Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette

Scheduled to visit:
Prince of Peace Parish, Lewiston, Lisbon Falls, and Sabattus

Having brought the fullness of life to our world when he rose from the dead, Jesus sent his disciples to share this life with all of creation. “They went forth and preached everywhere (Mk 16:20). The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette minister to people of every race, language, culture, and way of life – beginning at the La Salette Shrine in France where our Blessed Mother appeared in 1846. Her final words, “Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people,” echo Jesus’ Gospel mandate. It is little wonder that the La Salette Congregation has always been mission-orientated. When called upon by the Vatican to preach the Gospel in foreign lands, they eagerly responded. This spirit brought them to mission in 27 countries, especially among the poor in Angola, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Haiti, India, Madagascar, Myanmar, Namibia, the Philippines, Tanzania and, most recently, Mozambique.

With your cooperation, the Missionaries of La Salette can continue to provide spiritual and financial assistance to these mission countries as they bring God’s reconciling message to the poor. Money raised will go towards:

• Providing vocational programs to help single and unemployed women in Bolivia & Argentina   10%

• Aiding in education and formation of students in the seminaries in South America, Madagascar and our Asian countries.10%

• Making equipment needed & providing to those with disabilities need in Namibia and Madagascar 10%

• Soup kitchens & feeding programs for poor students in Bolivia/Argentina & Madagascar.     30%

• Financial support to poor students in our schools for their tuition and materials needed in our South American and Asian countries, and in Haiti, Namibia, and Tanzania. 30%

Father Thomas Vellappallil explains more about the work of the community in the following letter:

My name is Fr. Thomas Vellappallil. I am a La Salette missionary from India. I was a missionary to the Philippines for 11 years. Currently, I am serving as director of the North American La Salette Mission Center, the office of which is located in St. Louis, MO. What is La Salette? La Salette is a place in France in the French Alps where, back in 1846 on September 19, the Blessed Mother appeared to two children, Maximin, 15 years old and Melanie, 11 years old. The Blessed Mother was sent to these two shepherds with the message of reconciliation, prayer, penance, and zeal for the Word of God. Today, there are almost 1000 La Salette missionaries working in 29 countries especially in the missions of Madagascar, Angola, Tanzania, Mozambique, Haiti, Philippines, Myanmar, India, Argentina and Bolivia.

In Haiti, we know how sad the situation was after the 2010 earthquake. It hit them without any warning. In moments, lives were changed forever as we watched with hearts broken and sorrowful. Our missionaries have been ministering there for the last 12 years, and it is heart-breaking to hear the stories of people they are serving. One million, 800,000 people were left homeless. 316,000 people died in that disaster. There are thousands of child-slaves in Haiti, who are abused and thrown out into the streets with no money, no education, and no friends. I was privileged to visit Haiti for a week. Upon returning, I thought of the many people I had met who live in entire poverty, some even without a home. The road to recovery and to rebuild this nation will take years and years, but the healing has begun. Jesus once said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.”

I am moved by this country and its people. The North American La Salette Province through its Mission Office will continue to collaborate and support the needy children with their education and well-being that would bring about hope for a better and brighter future. How can we help? Twenty dollars buys a school lunch for one student for one month. This is often the only meal they will get in a day. Just $30 will buy a child school supplies for a year. Fifty dollars buys a goat for a family. Twelve dollars will pay a child’s school tuition for one month. For me, it is not all about money but is making a difference in the life of people who are less privileged and less fortunate. There is hope for these people, and we are able to reach out to help them only because of the generosity of people like you.

Bolivia is the poorest country in South America. The Church does such a beautiful ministry focused on family and children. They have a program called “Feeding the children.”The students from both public and private schools come by the church to be fed a meal every day. This is because the parents cannot afford to meet the basic needs of their children. Our missionaries in Argentina do the same. It actually doesn’t take a dollar for a meal to feed a child. But it is difficult when the budget is tight and when they have to feed hundreds of children every day.

God has blessed us in our lives and we in turn are invited to bless the lives of people around us.

You may never see the faces of people or hear their voices, but they may have found a future because of your love and generosity. Finally I want to express my gratitude to you for being a blessing and whatever gift you are able to offer, please know that it will make a difference in someone’s life somewhere in some corner of the world.

To learn more about the Missionaries of La Salette, visit their website.