By Katrina Genereux/Staff Writer, OND
Red Lake Falls – An estimated 175 people gathered at St. Joseph’s, Red Lake Falls, on May 13 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.
Rosary Convocations have been held annually in the Diocese of Crookston since 2010. The past two convocations have focused on Fatima in preparation for this anniversary.
The event began with Mass, followed by a holy hour and recitation of the rosary. A luncheon was served afterwards.
During the homily, Father Bob Schreiner spoke about the importance of the message of Our Lady of Fatima throughout time and its relevance here and now, a century later.
“And so, you and I come to this 100th anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima … on this centennial occasion, I will ask you not to look at this as a mere nostalgic remembrance of things past as if somehow we approach the cornerstone of Fatima, open up the time capsule left there for us to see what artifacts are in there and be reminded what life was like back then,” he said.
“Our purpose in this centennial journey is rather to enter into the mystery of time and to read, here and now, what the meaning of these apparitions are. These apparitions, their messages, their secrets and their saints have been given to us for all time so as to encounter the mystery of our God, his love, his mercy, his desire to save us. That we live to witness the 100th anniversary of these events is itself purposeful. It has meaning for us and bears a message for our day.”
During the Holy Hour, after praying the rosary, Father Schreiner read a portion of a book entitled: “The Immaculate Heart: The True Story of Our Lady of Fatima” by John DeMarchi, I.M.C. It detailed Our Lady of Fatima’s first apparition to the three shepherd children – Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin Lucia Dos Santos.
“It was really nice to re-hear the story as Father read the meditation during adoration and to hear the vision and just hear about our mother’s protection and to keep close to her for the salvation of our world and of ourselves,” said Katie Zubrod of Buxton, N.D.
She and her husband, Philip, recently watched a film about the Fatima apparitions and after being invited by friends to the centenary pilgrimage events, decided to travel to Red Lake Falls.
“I think devotion to Our Lady of Fatima is really needed in this day, even 100 years from when it first happened,” Philip said. “It’s even more relevant now to everything going on in the world.”
THE JOURNEY CONTINUES
A special event will be held to commemorate each anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.
The next one will be June 13 at the Shrine of Our Lady in Huot Park. A potluck meal will be held at 6 p.m. for those who wish to join. The anniversary event will begin at 7 p.m. with a Eucharistic procession and will include the Rosary and a presentation on the second apparition. The third event will be July 13 and will be the same as June, but focus on the third apparition.
On August 19, the event marking the fourth apparition will begin at Huot Park at 7 a.m. Rolls and juice will be served afterward.
The Sept. 13 event will be the same as June, but will focus on the fifth apparition.
The pilgrimage will conclude Oct. 13 at St. Joseph’s, Red Lake Falls, with a Rosary at 6:30 p.m., and Holy Mass at 7 p.m. It will end with a light reception.
Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner blessed a statue of Our Lady of Fatima following daily Mass on May 2.
The children of Cathedral School came to witness the blessing. The blessed statue will remain in the gathering space for the remainder of the centenary.
On June 10, Sacred Heart, Frazee, will host the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima. Confession will be offered from 4:30-5 p.m., followed by Holy Mass and a procession and crowning of the statue. The Message of Fatima will be presented after Holy Communion. A meal and opportunity to privately venerate the statue will follow Mass. The event will end with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament beginning at 7:30 p.m. and a closing ceremony at 9 p.m.