How we looked around April
our lady OF
A Center for Reconciliation
410 NH Route 4A - PO Box 420
Enfield, NH 03748
Office hours, 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Fr. René J. Butler, M.S.,
WELCOME to La Salette of Enfield, NH
For Eco-Mission, click here
For La Salette Associates, click here
you are looking for other La Salette Shrines, click Resources &
Resources & Links
Saturday, 6:30 p.m. through May 16
Starting May 24, Sunday, 11:00 a.m.
minutes before the weekend Mass
Or call at any time to see if a priest is available.
CHARISMATIC PRAYER GROUP
4th Tuesdays (Call 603-632-5069 for information)
Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
GIFT SHOP HOURS
Till May 2, 2015
Wednesday thru Sunday
Noon to 4:00 p.m.
Monday & Tuesday: Closed
Starting May 3, 2015
Noon to 4:00
Monday to Saturday, 10:30 to 4:00
Gift Shop phone:
INTERNATIONAL NATIVITY SETS EXHIBIT
updated April 28, 2015 (Reflection)
2015 Summer Program
We will discontinue the
Saturday evening Vigil Mass and begin the Sunday Mass, 11:00
a.m., on the Memorial Day weekend.
Starting that same weekend we
will have the regular Shrine devotions every Sunday at
So far the following
programs are lined up: All these events are on a Sunday at 2:00
May 31: Talk, “Relating to
the Trinity,” Fr. Eugene Barrette, M.S. (former Superior
June 28: Healing Service, with Fr. Lance Harlow
July 19: Concert of “Fr. Pat,” followed by a Healing Service
August 16: Healing Service, with Fr. Marc Montminy
Dates will soon be
determined for the following talks::
“Laity as Reconcilers,” Mr.
“Reconciliation and Illness,” Mrs. June Partridge, Mrs. Sharon
Markowitz, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.
“La Salette and the Bible,” Fr. René Butler, M.S.
We have also received
calls about tentative pilgrimages.
One or two Days of
Recollection will be offered, most likely on a Saturday,
perhaps anticipating the upcoming Holy Year announced by Pope
Francis, on the theme of Mercy.
Our 2015 brochure should be
ready by May 10.
reflection on Sunday readings
Note: To understand these reflections, two things would be helpful:
at the readings for the Sunday indicated (for example, using the
following web site:
http://www.usccb.org/bible and clicking on the
in the calendar);
2) being familiar with the story and
message of Our Lady of La Salette (click
here to open a pdf page).
reflections are in calendar order, the most recent appearing
2015: The Good Shepherd (Acts 4:8-12; 1 John 3:1-2; John
St. Peter tells us there is no other name than that of
Jesus by which we are to be saved. Abuse of that name is
mentioned twice in the discourse of Our Lady of La Salette. The
contrast couldn’t be more dramatic.
In today’s Gospel Jesus gives himself another name, or at
least a new title: the Good Shepherd. This “name” is also
abused, not in the sense that people use it in profanity, but
that they have forgotten its meaning and wandered far from the
Shepherd. “I know mine and mine know me,” Jesus said. But in
1846 the Beautiful Lady saw that this was no longer the case.
Her people no longer really knew him.
In 1 John we read: “The reason the world does not know us is
that it did not know him.” This may comfort those practicing
Catholics and Christians who experience the misunderstanding,
maybe even the hostility of non-believers. The tragedy is that
sometimes the world does not know him because of us. The text
could be reversed to read, “The reason the world does not know
him is that it knows us,” i.e., it sees our failure to follow
Mélanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud, the children to whom Mary
appeared, would have easily understood the image of a shepherd.
They are usually referred to as shepherds, though they were
actually cowherds, tending cattle on the day Our Lady appeared
to them. Each of them had just four cows to keep an eye on.
Maximin had never done this before, and had been “borrowed,”
just days before the Apparition, by a farmer whose regular
shepherd was sick. Mélanie, on the other hand, who was now 14,
had been hired out to various farms since the age of 8 or 9.
We might be inclined to think the image of shepherd is no
longer relevant. We might wonder what image Jesus would use in
our world to put across the same idea in a way that would touch
our own experience. After all, how many of us have actually seen
a shepherd guiding a flock?
Still, the enduring popularity of the 23rd Psalm would seem
to indicate that no other image is quite so effective in
communicating the loving care God has for us as that of the
May 3, 2015: Branches on the Vine (Acts 9:26-31; 1 John
3:18-24; John 15:1-8)
One of the pet words of John the Evangelist is “remain,” or
“abide” in some versions. It occurs twice in the second reading,
and eight times in the Gospel for today (plus three more in the
Gospel Acclamation, taken from the same Gospel passage).
Basically it means “to belong,” but in a deeper, more
heartfelt way than, say, a slave might “belong” to a master. Two
people who “belong together” do not “own” each other, but simply
are not complete unless they “remain” in each other. What is a
grapevine without grapes? How can grapes grow apart from the
Once again we encounter a biblical image that coincides
beautifully with La Salette.
Mary speaks directly about grapes in her discourse.
Predicting blighted wheat and spoiled potatoes, she adds, “The
grapes will rot.” This might not appear catastrophic to those of
us who live in areas where relatively little wine is produced or
consumed, but it was beyond catastrophic in a region around La
Salette, where wine was such a significant factor in the diet
and the economy. Imagine such a disaster, for example, in many
other parts of Europe, or California, or Mendoza!
Saul not only grew up apart from the vine of Christ, but
had attempted to destroy its branches. Small wonder that the
Jerusalem disciples were all afraid of him, not ready to believe
that he had actually been grafted on to the vine. Then he was
persecuted; it was his turn to flee; he was sent back to his
home town of Tarsus. Think of it as an early instance of
Jesus tells us that we are the branches and he is the vine.
If the branches are to produce fruit, however, they must be
pruned. So with Saul.
I looked up how to prune grapevines. Not being a gardener, I
didn’t understand much of it, but I did notice that the words,
“remove,” “pinch” and “cut” occurred a bit too much for comfort.
The message of La Salette could be perceived as a kind of
pruning. Some of it is painful to hear, but the purpose is to
make us healthy branches, bearing abundant fruit on the vine
that is Christ.
PLEASE REMEMBER IN PRAYER
Fr. Herman Oberson, M.S. (Poland), who died March 30, at
the age of 80.
Fr. James Weeks, M.S. (Hartford, Connecticut), who died
March 30, at the age of 81. He dedicated many years to our
missions in Argentina and Bolivia, but returned to the US
because of ill health.
Fr. Roger Plante,
M.S. (Marietta, Georgia and Enfield, New Hampshire), who is
pneumonia and the flu.
Rhéaume, M.S., Director of the La Salette Community here in
Enfield, who continues his recovery after cancer surgery. He
returned home to the Shrine on April 18 and is under the care of
physical and occupational therapists.
Fr. Stephen Krisanda, M.S. (Orlando, Florida), who was diagnosed
some time ago with
a cancerous tumor of the bladder, continues to receive
treatments from his physician and the medical team. He is
residing comfortably with his family and is grateful for your
Jean Demers, a member of the Enfield
La Salette Associates and a very active member in St. Helena
parish in Enfield. She has gone from strength to strength, but
is not ready to be removed from our prayer list just yet.
Patricia Tamagini, long-time friend of La Salette
(especially of the late Fr. Leo Maxfield, M.S.) continues
her fight against cancer. She asks her friends to pray
particularly to Fr. Max for her.
our Sunday devotions in the summer, the prayer
intentions left at the feet of the statue of Our Weeping Mother
in the Shrine Chapel are read aloud during the recitation of the
Rosary. Year round, after remaining a week
or two in the Shrine Chapel,
the intentions are brought across the street to the La Salette Community Chapel in the
"North House," where they are kept for many weeks. Our La Salette Associates will often take them as
well, in order to pray for them at home.
We are faithful in praying for all our pilgrims, visitors, friends and
benefactors, and invite you to join us in
doing the same.
Our Lady of La Salette Chapel
The Shrine Chapel has a character
that fits the setting. Its rustic simplicity mirrors the simple
and quiet beauty of the surrounding countryside and Lake
Wagon wheel lighting reminds all pilgrims that the life
journey they are on is slow and steady and that God is calling
The old wooden pews provide just enough comfort to
prevent our minds from wandering but not
enough to distract us from the journey.
Gift Shop ~ 603-632-4301
Manager - Brother David Carignan, MS
La Salette Gift Shop offers a
variety of religious articles of varying prices to accommodate
all of life's special occasions that you would want to honor
with the depth of the sacred: statues, crucifixes, rosaries,
religious jewelry, Nativity figures and more. We carry a wide
selection of books and music as well.
The La Salette Cross
The children to whom Mary appeared
at La Salette, France, on September 19, 1846, described the
crucifix on Mary's breast as more radiant than anything else in
A hammer hung on one side and pincers on the other.
Although Mary did not explain the significance of these
implements, it is thought that the hammer represents sin, which
nailed Jesus to the Cross. Just as the pincers removed the
nails, penance and prayer help us reconcile the world to God.
Around the world, the La Salette Cross has become the
characteristic symbol of Mary's message to be reconciled to God.
The Cafeteria has a
fully equipped kitchen. Food service is available during the
Christmas Light season and for our programs.
The Cafeteria & Program Center is largely used for day
retreat groups and hosts a variety of civic groups. These
groups need to contact us far enough in advance to secure its
use. A donation is requested.
La Salette Shrine is located on the shores of Lake
Mascoma, on Route 4A in Enfield, New Hampshire.
The Shakers (see "The Miracle of Enfield" below) called
this patch of heaven "Chosen Vale." Mascoma's blue waters mirror
the birch, pine, and maple that populate the surrounding hills
and mountains and give this valley a unique beauty the year
'round. It is no surprise that the spirit jumps into prayer once
Last Supper Reconciliation Chapel
A small A-frame chapel is located on the edge of our
property. Besides the Nativity Exhibit, it contains a beautiful wood carving of the Last
Supper. It is used especially during the Christmas lights
season, for children (and others) to write a Birthday Card to
On the hill is located the Pavilion. The Pavilion which
seats approximately 80 is used as a place for prayer services,
music and relaxation.
The Miracle of Enfield: A Vale Chosen by God Himself
It’s 1782 and many of the folks in
Mascoma Valley have become involved in Protestant religious
revival. Since the Nineteenth Century is just around the
corner, many wonder if the Lord might not choose this time for
his Second Coming. And if he does come, what might he expect to
find among his followers?
At the invitation of one of the townspeople, two
brothers come to the valley to address the faithful on the
Shaker religious beliefs. Their celibate community claims that
Mother Ann—their foundress—is the feminine counterpart of Christ
and that both men and women must now work diligently to build a
perfect earth if they are to be acceptable for a perfect
heaven. A number of the townspeople like what they hear and
before long, a community is born.
The Shakers call Mascoma Valley, “Chosen Vale” and they
find God’s presence here in a special way. Over the years,
their example attracts new believers and by the mid-century over
350 members share their lifestyle in Enfield, N.H. Numerous
buildings spring up and the Great Stone Dwelling House (1837)
effectively becomes the largest Shaker dwelling house ever
built. Even to this day, this magnificent building stands as a
tribute to lives dedicated to God.
The Shaker industriousness knows no boundaries and seeks
perfection in all things. Their farm skills lead to the
development of our modern seed industry; to patent medicines;
and to new forestry techniques. They weave indestructible
sweaters, create beautiful and simple furniture, and set to
paper a whole repertory of music to praise God and his creation.
Times change, however, and with new times come changes in
values and lifestyles. As the Twentieth Century draws near, the
Shakers become aware of a dwindling membership. They begin to
speak the unspeakable—some of their settlements will have to be
closed. Might this be a sign of the Lord’s Second Coming? The
Shakers are finally faced with closing their Chosen Vale
community in 1923. For four years, the property sits idle.
In 1927, at the invitation of a parish priest in Lebanon,
N.H. Father Zotique Chouinard, M.S., a La Salette Missionary
contacts Elder Bruce in Canterbury and begins negotiations for
acquisition of the property. In early December of that year,
the Shakers sell Chosen Vale for $25,000 — the sum Father
Chouinard was authorized to spend.
The Enfield property now enters a second phase not unlike
the period of the Shakers: young men are to be trained for the
celibate religious life and for the Catholic priesthood. In
August 1928, the Sisters of Saint Martha arrive to attend to the
cooking and household tasks once carried out by the Shaker
For forty years the use of this property continues to
evolve, but manages to maintain the prayerful commitment of a
celibate life dedicated to God along with a quest for
practicality and a respect for roots. The beautiful and stately
Mary Keane Memorial Chapel is added in 1930 thanks to the
generosity of an eminent benefactress.
In 1974 the seminary closes its doors as a result of
soaring costs and a change in lifestyles, which results in
reduced numbers of vocations at the high school level. Chosen
Vale enters yet another phase. The scenic shores of Mascoma
begin to attract families seeking a sacred place in which to
rest and be recreated. Some even sell their homes to be near
the La Salette Missionaries in their search for God’s will
In the heart of this great valley home there lies a place of
special value and sacredness: The Shaker and La Salette
Cemeteries. These sacred grounds bear witness not to death, but
to life, to life lived out fully in the service of God. Here
lie in peace such heroes as Moses Johnson who built a number of
Shaker Meeting Houses; Caleb Dyer who built many of the great
edifices in this Chosen Vale and who brought the Shaker
Community to its apex; Rev Zotique Chouinard, M.S. who saw the
dream of a LaSalette Community come to life at great personal
expense to himself and to the early fathers and brothers; Miss
Mary Keane who returned to God the hundredfold of gifts with
which he had blessed her; and so many others who were able to
find here a special presence of God and who proclaim to all that
this valley is special, that this is God’s Chosen Vale.
La Salette continues to be a special gift from God. The
community which flowed from the apparition of Our Lady at La
Salette France in 1846 has grown to encompass mission areas all
over the world. The Enfield community sprang from a residence
and mother Province in Hartford, Connecticut. From Enfield has
come a whole new religious Province in the Philippine Islands.
The movement goes on. Where the future and God will lead cannot
be foretold. Who would have dreamed back in 1782 that today
this Chosen Vale would serve families in a special way? Who
would have thought in 1846 when the Shakers were erecting a
Sacred Stone that two weeks later Our Lady would appear at La
Salette and re-echo the message that “from this ground a spring
would flow that would bring healings from afar?” Who would have
dreamed in 1927 that Miss Keane would make possible in 1930 a
Church that none could even imagine?
Many refer to our on-going story as The Miracle of
Enfield. Why doubt it? Nothing short of a miracle could have
brought us to where we are today. The signs of God never cease
to amaze us as we live each sunrise and sunset under his
watchful eye. As St. Paul would say: If God is for us, who can
be against us?
Praised be Jesus Christ, now and
Now and forever, praised be Jesus Christ!