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Missionaries of La Salette

Founded in 1852, at the shrine of Our Lady of La Salette

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La Salette, MISSIONARIES OF.—The Missionaries of La Salette were founded in 1852, at the shrine of Our Lady of La Salette, where some priests banded together to care for the numerous pilgrims frequenting the mountain. In 1858 these priests formed a little community with temporary constitutions, under the immediate charge of the Bishop of Grenoble. In 1876 Right Rev. Msgr. Fava gave them more complete rules, and in May, 1890, the Institute was approved by Rome. Finding it hard to recruit their number from the secular clergy, the fathers founded an “Apostolic school” or missionary college in 1876. At present they have about 250 students. Their classical course lasts six years, and after their novitiate they repair to Rome, where the scholasticate is located. Here they complete their philosophical and theological course in the Gregorian University. In 1892 five of the missionaries arrived in the United States with fifteen students. Bishop McMahon of Hartford, Conn., welcomed them into his diocese, and they established themselves in the episcopal city, occupying the former bishop’s residence on Collins Street. In 1895 they removed to their present quarters at 85 New Park Ave., Hartford, Conn., close to the church of Our Lady of Sorrows. Hitherto a mission church of the cathedral, it was made a parish and given in charge of the fathers, who began to tend it on Ascension Day of the same year. In 1894, having established themselves in the Springfield Diocese, the fathers received the French parish of St. Joseph, Fitchburg, Mass., from Rt. Rev. Thomas Beaven. In 1895 Rt. Rev. Michael Tierney, successor to Bishop McMahon, requested the fathers to take charge of the mixed parish of St. James, Danielson, Conn. In 1901, at the suggestion of Bishop Beaven of Springfield, the Very Rev. Superior General sent a few students to Poland to prepare themselves for Polish parishes in the Springfield Diocese, and at present the parish at Ware and that of Westfield are in their care. In 1902 they were received into the Diocese of Sherbrooke, Canada, with a parish at Stanstead, P. Q., Canada, and also into the Archdiocese of New York, with a parish at Phoenicia, Ulster Co. At the request of Archbishop Langevin of St. Boniface, Canada, a few fathers were sent from the motherhouse in Hartford to establish themselves in West Canada. They now form a separate province with headquarters at Forget, Sask. They tend to the spiritual wants of four flourishing parishes, Forget, Esteven, Ossa, and Weyburn. In 1909, the missionaries deeming their order sufficiently developed, owing to additional foundations in Belgium, Madagascar, Poland, and Brazil, the Very Rev. Superior General petitioned the Holy See to approve their constitutions. The request was granted January 29, 1909. The students of the Apostolic schools are trained chiefly to combat the great crimes of the day, especially those denounced in the discourse of the Blessed Virgin at La Salette. The spirit of the community is that which pervades the whole apparition of Mary on the Mountain of La Salette—a spirit of prayer and sacrifice.


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