410 NH Route 4A - PO Box 420 Enfield, NH 03748 

Tel: 603.632.7087 

Fax: 603.632.7648 


Office hours, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 

Director Fr. John P. Sullivan, M.S.

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Reflections from the Shrine ...

From The Desk Of The Director

Rev. John P. Sullivan, M.S.


March 16, 2019


The latest tradgety of many people of the Muslim Faith dying in New Zealand is another strong reminder of the need for reconciliation in our hurting and divided world.  The healing message of reconciliation lies at the heart of Our Lady of La Salette’s apparition in France.  Her tears call us, like the two children who were her witness:  Come near my children, do not be afraid.  I am here to tell you great news.” 


Especially in this season of Lent we can ask ourselves what do we need to change in our own behavior to be more welcoming and accepting of people who come into our lives who are of a different ethnic group or a religion different from our own Catholic faith?  Sometimes we need to simply be quiet as we prayerfully enter into our own hearts.  What feelings or attitudes do I have tha can do more to divide me from others rather than unit me with them?


Father Silvano Marisa, who is the superior general of the world wide congregation of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, suggested as our annual motto the theme expressed in the words: “Witnessing the Beauty of Diversity” 


Quoting from his recent letter sent to all members of our congregation; “We experience diversity in every context, in every community, at every level.  We experience it in our small community as well as in a wider world.  We know all very well that living in diversity is not easy.  It is not just a result of our will or our human strength.  Living in diversity, experiencing and witnessing its beauty, means living a depth the experience of the grace of reconciliation that comes exclusively from God who made himself present among us in Jesus Christ.


I see that Father Silvano’s letter carries a vital message not only for members of my community but also for the people who visit our Shrines scattered in many parts of the world.


His concluding questions at the end of his letter can be applied to the lives of each one of us:  What are the ways to go in order to experience the unity of  diversity?  When does beauty appear from lived diversity?  Can I say today that I witnessed the beauty of diversity?


Fr. John P. Sullivan, M.S.


God’s Free Gift


(2nd Sunday of Lent: Genesis 15:5-18; Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 9:28-36)


In the discussion of the value of faith and works, no text is more essential than Genesis 15:6: “Abram put his faith in the Lord, who credited it to him as an act of righteousness.” St. Paul commented on it at length in Romans 4.

Psalm 143:2 pleads, “Do not enter into judgment with your servant; before you no one can be just.” Abram’s faith, therefore, is not a proof of his righteousness before God; but the Lord “credited” it to him, as if to say, “It’s not perfect, but it will do.”

This is important to remember when we reflect on La Salette. The conversion Mary seeks is not only to respect the Lord’s name and the Lord’s day, to observe Lent, and to pray faithfully. The importance of these attitudes and activities lies in their meaning, which comes from the faith that accompanies them.

James 2:26, however, makes the point that faith without works is dead. In other words, real faith requires concrete expression in the manner of our life.

Neither faith nor works have the power to qualify us as righteous. That is God’s free gift, to Abram and to us. It is by his mercy that he chooses to consider our faith strong and our works great.

We often long for what is beyond our grasp. “Our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,” writes St. Paul. He speaks of our status as not yet fully achieved, with the expectation that Jesus will bring about its fulfillment.

Jesus chose just three of his Apostles to witness his transfiguration on the mountain. That also was a free gift they didn’t deserve. Peter was right to say, “Master, it is good for us to be here.” He understood the privileged nature of the event.

Many La Salette pilgrims share this feeling. Even the mountain itself hints at the spiritual heights to which the Beautiful Lady wishes to raise us.

After Mary disappeared on that September 19, 1846, Mélanie said she thought the Lady must have been a great saint. Maximin answered, “If I had known that, I would have asked her to take me with her.” Indeed, with her help we can dare to pray the words of today’s Psalm: “I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.”


Very Rev. Rene’ Butler, M.S.