“Our Lady of Fatima”

As we enter the Second Week of Lent, we certainly have a lot going on, here at the parish, to help us focus on the tri-part elements of Lent…those elements being prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Tomorrow (Monday evening) we will have the blessed opportunity to immerse ourselves in the blessings that accrue to the visit of the Centennial Image of Our Lady of Fatima visiting our parish for 24 hours. There are so many spiritual growth opportunities for all of us if we will only familiarize ourselves with the messages Our Lady conveyed to us through her chosen children; Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia. The Fatima messages fit perfectly into the twofold Lenten theme of repentance and baptism.

Hopefully all parishioners know that the mother of Jesus, the Most Holy Virgin Mary, appeared to those three children, just mentioned, at Fatima, Portugal during the summer of 1917. Beginning on May 13th, and again on the 13th of each month until October 13th, Mary gave the world a message called the “Peace Plan from Heaven.” She was calling us to conversion, prayer, and penance. “If what I tell you is done, many sinners will be converted and there will be peace … “Pray, pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because they have no one to pray and make sacrifices for them.” On July 13th the virgin promised a great miracle to occur on October 13th for the purpose she related… “So that all may believe!” Our Lady also warned that by our failing to do as she asks; we will suffer from “wars, famine and persecution of the Church.”

This “Great Miracle of the Sun” occurred exactly as foretold on that day October 13th… with close to 100,000 people gathered at Fatima to witness it… including many atheist newspaper reporters who acknowledged it as a miracle in the Portuguese press. You and I, with our modem technology, can “Google” the complete Fatima Story with accompanying photos, and newspaper accounts of all that took place. Merely a hundred years ago we were blessed with the miracles that authenticated the message.

I highly recommend that all Catholics obtain and read a copy of a book titled: “FATIMA In Lucia’s Own Words,” It captures her total recalling of all that took place during those days of the apparitions, and the intimate conversations between her and her two younger Cousins, as well as the messages and conversations with the Angel and the Blessed Mother. We have ordered a quantity of the book I mentioned above, and I am certain it will give your faith and your peace a great lift. It certainly has done that for me as I have read and re-read the accounting several times. Tomorrow, Monday evening, at 6:00 PM, the Centennial Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima will arrive at the Parish. Special reception and procession activities will precede the 6:30 PM Mass. While I am gone out of town, to say Mass at a Notre Dame event this weekend, I will be back in time for this 24 Hour visit to our parish, of this Pilgrim Image of Our Lady. Please see the schedule of events flyer enclosed in this week’s bulletin for our 24 hour visit and try to attend as many of the events as you can.

There will be ”Overnight Adoration” of the Blessed Sacrament along with the opportunity to venerate the Statue. Pope Francis declared this to be a special Jubilee Year of the Centenary of Our Lady of Fatima. During this year which ends November 26, the Pope has created a Plenary Indulgence, obtainable in three different ways, (along with the usual conditions) to encourage all peoples in the world to take this opportunity to increase in holiness…  and take action to remove the afflictions that besiege our fragile humanity.

  1. Pray the Rosary before the Image of Our Lady of Fatima.
  2. Offer one’s suffering into a sacrifice for the preparation of one’s own sin and for poor sinners.
  3. Make a pilgrimage to Fatima Portugal.

Quite obviously the first choice is the most relevant and right in front of our noses. A plenary indulgence “…removes all of the temporal punishment due to sin.” The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead. (CCC 1471).

I hope you can join me and all the parishioners for our special 6:00 PM procession Monday evening.

Our Lady of the most Holy Rosary, Pray for us!

Father Denis