The first official, Southern California "getting to know you" informational meeting about the La Salette Lay Community took place in the early evening of July 18, 2011.
This initial meeting was blessed by the presence of many vowed La Salette Missionaries, including one of the key players in the newly formed Lay Community of La Salettes in the Republic of the Philippines where two new cells are now functioning at the formation stage. The lay people in attendance at this meeting were moved by the short presentations made by the lay leaders, and the vowed missionaries. Below are the names of those in attendance. After the list [quite different from a scriptural genealogy, I confess] we will have a couple more short news items.
Isabel M. Dion, Adult Faith Formation Coordinator, St. Christopher
Paul Dion, Isabel's husband
Rev. Fr. Joven Junio, MS Regional Superior
Rev. Fr. Frederick Costales, MS Assistant Pastor, St. Christopher
Rev. Fr. Romeo Seleccion, MS Episcopal Vicar, San Bernardino Diocese
Rev. Fr. Arlan Garcia Intal, MS Sacramental Life, St. Patrick
Rev. Fr. Tony Abuan, MS Representing the Philippines Lay Community
Rev. Fr. Maurice Cardinal, MS Spiritual Guide of Lay Community
Leticia LaPuebla Capuchim
David Lara Tellez, volunteer at St. Patrick parish, Moreno Valley, CA
Raul and Elaine Avila
Raymond Deang, Youth Minister, St. Christopher
1. The central theme of all presentations, one each for all except the last four people named, was the message of the Virgin and the Spirituality of Reconciliation of the Community of Missionaries formed as a result of the apparition. The people who came to get information were given prayer and meditation material to help them decide whether or not to proceed to the formation stage of the process. This initial discernment process will be open until about mid-August. Before then it is anticipated that a make-up meeting will be scheduled to provide the same opportunity of discernment to some people who had to excuse themselves from attendance at the last minute.
2. Fr. Tony Abuan who is an essential element of the formation of the Lay Community in the Philippines told the story of the blossoming of the recruitment and formation process in the community in the Philippines. There are two "cells" presently in formation. These are made up of many of the alumni from the ten La Salette schools that have been in operation since 1949 and the early 1950's. these are people who are familiar with the name [brand] La Salette, but who do not know the depth of the story behind it. Aside. On a pilgrimage one time, with an alumnus of La Salette of San Mateo participating, we found out that he was amazed to be present at the place where the "real La Salette" happened and continues to happen. Fr. Tony said that of the 300 or so candidates that are presently in formation, it is optimistically hoped that about 50 will make at least an initial commitment.
3. Many of you who are reading this are alumni. Many of you who are reading this wonder how to make La Salette continue to be meaningful in your lives and the lives of others. The answer you seek may lie on this site, as well as on other La Salette sites. Check the links in the margin for more exposure. Use the comment space to express yourself or to ask for more information.