Fr. René Butler MS - Christ the King - The Choice
The Choice (Christ the King: 2 Samuel 5:1-3; Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23:35-43) Most Catholic Churches do not have a statue or other image of Jesus seated on a throne as King of the Universe. All, however, have a crucifix prominently displayed, showing Christ at the... Czytaj więcej
Fr. René Butler MS - 33rd Ordinary Sunday -...
Fearless Fear (33rd Ordinary Sunday: Malachi 3:19-20; 2 Thessalonians 3:7-12; Luke 21:5-19) The Prophet Malachi and Jesus both prophesy a time of trouble. In the first reading, “Lo, the day is coming, blazing like an oven.” In the gospel, “Days... Czytaj więcej
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Items filtered by date: December 2021

So Many Gifts

(2nd Ordinary Sunday: Isaiah 62:1-5; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; John 2:1-11)

We concluded last week’s reflection with these words: “Let us never forget or neglect the gift we received in our baptism.” Today’s readings will help us expand upon that theme.

In Isaiah 6, the prophet described his calling. God asked, “Whom shall I send?” and Isaiah volunteered: “Here I am, send me!” Today, in Isaiah 62, he says, “For Zion’s sake I will not be silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet.” He was the voice of God among his people; ever attentive to God’s will, he proclaimed it faithfully.

Today’s Gospel tells the story of the Wedding at Cana. Because the focus is on a miracle, we do not usually think of this passage in the context of prophecy. And yet, Mary performs a prophetic role. Recognizing the will of God in the need of others, she is not silent. She speaks to Jesus. Then, in words that echo all the prophets, she tells the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Jesus then gives a prophetic sign.

At La Salette we see the same dynamic. Like the prophets, Mary pleads our cause before the Lord. To us she speaks through warnings—reminding us of what we must do—and promises—showing what we may hope for—to which she adds the persuasive power of tears.

Prophecy is not given to everyone. The second reading makes that eminently clear. Saint Paul mentions no less than seven other gifts of the Spirit. In fact, if we consider the history the Church, there are Religious Congregations whose vocation is... silence!

In the context of so many gifts, “I will not be silent” becomes, “I will not resist the movement of the Spirit.” Whatever our gift is, we must put it to use. Saint Paul writes, “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit,” that is, for others, first in the Christian community, but also beyond.

When we put our gifts at the service of others, we are also carrying out the command expressed in the Responsorial Psalm: “Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations.”

Accepting God’s will means that the gift of faith received at baptism will find expression in other gifts. One such is our La Salette vocation.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)
Wednesday, 22 December 2021 20:10

Letter - Superior General

Holy Christmas 2021

Happy New Year 2022

Dear Confreres,

First of all a heartfelt and fraternal wish for a Happy and Holy Christmas to each and every one from the Eternal City.

Also this year the memory of the birth of Jesus is marked by the resurgence of the pandemic and by the restrictions imposed by governments and health authorities in order to limit the spread of the infection. It seems to relive the scene of a film whose end is impossible to imagine. Everyone, more or less, has been touched in body and spirit by this unpredictable and tragic event that has upset the life of the whole world.

The Christmas we are about to celebrate, with its charge of newness and life, must make those seeds of hope that only welcoming the Word of God can offer germinate in us. The word "hope", with all that it entails of expectation and certainty, is no problem for us missionaries of La Salette because it has been part of our DNA since our foundation following the apparition of the Beautiful Lady to Maximin and Melanie. Our hope has reasons for being only because it is based on the certainty that, thanks to the coming of Christ among us, nothing is irreversible anymore and that a new world, as "dreamed of by" Isaiah "(Is 65, 17ff) is possible and achievable.

1. The La Salette Jubilee

We have just celebrated the 175th anniversary of the apparition to crown the Marian year of La Salette during which the whole Congregation was urged to return with renewed interest and apostolic enthusiasm to its founding event and to the charismatic reasons for its presence in the Church. I hope it was a strong time of grace and human and spiritual renewal for everyone, made up of attentive and fruitful listening to the Word, of intense prayer, reflection and sharing on the message of the Beautiful Lady but also of personal and community conversion. It was not intended to be a point of arrival but a stage for a new departure, a springboard towards a future to be lived seriously both from the point of view of religious commitment as well as that of apostolic and missionary zeal. It is this testimony of life that the Church and the world of today expect from us the La Salette religious at this time.

2. The Synodal path: gift and task

Pope Francis has summoned the whole Church to a Synod. «The path entitled “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” solemnly opened on the 9th – 10th of October 2021 in Rome and on the following 17th of October in each particular Church. […] With this convocation, Pope Francis invites the entire Church to reflect on a theme that is decisive for its life and mission: “It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium.” This journey, which follows in the wake of the Church’s “renewal” proposed by the Second Vatican Council, is both a gift and a task: by journeying together and reflecting together on the journey that has been made, the Church will be able to learn through Her experience which processes can help Her to live communion, to achieve participation, to open Herself to mission. Our “journeying together” is, in fact, what most effectively enacts and manifests the nature of the Church as the pilgrim and missionary People of God» (Preparatory Document, 1).

Of course the Religious Life is also called to follow the same path and to offer its precious contribution of community and pastoral experience and consequently to benefit from the grace that will emanate from it.

3. Walk with the Church listening to the Spirit

I warmly invite every single La Salette religious, every community and every Province / Region to make their own journey of the universal Church which is made up of listening to the Spirit and discerning the steps to be taken to grow as a synodal Church and allow it to proclaim the Gospel, in accordance with the mission entrusted to it.

The synodal journey, conceived and wanted by Pope Francis, starting from the bottom, wants to involve all the realities in which the people of God express themselves, not forgetting those who are far from the faith and those who are relegated to the margins of society. Its purpose is not to be a simple and occasional tool for making church but to become a constitutive element and therefore a stable way of being and acting of the Church over time and in the world together with the idea of co-responsibility aimed at missionary action.

4.Church in dialogue and missionary

Furthermore, this journey helps to become aware of the various gifts of the Spirit present in abundance in the Christian community and to value them by putting them to good use; to live the Church as the "People of God", as a people of pilgrim missionaries; to make the transition from selfish "I" to the more participatory and inclusive "WE"; and again to consider the presence of the Church as a missionary service to rethink the world in the light of the Gospel.

Hence the great challenge that involves the whole Church of today and tomorrow and also of Religious Life: to convert to synodality taking Jesus as a model on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24: 13-35; cf. Acts 10). This path evoked by St. Luke, with a purely Easter flavor as it speaks of new life and missionary zeal, is well summarized in the three verbs present in the Gospel text: to meet, listen and discern. They express a movement that equally involves body and spirit but also an opening to new perspectives and horizons, a particular attention to the signs of the times in view of a joyful and shared missionary commitment.

5. Christmas: shared journey

The mystery of Christmas, which this year too we are about to welcome and celebrate as a Church and as a religious community expresses in an excellent and unequivocal way the nature and profound meaning of that "synodality" of which Pope Francis insistently speaks. By becoming incarnate, Jesus made himself similar to us in everything except sin and shared our human nature, fragile and limited in time and space. He became a pilgrim with us and among us, sharing our joys and anxieties, calling us to conversion and opening our hearts to hope. If this was Jesus' style of action, it must necessarily be adopted by the Church in order to better shape and orient his missionary action in today's world .... and consequently also from our communities.

6. Conclusion

Following the example of Jesus, let us also commit ourselves to becoming Church and outgoing religious in the awareness that our only mission is to bring the proclamation of the Gospel to anyone we meet on our way with exemplary courage and apostolic zeal. Wasn't the Beautiful Lady of La Salette thinking of us when she entrusted Maximin and Melanie with the pressing missionary invitation pronounced at the end of her apparition: "Well, my children, make this known to all my people?".

I would like this Christmas greetings to reach in a particular way to our young people in formation, to the elderly and sick confreres as well as to the many lay people who are committed to living and bearing witness to the charism of Reconciliation in their daily lives, to the Sisters of La Salette who share with us the joys and challenges of mission throughout the world and also to the many friends and benefactors who never make us lack the precious support of their prayers as well as their generous material contribution.

On behalf of Frs. Jacek, Jojohn, Manuel, Nunda, Mémé, André, Paulo and Neil, may each of you receive the best wishes for a Happy and Holy Christmas and a fruitful New Year, full of the grace of God and the maternal presence of Mary.

Fraternally yours,

Fr. Silvano Marisa MS

Superior General

Published in LAY ASSOCIATES (EN)
Wednesday, 22 December 2021 19:43

Letter - Superior General

Holy Christmas 2021

Happy New Year 2022

Dear Confreres,

First of all a heartfelt and fraternal wish for a Happy and Holy Christmas to each and every one from the Eternal City.

Also this year the memory of the birth of Jesus is marked by the resurgence of the pandemic and by the restrictions imposed by governments and health authorities in order to limit the spread of the infection. It seems to relive the scene of a film whose end is impossible to imagine. Everyone, more or less, has been touched in body and spirit by this unpredictable and tragic event that has upset the life of the whole world.

The Christmas we are about to celebrate, with its charge of newness and life, must make those seeds of hope that only welcoming the Word of God can offer germinate in us. The word "hope", with all that it entails of expectation and certainty, is no problem for us missionaries of La Salette because it has been part of our DNA since our foundation following the apparition of the Beautiful Lady to Maximin and Melanie. Our hope has reasons for being only because it is based on the certainty that, thanks to the coming of Christ among us, nothing is irreversible anymore and that a new world, as "dreamed of by" Isaiah "(Is 65, 17ff) is possible and achievable.

1. The La Salette Jubilee

We have just celebrated the 175th anniversary of the apparition to crown the Marian year of La Salette during which the whole Congregation was urged to return with renewed interest and apostolic enthusiasm to its founding event and to the charismatic reasons for its presence in the Church. I hope it was a strong time of grace and human and spiritual renewal for everyone, made up of attentive and fruitful listening to the Word, of intense prayer, reflection and sharing on the message of the Beautiful Lady but also of personal and community conversion. It was not intended to be a point of arrival but a stage for a new departure, a springboard towards a future to be lived seriously both from the point of view of religious commitment as well as that of apostolic and missionary zeal. It is this testimony of life that the Church and the world of today expect from us the La Salette religious at this time.

2. The Synodal path: gift and task

Pope Francis has summoned the whole Church to a Synod. «The path entitled “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission” solemnly opened on the 9th – 10th of October 2021 in Rome and on the following 17th of October in each particular Church. […] With this convocation, Pope Francis invites the entire Church to reflect on a theme that is decisive for its life and mission: “It is precisely this path of synodality which God expects of the Church of the third millennium.” This journey, which follows in the wake of the Church’s “renewal” proposed by the Second Vatican Council, is both a gift and a task: by journeying together and reflecting together on the journey that has been made, the Church will be able to learn through Her experience which processes can help Her to live communion, to achieve participation, to open Herself to mission. Our “journeying together” is, in fact, what most effectively enacts and manifests the nature of the Church as the pilgrim and missionary People of God» (Preparatory Document, 1).

Of course the Religious Life is also called to follow the same path and to offer its precious contribution of community and pastoral experience and consequently to benefit from the grace that will emanate from it.

3. Walk with the Church listening to the Spirit

I warmly invite every single La Salette religious, every community and every Province / Region to make their own journey of the universal Church which is made up of listening to the Spirit and discerning the steps to be taken to grow as a synodal Church and allow it to proclaim the Gospel, in accordance with the mission entrusted to it.

The synodal journey, conceived and wanted by Pope Francis, starting from the bottom, wants to involve all the realities in which the people of God express themselves, not forgetting those who are far from the faith and those who are relegated to the margins of society. Its purpose is not to be a simple and occasional tool for making church but to become a constitutive element and therefore a stable way of being and acting of the Church over time and in the world together with the idea of co-responsibility aimed at missionary action.

4.Church in dialogue and missionary

Furthermore, this journey helps to become aware of the various gifts of the Spirit present in abundance in the Christian community and to value them by putting them to good use; to live the Church as the "People of God", as a people of pilgrim missionaries; to make the transition from selfish "I" to the more participatory and inclusive "WE"; and again to consider the presence of the Church as a missionary service to rethink the world in the light of the Gospel.

Hence the great challenge that involves the whole Church of today and tomorrow and also of Religious Life: to convert to synodality taking Jesus as a model on the road to Emmaus (Lk 24: 13-35; cf. Acts 10). This path evoked by St. Luke, with a purely Easter flavor as it speaks of new life and missionary zeal, is well summarized in the three verbs present in the Gospel text: to meet, listen and discern. They express a movement that equally involves body and spirit but also an opening to new perspectives and horizons, a particular attention to the signs of the times in view of a joyful and shared missionary commitment.

5. Christmas: shared journey

The mystery of Christmas, which this year too we are about to welcome and celebrate as a Church and as a religious community expresses in an excellent and unequivocal way the nature and profound meaning of that "synodality" of which Pope Francis insistently speaks. By becoming incarnate, Jesus made himself similar to us in everything except sin and shared our human nature, fragile and limited in time and space. He became a pilgrim with us and among us, sharing our joys and anxieties, calling us to conversion and opening our hearts to hope. If this was Jesus' style of action, it must necessarily be adopted by the Church in order to better shape and orient his missionary action in today's world .... and consequently also from our communities.

6. Conclusion

Following the example of Jesus, let us also commit ourselves to becoming Church and outgoing religious in the awareness that our only mission is to bring the proclamation of the Gospel to anyone we meet on our way with exemplary courage and apostolic zeal. Wasn't the Beautiful Lady of La Salette thinking of us when she entrusted Maximin and Melanie with the pressing missionary invitation pronounced at the end of her apparition: "Well, my children, make this known to all my people?".

I would like this Christmas greetings to reach in a particular way to our young people in formation, to the elderly and sick confreres as well as to the many lay people who are committed to living and bearing witness to the charism of Reconciliation in their daily lives, to the Sisters of La Salette who share with us the joys and challenges of mission throughout the world and also to the many friends and benefactors who never make us lack the precious support of their prayers as well as their generous material contribution.

On behalf of Frs. Jacek, Jojohn, Manuel, Nunda, Mémé, André, Paulo and Neil, may each of you receive the best wishes for a Happy and Holy Christmas and a fruitful New Year, full of the grace of God and the maternal presence of Mary.

Fraternally yours,

Fr. Silvano Marisa MS

Superior General

Published in INFO (EN)

Indelibly Sealed, and Clothed

(Baptism of the Lord: Isaiah 40:1-11; Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7; Luke 3:15-22)

“One baptism for the forgiveness of sins.” This phrase near the end of the Creed reflects the conclusion of a debate in the early Church. The question was whether Christians who were baptized by heretics, had to be baptized a second time when they became Catholics.

The answer was no, on condition that the baptism was in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. For it is through that baptism that one becomes a Christian. This is often referred to as the seal of baptism, indelible and permanent.

It is no wonder that the church looks upon this sacrament as foundational and the first of the sacraments received, required before all of the other sacraments. Just as Jesus at the river Jordan was, so to speak, introduced and prepared for his public ministry, so too we are introduced into the Church by our baptism and receive our share in the priesthood of Christ.

The voice from heaven said: “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” In the rite of baptism, we are clothed in a white garment as a sign of our Christian dignity, and are encouraged to live accordingly.

Mary came from heaven, where she lives in the light of God, who is “clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak,” as we read in the Psalm. Upon the physical heights of a mountain, she wept over the spiritual depths to which her people had fallen. The baptismal garment of her people was stained, and the Christian seal was barely recognizable.

Like the prophet, she spoke tenderly. In her own words she called on us to prepare or, better yet, repair the way of the Lord, in our heart and in our way of life.

In the second reading, St. Paul gives a wonderful description of baptism when he writes that God “saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.”

At the heart of our La Salette message and ministry of reconciliation is hope. To nourish it, let us never forget or neglect the gift we received in our baptism.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)
Sunday, 19 December 2021 13:04

Monthly Bulletin 002

Published in LAY ASSOCIATES (EN)

In the Path of the Magi

(Epiphany: Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:2-6; Matthew 2:1-12)

The best definition we found for the Epiphany is: “The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi” (Oxford Languages). In other words, their story is our story—as Christians and as La Salettes.

The Magi were guided by the light of a star, to him whom we call “Light from Light, true God from true God.” At La Salette Mary appears in light, but she is not the light. Like the star, she leads us to her Son, she manifests him to us in the dazzlingly bright crucifix she wears.

Isaiah tells Jerusalem, “Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you.” while other peoples are covered with darkness and thick clouds. The Beautiful Lady speaks to just such a people, inviting them to turn to the light which is Christ.

We are modern-day Magi. Mary helps us as we seek Christ. She reminds us of the importance of Sunday worship, daily prayer, and Lenten discipline, that we may do him homage.

St. Paul dwelt in darkness until the day of his epiphany, his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. He writes to the Ephesians that this revelation was not only for him. but “for your benefit.” He had become a guiding light, and wanted the Christian community to be the same.

We who have accepted the gift of faith, should see it as given to us for the benefit of others. We can share it by our words, of course; but by our own example of faith, hope and charity, Christ our light can shine through us, dispelling the darkness and guiding others to him.

It is not expected, nor is it necessary, that each of us be a great star, visible from afar. Stars also have different colors. Scientists say this is because of their surface temperature, among other things. The ardor of our faith will vary from time to time.

Remember that the flame even of a tiny candle dispels the darkness, and the darkness can never overcome it. A gentle, comforting light can be as attractive as a brilliant sun.

La Salette is a light meant to be shared through our reconciling mission. What an epiphany we can be!

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)

Always Welcome

(Holy Family: Sirach 3:2-6, 12-14; 1 John 3:1-2, 21-24; Luke 2:1-52)

At the General Audience of August 11, 1976, Pope Paul VI addressed parents as follows: “Mothers, do you teach your children the Christian prayers? ... And you, fathers, do you pray with your children?” Here we are reminded of the question Mary asked at La Salette, “Do you say your prayers well, my children?”

True prayer is not a matter of words alone. It creates bonds between us and God; but let us not forget that it also deepens the sharing of faith among those who pray together. It is essential to the life of the Christian family, which St. Augustine and other Fathers of the Church called the “domestic Church.” Vatican II revived this expression, and several Church documents have used it since then. (Some are quoted or paraphrased below.)

In Jewish practice, the family is the primary place of worship. Through his incarnation, the Son of God “chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family.” Joseph and Mary taught him to pray, and to feel at home in the Temple—though they never anticipated the scene described in today’s Gospel!

Christian parents are described in recent documents as the first heralds of the faith. In the blessing of parents which concludes the rite of Baptism, we hear: “May God bless the father of this child. He and his wife will be the first teachers of their child in the ways of faith. May they be also the best of teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what they say and do.”

The Beautiful Lady continues to exercise this role, calling us to live as she and Joseph and Jesus did, honoring God, and obeying his will.

Like any family, the domestic Church is “a school for human enrichment,” where we learn precious family values. But it is different, too. A family that lives its faith, receiving the sacraments, praying and giving thanks, and demonstrating holiness of life through self-denial and charity, can be an “island of Christian life in an unbelieving world,”

The Psalmist exclaims, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!” We are always welcome in our Father’s house. As a domestic Church, he in turn is always welcome in ours.

Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.

Published in MISSION (EN)
Thursday, 02 December 2021 08:49

Monthly Bulletin 001

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Published in LAY ASSOCIATES (EN)
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