The Missionaries of La Salette make a radical leap in vocation promotion

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The Missionaries of La Salette have promoted vocations, like all religious communities, throughout our history. Recently, we reached into uncharted waters, with vocation undertakings which have breathed energy into and strengthened recognition of La Salette.

So many people are familiar with the La Salette Christmas Festival of Lights. The National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in Attleboro, Massachusetts, energetically hosts a celebration of Advent and Christmas with our beautiful Christmas light displays, yet the Shrine is so much more ( It is holy ground for discernment and prayer. The Missionaries of La Salette were founded as a result of Mary's apparition in France in 1846. Mary's invitation to "Come near, my children, be not afraid; I am here to tell you great news" is celebrated at the Shrine every day. We continue to share her message of reconciliation in 30 countries throughout the world. In the United States, the Missionaries of La Salette minister to 24 parishes, shrines, and schools in 10 states, supporting efforts of our missionaries worldwide. We are committed to "making her message known" to all people.

Since October 2021, Father William Kaliyadan, MS, provincial superior, and members of the North American Province have embraced new and unique steps to make her message known, promote vocations, and create a culture of vocations. Some may even describe our recent vocation steps as radical.

We began by hiring a married lay-woman as our national vocation director. Working with six La Salette regional vocation directors throughout the Province to create and execute vocation ideas, activities, and actions, she serves as a representative at vocation events locally and nationally. Our regional vocation directors are busy ministering to our parishioners and missions. That's where full-time concentration on vocations has effectively increased the conversation, activity, and prayer life in our locations and beyond. It's a novel vocation approach, more concentrated than in the past, and has proven effective. One comment recently shared was "we haven't talked about vocations this much in many years."

Understanding that vocations begin close to home, our national vocation director works with and visits parishes, to develop and enhance vocation ministries, creating a culture of vocations by meeting with families, students, clergy, and educators. We have implemented retreats regarding decisions and discernment. Updating and providing new flyers, posters, and promotional items to parishes helps foster awareness of La Salette vocations. Priests schedule "Parish Swaps," celebrating Masses in other parishes to deliver homilies and create opportunities to promote vocations. Parish priests and shrine directors enhance vocations by encouraging youth as altar servers and parish volunteers, while watching for and identifying young men interested in religious life. Working with the entire membership, active clergy and retired members alike, vocations are cultivated throughout the community. We welcome discerners to visit our parishes and regions. Discerners are paired with spiritual directors, guiding their discernment process, and developing formation activities.

The Missionaries of La Salette have created regional discernment and formation options, where interested men can discern in various regions of their choice within the Province, including a theologate house in Brighton, MA, near seminaries and coursework. Also offered are opportunities for international formation since ministering with the La Salettes occurs in many countries throughout the world.

Frequent vocation opportunities continually emerge. A monthly "Come and Click" Zoom meeting offers discerners a comfortable place to have a conversation about discernment and learn about the La Salette community. A weekly email to each parish suggests vocation items and ideas, which can be utilized and placed into immediate action. Social media and a specialized vocation website ( demonstrate and display an active and vibrant religious community. Plus, parish activities welcome discerners and vocation prayer opportunities.

La Salette Vocations also relies on La Salette Laity, creating a role for laity to invite and nurture vocations. Laity interaction is essential. Pope St. John Paul II noted that the laity are those who "live in the world ... in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life ... They study, they work, they form relationships as friends, professionals, members of society, cultures, etc." Our La Salette Laity works to encourage and enhance vocations in our parishes and shrines through joint retreats and crossover experiences, such as La Salette Feast Day events, plus rosary and adoration prayer times. The vocation conversation grows with our laity.

Radical leap? Or contemporary vocation promotion? All efforts are designed to intensify conversation, culture, discernment, and formation with the Missionaries of La Salette.

Enter the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in your GPS for a visit of prayer and discernment with a spiritual director. For more information on the Missionaries of La Salette, contact Renee Dee, national vocation director, at 508-342-0556 or