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Bp. Yves-Marie Pean, C.S.C., of Haiti

Editor: Bishop Pean was invited to the Attleboro Shrine to participate in the La Salette Triduum Celebration. He presided and preached at a special Pilgrimage Mass for Haitian people on Sept. 16, 2012. He is Bishop in the Diocese of Gonaīves, where two La Salette priests from Madagascar now serve his people. 

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in northern Haiti in Pilate, in Cap Haitian. We are three boys and one girl in our family and I’m the second oldest. My father, Dacius, worked in commerce (buying and selling); my mother, Carmelie Sylne was an industrious worker and dedicated full-time mother in the home.

How did you discover your vocation?

Bp. Pean with a Haitian deacon and ministers
including two La Salette Missionaries, at the
La Salette National Shrine, Attleboro
Since my youth, I was very conscious of my vocation to the priesthood due to my family environment of faith, prayer, and love. Even my extended family was very supportive of my vocation. When I went to secondary school from the age of 14, I was gradually becoming more conscious of being called by God to something special. After studying Philosophy, I realized more strongly that time was drawing closer for me to choose a vocation, perhaps the priesthood.
After I finished my secondary education, I chose to enter the Novitiate of the Holy Cross Congregation in my home town of Cap Haitian. There I continued my studies in Philosophy and Theology followed by one year of pastoral work. In addition I also was involved in special studies in anthropology and ethnology at the State University in Haiti. I soon received my license in Anthropology and my bachelor’s degree in Theology. 

Read more Bp. Yves-Marie Pean, C.S.C., of Haiti

Meet Fr. Leslaw Panczak, M.S.

Fr. Leslaw Panczak, M.S.

Where were you born and raised?

I was born in Rzeszow, in southern Poland, about 100 miles east of Krakow. My mother, Helen, and my farther, John, both came from there. I am the oldest of three children: my brother, Peter, and my sister, Barbara and myself. We attended our diocesan parish but I remember, as a child, going regularly to the La Salette novena in the neighboring Parish of Our Lady of La Salette. I loved the prayers and the La Salette message. We later moved to an apartment very close to the La Salette church. At the age of nine I became an altar boy and Eucharist was my regular nourishment. 
When the parish priest came to visit our house each year, he asked my parents to pray for my vocation to the priesthood. I visited the rectory and saw their happiness, their lifestyle and their community spirit. It was a natural journey to eventually join the La Salette community, continuing to appreciate the familiar values of prayer, community and Marian devotion. In our La Salette parish, we went each year to the Shrine at Debowiec as a group of altar servers. I grew up in the shadow and spirit of La Salette. 

Read more Meet Fr. Leslaw Panczak, M.S.

The La Salette Message in My Life and My Prison Ministry

I first heard about the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette when I was just twelve years old. At that time I was a student at La Salette of Aurora, a Catholic High School run by the La Salette Missionaries in Isabela, a province in the northern part of the Philippines. My father enrolled me in this school because he wanted me to be close to God.
What captured my attention and challenged my curiosity about the apparition was the initial greeting of the Beautiful Lady to the children: “Come near, my children, do not be afraid. I am here to tell you great news.” How tender, how pleasing, how reassuring were those words to my ears. Almost instantaneously, I believed in my heart that she was personally addressing those powerful words to me. But I often wondered how good her news was because she was crying for the entire time she spoke! I wanted to know how this could be. These reflections have left a deep impression on me. They remained with me no matter how much I tried to dismiss them or convince myself that I worry too much.

Read more The La Salette Message in My Life and My Prison Ministry

In Solidarity with the Mother Who Weeps

Sister Mary Yun Ja, SNDS, a La Salette vocation from Myanmar (formerly Burma), who serves now in her native land. The recent tragic events happening in Myanmar have highlighted what is happening in her native land: peaceful demonstrations by Buddhist monks opposing their repressive government; and, more recently, the destructive effects of the cyclone, Nargis. However, there are also notable positive developments with native religious communities and the new foundation of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, sisters as well as fathers and brothers.

Where did you come from?

I was born in Myitkyina, in the northeast of Myanmar, near the Chinese border. I am the youngest of a family of ten children – eight girls and two boys. Our parents cultivate rice at the foot of a nearby mountain. The members of my family were members of a traditional animist religion. Whenever someone was sick in the family, my mother would be called to sacrifice a buffalo, a pig or some similar animal. My mother converted to Christianity in the 1980’s and we all were baptized.

Read more In Solidarity with the Mother Who Weeps

La Salette Sisters Celebrate Life

25th Anniversary of Profession
of Sr. Ma. Milagros dela Cruz,
SNDS with other La Salette Sisters
Often during the summer, families gather together to celebrate. And so it is with the Sisters of Our Lady of La Salette. 
In the Philippines, on May 12, 2012, we celebrated the perpetual profession of Sr. Minerva Boado, SNDS, at her home Parish at St. Isidore Parish, Tubao, La Union with Bishop Carlito J. Cenzon, CICM, the Bishop of the Diocese of Baguio.
This was a special celebration because it’s the first profession in this newly-erected province of our sisters. At the request of Archbishop Michael Miller, CSB, we responded positively to his invitation to minister in his diocese.  As an international community who relishes exploring and serving in new missions, Sr. Minerva will be one of the first three sisters to serve in our new mission in the Diocese of Vancouver, British Columbia, the western-most diocese on Canada. Joining her will be two other La Salette Sisters who will minister in both pastoral ministry and religious education. 

Read more La Salette Sisters Celebrate Life

Meet Fr. Silvano Marisa, M.S.

Fr. Silvano Marisa, M.S.,
newly-elected Superior
General, La Salette
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in northern Italy in the Province of Trento, in Boccaldo, a little village of only 66 people, nestled in the mountains.
My family were very simple peasant farmers – my father and mother, my three brothers and one sister. My parents, now deceased, were both from the same region. My father was born in our village, which was then under the previous Austrian empire until our liberation in 1918. My mother was born in a nearby village. My parents were married when they were both in their early 20’s. 
Boccaldo, the small mountain village
in which Fr. Silvano was born
How did you hear about the La Salette Missionaries?
Among the principal buildings of the nearby town of Trambileno stands the Sanctuary of Our Lady of La Salette. Located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the capital city, Moscheri, the sanctuary was built in 1856 with money from a noble donation of Rovereto and with the hands of itinerate townspeople who worked in France during the summer. They dedicated the Shrine to Our Lady of La Salette because her message expressed their own concerns as farmworkers: famine, potatoes and wheat.
The shrine has been well-known in the region. In fact, in 1956, we joyfully celebrated the centenary of our little shrine. On that occasion, a La Salette priest, Fr. Macario Caterini, came to preach the La Salette Triduum for that celebration. Our parish priest introduced me to Fr. Caterini, who had travelled from Torino. After we spoke, he invited me to join the Minor Seminary at Salmata since I was just 11 years of age at that time. I then made my Novitiate in Corps, France, my philosophy studies at Lyons and my Theology studies in Rome at the Gregorian University. I was ordained in Naples in our parish on Dec. 16, 1973.

Read more Meet Fr. Silvano Marisa, M.S.

Meet Fr Bernie Taylor

Monastery in Yenangyuang where
Fr. Bernie studied as a young boy

About my call to the La Salette Missionaries… 

My first contact with the La Salettes was at St. Mary’s school in Thayetmyo. I was sent there as a boarder by my father because I was getting a lot of Buddhist influences since my grandmother sent me to a monastery in Yenangyuang to study 
Fr. Bernie Taylor, M.S., with
some orphans of the 2008
Nargis cyclone in Myanmar
my first 3 R’s. Then later I was transferred to St. Peter’s in Mandalay and then on to St. Paul’s in Rangoon (both run by the de La Salle Brothers). 

I joined the La Salette Minor Seminary in Akyab (now Sittwe) in 1962 and was sent to the Philippines the next year. However, since I was still living in Burma, I was not able to get to any La Salette novitiate so I finished my theological studies and was ordained for the diocese of Prome (now Pyay). The La Salettes in the Philippines decided not to let me come back as the La Salette Burmese mission was planning to close. 
I went back to Prome any way and worked in the diocese even after the La Salette Missionaries left. I finally decided to go back to the Philippines when the new bishop assigned me to Rangoon. After a couple of years, I was finally able to finish my novitiate and took my first vows in 1982 (20 years after I entered the apostolic school in 1962).

Read more Meet Fr Bernie Taylor

Meet Fr. Jose Muttathan, M.S.

Fr. Jose Muttathan, M.S.

Where were you born and raised?

I am the youngest of five siblings, born on October 2, 1966 in Panely, Kerala, Southern India. I was in the United States from May to September, sharing information about my life, vocation, formation and ministry while I was preaching mission appeals. 

When did you begin school?

I was late beginning school, at the age of seven. I went to the local government grade school (grades 1 to 4) in Panely. When I was eleven I matriculated to St. Mary’s high school in Kombanad (grades 5 to 10). The next step was going to pre-degree college at Kothamangadam (grades 11-12).

Read more Meet Fr. Jose Muttathan, M.S.

Meet Brother Juan, A La Salette Artist

Bro,. Juan in his workshop
at the Shrine of Our Lady
of La Salette in Siador-
Silleda, Pontevedra, Spain.
His bronze statue of Our Lady of La
Salette seated, turning to welcome
the two children (and us) in the
Attleboro Shrine’s Garden
of the Apparition.
When Our Lady appeared to the two young cowherds at La Salette on September 19, 1846, before ever she spoke a word, her presence spoke volumes. The children were first attracted by the otherworldly globe of light that surrounded her. As they approached, Maximin and Melanie's fears were quelled by the sight of Our Lady seated on a stone, her face in her hands. 
As she looked at them to greet them, they saw she was crying. The light from the crucifix she was wearing, the tears of a compassionate mother, the garlands of roses surrounding her head, shoulders and feet-all these things spoke to the children of the Divine Presence, and made an impact on their lives as deep – if not deeper – than the words she subsequently spoke.
Ever since the children described this scene, artists have tried to capture that Presence. Over the years, devotees of the La Salette Apparition have seen those attempts reproduced in paintings and sculpture. Among the many artists who have depicted that tender scene at La Salette of Mary where she spoke with the two children, we present one member of our Congregation who took seriously Our Lady's call to “make this known to all my people.” 

Read more Meet Brother Juan, A La Salette Artist

Meet Sr. Theresa Hkawn Htoi Kareng, SNDS

Sr. Theresa Hkawn Htoi
Kareng, SNDS

Pope Benedict XVI meeting
with Archbishop Paul Z.
Zinghtung Grawng
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Myitkyine, Kachin State, North Central Myanmar, I was born and raised as a Catholic, along with my three brothers and one sister. I am the eldest. My youngest brother passed away while he volunteered with youth in a mission on the mountain. He got sick with malaria and died at the age of 18, while I was a novice in the Philippines. 
My father is a very religious man and goes to Mass every morning and always prays for me to be faithful to my call. My mother is very supportive of me being a La Salette religious sister. I am fortunate that my parents and grandmother (aged 95) are very accepting of my vocation and are always praying for me.
How did you hear about La Salette?
When I decided to join a congregation in Myitkyine. I learned about the La Salette Sisters from my cousin, Margaret, who at that time was also thinking of joining the same community in the Philippines. She received information about them from our bishop, Archbishop Paul Z. Zinghtung Grawng and passed that onto her. I also expressed to our bishop that I’d like to join the La Salette Sisters in the Philippines as well. 

Read more Meet Sr. Theresa Hkawn Htoi Kareng, SNDS

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