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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

Meet Sr. Mila Dela Cruz, SNDS

Sr. Mila Dela Cruz, SNDS, near
of Our Lady of La Salette in
Attleboro, MA.

When I was in sixth grade, the first La Salette Fathers who came to my country used to celebrate Mass in my hometown of Ramon, Isabela, Philippines. The group of La Salette priests serving in my hometown included Frs. Conrad Blanchet, René Bisaillon, Maurice Cardinal, and Gerald Biron.


How I first heard about La Salette

They shared with us the story of La Salette at Mass when they came to visit our barrio of Raniag. Our parents were strongly attracted to the story of La Salette. My family always kept a picture of the Weeping Mother in our home to remind us. Her gestures and her tears continue to touch many hearts and lives.

Whenever Fr. René was driving the children to Mass, he would like to have everyone join in singing some folk songs. My whole family, which included seventeen children and one adopted brother, were close friends of Fr. Blanchet. In fact, during a long drought, he actually helped my father put in a water system on our family farm. He taught my father to do many other things and was often around to help in any way he could. Fr. Blanchet even taught our family how to speak English!

As our farm grew larger, our family become more self-sufficient through the generous help of the La Salette Missionaries. My family will always remember the generous presence and actions of the La Salettes leading all of us closer to God.


Hearing Our Lady’s Call 

Read more Meet Sr. Mila Dela Cruz, SNDS

Meet Fr. Jean-Theodore, M.S.

(left) Fr. Jean-Theodre Randriamahenina, M.S.; (right)
hometown of Faratsiho in the rural region of
Madagascar (photo: © Cirad, A. Teyssier)

Editor: Fr. Jean-Theodore, M.S., was asked to share with the members of the French Province his experience of coming from Madagascar three years ago to serve in France.

A little bit about me…

I thank Fr. Frantz Monnet, M.S., the French Provincial, and his council for asking me to speak to you. I am glad to be with you to share some of the modest experiences I have lived while in France. I do this first and foremost as a Malagasy, proceeding slowly (“moramora,” as we say in Malagasy, slowly but never backwards), then as a religious and priest living in the La Salette French Province.

Here are a few words of explanation about how I came to be living here in France for the past three years.

My Seminary Days

Read more Meet Fr. Jean-Theodore, M.S.

La Salette Sisters in Myanmar

Kachin dancers are involved in the yearly Manaw Festival,
held in Myitkyina and Putao in the Kachin State.

The La Salette Sisters minister in various places in the world, including here in the US (Virginia and Florida). Their expansion to Myanmar was in many ways due to the ministry of Fr. Bernie Taylor, M.S., (his native Myanmar name is Bernie U Thein) who was working in the Philippines.

A few years after the American La Salettes were expelled from Myanmar in 1976, Fr. Bernie went to join the Filipino Province. He returned to his homeland as often as possible and continued to bring the message of La Salette to people there. Some young men wanted to join the Missionaries of La Salette. They went to the Philippines for formation.

There were also some young women who were attracted to the La Salette charism and asked to join the La Salette Sisters. They belong to the Kachin tribe and are located in the northernmost part of the country near China. In fact half of the Kachin people live in China. For their formation these young women were able to go to the Philippines and join the sisters.

Read more La Salette Sisters in Myanmar

Meet Bro Ron Taylor, M.S.

Where were you born and raised?

Bro. Ron Taylor, M.S., celebrating
fifty years of religious profession

I was born on March 19, 1947, and raised in Central Falls, Rhode Island. My father’s name was Russell and he co-owned “Armand’s Café” in Central Falls. My mother, Yvonne, worked for a laundry business and had previously worked in a local fabric mill in Pawtucket, RI. I had a half-brother named Russell Taylor, Jr., an engineer for Texas Instruments, a manufacturing company making computer circuit boards. I went to grammar school and one year of high school at St. Matthew’s School.

How did you learn about La Salette?

I had three life-long friends, a few years older than me, and they entered the La Salette Novitiate in 1960 at Center Harbor, NH. When they came home on vacation, I’d ask what their life was all about as a La Salette Brother candidate. I liked what they said, about working with their hands and doing many things. I loved that aspect of life. Then Fr. Leo Maxfield, M.S., visited our parish and spoke about the La Salette Missionaries, inviting those who were interested. He offered to take us on a trip to the La Salette High School Seminary in Enfield, NH. However he mentioned that he was only taking those interest in the priesthood. Fortunately one fellow couldn’t go, so I took his place.

On that weekend, we visited the classrooms of students and peeked in on the La Salette Brothers who were working in the garage. It was after that weekend that I made the decision to enter La Salette as a Brotherhood candidate. Because I was only in eighth grade, Fr. Roland Bedard, M.S., asked me to wait until I finished my freshman year of High School. After I was accepted at the age of 15, I entered on July 4, 1962, into Center Harbor as an Aspirant.

Read more Meet Bro Ron Taylor, M.S.

Meet Yvonnique Leroy

Yvonnique (right) with other Lay
La Salettes on the Holy Mountain
in September 2011

Editor: Yvonnique Leroy is a member of one of several groups of Lay La Salettes, people from around the world dedicated – along with the La Salette Missionaries – to the mission of reconciliation. She is 54 years old, married, with two children. She lives in the city of Saint-Leu, on the Island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born on the Island of La Réunion, in the town of Saint-Leu, located on the west coast of the island. My mother had thirteen children, but I have known only six of them. Now my two brothers and I are the only remaining children. I grew up in a family involved in both the Hindu and Catholic religions. It was more or less natural, here, under the colonial influence that sometimes we went to the Hindu temple and at other times went to the Catholic Church. Most of my friends had similar experiences.

What brought you to belief in Jesus Christ?

Read more Meet Yvonnique Leroy

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