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Fr. Néstor F. Sáenz is Pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Celebrating the Centenary of Our Lady of Fatima’s Apparitions

On May 13, 2016, the Roman Catholic Church will begin celebrating the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. The Archdiocese of Chicago will unite on this important occasion with Catholics around the world and people of good will.

Looking back, many scientific advances at the beginning of the twentieth century made our world more secure, but at the same time brought upon this earth great tragedies, such as two world wars, which caused deep divisions within the human race. In another point in our history, God made himself present with moments of faith such as the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal on May 13, 1917.

God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit showed their nearness to us through the Blessed Virgin Mary to touch with her tenderness her people and did it by choosing three little shepherds: Lucy, Jacinta and Francis. In spite of their young age, they courageously defended their faith against those who did not believe them.

God never manifests Himself to us to condemn us, intimidate us or reject us, rather, the opposite is true. When God manifests himself, he does it to put us on a path of light, unity, forgiveness and safety. This is what Our Lady of Fatima was able to transmit to the children and they with their conviction transmitted to the world.

Today, we, as the Catholic Church in Chicago, unite ourselves to the universal Church to start this important event of faith and reaffirm its authenticity as our Holy Fathers have done in the last decades: Bl. Paul VI, St. John Paul II on three occasions and Benedict XVI. They knelt at her feet as the three children did when Our Lady appeared to them on six occasions at Cova di Iria in Portugal in1917.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has dedicated one parish on the south side of the city to her maternal intercession and would like to extend this invitation to all believers to celebrate the beginning of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima. The celebrations will be held from May 13, 2016, through May 13, 2017.

After being closed for seven months for a total interior restoration, Our Lady of Fatima Parish will open its door on May 13, 2016. The Parish will have a festive celebration and will join the universal Church in pilgrimage throughout the centenary year, hand in hand with our Mother Mary. 

Our Lady of Fatima Parish also takes this occasion to extend an invitation to all the Marian groups of the Archdiocese to come as pilgrims to her sanctuary. We invite all Pastors as well to consider organizing a pilgrimage with their parishioners so they can celebrate the Eucharist at our Church in gratitude to Our Lady of Fatima.

May God and Our Lady of Fatima bless you always.

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