La Salette | L a S a l e t t e A s s o c i a t e s

 


LA SALETTE ASSOCIATES: WHO ARE WE?

A. Who we are

The La Salette Associates are a group of lay people and religious who choose to bond ourselves closely with the spirituality and charism of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette in a setting of mutuality.

Mutuality recognizes that both professed Missionaries and Associates, although we have distinct and different rights and responsibilities within the La Salette Community, contribute to the La Salette mission in the world today. Each does this according to the particular gifts and talents received by God. Mutuality implies the enrichment in ongoing relationships with one another on a personal and a community level.

Associates feel a call in response to the message of reconciliation that Mary proclaimed in her merciful apparition of 1846 in France and are inspired by her words. Through prayer, fraternal love, support, and encouragement, we dedicate ourselves to the service of God’s people, to spreading the message of La Salette, and joining in the ministry of reconciliation with the La Salette Missionaries. This calling inspires us to learn more about what Mary’s words mean to us today and how we can get the message across to others as Mary has called us to do.

What does it mean to have a vocation to be a La Salette Associate? This is actually a vocation and not just an effort in volunteering. There is a renewed understanding of vocation based on our Baptism and Confirmation. We, the laity, are challenged by Vatican II to find ourselves in the heart of the world. Quoting Fr. Joe Bachand, M.S. “we are called to embody the message of reconciliation. The idea of the “vocation of Associates” is a relatively new concept in terms of the laity in the Church.” Fr. Joe continued to say that St. Francis de Sales taught that personal vocation and vocational discernment apply as much to lay people as to those called to the priesthood or religious life. Both St. Francis de Sales and St. Ignatius of Loyola said that it is not God’s intention that everyone should live by the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The laity have their own special vocation within the church. God intends the laity to undertake the work of the Church within what is suitable to our state in life – married or single.

As La Salette Associates, we are all different, in our backgrounds, family lives, style of prayer, and depth of faith, but those differences allow us to express this calling in a variety of ways. We come together for prayer, faith sharing and to give each other the support and encouragement we need to carry out our mission through our various ministries in the Church and in the community.
 

B. Our Mission and Vision

Mission: The La Salette Associate Community consists of groups of men and women committed to Jesus’s mission of reconciliation proclaimed in Mary’s message at La Salette. As a people of God, we are called in communion of spirit with the Missionaries of La Salette to bring love, healing, justice, and acceptance through our personal lives, our prayer, our spirituality, and our group activities to “all my people.” This is our mission.

Vision: The La Salette Associate Community will consist of diverse groups throughout the Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas flowing from and linked by the charism and message of Mary at La Salette. This is our vision.
 

C. Our Formation

Our formation includes—but is not limited to—the following four pillars:
 

1.

La Salette:
  • the message and charism of La Salette
  • the history and formation of the Missionaries of La Salette
 
2. Community: explore all types of community including the Associate groups throughout the United States and understand the elements of forming "community"
 
3. Ministry: explore the types of ministry available to group members
 
4. Personal spirituality: understand that personal spirituality is a life-long process that is nourished by faith sharing, community participation, and personal prayer. Annual La Salette retreats are encouraged.
 

D. Our Expectations

Each Associate is expected to:

     1. accept and understand the Mission and Vision of the Associates
     2. know the message and charism of La Salette
     3. desire and be willing to live out that charism in our daily lives
     4. share the message of La Salette with others
 

E. Our Expression of Our Commitment

Once candidates are accepted, they write a Covenant commitment which they renew yearly in the form of promises, as close as possible to the feast of Our Lady of La Salette (September 19). This usually takes place in the context of a liturgical ceremony. The Covenant includes:

Our covenant includes the following elements:

     • a desire to foster La Salette devotion
     • a desire to share Eucharist with the La Salette Missionaries when possible
     • a commitment to attend regular meetings as outlined by the local group
     • a commitment to ongoing formation encouraging spiritual growth
     • a commitment to celebrate special feast days and holidays with the community