Pilgrimage Season 2015 just started on March 21, 2015. Some pilgrims from Indonesians visited La Salette and the moment we have some pilgrims from Lyon.The Holy week retreat will begin on Wednesday April 1, 2015. It will be preached by Fr. Bernard Gaidioz M.S. There are many pilgrims in this Holy Week at La Salette Shrine, France.
In the parish Busk, in Ukraine, was held Way of the Cross for peace. There would be nothing unusual, if it were not participation of Greek Catholic priests, who are usually far from any common initiatives. Our brothers Lasaletters, work in five parishes in Ukraine. Busk is a city located near the city of Lviv. Parishes Nikopol, Zaporozhye and Krivoy Rog are located in the central Ukraine, about 250 km from the Donetsk region in which military conflict takes place.
To All My LaSalette Brothers and Sisters:
My new assignment has taken me to the Diocese of Tucson, Arizona. I am working in Detention Ministry with a focus on Restorative Justice; Detention Ministry here in the diocese is called The Kolbe Society out of respect for and inspired by Saint Maximilian Kolbe who gave his life to replace a man condemned to death.
Restorative Justice (RJ) has many expressions as it strives to ‘make things right’ between a victim and his/her offender and the community. The objective is to focus on the broken relationship between the victim and the offender that has caused real harm and possibly deep hurt to the victim and within the community; while the criminal justice system looks to punishment as the reparation for the hurt/harm caused by the offender, restorative justice looks to address the hurt/harm by bringing both together (when possible) and to explore all the dimensions of hurt/harm caused by the crime.
In most crimes, the victim has sustained serious material damage and this must be addressed; the offender is responsible for just compensation. However the victim is a person and will most certainly have suffered inner hurt as well; this emotional hurt is addressed when the victim meets face to face with the offender through the restorative justice process; we should note that this face to face meeting rarely happens within the criminal justice system. This victim-offender meeting allows the victim to tell the offender the full extent of hurt, material/physical/emotional/spiritual, experienced; it allows the victim to ask questions of the offender such as ‘why?’, ‘why my house and not someone else’s?’, etc. This meeting then is beneficial for the victim since it lets him/her ‘get things off their chest’, get answers to questions not asked in court proceedings and to really meet the offender face to face (if the victim and offender choose to do so).
The offender is always responsible to make reparation for the damages caused, as much as possible; in many crimes, especially very serious ones, this may not be possible or is impossible; incarceration is the result and the victim and offender rarely get to see each other, much less meet. With restorative justice, the offender gets to see the victim as a person and hopefully understand more fully what his/her crime has really done, in terms of not only the material loss but also the emotional hurt, the loss of peace of mind, etc. This can be very beneficial to the offender: to see victims as real people and not only as another opportunity to take advantage of because “they” have what I want. To begin to really see their victim as a real person can go a long way to helping the offender decide to steer away from a life of crime.
THE RESTORATION OF VICTIM AND OFFENDER
While justice is never overlooked nor given short shrift, the meeting of victim with offender can be restorative for both. The offender, in order to be restored, needs to admit he/she has done wrong and be willing to ‘make things right’ as best they can; seeing the victim as a fellow human being is integral to the process of restorative justice for the offender. The victim can also be restored not only by being compensated, or by getting things off their chest or by getting some questions answered; restoration for the victim also happens by beginning to see the offender in a new light: as a person genuinely sorry for their wrongdoing, willing to make things right and as a fellow human being like themselves; restorative justice can make a real difference in peoples’ lives.
….works when given the chance. RJ has remarkable success with young offenders, offering them a process of meeting with their victim instead of going through the criminal court justice system. In most cases a possible life of crime is headed off, a young offender avoids a criminal record, a valuable lesson has been learned and justice has been done: restorative justice.
For those incarcerated, a restorative justice program among inmates can lead them to appreciate their own humanity in a new way as they see and help fellow inmates change for the better through specialized interactive programs. With restorative justice rehabilitative programs begun in prison, these men and women then have a better chance of not falling back into crime when they re-enter society. Restorative justice is a proven program in the countries that have made serious attempts to establish it alongside their criminal justice system.
The above paragraphs are but a glimpse into restorative justice, and incomplete at that; please forgive my incompleteness. As I learn more about restorative justice and minister more closely to those people in our jails and those involved in their care, I hope to flesh out what I am convinced is the work of the Spirit of Reconciliation.
Richard Landry, MS
For several months I’ve been volunteering one day a week at a local shelter for homeless men. In prayer and reflection, and inspired by the words and actions of Pope Francis, I wanted to get involved in a ministry with homeless persons. My full-time work allows me time for this, since I focus on weekend programs for married couples and early morning weekday Masses at local convents.
There no organized outreach to homeless persons by the Catholic diocese, so I applied to be a volunteer at the Gospel Rescue Mission, a non-denominational, mostly evangelical Christian ministry. After I responded to some lengthy questionnaires, interviews with staff members, and a criminal background check, I was accepted as a volunteer. At first some of the staff were a little concerned about my motives, whether I was looking for lapsed Catholics or hoping to convert people. I assured them that I just wanted to help. So on most Wednesdays, after my morning Masses, I go to the shelter.
At the mission I work as a driver, taking the shelter residents to appointments: doctors, parole officers, and job interviews. I also work in the front office, helping to give sandwiches to anyone who comes to the door, praying with people who request prayer, and picking up supplies and helping with other administrative tasks. I have a lot of time to talk to the men as I drive them, and also when I eat lunch with them. I am able to listen to their concerns and stories, and to support and encourage them as they work to reform their lives after prison or addiction, loss of job and loss of family support.
God has blessed me in this ministry, and opened my eyes to the complexities of the issues that homeless people experience. And it has broadened my horizons, working hand in hand with other Christians outside of my own more comfortable denominational settings.
Paul Mandziuk M.S.
Groupe Gospel. Notre Dame de la Salette, Gabonais
Dear Fathers and Brothers,
Lent is a time to recapture our true identity. We are God’s sons and as a result all God’s children are co-heirs of our riches. It should be a time that inspires us to share our time, talent and resources with others. In order to be partakers in this sharing there is a need for equality. Discrimination against anybody on the basis of caste or religion is a sin against God and humanity. Today, Church has to take the responsibility to wipe away this discrimination and untouchability. The mission of Jesus Christ was for the poor and the marginalized. Church should come forward to render justice to all. We should aim to review the struggles for dignity, rights and faith. In this regard we see a great need to be reconciled with one another. The season of lent is the best time we can think of that reconciliation with God and with others. We have to get back to our own identity and come together as people of good will for cultivating and nurturing peace in the place of violence and strife, and work together for the possible prevention of conflicts.
When we think of lent, mostly our reflections go with the suffering, passion and death of Jesus Christ. I was thinking of what makes us sad often when we think of this suffering. Is it really because we all want to be on the winning side? We wish to be happy all the time and we do things for that happiness. Do we ever have thought of making Jesus happy? I truly believe that if we are able to make Him happy by our words, deeds and actions during this season of lent; this will surely become the best time for us.
There is also a need to take initiatives and try to restore what is broken or spoiled or interrupted, or sometimes even destroyed. This applies also to one’s relationships with God. Relationship with God is essentially expressed in one’s surrender to Him and to His directions for living our life. There is a need for total surrender. But, is this total and unconditional surrender possible for us human beings? It is possible though it is difficult! The most desirable thing for us is that our relationship with God is never interrupted or broken. But, if and when that happens, reconciliation is the way that is always open for us.God continues to take initiative for man to reconcile with Him. His Son Jesus Christ is always inviting humanity to return to His Father, as He says, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news” (Mk 1:15). God is ever faithful in His love and He wants human beings to recognize their unfaithfulness and be ready for reconciliation!
May you have a fruitful season of lent. God Bless, Yours in our Blessed Mother
Fr. Roy Parayil M.S.
Fr. Jince Koothodiyil M.S
Fr. Sanish Poovathinkal M.S
Retreat at SingaporE
The La Salette retreat team is back home after a successful retreat preaching at Singapore. Fr. Baiju Avittapally MS, Fr. Joby Muttathil MS, Fr. Jose Muttathan MS, Fr. James Kalliyath MS and Mr. Jaison were in the team. A four days retreat was conducted for the Malayalee Catholics in Singapore.
La Salette Nikethan
We solemnly began the year of consecrated life on February 2nd with lighting the lamp during the Holy Eucharistic celebration and an hour of a special adoration was also conducted in the community.
HAPPY BIRTH DAY
The birthday of Rev. Fr. Robin Vallattu, MS was celebrated on 6th of February. Community thanked him for all the services, and wished him all the best for his future life.
Our community started Lenten preparations and special devotions on 18th of February.
On 22nd our seminarians had their monthly recollection, facilitated by Bro. Anoop Chakittakudiyil, MS.
On 24th we had two visitors, Rev.Fr. John, from USA doing his doctoral studies in Dharmaram College, Bangalore and Fr. Devadas OFM from Bangalore stayed in Nikethan as part of their visit in Mysore.
Our 3rd year minor seminarians had finished their classes and are in their study leave. They are very busy with their preparations for the board examinations. Our 2nd year seminarians had finished their first year PU final examinations on 27th of February.
La Salette Sadhan
The community gave a farewell to the Superior General Rev. Fr. Silvano Marisa and his councilor Rev. Fr. Henryk on the 1st of February.
The Sadhan community celebrated the birthday of Fr. Biju Chempottical MS on February 2nd and the whole community wished him the blessings of day.
3rd year philosophy students have successfully completed their comprehensive exam and rest of the seminarians had their semester exams.
The community remembered and prayed for the departed soul of our beloved Dn. Binish Muttathil MS on his 3rd death anniversary on 20th February.
La Salette Lay Association Bangalore Unit had their gathering on 22nd February. Rev. Dr. Biju Chempottical MS delivered talk on La Salette and Lenten season and at the end a graceful hour of adoration conducted by Bro. Joyal Narimattathil.
The brothers had their monthly recollection on 22nd February and Rev. Fr. Biju SOLA animated by his talk on Mature Spirituality and Lenten Season and followed by adoration and confession.
La Salette Bhavan
Community participated in the marriage ceremony of the brother of Fr. Joby Kadambattu MS on 1st February.
Fr. Cyriac Mattathilanickal MS made a flying visit to La Salette Bhavan on 2nd February.
Bhavan community celebrated the ordination anniversary of Frs. Benny Thadathikunnel MS and Jiju Valiyakandathil MS on 4th February.
Our new priests Frs. Rijo Muttathil M.S, Saneesh Poovathinkal M.S and Jince Koothodiyil M.S celebrated their Thanksgiving Mass at La Salette Bhavan on 7th February.
Priests, relatives and parishioners participated in the Memorial Mass on the third death anniversary of Dn. Binish Muttathil MS on 20th February.
Community acknowledged the valuable services of Fr. Rijo Muttathil MS as procurator of the house and gave farewell as he is transferred to St. Ann’s Parish, Pettah, Trivandrum.
Community wholeheartedly welcomed Fr. Anoop Manchira MS, the new procurator on 23rd February.
Community celebrated the ordination anniversary of Fr. Joy Chukkananickal MS on 23rd February.
Fr. Superior and director of Postulants together with the brothers visited the houses of Postulants on 26th February.
La Salette Lay Association Parakkadavu Unit had their gathering on 22nd February.
La Salette Vidya Nikethan School
Second preparatory examinations for SSLC students were conducted in Vidya Nikethan from 18th February. Now all the SSLC students are very busy with their studies for their first Public Examination.
SEND OFF PARTY
Vidya Nikethan conducted a sendoff party for our first batch on 28th February. Staff and other students wished them all the best and offered their prayers.
La Salette Nilayam
On 18th February Wednesday we solemnly celebrated Ash Wednesday and began our zealous preparations for the Easter.
Our New Priests, Fr. Jince Koothodiyil M.S Frs. Rijo Muttahil M.S and Saneesh Poovathinkal M.S celebrated their First Telugu Mass on Ash Wednesday. Fr. Jince was the main celebrant and Fr. Roy, Fr. Sibi, Fr. Jobit and Fr. Anil were also the concelebrants. People were excited to have a handful of priests to join with them for the mass and honored the new priests with flowers and standing ovation.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO FR. ANIL
We celebrated the birthday of Fr. Anil Kochuthazhath M.S joyfully on 16th February. We prayed for him and wished him all the best in the future life. Fr. Anil shared his joy by cutting the cake along with the parishioners and the community here.
La Salette Vidyanilayam School
MOST AWAITED ANNUAL DAY…
On 17th February, La Salette Vidyanilayam School celebrated its 3rd Annual Day. ‘Practice makes perfect’, this proverb became true in its effect, producing a magnificent visual treat on the annual day by the diligent practice of our students. Our students from LKG to 3rd Standard have impressed all their spectators and received positive reviews and applause. Thanks to all the staffs and students for the cooperation and team work under the guidance Fr. Jobit Thottumkara M.S, the Principal. We had not less than two thousand audience including invitees, dignitaries, guests, parishioners, friends, parents, etc. Fr. Roy Parayil, MS, the Provincial Superior, was our Chief Guest for the program. This was also one of the best occasions to honor our new priests in the school.
La Salette Ashram
From February 8th to 11th there was the Marian Retreat in La Salette Ashram. Nearly 50 people attended the retreat.
BIRTH DAY CELEBRATION
Ashram Community cordially celebrated the birthday of Bro. Anoop Chakkittakudiyil MS on 15th of this month.
THANKS GIVING MASS OF OUR NEWLY ORDAINED PRIESTS
Our newly ordained priests Fr. Jince Koothodiyil M.S, Fr. Rijo Muttathil M.S and Fr. Saneesh Poovathimkal M.S celebrated their thanksgiving mass at La Salette Ashram on 14th of this month amidst many people who came to attend the second Saturday program.
GATHERING OF CHARISMATIC PRAYER LEADERS
There was the first gathering of charismatic prayer leaders from Mananthavady diocese and nearly 150 people attended the program. The section included Holy Mass, adoration and talk on Charismatic renewal by Fr. Vincent Pulimoottil.
La Salette Marian Center
Marian community joyfully welcomed our newly ordained priests Frs. Sanish Poovathinka MS and Jince Koothodiyil MS in the early hours of the day on 8th of February and they celebrated their thanksgiving mass in our Panachamoodu Parish on the same day. The parishioners were very happy to see the newly ordained priests and they expressed their gratitude towards them for blessing them with holy mass.
SEND OFF AND WELCOME
On 23rd February the community gave farewell to our dear Fr. Jiss Kunnumpurath MS who served the community as the procurator of the house and the assistant parish priest of St. Jude’s church Panachamoodu and the community accompanied him together with Fr. Joby Payyappilly MS to his newly assigned parish St. Ignatious Church Puthanthoppu. As he was saying adieu to parishioners many were in tears because of his hard work and dedicated service in the parish especially during the construction of their new church above all his dynamic and vibrant dealings with them and many of them expressed it through their words. On the same day Fr. Sanish MS took charge as the procurator and the program co coordinator of the house. The community wished both of them all the best.
Let us pray for the Province of Philippines.
Days to Remember
Community Study Days
A drawing competition on the theme of peace was conducted. Many came out with various kinds of drawings. One was that of a child sleeping at the breast of its mother, another one is a flower in the desert and so many of such kind. But the price winning one was a different one; it was a painting of a sea-crow singing, sitting on a sea rock amidst the high waves approaching towards it. The picture clearly depicts peace, which is complete trust in God. As the psalmist says, it is a belief that even if one walks in the valley of death, nothing will harm him (Ps 23).
Peace is something that we seek most. We are aware of the persecutions, wars and calamities happening in the world. There are so many incidents that can cause the destruction of our serenity. Amidst all theses adversities how can one have peace? And of course one may ask, where can I find peace? According to Joseph F. Girzone, “the reason the world has no peace is that people have no peace inside themselves. How can people give peace if they have not found peace themselves? Peace means disciplining what is unruly and harmful within oneself. It means overlooking hurt and insult and forgiving those who offend you. It means reaching out to God and allowing Him into your soul, where He can become your friend. When God is within you, then you will have peace. Bringing peace to the world means bringing God into the hearts of others. It cannot be otherwise. You cannot have peace without God.” Thus, one should find it within. He needs to trust in God. According to J.Maurus, faith is involvement of the whole person. It implies an attempt to relate as well as possible with others and with God. It is a matter of inner freedom. Unless we have learned to cut the emotions down to size and control them meaningfully, we can never really live with any semblance of true and authentic freedom. In a way if we want to enjoy freedom and peace we must travel in to ourselves. To the inside of us. Peace that cannot be found within cannot be found elsewhere. Peace that is enriched inside will flow out to the world.
One method of attaining peace is, learning to forget. Forgetting two things in life: 1- The good you have done to others. 2- The harm others have inflicted on you. It is very difficult but possible. It should be possible for us who wish peace in the name of the Lord. ‘The peace of the Lord be with you always’. Often, the advocates of peace are in search of peace. We search it everywhere except in God. That is the irony of our life. Peace is not the absence of problems. Instead, it is the realization of the presence of God within us. St.Paul has rightly said it, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Will it be trials, persecution or hunger, lack of clothing, or dangers or sword?” (Rom 8:35). Remember; there is nothing wrong in touring from place to place for consolations, if only one can realize that it should begin and end in God. When we wish peace to each other, let God grant us the same peace.
 Joseph F.Girzone, Joshua in the Holy Land, (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1992) 51.
 J.Maurus, Cybernetics or Liberation, (St.Paul’s, Allahabad, India, 1981) 50.