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Meet Fr. Jim Nunes, M.S.

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.

Read more Meet Fr. Jim Nunes, M.S.

Meet Fr. Paulino

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).

Read more Meet Fr. Paulino

Meet Fr. Maurice Linehan, M.S.

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?

Read more Meet Fr. Maurice Linehan, M.S.

Meet Sr. Marilyn, SNDS

What is your family background?

Untitled-1La Salette Sisters: (from left) Sr. Theresa Hkawn Htio Kareng, Sr. Marilyn J. Antonio, Sr. Ma. Milagros C. dela Cruz, Sr. François RassorivaoI am the eldest of seven children – four boys and three girls. My father, Frederico Antonio, Sr., was a farmer, and my mother, Lucia Antonio, was a full-time housewife. We all grew up on our farm with our many animals. I really enjoyed our farm life.

I went to public school for my elementary years and had private high school education. My father had decided that, since he couldn’t complete college, he insisted that we all get a college education. He told me, “If you go to college, all your brothers and sisters will follow.” Almost all did eventually graduate!

How did first you hear about La Salette?

Since I went to the La Salette College which eventually became La Salette University, I met a La Salette priest, Fr. Conrad Blanchet. I just loved him; I saw him as a true missionary, living a good, simple and joyful life. He even went to the peripheries of our area to take care of those suffering from leprosy.

What other educational training have you received?

Read more Meet Sr. Marilyn, SNDS

Meet Fr. Vimencio Ignatio, M.S.

What is your family background?


Untitled-1(left) Fr. Vimencio Ignatio. M.S.; (right) Mass
at Shrine Church in Silang, Cavite, Philippines
My father is Victorino and mother, Esmelda. My father died in 1987, two years before my ordination. My mother was a teacher and raised us four boys, of which I am the eldest. One of my brothers, and engineer and engaged in politics, died in 2007. Another one of my brothers is also an a mechanical engineer. He now lives in the United States. My younger brother studied architecture but eventually chose agriculture and is now a farmer.


What binds you to La Salette?


I studied in a school run by the Missionaries of La Salette in San Mateo, a first calls urban city in the southern Philippines. The director of our school was Fr. Maurice Cardinal, M.S., now 92 years old now and living an active retirement in California. Subsequently I entered the seminary of San Luis in the northern Philippines. From there my class was sent to the University of La Salette in Santiago City in the northern Province of Isabela.


I was then sent to Silang, Cavite, a La Salette Shrine, to study philosophy and then went to in Tagaytay City for my theology. I then served in several different pastoral settings. I professed my first vows as a La Salette in 1981 and was ordained in 1989. My first assignments at St. John’s Parish in Santiago and two other parishes in the same area.

Read more Meet Fr. Vimencio Ignatio, M.S.

Meet Fr. Isidro Perin, M.S.

What is your family background?

Untitled-1Fr. Isidro Perin, M.S., La Salette Superior General from 1994-2006I was born in a Christian family. My parents were farmers, deeply involved in the activities and ecclesial movements of the time. My dad had died at the age of 31. We were three boys and I was the oldest. As a youngster I was an altar boy and accompanied the priest to as he blessed the houses of our village.

When did you first meet the Missionaries of La Salette?

My religious upbringing was guided by a German Franciscan priest who was my spiritual director. You might therefore ask how I didn’t join the Franciscans as my spiritual director desired.

Every vocation has its mystery because, basically, it is a personal human response to a loving invitation from God. I knew La Salette because my parents and I attended a pilgrimage at the La Salette Shrine in Marcelino Ramos, Brazil. In that same city my own father left this world to join the Father's House in 1946, which was the centenary year of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette.

The defining moment of my decision to join the La Salette Missionaries happened late one afternoon. I announced to my mother: "I want to enter the La Salette congregation". She replied: "If God calls you, then go!" As was the procedure at that time, I entered the seminary in Marcelino Ramos in March of 1953. With the help of the La Salette Missionaries, my family and many other laity throughout my training, I was ordained on December 9, 1967.

Where did you serve in your ministry in Brazil?

Read more Meet Fr. Isidro Perin, M.S.

Miracles in the Life of Sister Mila

Untitled-1Sr. Maria Milagros Dela Cruz, SNDSAttleboro, MA — In the wake of Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, the world watched the apostolic visit of Pope Francis, including the Mother Superior of the La Salette Sisters at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette.

Sister Maria Milagros Dela Cruz, SNDS, was born and raised in Ramon, Isabela, in the far north of the Philippines. A visit by the pope is a great blessing to the Filipino people, according to the vibrant, animated nun, affectionately known as Sister Mila, 65. “I watched the Mass in Manila, and it was raining,” she said. “We Filipinos don’t get discouraged when it rains. The old people would say it is a blessing from God.”

Sister Mila came from a very large family of 17 children, including eight girls and nine boys. Her parents would also adopt another son. “I was number 10 and a blue baby,” she said. “The doctor told my aunt that they did their best, but the baby was dead. The doctor left, and then my aunt said I started crying. My aunt reported to the doctor that the baby came alive.” Consequently, the doctor baptized the preemie Maria Milagros (Miracles).

Read more Miracles in the Life of Sister Mila

Meet Fr. Raphael Rakotonceliarimanana, M.S.

What is your family background?

Untitled-1Fr. Raphaël Rakotonceliarimanana, M.S.I was born in Antanifotsy, south of Antsirabe, Madagascar in December of 1936. Like all Malagasy at that time, my parents were small farmers, busy harvesting rice, raising some chickens and oxen. My father was also the carpenter by trade and occasionally worked as a taxi-driver in the bush. My mother was always busy raising all of us.

My family consists of four boys and four girls. My older sister and I are the only remaining children. Of course, beyond our immediate family, I have many nephews and nieces!

We have our large family gathering in September of this year, for the famadihana celebration. We have it every seven years. This is a typical Malagasy family festivity in which we honor our dead by dressing their remains with a new shroud.

What are your educational and vocational experiences?

My education began in a local Catholic elementary school. At that time Madasgascar was still colonized. From our old books, we learned that our ancestors were Gauls, since our colonists were French! I doubt that our contemporary generation have learned the same thing as I did.

Read more Meet Fr. Raphael Rakotonceliarimanana, M.S.

A Second Life for Fr. Bill Mulchair, M.S.

Untitled-1Fr. Bill Mulcair, M.S.I recently spent a couple hours visiting my fellow La Salette priest, Fr. Bill Mulcair, at the Intensive Education Academy in West Hartford, where he has worked since 1988.

The Academy, founded in 1971 by Sister Helen Dowd, a Sister of St. Joseph of Chambery, in the basement of their motherhouse on Park Street in West Hartford, CT. The Academy serves youths from 6 to 18 years of age who have learning disabilities and emotional problems.

In 1995 the school was able to purchase and transfer to a very contemporary designed synagogue building which has since expanded into an impressive education complex. The Academy has a well-respected reputation throughout Connecticut and Western Massachusetts. When written up in newspaper accounts, a label often given to the Academy is “A School Founded on Love.” Fr. Bill is a Counselor, therapist, spiritual guide, and a member of its Board. He has been a major part of the Academy’s growth and development.


From Across the Pond

Fr. Bill was born in the La Salette parish of St. Peter’s in Dagenham, England. The example of the La Salette priests serving in his home parish sparked in him the desire to join the La Salette community. His early seminary and novitiate formation took place in France; his studies in Philosophy in Belgium; his theology in the U.S., where was ordained in 1965.

Read more A Second Life for Fr. Bill Mulchair, M.S.

Meet Sr. Olga Marie Odette, SSND

How do you feel about telling the story of your life and vocation?

Untitled-1Sr. Olga Marie Odette Rasoavololona, SNDSMy religious vocation is the mystery of my meeting my God? Each of our stories is unique. I believe that my willingness to tell it is not putting myself forward but instead making an invitation to those around to develop their own relationship – deep and intimate – with the Lord of our lives.

Where were you born and raised?

I am the eldest of seven children in the Rasoavololona family. I have five brothers and one sister. Sabotsy, my village, is eleven kilometers (almost seven miles) from Antsirabe, the tourism and industrial city of Madagascar, with its own Catholic University. It is a fertile region where "everything" grows.

Read more Meet Sr. Olga Marie Odette, SSND

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