountain, and were warmly received. By the way, summer has finally arrived in this part of France with glorious weather - truly a blessing - especially for those who had looked forward to climbing the mountains!
Fr. Joseph Bachand MS
THE CRY OF THE POOR
When we gathered in General Chapter in 2012, we had no idea that within a year we would have a new Pope. So there was no way we could know, when we decided to name 2015 a “Year of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace,” that Pope Francis would subsequently name 2015 the “Year for Consecrated Life.” At first, this seemed to take us in a different direction. However, further reflection suggests that these two themes are not opposed, especially if we believe, that both a General Chapter and a Consistory are the work of the Holy Spirit! There are three “objectives” mentioned in the proclamation introducing the Year for Consecrated Life; the first is that of giving thanks for the recent past (50 years since Vatican II) of consecrated life in the Church. “The Spirit can turn even weaknesses and infidelities into experiences of God’s mercy and love.”
So we begin with the Spirit. We La Salette Missionaries have just concluded a year under the title, “The Spirit Renews the Face of the Earth,” (Ps. 104:30). This affirmation calls us to recognize the work of the Spirit as renewing, reforming, renovating, recreating, etc., the present world, just as the Spirit was first at work as a “mighty wind” sweeping over the waters of creation (Gen. 1:2). This coming year we invite our Congregation, the La Salette laity, and all those we serve, to hear the cry of the poor. We do so, knowing that God hears the cry of the poor: “The LORD is close to the broken-hearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves (Ps. 34:19).” “For the LORD hears the poor, and his own who are in bonds he spurns not (Ps. 69:34).” And there is this telling verse from Proverbs (21, 13): “He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor will himself also call and not be heard.” Not only is such crying out very likely the work of the Spirit (see Romans 8,26-27); but so also is the existence (and renewal!) of consecrated life (see Perfectae Caritatis, esp. #1 & 2).
The stage is set, then, for recognizing the connection between “justice, peace and reconciliation” and “consecrated life,” precisely because the Spirit is at work in both areas. The third objective for the Year for Consecrated Life is “to live the present with passion.” The document uses Pope Francis’s concept of “waking up the world” with our prophetic witness as religious, especially in terms of our presence with the poor on the “existential peripheries” of life. As the Pope has consistently called the entire Church to be with the poor, to see life from the perspective of the poor, and to allow itself to be evangelized by the poor, so these points are even more pertinent for those “who have left everything” to follow Christ. In its letter in preparation for next year, the Congregation for Religious (CICLSAL) quotes Pope Francis: “We are called now, as the Church, to go outside in order to arrive at the margins, geographic, urban and existential – the margins of the mystery of sin, pain, injustice and misery – , to the hidden places of the soul where each person experiences the joys and sufferings of life (pp. 50-1).” The point is that we may not need to go a long distance to reach these peripheries! Naming the peripheries calls for some personal and communal reflection.
We La Salettes do not have a long history of working in the area of Justice and Peace, as do some of our confreres in other Institutes. However, once we see that Justice and Peace values are central to the Gospel, a shift takes place, enabling us to see these values at work in the way Jesus proclaimed the Reign of God. We see that the “Social Teaching” of the Church is not a digression, but flows from her commitment to Jesus and the Gospel. This perspective will guide us to see those same values at work in our Constitutions and the mission entrusted to us La Salettes. As part of our patrimony we La Salettes have the phrase, “combatting the evils of the day” as a way of understanding our mission. Father Eugene Barrette has done a good job of bringing this part of our history to life for us. It might help to ask ourselves, what are the “evils of the day” in our time? What is it that gives rise to the “cry of the poor”? Or, as Pope Francis might ask, “Where are the peripheries where people are suffering?” How do we do “combat” in such places?
At La Salette, the Beautiful Lady never used the words “justice” or “peace.” Then neither did she use the words “reconciliation” or “Spirit.” That does not mean that her message was about something else. In his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis wrote, “We incarnate the duty of hearing the cry of the poor when we are deeply moved by the suffering of others (193).” Mary is present at La Salette as one deeply moved by her people’s sufferings. Our Lady is brought to tears at the thought of her people holding their dying children in their arms. She weeps, knowing that, when they go to give their children bread, they will only find dust. Perhaps she weeps most copiously because these situations could be reversed if people would only allow God into their lives. Our brothers (I think of Fathers Roger Castel, Marcel Schlewer and Maurice Tochon among others) have done a good job of depicting the social situation in France at the time of the Apparition. The “famine” that occurred around this time was not widespread. The deaths and suffering that resulted could have been avoided if addressed by the State, which chose to do nothing while people in other areas hoarded their supplies. It would still be decades before the Church’s social doctrine would begin to be articulated in any systematic way; however, the situation at La Salette and environs was certainly not in keeping with the Gospel or with a vision of Church in the Apostolic Age.
In James 5:4 we read, “Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.” One depiction of the cart-drivers at La Salette shows a cart full of grain. Perhaps it is not far-fetched to identify our La Salette cart-drivers with the harvesters about which James writes. The Lord indeed heard their swearing, as Our Lady attests. But perhaps the cart-drivers were victims as well as sinners. When we ask why they were swearing, perhaps it was because of subsistence wages; perhaps it was the fact that their carts were carrying produce they and their families would never be allowed to consume. The point is that long before Leo XIII published Rerum Novarum, the Church was aware of social injustice and knew that the Gospel gave us a key to hearing the cries of the poor.
We are called to hear the cry of the poor as a result of our Christian faith (Evangelii Gaudium, 191), and even more so as a result of our call to consecrated life. Our La Salette heritage gives us a particular slant on this call, since we have Our Lady modeling “divine concern” for God’s people (her people). In hearing the cry of the poor, our Constitutions might give us some insight for formulating a response. “Drawing our inspiration from the message of Our Lady of La Salette, we dedicate ourselves to … the struggle against those evils which now compromise the salvific plan of God and the dignity of the human person (Rule of Life, Part I, #23). In our Norms, #39cp notes that “hatred, violence and injustice” are three realities that “every La Salette Missionary must work to eliminate.” A re-reading of these parts of our Rule with hearts attentive to social justice and the cry of the poor will help us formulate appropriate responses in our given locales. We may begin by crying out to God in our own poverty, knowing that, when we do, God hears our cries as well.The second objective given for the Year for Consecrated Life is “to embrace the future with hope.” Without hope, there is no future to embrace. Our solidarity with the poor and those on the peripheries will enable us to witness God’s presence there. Wherever God is, hope abounds. We La Salettes have this vision of hope to offer: a vision of an abundance of wheat and potatoes, a vision of hearts converted, a vision of a world living in justice and peace.
Fr. Silvano Marisa MS
Dear friends, “Our La Salette Laity”
Dear Fathers and Brothers, The month of September is a time to recall the merciful apparition of our blessed mother and to be reminded as La Salette Missionaries that we are called to be reconcilers to the world. This year we celebrate the 168th year of the apparition of our Blessed Mother. The year becomes important to us and our joy doubles as we celebrate the silver jubilee of our first house in India. The first house of the La Salette community in India named ‘La Salette Bhavan’ at Parakadavu was blessed on August 17, 1990.