Rome, May 10, 2016
To all the Provincials and Members of the Congregation:
It is always a joy for us on the General Council to be in touch with you each month with a bit of news concerning our lives and our activities.
The month of April was “here and there” : we spent the first part of the month at La Salette in France, involved in the final weeks of the PPP, and the other part of the month in Rome, involved in preparing upcoming events. The month of April also marked the fourth year of our mandate: Fr. Silvano observed this occasion April 24 and the other members of the General Council gave thanks to God for these four years of service on April 27.
Being at La Salette and spending some time with Fr. Joseph Bachand in his new role as superior of the international community of the Shrine was truly a grace. He is full of life and is discovering little by little what is involved in the new responsibility he has assumed in the name of the General Council.
But the month of April 2016 will surely be remembered in our history because of Decision 24/2016. This important decision concerns the opening of the new mission of the Congregation in the Diocese of Bukoba, (Tanzania). The text of this decision should already be familiar to all. It was the wish of Father General – and so it came to pass – that this decision would actually be taken at the Shrine of La Salette (France), with the intention of placing our activity in this new country in Africa under the direct protection of the Beautiful Lady, and of Maximum and Melanie. In the General House – and I hope this is happening throughout the Congregation – we are already praying for this new missionary endeavor.
The weather at La Salette (we were there for a month), was not the best: it was cold, snowy and foggy. However, the spirit of our young members participating in the PPP was always positive and characterized by great fraternity. In the PPP we certainly experience being an international community, “multicultural and extending beyond the limits of provinces” (General Chapter 2012). The young people who spent this month of formation on the Mountain of La Salette numbered 26. At the end – April 17, to be precise – 10 of them made their perpetual profession at the Shrine. After the PPP, the young members from Angola, India, the Philippines and Madagascar gave us the joy of spending some days with us in Rome, thereby taking advantage of the opportunity of getting to know more thoroughly – and certainly better than we who live there – the “Eternal City.”
We received some good news at the end of April (24): the Sisters of Our Lady of La Salette, gathered for their General Chapter in the little town of Quézac (France), elected their new General Council: Sr. Elisabeth (France), Superior; Sr. Estelle (France), assistant; Sr. Sonia (the Philippines), councilor; Sr. Maria da Gloria (Angola), councilor; Sr. Jeanne Odette (Madagascar), councilor.
When we returned to Rome, the time already seemed short for preparing all the activities planned for the coming months, namely:
That’s what has been happening at the General House. At the end of the month, we had the joy of receiving at our General House the bishop of Grenoble, Guy de Kerimel, who shared supper with us. Being in Rome for some pastoral activities, he gave us the joy of spending a few hours with us, and he shared the good news that the Bishops’ Conference of France decided that September 19 will be observed as an optional liturgical memorial of Our Lady of La Salette. This decision by the Bishops’ Conference of France was accepted by the Congregation for Divine Worship, March 18, 2016, with a decree signed by the Prefect, Roberto Cardinal Sarah.
We wish everyone a happy, joyful May, with great dedication in the ministry and in prayer. To Fr. Efren Musngi, who is on vacation in the Philippines, there is nothing to say, but enjoy these days to the utmost without forgetting to take care of your health!
A hug to everyone,
Fr. Adilson, ms