My name is Fr. Thomas Vellappallil, a member of the missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette. From the Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas. Though I am from India, I was a missionary in the Philippines for 11 years. Currently I am serving at the La Salette Mission Center, which is located in St. Louis, MO. La Salette is a village in the French Alps, where in 1846 on September 19th, the Blessed Mother appeared to two children, Maximin, and Melanie who were shepherds. The Blessed Mother was sent to these shepherds with the message of reconciliation, prayer, penance and zeal for the Word of God. At the end of her message she told the children to make this message known to all God’s people. Today there are almost 1000 La Salette missionaries working in 29 countries especially in the missions of Madagascar, Angola, Tanzania, in Mozambique, Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil, in the Philippines, India, Myanmar and Haiti.
Among the many La Salette ministries, I would like to focus on one thing that we do for the children of this world who are less fortunate and less privileged. Perhaps you still remember when Haiti was hit by a major earthquake back in 2010. It came unexpectedly and changed the lives of Haitians forever. According to the statistics, 316000 people died in that disaster and 1.8 million people were left homeless. Our missionaries serving there for the past 12 years tell us what’s happening today. There are thousands of children in Haiti, who are thrown out into the streets with no money, no education, no friends, and even separated from their own families having no one to care for them. I was privileged to visit Haiti for a week. It was heartbreaking to see the lives of the Haitian people. We have two schools with hundreds of students from poor families. They are provided a meal every day. This is often the only meal they will get in a day. This is because the parents cannot afford to meet the basic needs of their children such as food and clothing. Upon returning to St. Louis, I thought of the many people I had met who live in terrible poverty, some even without a home. It will take years and years to rebuild this nation but the healing has begun and we believe that education is the key to restore that nation. Our missionaries in Argentina and Bolivia do the same ministry for such poor children. It actually doesn’t even take a dollar for a meal to feed a child, but when you have to feed hundreds every day becomes a challenging ministry. There is hope for these people and we are able to reach out to help them only because of the generosity and support of people like you.
God has blessed us in our lives and we in turn are invited to be a blessing in the lives of people around us. You may never see the faces of people or hear their voices, but they may have found a future because of your love and generosity. Finally, I want to express my gratitude to you for being a blessing and whatever gift you are able to offer in the midst of this pandemic, please know that it will make a difference in the life of someone, somewhere in some corner of the world. Finally, let’s always pray for each other and for our missions. Let us pray for all the missionaries in the world and the people they serve. Together let’s continue to build God’s Kingdom here on earth. Amen.
The Missionaries of La Salette, Province of Mary, Mother of the Americas, is located in the United States. We have Missionaries in Haiti, South America (Argentina, Brazil & Bolivia) Africa (Angola, Namibia, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Mozambique), and Asia (India, Myanmar, and the Philippines). Our Missionaries’ first goal is to share God’s word and to stress reconciliation. This is what Our Lady of La Salette told them when sharing Jesus’s words.
Where the funds go:
- Assisting the addicted and mentally challenged in Madagascar, the Philippines & India. 10%
- Providing vocational programs to help single and unemployed women in Bolivia & Argentina 10%
- Aiding in the education and formation of students in the Seminaries in South America, Madagascar, and our Asian countries. 10%
- Handicap centers, making equipment needed & providing to those in need in Namibia and Madagascar. 10%
- Soup kitchens & feeding programs for the poor students in Bolivia/Argentina & Madagascar. 30%
- We do provide financial support to poor students in our schools for their tuition and materials needed in our South American countries, Haiti, Namibia and Tanzania, and our Asia countries. 30%
To support the La Salette Missionaries, please click on the button below to donate and either select your parish in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and/or type Group 1195 in the memo box. God bless!