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Who are the La Salette Laity—an invitation to you

laityWho are the La Salette Missionaries?

The Congregation of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, an international religious community of priests and brothers, is founded on the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette which occurred on Sept. 19, 1846. Two poor unsuspecting children, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat, met Our Lady in a mountaintop ravine near the hamlet of La Salette. She asked these two children to “make (her) message known to all (her) people.”

Within a few years, the local Bishop founded the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. They are
committed to minister in collaboration with laity, other religious, and local clergy to promote the message of Mary at La Salette and the ministry of reconciliation.

Who are the La Salette Laity?

They are Catholic laity inspired by the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette who want to connect themselves more closely to our Weeping Mother and the principles of spirituality contained in her message at La Salette. As Our Lady requested in her merciful apparition, these devoted people pray each day, reflect on the scripture and her message and make her message known whenever the opportunity arises.

La Salette Laity are in over twenty countries around the world and have established programs of ongoing formation, living and ministering as co-missionaries, connected with the La Salette Missionaries.

What’s involved in becoming part of the La Salette Laity?

Read more Who are the La Salette Laity—an invitation to you

Lay Ministry and Ordained Ministry Complement Each Other

Recently, a young man considering the priesthood told me that he thought the rise of lay ministry in the Church was threatening the role of the ordained priest. What our conversation brought home to me was the ongoing confusion regarding the specific identity of and relationship between lay and ordained ministries.
lay and ordainedSecond International Laity Enciunter in 2016 Mass in Reconciliation Chapel on the Holy Mountain

The differences between the ministries of Bishop, Priest, and lay person

There are many factors that prevent clarity in this area. Chief among them is a failure to observe that while ordained ministry is general and comprehensive, lay ministry is always specific and limited. The ministry of the bishop, for instance, is not focused on any particular area of the life of his diocese. Rather it ranges widely over the whole spectrum of diocesan activities. In the same way, the parish priest is called to carry on a comprehensive and wide-ranging ministry of oversight in his parish. His focus is not on any particular ministry area, but on the right ordering (think “holy orders”) of the parish.

Read more Lay Ministry and Ordained Ministry Complement Each Other

The Vocation of Associates of a Religious Order

Editor: The following are notes taken from a YouTube Presentation by Sr. Carol Zinn, SSJ, MTh, PhD. (22:41 minutes)

Untitled 3The First International La Salette Lay Encounter met on the Holy Mountain in Sept. 2011Aware that there are an ever-growing number of Associates of Religious Orders in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe, it would be good to learn more about this special vocation, for that is what it truly is!

In this brief presentation, we will treat the historical and contemporary perspectives of this ministry, the call to the mission and charism of the community, the identity and important boundaries of Associates, and casting a wide net as Associates become more numerous and more different from one another.

An Historical Perspective

Associate Life is a vocation. However the general impression in the past has been that is only “religious and clergy” have a vocation.

Historically, we are all the followers of Jesus. Everywhere he went, countless people ministered to him and his disciples. There was always a group of people around Jesus. And in religious life, there were always those people who associated with religious communities.

Read more The Vocation of Associates of a Religious Order

Lay Movements – Be Bold and Persevere

01 pope to crowdPope Francis in Loppiano, Italy on May 10, 2018; photo: Daniel Ibañez/CNAPope Francis recently paid a visit to two small Catholic communes in central Italy dedicated to living solidarity and promoting ecumenical unity, telling members that their “prophetic” way of living the Gospel must continue with boldness and perseverance.

Speaking to members of the Nomadelfia  community and commune, the pope said theirs is “a prophetic reality that proposes the creation of a new civilization, implementing the Gospel as a form of a good and beautiful life.”

Similarly, he told members of the Focolare  Movement, which has a Marian spirituality and places an emphasis on ecumenism, that their community is “an illustration of the mission of the Church today, as traced by the Second Vatican Council.”

He told members they should not stay locked inside, but must “go out, to encounter, to take care of, to throw the leaven of the Gospel in the pasta of society, above all where there is most need, where the Gospel is awaited and invoked: in poverty, in suffering, in trials, in the search and in doubt.”

Read more Lay Movements – Be Bold and Persevere

La Salette Associates – Who We Are And What We Do

We are a group of lay people who choose to bond ourselves closely with the spirituality, charism, ministry and community of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette in a setting of mutuality.

Mutuality recognizes that both professed Missionaries and Associates, although they have distinct and different rights and responsibilities within the La Salette Community, contribute to the La Salette mission in the world today. Each does this according to the particular gifts and talents received by God. Mutuality implies the enrichment in ongoing relationships with one another on a personal and a community level.

Read more La Salette Associates – Who We Are And What We Do

Making Her Message Known

What happened on that day at La Salette

Untitled 1
Mary said to the two children: “Make this known to all my people." For a message to be transmitted it is much better to entrust it to two people. One cannot be a witness or a Christian alone.

In fact, there were two children – Melanie, age 14, and Maximin, age 11 – who had the special privilege of meeting the “Beautiful Lady”. They had only met each other the day before the Apparition. Initially they are afraid of this unknown woman, but then, no longer surprised, they drank in the words of the Beautiful Lady in tears. She was dressed as a peasant woman and she knew the area of Corps. Everything was of interest to her – neither the religious practices nor the daily worries of these inhabitants. She called the children by their first name and she reported accurately specific events such as the event at the “terre de coin (the corner field)."

Read more Making Her Message Known

Laity with Religious

Untitled-1NACAR logo celebrating their 20 years of support for associatesA new study from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) for the North American Conference of Associates and Religious (NACAR) reports more than 55,000 associates in 378 religious institutes, eight in ten of them in the United States, a significant increase from the 25,500 associates reported fifteen years ago in the United States.

Associates are lay people who live out a religious charism and largely connect with institutes of vowed religious in order to live out the charism together. This study builds on a previous study done in 2000 and 2002 on associates’ relationships with vowed religious and was commissioned by NACAR in recognition of its 20th anniversary.

In addition to the 378 religious institutes that responded to a survey on associate leadership, over 10,000 vowed religious and associates responded to a survey about the associate-religious relationship. Both surveys asked about current realities and future expectations.

Read more Laity with Religious

Meet Yvonne Simon, a La Salette Layperson

What was your background?

Untitled-1Yvonne Simon, a devotee of La SaletteMy parents were farmers in Britanny. Since I was 14, after receiving my graduation certificate, I stayed at home to help my mother with the housework and my father working in the fields. Soon I joined the Catholic Agricultural Youth Women (JACF) Action Movement which I loved.

At the age of 25 I went off to exercise my chosen profession – rural homemaking. I married a farmer from our town and we were married for 30 years. Together we managed a farm with many different crops and livestock until my retirement in 1998.

My husband was a dynamic person, involved with youth, the Church, and very active in a local Catholic Action group. Frail and often depressed, he suffered all his life from the result of a fall from his horse when he was only seven years of age.

In 1986 his condition worsened and, from there on, I concentrated on supported our family. I did my best to continue to raise our four children – two girls and two boys. Now our daughters are married. Presently I make the time to take my turn caring for my grandchildren – five in all!


How did you survive these challenges?

It was particularly difficult but I attribute my survival to my faith and my commitment to a group called the “Christians in Rural Areas (CMR)”. I also served as a catechist for ten years and benefited from formation in Bible studies. Our meetings supported my hope in the future.

Read more Meet Yvonne Simon, a La Salette Layperson

The Vocation and Mission of the Laity

layityThe Spirit sent by the risen Christ continues to act, now as always, in and through the Church. To better understand today, it is good to remember the past. We recognize the action of the Spirit in the life and diversity of civilizations and their ever-changing view of life. In order to strengthen our faith, it is good for us to obtain a correct view of our history and challenge our false assumptions, especially to awaken us to our present responsibilities! (from “La Croix – L’événement (The Cross – The Event)" April 2, 1987).

Christians – A Simple Identity

Untitled-1Dr. Susanne TuncChristian laity are curious to know a little of their own history. Of course, articles and books abound. Quite apart from the numerous studies that appear today, it is enough to simply begin reading passages from the Acts of the Apostles or the Pauline letters. Following the example of Christ, who was placed above any institution and any categorization, the early Christians were unaware of the present-day distinction between clergy and laity. It is found nowhere in the new Testament.

Early Christians were described in the familiar passage: "All who believed were together and had everything in common" (Acts 2:14). Whenever they spoke, it was always as a witness to the Lord Jesus. In their homes where they met to break bread in memory of the Risen Lord, all brought their memories: women and men were sharing what they had seen and heard, and which was then shaped by the Evangelists. Believers brought others to Christ. It is often reported that women converted their husbands and household; while the artisans and merchants preached the Good News wherever they went, often in foreign lands.

Read more The Vocation and Mission of the Laity

World Meeting of Families

Untitled-1During a recent visit to our La Salette House in Rome, I came upon a booklet entitled: “The Family: Work and Celebration” at the Vatican Bookstore. It was the preparatory catechesis booklet for the Seventh World Meeting of Families, held in Milan, May 30 to June 3, 2012.

Saint John Paul II, in response to the need of families everywhere, asked the Pontifical Council for the Family to organize the First World Meeting of Families. It was held in Rome in 1994. The others have been in Rio de Janeiro (1997); Rome (2000); Manila (2003); Valencia (2006); Mexico City (2009); Milan (2012); and now, in Philadelphia during the week of September 22-27, 2015.

What is the World Meeting of Families?


Pope St. John Paul II, hailed as the Pope of the Family, created the World Meeting of Families in 1994 in Rome to explore the critical role the family plays in society and to give families opportunities to talk about the challenges and blessings that all families have.

This year’s theme is “Love Is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive”. It was inspired by the early Church Family, St. Irenaeus, who wrote “the Glory of God is (humanity) fully alive.” The glory of men and women is their capacity to love as God loves – and no better means exists to teach the meaning of love than the family. His Holiness, Pope Francis also inspired the theme. He embodies the message of mercy, joy and love at the heart of the Gospel.


What happens at this meeting?

Read more World Meeting of Families

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