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Vimencio Ignacio has been a Filipino, La Salette missionary for over twenty years. From his ministry on the Holy Mountain he retraces the main stages of his vocation which led him to the four corners of the world and helped him summarize the message of Our Lady of La Salette in two words: humility and perseverance.

What is your family background?

Vimencio IgnacioFr. Vimencio Ignacio, M.S., concelebrating Mass on the Holy Mountain in FranceFr. Vimencio Ignacio was born on Dec. 8, 1959. My father’s name is Victorino and my mother’s name is Esmelda. I lost my father in 1987. My mother was been a teacher but was the mother of four boys. of which I am the eldest . One of my brothers, an engineer and engaged in politics, died in 2007. Another brothers is an engineer, a genius in mechanics, who now lives in the United States. My youngest brother is an architect but he has chosen his area of specialty, agriculture. He is now a farmer.

What connected you with La Salette?

I studied in a High School managed by the Missionaries of La Salette in San Mateo, Philippines, fifteen miles east of Manila. I've had Fr. Maurice Cardinal as my Director. I entered the Seminary of San Luis, in the northern Philippines. From there my class went to the University of La Salette in Santiago City in the Province of Isabela. I was then sent to Silang, Cavite, a place of pilgrimage dedicated to Our Lady of La Salette, to study the philosophy and then to Tagaytay City for my Theology. Then I was sent for my pastoral formation to three different nearby parishes.

 In 1981 I made my first vows as a Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette and was ordained to the Priesthood in 1989. As a priest, I was stationed at the Parish of Saint John’s and in less than a year was in charge of a parishes in the surrounding area.

Where have your served as a La Salette?

PhilippinesMass at La Salette Shrine in Silang, Cavite, PhilippinesI’ve served in parish ministry in California with Father Maurice Cardinal, M.S., and then at the La Salette Shrine in Silang, Cavite with the mission of being responsible for the local community as superior for five years.

In 2004 I went to southeastern Australia to the Diocese of Narrabi, New South Wales in the densest population of the continent of Australia. I first served in three different parishes in that area.

How many Filipino missionaries were you in Australia?

From our Philippine Province, there are three of us serving with three of our brother from India in a desert area in the back-country of Sidney. I worked in a district as large as France. Our parishes were often 80-125 miles from one another. We were able to visit each other about two times a month.

What does the La Salette Apparition mean to you?

For me, La Salette is a call to humility and perseverance. Mary is a mother who weeps because of the sad state of her children. She prays for us unceasingly and wants good things for us. We can draw closer to her Son by becoming people of vibrant faith. The La Salette crucifix reminds us that, like Jesus, our vocation leads us to sacrifice our life for others. We must first be reconciled to God and then we can serve God well serve by sharing Mary’s message of reconciliation with all those around us.
First CommunionFirst Communicants in Australia celebrate with a La Salette priest after Mass

(Reprinted with permission from the La Salette Publication, Les Annales, #244, pgs. 22-23)