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Meet Fr. Valentine Sun Tun, M.S.

Where were you born and raised?
Untitled 1Fr. Valentine Sun Tun, M.S., at the La Salette Shrine in Enfield, NH
I was born on February 14, 1975 and was baptized, of course, Valentino. I was born in Demawhso, in Kayah State, in southeast Myanmar. My father is Kardio, now retired from Regional Educational Director for the local regional educational district of Demawhso. My mother is Theresa, a retired professional accountant. I am the eldest of five children – with two sisters and two brothers.
Where were you educated and connected with La Salette?
I went to primary and second level schools in my hometown. For High School, I went to Loikaw City, about eleven miles from my hometown. Then I worked in my family farm business (rice, corn, mangos, bananas, peanuts, etc.) for three years and then entered the Loikaw Diocesan Minor Seminary for two years. There I had a course in Psychology and advanced English Grammar.

Fr. Bernie Taylor, M.S. came to our seminary for recruitment and I became interested in exploring a vocation to the La Salette Missionaries. Our bishop then asked who of us would be interested in joining the La Salette Community and studying and doing formation in the Philippines. Five young men, including myself, volunteered. Of the five, three became La Salettes and two entered other religious orders.

Read more Meet Fr. Valentine Sun Tun, M.S.

Meet Fr Karol Porczak, M.S.

What is your family background?
Untitled 1From left: Fr. Karol Porczak, M.S. with parishioner; Sacred Heart St. Ives Catholic Church, Cambridgeshire, England; Author: David Bartlett
My name is Fr. Karol Porczak, M.S. I was born in Jawor, in southwest Poland, in lower Silesia. My father’s name is Jan. He is a mechanic in a national transport company. My mother, Zofia, was an art teacher. I have two brothers and one sister. We are a very close family as a youth. I went to summer camp at the age of seven. 

We were Sunday church goers and usually went to confession regularly and practiced our prayers and helped with the liturgical seasons. My grandmother, Julia, on my father’s side, was the one who taught me my prayers. As a boy I memorized all my prayers easily.
What is your educational background as a youngster? 

Read more Meet Fr Karol Porczak, M.S.

Meet Fr. Avelino Sangameya, M.S.

Where were you born and raised?

Untitled 1Closeup view of Northwestern Africa; the three cities in red are mentioned by Fr. Avelino
I was born in a village called Kangongo (his village) Tchindjendje (the Region), at the west-center of Angola, in the Province of Huambo. The city of Huambo, during the Colonial Era, used to be the capital of Angola, and was then-named “New Lisbon”.

I was born in 1970. My father’s name is José Avelino, and he worked as a professional tailor and was trained in South Africa. My mother, Clementina Juquila, worked in our home. We were ten children – three boys and seven girls), and today we are only six, the others having passed away young from malaria.

I had a very solid family life and my parents were active Catholics, and even my grandfather (mom’s father) started an out-station (a small Christian community) at my village. He (Joaquim Sakalikita) requested that, since the distance to the local parish was far from our village, asked that a La Salette Missionary of Switzerland, working at the Tchindjendje Mission (Camela Mission, the first La Salette Mission in Angola) come to our village to celebrate the sacraments. He accepted to come to minister regularly. In fact, I was baptized by Fr. Leander Volken, M.S.

In 1976, due to our civil war, my family was forced to abandon our village and we went to the area of Benguela, into the town of Cubal. At that time, I was just six years old.

As always, in Cubal we attended our La Salette Parish Church regularly. It was in that parish that I felt the call to become a missionary. I began my formation to prepare to go to the La Salette Seminary which was in Benguela.

Read more Meet Fr. Avelino Sangameya, M.S.

Meet Sr. Anne-Marie Etienne

Where were you born and raised?

Untitled 1My name is Anne-Marie Etienne, the youngest of five children – three brothers and a sister – born on May 25, 1939 in Plumelec, on the southern edge of the Breton Peninsula in northwestern France. My parents owned a farm in the municipality of Plumelech.

Though not rich, we were very happy. As a family, we went to church, and at night we did our prayers kneeling at the foot of our bed. My father was very good, always ready to help neighbors. I thank God to have grown up in a good family environment.

What has been your religious journey?

At the age of fourteen I entered active life, first helping my sister who had two young children and had a small trade. Then I assisted a local family, but I liked that job a lot less!

The school in my village was run by the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was there that, at twelve years of age, I felt the Lord's call, while I was working at the clinic in Malestroit. There I met the Augustinian Sisters and I received the call to religious life, and especially serving the poor and elderly.

I made my first vows in 1965 at the Augustinian monastery of St. Martin des Champs near Morlaix, a busy scenic Breton seaside town in northwestern France. At the retirement home of St. Francis, adjacent to the monastery, I held the service function of caring for the residents of the home. I was also Prioress of the community for twenty years and have remained faithful to my vocation of caring for others.

Read more Meet Sr. Anne-Marie Etienne

Meet Fr. Juju Abraham, M.S.

Where were you born and raised?


Untitled-1Fr. Juju Abraham, M.S., Director of Anuranjana (which means “Reconciliation”) Counseling Center in Parakkadavu in Karala, IndiaI was born in Kadambode, Karala, in southern India. My father’s name is Abraham, a farmer, now deceased; my mother, Mercy, is a housewife. I have two siblings: Jini Roy, my sister and Jino, my brother. My family is a traditional Syrian Catholic family and our faith is central to our life. In fact, my uncle is Bishop Kurian Valiakandathil of Diocese of Bhagalpur, in northern India;


How did you first hear about La Salette?


When I was in secondary school, I had decided to become a priest and received a vocational leaflet about the LS Congregation and was interested because it was Marian-centered. Soon I applied to enter and was accepted into the La Salette Seminary in Parakkadavu, about 20 miles away from my home.

After an orientation year, I entered Philosophy in Suvidya College, as a seminarian of the La Salette Matha Province of India. After completing Novitiate in Mysore, I took theology in Goa, southwest India. I was ordained on Feb. 4, 2010, and began my ministry in Karala as an Associate Vicar in St. Mary’s Church in Thariode.

Read more Meet Fr. Juju Abraham, M.S.

Meet Fr. Noel Cruz, M.S.

Where were you born and raised?

Untitled-1Fr. Noel Cruz, M.S.I was born in Bustos, Province of Bulacan, in the north-central Philippines. My father’s name is Conrado, a professional surveyor, and my mother, Natalia, is a housewife. We were originally seven children – four boys and three girls – and then one sister, Patricia Ann, was adopted when she was only seven days old. My brother, Fr. Froilan Cruz, O.F.M., serves as a priest in the northern Philippines.

We are a very close-knit family and, on Sunday, we would always go to Church together. For meals, everyone had to be present; in fact, we would wait until all were present; our parents truly valued our eating together and always began with prayer before meals.

Our family’s special occasions were, of course, Christmas and Easter but also attending the three services of the Easter Triduum.

How did you first hear about La Salette?

After I had lived at the Franciscan seminary (semi-contemplative) for five months, I went into the library and found information on the La Salette Missionaries, who were an active religious order. In the Franciscan Seminary, only an hour travel from my family’s home, we had family visits every two months, a bit too restrictive for my family, who wanted to see me more often.

Read more Meet Fr. Noel Cruz, M.S.

Meet Fr. Dominique Mabboux, M.S.

Where were you born and raised?

Untitled-1Fr. Dominique Mabboux, M.S.I was born on October 7, 1941 in Sallanches, located within the Rhône-Alpes region of east-central France, the third of eight children of a working class family. In my family the older children helped to educate the younger ones.

How did you first connect with La Salette?

The vicar of the parish advised me to seek out the La Salette Missionaries. I was just 18 years of age and went for a two-day stay. Mom and Dad were worried.

It was by chance that I met La Salette. I found that I was not able to continue my studies in the Haute-Savoie College System in my area. However I had a secret desire to become a priest in the image of my uncle, who was a Missionary of the Paris Foreign Missions Society and served in China.

Where were you educated?

At the Holy Mountain of La Salette, I was first impressed by Our Weeping Mother and her message. Fifteen days later, I resumed my studies at Voiteur Apostolic School in eastern France, not far from Switzerland.

Read more Meet Fr. Dominique Mabboux, M.S.

Meet Fr. Jósef Piela, M.S.

When did you first encounter La Salette?

Untitled-1(from left) Fr. Jósef Piela, M.S. and
La Salette Ministry in Rzeszow, Poland
My name is Fr. Jósef Piela, M.S. Idid my training in High School in Rzeszow, Poland That's where I met Fr. Bronislaw Fura, M.S., and the community of La Salette. It was for me a living witness which gave me the desire to become a La Salette Missionary. I arrived as a volunteer over 22 years ago! I worked in the laundry room with the Sr. Antoinette who gave me a good La Salette training! I came back later for a retreat.

So what was your background?

In 1981, I did a month of Postulancy and my year of novitiate in Debowiec near the Shrine of La Salette. I made my first vows in 1982. I was part of the first team of seminarians. We were eighteen. I did my two years of philosophy and four years of my theology in the University of Koszalinska in Krakow, Poland.

In 1986 I was ordained a deacon with fifteen other seminarians in Debowiec. I lived my diaconal year in Rzeszow, in the service of the parish with two other deacons. The following year, on May 9, 1987, we were ordained priests at the Shrine of Debowiec.

Where have you service in your priestly ministry?

Read more Meet Fr. Jósef Piela, M.S.

Meet Fr. Comeau, M.S.

My Family Background

Untitled-1Fr. Gerard Comeau, M.S.
(Photo Copyright © BGZ)
My name is Fr. Gerard Comeau, M.S., and I come from American-Canadian ancestry. I was born on January 14, 1934 in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA. I'm the only boy and have three sisters. My father was born in the United States and my mother in Canada in the Province of Quebec. My father worked as a laborer in a nearby Paper Mill. I attended Grammar Scholl with the Holy Cross Sisters and the Brothers of the Sacred Heart.

My Connection with La Salette

My first contact with a La Salette was when Fr. Roland Bédard, M.S., came to my home parish to preach a Mission on Our Lady of La Salette. Our parish priest, Fr. Gérard Comtois, would have loved to see me become a Diocesan Priest but, instead, I chose to go to High School at the La Salette Minor Seminary in Enfield, NH. One reason my family chose the Enfield Seminary was because the La Salettes offered to provide half on my tuition because my parents could not pay for everything.

Enfield is a small paradise next to Lake Mascoma. I felt very much at home in La Salette and after four years, I decided to continue my seminary studies with them. Of course, my pastor was disappointed.

Read more Meet Fr. Comeau, M.S.

Meet Fr. Biju Abraham Chempottickal, M.S.

Where were you born and raised?
My name is Fr. Biju Abraham Chempottickal, M.S. I was born on February 2, 1975 in Kerala, in southwestern India. I am a member of the Syro-Malabar Rite, an Eastern Catholic Rite in full communion with Rome. We are known as Mar Thoma Nasranis or Syrian Catholics. Our particular Eastern Rite has 4.6 million believers worldwide and traces its origins to the evangelistic activity of St. Thomas the Apostle who came to Kerala in 52 A.D.

My family is very faith-filled. Every evening when I was a child we would pray for an hour before our family meal. This time included praying the Rosary, reading of the scriptures, prayer and praise requests, and intercession of the saints.

Although India is a secular country, for ten years I was faithfully involved with religious education offered in my parish every Sunday.

How did you first contact the La Salette Missionaries?

Often a local La Salette Missionary would come to assist our parish priests. The testimony of faith of these La Salettes – their simplicity and missionary experiences – inspired within me a deep desire to become a La Salette Missionary like them. In 1990, a Carmelite priest from our parish introduced me to the nearby La Salette Seminary!

What La Salette formation have you received?

Read more Meet Fr. Biju Abraham Chempottickal, M.S.

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