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

Making Her Message Known

What happened on that day at La Salette

Untitled 1Panorama of three modern apparitions (from left): Lourdes, Fatima and La Salette
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)."

Similarities with Other Apparitions

In the other French apparitions at Lourdes (1858), Pontmain (1871), Fatima (1917), Beauraing (1932), Banneux (1933)... as at La Salette (1846), Mary entrusts her messages to children who will all be captivated by her beauty and her gentle motherhood. At Lourdes, Bernadette says, "She spoke with me as a person."

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

The 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.

 

A Different World, a Different View of the Church

 

In Jerusalem, the Christians of Jewish origin, in order to increase their number, adopted a synagogue structure, so familiar to them, where the "elders" (in this case, presbyters), that is to say, the notables, formed a Board, including James, brother of the Lord, who was not of the twelve, actually became President, Untitled. But there were no "clergy", much less a “priestly” clergy. They saw the entire people of God as “priestly”, treasuring their unity with Christ, the sole High Priest.

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

La Salette Laity in La Salette Life and Ministry

Untitled-1We devotees of the message and mission of the Apparition of Our Lady of La Salette number in the tens of thousands across the world. Somehow the message has touched us through her ever-flowing tears, her motherly tenderness and deep compassion, and finally her choice of the two poor children to proclaim her message to all her people.

Her commission to them certainly parallels Jesus’ commission of his own disciples:

 

The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had ordered them. When they saw (Jesus), they worshiped, but they doubted. Then Jesus approached and said to them, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matt 28:16-20).

 

Since that heavenly event on the Holy Mountain of La Salette, Mary’s message continues to be announced no longer by the two children but also by the many thousands of people around the world who first hear her words and mandate and then respond by sharing it with others. These “many thousands” who share her message certainly include the sisters, brother and priests of the two La Salette Congregations but also include the many laity who have heard he call and answered it.

Read more: La Salette Laity in La Salette Life and Ministry

War Fought on the Shoulders of the Poor

Untitled-1
May, 2015 – War Fought on the Shoulders of the Poor


1) Introduction:
Untitled-2As people connected in some way to the event of La Salette and our Weeping Mother, we know well from her example at La Salette that we are called as reconcilers to respond compassionately to the needy as she did with the two children, Maximin and Melanie. The following are prayerful reflections titled, La Salette 2015 – Justice, Peace, Reconciliation: Let Us Respond to the Cry of the Poor.

They are offered in seven languages so that all La Salette Missionaries, and those laity connected with us, can celebrate the wisdom and challenge of our Catholic Social Teaching during this year. These materials can be used – as a whole or in part – for personal prayer or in our ministries or communities to begin meetings, prayer groups, or in gatherings for religious education.

Read more: War Fought on the Shoulders of the Poor

La Salette Laity on the Move

Untitled-1Fr. Jim Henault, M.S., newly appointed Director of La Salette Laity for our ProvinceOver the past several months since I was appointed Director of La Salette Laity for our Province, I have spent my first months meeting with all of the La Salette Laity and Associate groups and a good percentage of the leadership in our ministries. I am truly grateful for the positive response I have received. From this information our La Salette Laity and Ministry Committee has developed a plan of action for us to discuss and develop.

One of the basics in our approach is that one size does not fit all and so it is necessary to tailor each program to particulars needs and situations. At the same time we have also developed clear criteria for membership in the La Salette Laity Program in our Province. I have also talked to many people about the possible role that they can play in the growth and formation of individuals and groups in the program and have appreciated the willingness of over a dozen peo-le so far who ahve offered to help with training and various presentations.

To become a member of the La Salette Laity, a person is asked to make a commitment to three actions:

 

1. To reflect daily upon La Salette and our values in life using the new “31 Day Book” that we have developed;

2. Commit to learn more about La Salette through formation “sessions” based on the four La Salette topics: the message, La Salette history, spirituality and charism.

3. Commit to stewardship in your local ministry setting.

We hope to make this as inclusive a group as possible so that hundreds of individuals will choose to participate.

Read more: La Salette Laity on the Move

La Salette Laity Meet in Dębowiec, Poland

La Salette Laity are those people around the world connected to the La Salette Missionaries through their devotion to Our Lady of La Salette, La Salette ministries or the La Salette charism of reconciliation. They have gathered for various meetings in past years. More recently, the La Salette Laity of Europe met for their third meeting. This was held at the beautiful La Salette Shrine in Dębowiec, Poland.
Untitled-1La Salette Shrine Church
in Debowiec, Poland

At the end of their meeting, they summarized their discussions and reiterated some points of wisdom from their recent meetings. They listed again – from their past meeting at the La Salette Shrine in Salmata, Italy – seven central aspects of their identity and commitment of their life as La Salette Laity:

Seven Aspects of La Salette Laity


1) Witness to Their Life of Faith: they are committed to being living examples of Christian life within their family, in their workplace, in their circle of friends and acquaintances, and in all situations of their life.


Pope Francis said: “Be Christians and witness to the faith in prayer, in works of charity, in promoting justice, in doing good. Our whole life must pass through the narrow door that is Christ” (Aug. 26, 2013).

Read more: La Salette Laity Meet in Dębowiec, Poland



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