Sunday, September 16, 2012

Our Lady of LaSalette

On September 19, 1846, in the mountains of France, Our Blessed Mother appeared to two poor cowhand children, Maximin and Melanie.  She was weeping because her children had turned away from her Son.  She called them back in reconciliation, though prayer, to a life full of His love.

As we once again approach this anniversary, I wanted to reflect on it and what it has meant to my life, some 166 years later.

Shortly after the apparition of Our Lady, a religious order of priests, the LaSalettes, were founded, based on the principle of prayer and reconciliation.  In 1895 the came to Danielson, Connecticut to staff the parish of St James and minister to the many French Canadians who were following the rivers south from Quebec to work in the textile mills that were powered by the water wheels at the dams built along those rivers.  In 1900 they built a church and then a school.  The LaSalettes have faithfully staffed St James ever since. 

I was lucky enough to move to Danielson just in time to start first grade at St James.  The education that I received in my eight years there and the spiritual guidance that I have received over the past 50 years has made me who I am.

Growing up the message I heard over and over was a message of love, love of God for me and love of me for my fellow man.  There was no fire and brimstone, no do or be dammed.  There was only the message of the LaSallets, that God loves me, that he wants me close to Him through prayer, and that He wants me to be kind and good to myself and others, and when I fall short of this goal, He wants me to return to Him, ask for forgiveness, and be reconciled in His amazing love.

Happy Anniversary to the LaSalette Missionaries, from the many people you have ministered to over the years.

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