The Nativity sets in the
A-frame Chapel can always be viewed by appointment.
our lady OF
A Center for Reconciliation
410 NH Route 4A - PO Box 420
Enfield, NH 03748
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
May 24, 2014
Sunday Vigil Mass, every Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
minutes before the weekend Mass
Or call at any time to see if a priest is available
CHARISMATIC PRAYER GROUP
603-632-5069 for information
GIFT SHOP HOURS
thru May 23, 2014
Wednesday thru Sunday, 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Gift Shop phone:
NATIVITY SETS EXHIBIT
Open by appointment
updated March 3, 2014 (Reflection,
The Shrine theme for 2014
will be Reconciliation. We will incorporate also the Year of the
Family proclaimed by Pope Francis.
The Walking Tour of the Shrine,
legal size, .pdf, can be found
By mid-March I hope to make the full program of activities for
2014 available as well. We are waiting for a few responses
before the program can be finalized.
reflection on Sunday readings
Note: To understand the
following 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).
One for All
(Genesis 2:7-9 &
3:1-7; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11)
St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans is, after the
Gospels, arguably the most important book in the Bible, and the
first reading today is among its most important passages.
There are two sets of contrasts in this text. The first is
between Adam and Jesus—the one responsible for our sinfulness
and the other for our salvation. The second is between “one,”
i.e. Adam or Jesus, and “all” or “many,” i.e. the human race.
The trouble began, as we see in the first reading, with Adam
and Eve. The remedy came in Jesus, though faith in him.
And then we forgot. Somehow the deeply intense faith of the
early Christians gradually got diluted. It was in this situation
that Mary appeared at La Salette.
She reminded us, the “many,” her people, of her Son, the
“one.” She spoke of
him, she wore his crucified image on her breast.
She regretted our disrespect of his name, our neglect of
his day and of his Eucharist.
After speaking of the death of young children, Our Lady
added, “The rest will do penance through the famine.”
Penance is a hard word. It sounds like, feels like
punishment, good for disobedient children and criminals. There
is some of that, of course, but it is chiefly a way to wipe the
Mary spoke of the neglect of Lent in harsh terms also. As a
time of penance, Lent is a healthy thing, making us more aware
of the dangers of diluted faith. It is one thing to place our
trust in the Lord’s grace; it is quite another merely to take
that grace for granted. As Jesus says in today’s Gospel: “You
shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.”
But Mary’s people, her Christian people, forgot. What a sad
situation. No wonder she wept!
Under the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the
garden of Eden stood the man Adam and the woman Eve. Little did
they know that the new Eve would come one day to remind us that
the new Adam died for us on the Tree of Life.
(Isaiah 49:14-15; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5; Matthew 6:24-34)
Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Probably the most famous rhetorical question in the Bible is
in today’s reading from Isaiah 49: “Can a mother forget her
Our Lady of La Salette is a case in point. She is our
mother, after all, and cannot stand by while we destroy
When she said, “If you have wheat, you must not sow it,” she
was speaking to people who were very deeply concerned—to use the
expression of Jesus in the Gospel—with their life, what they
would eat and drink. It is obvious that she was not saying to
make matters worse, quite the opposite. If her people were to
hope for relief from the impending famine, they would need to do
something to make matters better, in their relationship with God
and the Church, that is.
In the Gospel and at La Salette, it’s a question of
priorities. “Seek first the kingdom of God and his
righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.”
Compare this to the Beautiful Lady’s promise: “If they are
converted, the rocks and stones will be turned into heaps of
In the context, then, of the Apparition, the question
becomes: Who has forgotten whom? Isaiah 17:10-11 reads: “Truly,
you have forgotten the God who saves you… Therefore, though you
plant plants… the harvest shall disappear.”
Forgetting God is a theme which recurs about thirty times in
the Old Testament. Here is another example, which contrasts
curiously with the question quoted at the beginning of this
reflection. “Does a young woman forget her jewelry, a bride her
sash? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number”
No one likes to be forgotten, even momentarily as when, for
example, a name is accidentally left out in a list of
invitations. Being remembered has to do with our sense of
personal dignity and worth.
God would never, could never forget us. That conviction can
help us through many trials.
Looking at our Weeping Mother, we could paraphrase Isaiah’s
question: Could this Mother ever forget her children?
No, she couldn’t, wouldn’t, can’t, won’t, not ever!
Farland, stepmother of Fr. Norman Farland, M.S. (Wahneta,
Florida). She died on March 3, at the age of 102.
Mr. Leo Hervieux, uncle of Fr. Ernest Corriveau, M.S. (Sulphur,
Louisiana). He died February 17.
Mrs. Margaret Ouellette, aunt of Fr. Joseph Bachand, M.S.
(Rome, Italy). She died February 16.
Fr. Joseph Nolan,
M.S., Hartford, Connecticut (in rehab after a procedure)
Butler, M.S., Superior of the La Salette Mission in
Argentina (and brother of Enfield Shrine Director), who had open
heart surgery on February 24.
Brunnert, M.S., DeQuincy, Louisiana (surgery on January 31).
Fr. James Donagher, M.S., Hartford, Connecticut (in rehab
after a hospital stay).
Jean Demers, a member of the Enfield
La Salette Associates and a very active member in St. Helena
parish in Enfield, continues to make good progress at
home, but still would appreciate the support of our prayers.
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 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!