Official site of the missionaries of our lady of la salette ina ng pag-asa province
Official site of the missionaries of our lady of la salette ina ng pag-asa province
Starting out as a team of
Diocesan missionaries . . .
As he pursued his painstaking investigation on the truth of La Salette, Bishop de Bruillard was nurturing a project dear to him: the founding of a corps of diocesan missionaries.
Before publicly recognizing the truth of La Salette, the Bishop had to provide pastoral services for the crowd of pilgrims who would come to the mountain. As soon as the truth of the Apparition was well established, the decision was taken to build a new shrine to Mary. The coincidence of pastoral needs with the La Salette Event was a happy one. The priests would spend the pleasant months ministering to the pilgrims on the mountain, and the winter season preaching missions and retreats: an ideal work schedule for the diocesan missionaries. Their ministry would be oriented toward a specific goal: continue the work initiated by Mary on September 19, 1846, becoming, in fact, missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. In the mind of the Bishop, the message of Mary and the needs of the Church were joined together and served. True, the Virgin spoke to the 'whole world' but for the present time, the first missionaries would remain diocesan priests.
To become a religious community . . .
The unexpected happened. While meditating the grace of La Salette and meeting the spiritual needs of the pilgrims, the missionaries were quickly led to a conversion in their own lives as well as in the life of their ministering group. In a founding letter written on August 4th, 1855, Father Denaz petitions Bishop Ginoulhiac for ' the religious with the three vows' (poverty, chastity, obedience). He is convinced that 'Our Lady of La Salette wants a congregation in keeping with the importance and the expansion of the work she herself came to initiate.' The vows of the religious life, first temporary and then perpetual, would endow the congregation with the elements needed for permanence and expansion.
The La Salette message thus deepened and lived would become a remedy adapted to the evils devouring society. Religious women would live within the same spirit.
First vows were taken in 1858. That very year, Sylvain-Marie Giraud asked to join the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. As a novice and later as a Master of Novices and Superior, he would make of this first generation a true religious community.
He would be helped by men of mettle such as Father Archier, Perrin, Chapuy, Henri and Jean Berthier. Filled with the grace of La Salette, it took these few men, they were eleven, a very short time to spread the message of La Salette into other Dioceses.
... to a missionary congregation
It is 1876 and Monseigneur Fava, a missionary Bishop (La Reunion, Zanzibar, Martinique), assumed the direction of the diocese of Grenoble. He wanted the community to become a true congregation. Following a plan drawn by Fr. Giraud, a book of constitutions was crafted together, point by point. The Superior General, Fr. Archier and his Council were elected. The Bishop favored the founding of an apostolic school, or minor seminary, to guarantee its own recruitment and its independence. Fr. Jean Bertheir became its first director. At this time, Bishop Bernard, Apostilic Prefect of Norway, was looking for missionaries. In 1878, Pope Leo XIII received the Bishop of Grenoble and Fr. Henri Berthier in an audience and proposed that the Constitutions of the Missionaries of La Salette be approved in Rome.
Everything came together in 1879: the consecration of the Basilica and the crowning of Our Lady of La Salette. The Norway mission was confided to the Missionaries of La Salette. Bishop Bernard even asked to enter the Congregation that had then become a pontifical congregation, a true Marian and missionary congregation.
THE COMING OF THE LA SALETTE MISSIONARIES TO THE PHILIPPINES. . .
"Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people."When the Blessed Virgin spoke these words to the shepherd children on the mountain of La Salette in France, she knew well that the simple children could only begin the work of telling her story to the world. Though no one then realized it, in all her wisdom she looked far across the mountains, over the vast seas, seeing scores of dedicated servants carrying her timeless message to all peoples everywhere - the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette.
Since the Virgin first spoke to the shepherd children in 1846, not many pages had turned in the book of history when, at the end of the century, France was swept by an anti-religious uprising striking at all Religious Orders without regard. The relatively new Order had not the numbers, houses nor strength to withstand the persecution of governmental legislation and the ensuing violence. The La Salette Superiors and the priests moved to friendlier countries of Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. They left their beloved France not to run away, but to preserve their strength so they could help her again when the time came. And come it did, eventually. Meanwhile, the move turned the Order's eyes still to other lands where they could bring the La Salette Story to countless more and in turn draw new strength for the Community.
To the Americas…
So it was that in 1892, Fathers Pajot and Vignon took leave to sail for America where, two weeks later, they landed in Montreal, Canada. They were warmly welcomed by the Archbishop but there were so many Religious Orders already part of the Archdiocese that the Bishop had to refused them permanent residence.
With characteristic La Salette optimism and faith, two priests set out for the United States though they knew but a few words of English. In the United States they met with Bishops of New York, Brooklyn, Albany, Syracuse, Ogdensburg and Newark, New Jersey. All welcomed the priests of La Salette but all had valid reasons why acceptance of the Order in their dioceses was impossible. But then, undoubtedly guided by the presence of Mary, the two priests stopped at Hartford, Connecticut where at the Cathedral they met Father William Harty, a member of the Bishop's Council. Father Harty had promised the Blessed Virgin to work for the establishment of a religious Congregation devoted to her and he welcomed the two priests as envoy of his promise. It was not long before the Congregation was received into the diocese of Hartford, their first firm root in the United States. But this root was to grow rapidly as the Fathers not only staffed a parish in Hartford, preached retreats and missions, but spread the warmth of the La Salette Story, the wondrous story of the two children who triumphed over all small and cynical people through devotion to our Lady.
To the Philippines…
Soon after its creation in 1945, the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Province (with ministries and offices within Massachusetts and New Hampshire States) immediately begun community discernment vis-a-vis its missionary zeal and undertaking. Deliberations tapered down to either to help out in Madagascar or to implant La Salette presence in a different country. The province opted to respond to the urgent plea for personnel from the Most Rev. Constance Jurgens, a Belgian CICM, Bishop of the Diocese of Tuguegarao (Cagayan Province), particularly in the province of Isabela where parishes and big communities were left without priests. Bishop Jurgens knew of the La Salettes as many of the older members spent their studies in Belgium, and where he would have extended the invite to Fr. Elmeric Dubois, M.S., the IHM Provincial Superior then. After a visit which was well received, Fr. Dubois made a determination to accept Isabela from Jones to Gamu via San Mateo. In 1948, Fr. Joseph Imholf, MS, the La Salette Superior General granted the permission to the province of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to establish a La Salette foothold in the Philippines.
On November 5, 1948, four La Salette Missionaries, Fr. Conrad Blanchet, Fr. Raymond Leduc, Fr. Paul Douillard and Bro. Donat Levasseur left by boat from New York via the Panama Canal, taking six weeks to reach Manila. They reached Manila on December 12. They finally arrived in Santiago, Isabela on the 22nd of December 1948.
First Missionaries in the Philippines
The Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette have been serving the people of Isabela and Region 02 for almost 75 years now since the arrival of the first American missionaries in 1948.
For almost 75 years, the local Church saw the widespread evangelization brought about by the missionaries through the establishment and canonical erection of several parishes and schools in various municipalities in Isabela
LA SALETTE SCHOOLS' PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
La Salette Education is an on-going process of growth
in freedom and in fullness of being, prepared for, lived
and experienced by the entire school community, realized in
the reconciliation and integration of Filipino cultural values
and those of Jesus Christ who came
"so that they may have life and have it to the full."
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