Section title text:  Archived News.

Title:  FCJ Sisters Celebrate 20 Years of Presence in South America.

Feburary 3rd was a day full of surprises! It was the day after our official opening of the new FCJ novitiate in Salta and we were filled with expectation as we were planning to visit the LaSalette Fathers and Brothers and celebrate the 20th Anniversary of our FCJ presence in South America with them. The LaSalettes were finishing their annual regional meeting at a retreat house, beautifully located near a river, just outside of the city of Salta in Argentina.

As we prepared to set out on our journey, our first surprise was to see that our FCJ house was set within a flood. For miles around there was nothing but the poor houses of the barrio emerging out of water.

Images of Salta flooded after the rain.

How could we meet the LaSalette groups who were to celebrate Mass with us, the enjoy a festive asado (BBQ)? Would we have to wade out? Could we? Or drive the Ford ranger? If anyone could, the general agreement was that it would have to be Hna Shirley (who had had years of such driving while she lived in Santiago del Estero).

A police car managed to drive by and we were assured we could drive out if we went in the direction the officer indicated.  Unfortunately no one told Sr. Shirley about these dirrections, so at 4:30pm when the group set out (three in front and ten in the back under the canopy) she took the usual route out of the barrio to the horror of her more well-informed passengers. There was no way to backtrack or turn around, so it took all her driving experience to ease the truck through mud and foot-deep water for about 12 blocks. Many the prayers that were said and loud the applause when we finally reached paved streets!

We arrived early and had time to walk down to the river and take pictures.

Photos of FCJ Group gathered at the river.

At the Eucharist there was much sharing honoring the 20 years that the FCJs had been in South America, appreciating the history of working together with the LaSalettes, the years of friendships, and recalling also the number of LaSalettes who had been educated by the FCJs in Fitchburg.

Group of FCJ Sisters gathered in Salta.
FCJ Sisters join with the La Salette Priests and Brothers
to celebrate the 20th Anniversary
of FCJ Presence in South America.

Shirley, one of the pioneers of our FCJ presence in South America, received a hand crafted wall hanging with the 20 years of FCJ presence woven into the fabric. All agreed that this should be given to Sr. Mary Cavanagh who was not able to be present due to a sudden rush to the hospital instead to the airport for her planned return visit to Argentina.

Sr. Patricia Binchy, who had recently been named the Provincial of the FCJ Province of the Americas and who would now be based in Toronto, Canada, received a beautiful painting of Our Lady of LaSalette (painted by LaSalette Fr. Alfredo Velarde as a farewell gift.

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Nous devons glorifier le coeur de Jésus
                     par tous les moyens possibles ...     (Marie Madeleine)