NEWS FLASH! December 6, 2012 - “Fatima Today” Premiers on
April 10, 2011 - GROUNDBREAKING FATIMA CONFERENCE REIGNITES SOULS
January 15, 2011- World Apostolate of Fatima - Worldwide Pontifical Association Sponsors Unique Fatima Conference
January 2nd, 2011 - Pilgrim Virgin Statue - Fatima Message Touches Hearts Across the Country
May 15, 2007 - U.S. Catholics to Travel to Kazan to See Icon
February 14, 2006- World Apostolate of Fatima upgraded
February 15, 2006 - World Apostolate of Fatima Now A Public Association of the Faithful
June 2, 2006 - Blue Army Seeks to Promote Fatima Message
July 31, 2006 - Rosary Congress
August 15, 2006 - Worldwide Children's Holy Hour
September 1, 2006 - One World Praying
December 3, 2006- A Papal Trip to Fatima?
The Message of Fatima – “Fatima Today” - will be aired live on Radio Maria every Thursday at 2:00pm ET, 1:00pm CT, 12:00 MT and 11:00 PT commencing on Thursday, December 6, 2012.
The program takes its name from “Fatima For Today, The Urgent Marian Message of Hope” written by Father Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R., and published by Ignatius Press in 2010, and will, like Father’s book, present an understanding of Our Lady’s message as it pertains to the world today which is in full communion with that of Holy Mother Church.
The program will be hosted by Deacon Bob Ellis, National Coordinator of The World Apostolate of Fatima, USA – A Public International Association of the Faithful under the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
Father Andrew Apostoli, C.F.R. will be Deacon Bob’s guest on the program’s premier.
The program can be heard live throughout the country on the internet at radiomaria.us by simply clicking on the
“Listen Now” button.
It can also be heard live on the following radio stations:
Alexandria – 580 AM / New Iberia – 1360 AM / Natchitoches – 89.7 FM / Lake Charles – 91.1 FM
D’lberville – 88.1 FM
Albany – 89.9 FM
New York (Affiliate) – 620 AM
Springfield – 1600 AM / Anna – 88.7 FM
Hollidaysburg – 88.1 FM
Port Arthur – 1250 AM
Peshtigo – 91.3 FM
Please share this information with as many as you can.
“We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete.”
Pope Benedict XVI
“The Message of Fatima is more important today than ever.”
Blessed John Paul II
“Learn the Message of Fatima. Live the Message of Fatima. Spread the Message of Fatima.”
Pope Benedict XVI
Washington, NJ – Laity, experts and relatives of the three Portuguese shepherd children to whom the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917 gathered for the most important Fatima conference in history this past spring. The World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF) organized this exclusive conference in Fatima, Portugal for the intentions of: world peace, the salvation of souls, and the strengthening of the Church.
Fifteen world-renowned Fatima experts delivered speeches and led discussions with less than 200 lay people during the week-long conference at the WAF-owned Domus Pacis Hotel.
Attendees gained spiritual, historical and familial insights about the Marian apparition of Fatima in accordance with the conference objective: “To further prepare us to help others learn, live and spread Our Lady of Fatima’s message of hope, peace and salvation. To understand the problems we face in the world today and how to solve them in the context of Our Lady of Fatima’s message.”
“The real message of the conference was a renewal of the call to heed Our Lady’s message of Fatima,” said Fr. Andrew Apostali, C.F.R., conference host and author of Fatima for Today. “Pope Benedict XVI has said that the message of Fatima is by no means over. We are threatened with war. We are threatened with secularism’s sense to suffocate all Christian values and all sense of the presence of God.
“Our Lady has given us a plan of what we should do,” Apostali continued. “The First Five Saturdays Devotion is the most neglected, but the most essential part of Our Lady’s message.”
[First Five Saturday devotees go to Confession, receive Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and meditate for 15 minutes on the mysteries of the Rosary on the first Saturday of five consecutive months.]
Michael La Corte, executive director of World Apostolate of Fatima USA, said the conference reiterated the message of Fatima to the world, “As we pull God out of our lives and cultures we will not receive the grace from heaven to make good decisions and the world will suffer; as we turn back to God and ask for His help we can look forward to greater peace in our lives, a better world, and the salvation of more souls.”
Conference attendee Mary Jane Keppler, a pastoral associate for parishes in Iowa, gleaned the same lesson. “The most important part of the message of Our Lady of Fatima for me is to offer our sufferings to God as a sacrifice to save souls,” she said.
“Another message I brought home from the conference was that the Fatima message is ‘more important now than ever,’ which are the very words of our great Pope John Paul II,” Keppler recalled. “The world needs hope. The world needs our Blessed Mother to show us how to find peace. The world needs Fatima. I take the words of our former pope very seriously and plan to do what I can to live the messages and spread them.”
The historical Fatima conference was videoed, parts of which will be available to the public. WAF, USA is planning a Fatima/Lourdes conference for 2012.
The World Apostolate of Fatima, USA is a Pontifical Association. Visit www.wafusa.org for more information.
FATIMA, PORTUGAL - The conference entitled, “The Most Important Fatima Conference of Our Times” delves into the Message of Fatima, the Prophecies, the Secrets, the Miracles, the fulfillment of the prophecies throughout history and why Pope John Paul II stated that, “The Message of Fatima is More Important Now Than Ever.” On March 23-30, 2011 the Apostolate will bring Fatima experts together at Domus Pacis, the three star hotel it owns located across the street from the Fatima Shrine in Portugal.
The Apostolate is a Pontifical Association and speaks with ecclesiastical authority on the message of Hope received by three shepherd children from Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. A message to help people bring God back into their lives and cultures, achieve eternal salvation, and bring about peace. It is also a message that came with warnings about worldly difficulties if we make bad choices.
For the first time in history, leading experts on Fatima will come together to explain the power of the authentic message of Fatima - to fix the problems we face personally and globally in today’s world.
Michael La Corte, the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA said, that, “The “best of the best” Fatima experts, including relatives of the Fatima seers, renowned Fatima authors, Fatima speakers, and confidants of Sister Lucia, are joining for the first time to help people understand the urgency of Pope John Paul II’s words about Our Lady of Fatima’s Message. Father Andrew Apostoli, frequently seen on EWTN TV, and who just completed the book, “Fatima for Today” is the conference leader.
Among the many speakers who will be talking with participants are: His Excellency Antonio Marto; Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, His Excellence Serafim Silva; Bishop Emeritus of Leiria-Fatima and Confidant of Sister Lucia, Fr. Virgilio Antunes; Rector of the Fatima Shrine, and Msgr. Luciano Guerra; Rector Emeritus of the Fatima Shrine. More conference information is available at www.wafusa.org.
Nuno Prazeres, the International Secretariat of the World Apostolate of Fatima, whose grandfather was a best friend to Francisco Marto, one of the three seers, states, “the program we have prepared for you goes beyond imagination. It will make you experience Fatima just as if you were here when Our Lady came in 1917. You will visit the sacred places, you will learn the message, you will pray with your heart and mind before Our Lady’s statue and you will experience the peace that only God can give.” This is not your standard Fatima tour.
This opportunity has never been offered before and may never be offered again, don’t let this opportunity pass you by! The conferences will be conducted in English.
Reservations can be made through WAF/Blue Army Tours at 800-228-4654, Ext. 208 for Lucille. For general information – www.wafusa.org or email Michael La Corte at email@example.com.
The World Apostolate of Fatima, previously known as the Blue Army, was elevated to a Public Association of the Faithful under the Pontifical Council for the Laity. Its mission is to help people Learn, Live and Spread Our Lady of Fatima’s Message in communion with the Catholic Church and in concert with the new evangelization. The Apostolate is active in over 100 countries and has many millions of members. The World Apostolate of Fatima is the only Fatima organization that speaks with ecclesiastical authority on the message of Fatima. Its national office is located at the National Blue Army Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Washington, NJ. For further information, contact Michael La Corte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 908-689-1700. The Apostolate International office is located at Domus Pacis Hotel in Fatima Portugal at email@example.com
By Joseph Pronechen
National Catholic Register Staff Writer
The U.S. Pilgrim Virgin statue of Our Lady of Fatima, sanctioned by the Vatican, has been touring the country continuously ever since it was blessed in Fatima in 1967 by Paul VI, bringing the Fatima message to people everywhere.
Now the message has a new focus.
Since last summer, from New Hampshire to upstate New York, from Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois and Colorado to Southern California, people have been called to offer up sacrifices for the reparation of sins.
“We’re trying to get everyone to make a commitment to pray and offer up sacrifices for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sin,” says the statue’s custodian, William Sockey, of the World Apostolate of Fatima (formerly the Blue Army), a Vatican-recognized public association of the faithful.
With the statue’s arrival at parishes, people hear Sockey, a Fatima expert, explain the message and practical steps for carrying it out.
Before Our Lady appeared to the children in Portugal in 1917, an angel appeared three times in 1916 to prepare the children.
The angel emphasized the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, adoration of the holy Trinity, and the need to make everything we do a sacrifice, offering it as reparation for sin and the conversion of sinners. The angel told the children (and by extension, us) that doing so would bring peace to their nation.
When Our Lady appeared on July 13, 1917, she stressed the importance of reparation and gave reasons for it: “Sacrifice yourselves for sinners and say often whenever you make a sacrifice, ‘O Jesus, it is for love of you, for the conversion of sinners, and in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’”
This is the basis for the short, simple daily morning offering that’s included on a prayer card distributed by the apostolate. The front of the prayer card pictures the statue; the back lists the “Angel of Peace” prayer along with the offering.
Praying and making an offering, Sockey says, “is the simplest way every man, woman and child can participate in the salvation of the world — by offering in the simplest manner the crosses we’re going to carry anyway.”
Said Our Lady on Aug. 19, 1917: “Pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to make sacrifices for them.”
“The only thing that matters at the end of the world is how many souls made it to eternity,” Sockey says. “You may be saving a soul right at the verge of death by offering up that pain, disappointment, whatever.”
Fred Carlone, president of the World Apostolate of Fatima division in the Diocese of San Bernardino, Calif., will host a month’s tour of parishes in March; this will be the fourth time the statue has visited the diocese.
Carlone notes how the message resonated with people during the Pilgrim Virgin’s last visit in 2009.
“People do feel they can offer up their daily sacrifices in reparation using the simple prayer (they get), and know that whatever happened that day they can offer to God through Our Lady,” says Carlone. “Anytime you offer up your daily life, God grants us the graces through Our Lady to do more and more.”
He remembers how a mother and her two children came to several parishes on the tour.
At one of the last stops, the mother told him they had been looking for a miracle because the children’s father was in a coma from an accident.
“The woman told me Our Lady had done a miracle for them,” he recounts. “She already helped them to understand and accept whatever God wills. This mother was offering up her sacrifice and her reparation by going to accept God’s will.”
In Granby, Colo., Father Michael Freihofer is pastor of a parish composed of three churches: St. Ann, St. Bernard and Our Lady of the Snow. He’s the only priest in Grand County, an area larger in size than the state of Rhode Island.
Before every Sunday Mass and many weekday Masses, his whole parish joins him in prayer for the conversion of sinners. They started praying as a parish following visits of the statue in 2010.
Because the parish is in the Rocky Mountains ski area, they get up to 800 tourists a weekend. The prayer cards have changed those lives too.
“For the first eight weekends in a row, people asked, ‘Father, can I take this back to my parish in Missouri, to my parish in California?’” Father Freihofer recalls.
“To have Mary come out to all three churches is very significant,” says the pastor.
And the results speak for themselves. Not only are parishioners joining in prayer for reparation, but at least one-third of the active Catholic families have been enrolled in the brown scapular, a Fatima group has formed and meets monthly for dinner and to pray the Rosary, and a second prayer group has started.
Father Freihofer believes that “more people than ever in this mountainous Rockies area are praying the Rosary, and the people praying it already want to pray it better.”
A pilgrimage group also traveled to Fatima, where they obtained their own statue of Our Lady of Fatima that was blessed by Denver Auxiliary Bishop James Conley and now serves as the local traveling statue.
“We’re imitating what we received,” Father Freihofer notes, adding that he’s “relying on the Blessed Mother to bring more people back to church.”
The World Apostolate of Fatima daily morning offering prayer card reads: “O my Jesus, I accept and bear with submission whatever suffering God will send me today, for love of you, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”
Schedule a Visit
Please contact Bill Sockey at 814-229-1758 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org for information on scheduled tours, how to contact your local apostolate division and how to set up a visit in your area.
Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen is based in Trumbull, Connecticut.
Moscow, May 15, Interfax - A group of 60 Catholic pilgrims from the United States will arrive in Kazan, the capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan, to see the Icon of Our Lady of Kazan, which was returned by Pope John Paul II to Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II in August 2004.
The aim of the pilgrimage, organized by the American department of the International World Apostolate of Fatima, is to promote better understanding between Catholic and Orthodox believers, and all Christians, priest Mark Moretti, president of the Apostolate, said during a roundtable in Moscow on Monday.
If the event arouses interest, such pilgrimages will be carried out on a regular basis with not only U.S. citizens but Catholics from other countries invited as well, he said.
The icon of Our Lady of Kazan had spent eleven years in the papal residence before Cardinal Walter Casper brought it to Moscow and handed it to Patriarch Alexy during a divine liturgy at the Moscow Kremlin Assumption Cathedral on August 28, 2004.
After leaving Russia, the icon landed in the United States, where it remained for several decades. Orthodox believers wanted to buy it but failed to raise enough money. Later, it was bought by the Blue Army Catholic organization.
The icon was painted in the late 18th century in or near Moscow. Up to now, it's unclear where it was kept before the 1917 revolution - in a church or a private home.
VATICAN CITY, FEB. 14, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The World Apostolate of Fatima has been established as a public association of the faithful for the universal Church.
This is according to the decree presented by Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, to professor Americo Pablo Lopez Ortiz, international president of the World Apostolate of Fatima.
A public ceremony, which included a moment of prayer, was held at the Vatican dicastery on Feb. 3.
"It is with great joy that we celebrate this moment of the consignment of the decree of establishment and approval of the Statutes of the World Apostolate of Fatima," said Archbishop Rylko during the ceremony.
"It indicates the occasion when the Holy See formally and joyfully accepts a new subject which has as its goal the sanctification of its own members and the building up of the whole Church," he explained. "At the same time, the lay faithful are confirmed by the Holy See in their right to associate in order to promote a more perfect Christian life and to develop evangelizing activities throughout the whole world."
Dated on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, last Oct. 7, the decree of establishment states: "The members of the World Apostolate of Fatima, spread throughout numerous countries of the world, commit themselves to become faithful witnesses of the Catholic faith in their own families, at work, in the parishes and communities, participating in this way in the New Evangelization. …
"[C]onsidering that the WAF is a suitable instrument for the formation of the lay people through the message of Fatima in view of the new evangelization proposed by the Holy Father John Paul II and Benedict XVI […], the Pontifical Council for the Laity decrees the approval of the WAF and its statutes."
In his address to the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Lopez Ortiz described the decree as "a great blessing and at the same time a great responsibility to carry out with hope and excellence."
"Under the umbrella of the WAF, all associations and apostolic movements propagating the authentic message of Fatima may encounter an example of faithfulness and loyalty to the Holy Father and the diocesan bishops in communion with the Successor of Peter," he said.
The president of the World Apostolate of Fatima highlighted the Blessed Virgin's promise of an era of peace, a century of hope, a new Marian Pentecost, and a new spring for the world -- if there is faithfulness to her message.
"The message of Fatima is more urgent now than ever before, more actual and more essential to the present state of moral and spiritual crisis of our civilization," contended Lopez Ortiz.
The Virgin of Fatima pleaded for prayer and penance in reparation for sins and the conversion of sinners. She also requested more authentic devotion to the Eucharist, to the rosary and consecration to her Immaculate Heart.
The essential themes of the Virgin's message, in her apparitions in 1917 in Fatima, Portugal, to the three little shepherds Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, may be summarized in the need and importance of persevering and continuous prayer; the call to conversion, and urgent commitment to prayer and sacrifices for the conversion of sinners; confidence, commitment and consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the preferential way of Christian life.
Representatives from 14 countries attended the ceremony in the dicastery.
Attendees included Bishop Seraphim of Leiria-Fatima; Monsignor Luciano Guerra, rector of the Shrine of Fatima; and the former president of Italy, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. Archbishops and national leaders from five continents were also on hand.
The World Apostolate of Fatima has millions of members in some 50 countries. It was founded in the United States in 1947. Initially called the "Blue Army," its rapid expansion transformed it into a World Apostolate.
VATICAN CITY – February 15, 2006 – In a ceremony held on February 3 rd, the Pontifical Council for the Laity proclaimed a decree elevating the World Apostolate of Fatima to Public Association of the Faithful for the Catholic Church. Archbishop Stanislay Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council, presented Professor Americo Pablo Lopez-Ortiz, International President of the World Apostolate of Fatima, with the decree at the Vatican dicastery.
"Today, a new stage is unfolding in the history of the World Apostolate of Fatima as they establish stronger ties with the See of Peter. It indicates the occasion when the Holy See formally and joyfully accepts a new subject whose goal is sanctification of its own members and the strengthening of the Church as a whole,” said Msgr. Stanislaw Rylko. “At the same time, the lay faithful are confirmed by the Holy See in their right to join together for the purpose of promoting a more perfect Christian life and developing evangelization throughout the whole world."
“By the promulgation of the decree, associated work of Pope John Paul II and approval of Pope Benedict XVI, recognition of the importance of Our Lady of Fatima’s message is renewed for today’s world,” said Father Andrew Apostoli , CFR.
"Under the umbrella of the World Apostolate of Fatima, all associations and apostolic movements propagating the authentic message of Fatima shall encounter an example of faithfulness and loyalty to the Holy Father and the Diocesan Bishops in communion with the successor of Peter,” said Professor Americo Lopez Ortiz, accepting the decree. “The World Apostolate of Fatima will serve the Church as a worldwide instrument of the New Evangelization proposed by Pope John Paul II and by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI.”
“I find great joy in knowing that the formal and public recognition by the Holy See of the good works of the World Apostolate of Fatima will lead to an increase in the practice of authentic Marian devotion,” said Father Mark Moretti, President of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA / Blue Army, USA
The World Apostolate of Fatima/Blue Army has, for over 50 years, rallied people of faith from around the world to pray for help from above to find solutions to war, abortion, terrorism, genocide, child slavery, assisted suicide, and other situations. As a Public Association of the Faithful, the WAF now serves as the sole Catholic Church-approved organization responsible for the propagation of the message of Fatima and acts in the name of the Church when fulfilling its purpose.
“This is a great calling to even higher responsibility to live and spread Our Lady’s message of hope in a world that desperately needs spiritual nourishment.” said Michael La Corte , Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA / Blue Army, USA
"The Catholic Church has placed a heavy responsibility on the Apostolate to guard the purity of the message of Fatima and to propagate it into all corners of the earth," said Americo Lopez-Ortiz, President. "We undertake this mission with determination and will not rest until the Immaculate Heart of Mary prevails and peace reigns on this earth."
About World Apostolate of Fatima : As a Public Association of the Faithful, the World Apostolate of Fatima serves as the sole Catholic Church-sanctioned organization responsible for the propagation of the message of Fatima and acts in the name of the Church when fulfilling its purpose. Only a public association can receive a mission to teach Christian doctrine in the name of the Church, promote public worship or pursue a purpose which by nature is reserved to ecclesiastical authority (canon 301 §1). No other Fatima organization currently holds this status or responsibility to the Church.
The World Apostolate of Fatima is an association of the faithful that has as its general purpose the promotion of the authentic teaching of the Catholic Church and the strict adherence to the tenets of the Gospel; the personal sanctification of the adherents through faithful adherence to the message of Fatima and the promotion of the common good by the spreading of the message of Fatima . (Statutes, art. II, 1-3).
In the apparitions of 1917, the Blessed Virgin reaffirmed to the three little shepherds -Lucia dos Santos and the blessed Francisco and Jacinta Marto- the perennial Christian message of conversion, prayer and penance in reparation for sins and for the conversion of sinners, together with a more genuine devotion to the Eucharist, the devotion to the Rosary and the consecration to her Immaculate Heart.
At the same time, the World Apostolate has the specific purpose of promoting the Pledge given by each member of the World Apostolate of Fatima. (Statutes, art. II, 4). The members of the World Apostolate of Fatima, spread throughout numerous countries of the world, commit themselves to become faithful witnesses of the Catholic faith in their own families, at work, in the parishes and communities, participating in this way in the "New Evangelization".
The Second Vatican Council, together with the post-conciliar teaching, has given special attention to the new forms of aggregation of the Christian faithful and their participation in the life of the Church. Deep esteem and consideration has been shown to them (cf. Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity Apostolicam actuositatem, 18, 19 and 21; John Paul II, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, 29).
In his Apostolic Letter, Novo millennio inuente, His Holiness John Paul II wrote about the great importance of the promotion of forms of associations, whether of the more traditional kind or the newer ecclesial movements which continue to give the Church a vitality that is God's gift and a true "Springtime of the Spirit." (46).
Having examined attentively the request presented to this Dicastery, by Prof. Americo Pablo Lopez Ortiz, President of the World Apostolate of Fatima, that this association be erected as a public international association of the faithful and that its Statutes be approved;
Considering that the World Apostolate of Fatima is a suitable instrument for the formation of the lay people through the message of Fatima in view of the new evangelization proposed by the Holy Fathers John Paul II and Benedict XVI;
Valuing the commendatory letters received from many Dioceses around the world, which reflect the positive appreciation of the Bishops for the activities developed for the members of the World Apostolate of Fatima to benefit the Church;
In light of articles 131-134 of the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus for the Roman Curia and according to canon 312, § 1, 1 ° of the Code of Canon Law, the Pontifical Council for the Laity decrees:
1 °. The erection of the World Apostolate of Fatima as a public international association of the faithful, according to canons 298-320 and 327-329 of the Code of Canon Law.
2°. The approval of the Statutes of this association, duly authenticated by this Dicastery and deposited in our Archives, for a period of five years ad experimentum.
Vatican City , 7 October 2005 , Memory of the Blessed Mary Virgin of the Rosary:
Josef Clemens - Secretary
Stanislaw Rylko - President
By Lee Beadling
Catholic Star Herald
MERCHANTVILLE - The World Apostolate of Fatima, better known as the Blue Army, will hold the first meeting with its newly elected committee on June 14, at St. Peter Church, here. All parishioners in the Diocese of Camden are invited to attend and learn more about the association.
Members of the group use fasting, prayer, penance and devotions to respond to the requests made by the Blessed Mother in apparitions to three children in Fatima, Portugal, beginning in 1917. In the apparitions, the Blessed Mother asked the children, and the world, to make sacrifices, pray the rosary, and consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart.
“Pope John Paul II said, back on May 13, 1982, that the message of Fatima is addressed to every human being,” said Father Ronan B. Murphy, parochial vicar of St. Peter Church and spiritual director of the World Apostolate of Fatima in the Camden Diocese. “He said that the message is even more urgent and relevant today than it was in 1917.”
Father Murphy said the core message of Fatima is that Mary appeared to point the way to attain peace and to return to the Lord through prayer and penance. “She came down from heaven to give to us her immaculate heart as a refuge in which to take shelter and to show the road that leads us to God for our salvation and for peace.”
The World Apostolate of Fatima/Blue Army was founded in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1947 by Father Harold Colgan after he was cured of a terminal heart condition through the intercession of the Blessed Mother. Initially called the Blue Army, the name is now officially World Apostolate of Fatima since some cultures object to the word army in a spiritual reference. The apostolate has more than 20 million members worldwide.
Membership is free and gained through a spiritual pledge to the Blessed Mother promising daily sacrifices, to pray the rosary, wear the brown scapular, mediate on Mary, go to confession and Communion and to attend five consecutive first Saturday devotions.
Once the pledge has been made the new member signs a confirmation of the pledge, which is forwarded to the national headquarters in Washington, New Jersey, and then on to Portugal where it is buried near the site of the apparitions in Fatima.
“Prayer is the key fundamental activity of the World Apostolate of Fatima,” said Anne Kraft, president of the association in the diocese. “The most fundamental thing any member needs to do is set aside one hour a week for prayer.”
Members are encouraged to form prayer cells in their homes and parishes, which can split into further cells as the membership grows. Eventually, Kraft said, they encourage the groups to form their own chapter. “We could conceivably have a chapter within each parish,” she said.
“We are a very active apostolate that is in its growing stages, so there is plenty of room for everybody. For people who are already involved with the Marion organizations, this is an opportunity to rediscover the importance of fulfilling the Fatima requests.”
The World Apostolate of the Faith/Blue Army was lifted to Public Association of the Faithful status earlier this year by the Vatican. That proclamation has added special credence and attention to the association.
“It¹s very significant for us, because it recognizes us as an apostolate that speaks with ecclesiastical authority on the message of Fatima,” said Michael LaCorte, executive director of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA. “That distinguishes us significantly from all other Fatima organizations and it also distinguishes us from all other organizations in general.”
LaCorte said that only 11 other organizations share the Public Association of the Faithful designation. “This recognition was initiated by Pope John Paul II and was his way of saying to the world that the message of Fatima is important and that this is the organization one should go to in order to receive that message.”
According to LaCorte, Sister Lucia, one of the three children who saw the apparitions in 1917 and the only one to grow to adulthood, was involved with formation of the association. “Sister Lucia helped create the pledge that all Blue Army members take and was very close to this organization during its formation and afterwards,²” he said.
Msgr. William Hodge, pastor of St. Nicholas of Tolentine Church, Atlantic City, and spiritual director of the Legion of Mary for the diocese, said the World Apostolate of Fatima is different from other Marian organizations because it responds specifically to the requests of the Blessed Virgin at Fatima to fast, pray, and receive Communion worthily on five-consecutive first Saturdays in honor of Her Immaculate Heart.
He said that the message and the devotions to Fatima are, overall, a reiteration of the Gospel requests of Jesus. “The Fatima apostolate promotes the Blessed Virgin, but at the same time it is encouraging people to be ever more faithful to her divine son. She only points the way to him. She is not looking for adulation herself, but she is looking for people to be directed to him. Her last words in the Bible are, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’”
The meeting on June 14 will begin at 7 p.m. at the church rectory. Other meetings are scheduled for Sept. 13 and Dec. 6. Father Murphy said that Masses will be celebrated throughout the diocese to spread the message of Fatima. In addition, they are planning all-night vigils, talks about Fatima and renewals of the consecration to the immaculate heart of Mary at various churches. For information contact Anne Kraft at email@example.com or by phone at 609-407-0512.
Washington, NJ - July 31, 2006 - The World Apostolate of Fatima/Blue Army will hold a Rosary Congress at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, August 9th through August 15th. The prayer intention is for Life, Reparation and Peace throughout the world.
During 7 days and nights of prayer before Jesus in the Eucharist there will be Holy Mass, Adoration, Rosaries, Candlelight Eucharistic Processions, spiritual talks, quiet meditation and song.
Daily Mass is celebrated at noon and 7:30 PM each day, except on Wednesday August 9th (7:30 PM only) and Sunday August 13 (1:30 PM only). The week will include Healing Mass, Youth Mass, Holy Hours, Rosaries and Eucharistic Processions. Confession and music will begin one half hour before Mass. Music will be provided by many gifted choirs, musicians, a harpist and a trumpeter.
Time spent in Adoration is powerful. A number of hours are waiting to be filled. Many groups, families and individuals will participate and be blessed. Please consider spending an hour or two before Jesus. "Would you not watch one hour with Me?" When we join together in prayer, great things happen.
Come and experience God's protection and peace as we pray together for LIFE, REPARATION and PEACE. Some key celebrants include; Most Reverend Bishop Hughes, Father Andrew Apostoli, Monsignor Andrew Szaroleta, Father Frank Pavone, Father Halbing, Father Stan Fortuna, Father John Campoli and many others.
ST. PAUL, MN – August 15, 2006 – The World Apostolate of Fatima USA Children’s Program, “Children of the Eucharist,” will host its annual Worldwide Children’s Holy Hour at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. on Friday, October 6, 2006.
The event will be broadcast live on the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) at 10 AM (EDT), and re-broadcast in the afternoon and evening.. Irish Singer, Dana, will host the program with Father Antoine Thomas, founder of Children of Hope, which promotes Eucharistic Adoration for children, who will lead the children in prayer before the Eucharist.
The Worldwide Children’s Holy Hour has been organized annually since 2003 in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, whereby children around the world unite in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament for their families and families of the world. This year’s theme is, Mary, Queen of Families, Pray for Us! The WAF is inviting dioceses, Catholic schools, parishes and families to organize holy hours in their own locations and pray in union with those at the Shrine and around the globe.
Connie Schneider , the WAF National Chair for Children’s Programs, said the Worldwide Children’s Holy Hour is in response to the message of Our Lady of Fatima, which began with the apparitions of the Angel of Peace in 1916 to three “Little Shepherd” children.
“The ‘Angel of Peace’ as he titled himself, taught the children Eucharistic prayers as the Chalice and Host stayed suspended in air, and together they bowed low and prayed,” she said. “This was the first Children’s Holy Hour.”
National Chair of Children’s Programs
World Apostolate of Fatima , USA
September 1, 2006 – Washington , NJ – After an immensely successful first event in 2005, the World Apostolate of Fatima has finalized plans for the second annual One World Praying day. Once again, citizens of all faiths will gather to pray for Life and Peace. While some 100 million prayers were sent to heaven during the first event, one billion prayers are expected to be sent to heaven on October 8th, 2006, with the help of worldwide coverage via EWTN TV, Radio, and Internet www.ewtn.org broadcasts from 10:00 am-5:30 pm EST.
The World Apostolate of Fatima (formerly Blue Army) has, for over 50 years, rallied people of faith from around the world to pray for solutions to war, abortion, terrorism, genocide, child slavery, assisted suicide, and other atrocities. One Billion Prayers for Life and Peace follows Our Lady of Fatima’s directive to respect God’s Commandments, pray, sacrifice, and perform penance to bring about an era of peace and for the salvation of souls.
“These problems have a spiritual component and require spiritual as well as practical solutions. We will not transform from a culture that accepts death as the norm to one that cherishes life without help from above.” says Michael La Corte, Executive Director of the organization. “Our hard work coupled with the power of prayer will lead to the ultimate triumph – peace on earth! It is important to understand that people don’t have to be victims. The Message of Fatima makes clear the cause of war and the path to peace. So, for twenty minutes on one Sunday we are asking everyone to raise their hearts to heaven in humility, and ask for help from above,” La Corte continued.
Everyone is invited to visit www.wafusa.org and register a pledge to pray on October 8th for Life and Peace, those who pledge will receive the booklet “Lucia S peaks” the Message of Fatima for free. This day will be the largest day of organized prayer the world has ever seen. The World Apostolate of Fatima is reaching out to people of all faiths to help spread the news through their place of worship as well as to family, friends and any organization that would be interested in this most important movement. Events will take place worldwide; one highlight is a plan to broadcast from Kazan, Russia. Roman Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims in Kazan will pray according to their faith for the common intention of life and peace. Additionally, an International Prayer Conference will take place in Fatima October 4-8th, many thousands will pray together at the Fatima Shrine.
Dana, popular singer and major figure in the Irish Pro-Life movement, Dr. Alan Keyes and Gianna Jensen among the nations most notable Sanctity of Life Champions, will join with Dr. Sandra Keating the only American to be appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to serve on the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Muslims. Father Andrew Apostoli, one of the most recognized speakers on the message of Fatima, will address the millions of faithful. His Excellency the Most Reverend Paul G. Bootkoski, Bishop of the Diocese of Metuchen, NJ and Spiritual Advisor for the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA will serve as the main Celebrant and Homilist.
“Attendees and viewers will learn, pray, act on and spread Our Lady’s message of Hope, Peace and Salvation.” Father Mark Moretti, President of the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA remarked, “All people of faith are called to join the spiritual battle for Peace on Earth through
prayer.” Experience this event on EWTN or attend at the spiritually uplifting National Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Washington, NJ, 07882. People of all faiths are invited to attend without charge.
To learn more about spreading the message of prayer for Life and Peace on October 8, call (908-689-1700 x 18) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About World Apostolate of Fatima : As a Public Association of the Faithful, the World
Apostolate of Fatima serves as the sole Catholic Church-sanctioned organization responsible for the propagation of the message of Fatima and acts in the name of the Church when fulfilling its purpose. Only a public association can receive a mission to teach Christian doctrine in the name of the Church, promote public worship or pursue a purpose which by nature is reserved to ecclesiastical authority (canon 301 §1). No other Fatima organization currently holds this status or responsibility to the Church.
ROME, DEC. 3, 2006 Zenit.org - Pope John Paul II visited the shrine of Fatima three times, and the rector of the pilgrimage site hopes that Benedict XVI will visit as soon as next year.
In this interview with ZENIT, Father Luciano Guerra, rector of the shrine since 1973, speaks of the new challenges facing the pilgrimage site, and his hopes for a papal visit.
Q: What has been your experience as rector of the Fatima Shrine for more than 30 years?
Father Guerra: The experience has been very positive. Fatima is a place where one scarcely notices a crisis. Today there is an atmosphere of crisis in the civil and religious world. At Fatima, we virtually have no crisis. The number of pilgrims has increased and I think it will continue to do so. Therefore, it is a really positive experience and I thank God for it.
Q: And in regard to the relationship with pilgrims?
Father Guerra: As priests, we are in constant contact with pilgrims. It is lovely to see how pilgrims like Fatima because of the environment and because they have the possibility of living intense times of prayer, so they return many times. We have foreign pilgrims who have returned to Fatima dozens of times because they feel well here and rarely there is a serious complaint. Obviously, there are also defects and difficulties, but the pilgrims' reactions are very positive.
Q: Many faithful go to the shrine who no longer attend the Sunday Eucharist. Can we understand this fact as a search for spirituality?
Father Guerra: Indeed it is. They are people who have abandoned their commitment to the Church for historical or other reasons, but I am convinced that as people leave the Church they also begin to realize their loneliness. They are without the protection of an institution that has as its main motto to honor and glorify God and to work for salvation from all the human being's points of view.
I think that a place of pilgrimage is a place where a person not only satisfies a personal desire for relationship with God, but ends up by perceiving that communion with brothers is essential, and that without it there cannot be true religion.
Q: Our Lady of Fatima is known throughout the world. What is the present importance of the Fatima message for the Church and the world?
Father Guerra: Its timeliness is revealed precisely in the interest that people manifest in Fatima. Of course there is a general interest that comes from the fact that Our Lady appeared there in modern times. All that is entailed in a supernatural apparition is a rejuvenation of the faith starting from its own foundations, namely, the existence of God, of Our Lady, the place of Jesus Christ. Moreover, there is the fact that God is with us and manifests his love for us.
I think this is the main and fundamental reason of the Fatima message. It is God. Those who are really convinced that Fatima is true, are convinced that God exists. Once we are convinced that God exists, as St. Teresa would say: "God alone suffices!"
Q: John Paul II visited the Fatima shrine three times: in 1982, 1991 and 2000. In your opinion, what was the contribution of John Paul II's visits to the shrine?
Father Guerra: I think the main contribution was above all his having carried out the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary together with the bishops of the world, as he was asked from the point of view of the message. Then it was his profound conviction that he was really saved by Our Lady's intervention, given that it was on May 13, the day of Our Lady's invocation.
Once again we return to the experience, to the awareness of the presence of God in our lives. John Paul II was consistent in his manifestation of a great love for Fatima because he was convinced that Our Lady wished to manifest to him, with the force of the message, with the force of her presence in Fatima, that she was beside him.
Q: Looking at the future, what activities and projects do you have in mind?
Father Guerra: I don't have any long-term plans. I think the main plan is to continue to receive pilgrims adequately. It is true that pilgrims are increasingly sensitive to climates and environments of prayer and silence. As we make a great appeal to adoration of the Most Blessed Trinity, in addition of course to Marian devotion and worship of the Most Holy Eucharist, I think that the future of the shrine lies in encouraging pilgrims to be ever more recollected in adoration of God, of the Most Holy Eucharist and of the Most Blessed Trinity. Therefore, it means emphasis on formation and essential expression of the faith.
Q: In the area of social communication, is the shrine's magazine The Voice of Fatima now known? Do you think this is an important means to make the shrine known?
Father Guerra: We have never been very strong in the area of social communication. We also have a Web page which we intend to nourish. I think it is one of the factors that the shrine must resolve in the future.
Today the means of social communication are essential, despite the fact of knowing that there might be a risk of alienation on our part. I think we must always seek our neighbor, and the person who could come into contact with us through a means of social communication is a very relative neighbor.
Therefore, the Church must attempt to form communities of people that live near one another, and can express their community experience and Christ's action in them. In any case, above all from the point of view of pre-evangelization, for a proclamation capable of awakening a certain interest and sympathy, I think that the means of communication are, in fact, important.
Q: What are your thoughts on Benedict XVI's relationship with the Fatima shrine?
Father Guerra: Without a doubt, he has a very great relationship with the shrine. Not only because he has visited prior to being Pope, but also because he wrote that commentary [cf. "Theological Commentary to the Third Secret of Fatima," by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, edn]. It was not a decision of little value, even admitting that it was requested by John Paul II.
I frankly hope that Benedict XVI will go to Fatima. I would very much like him to go as early as next year for the inauguration of the church of the Most Holy Trinity and, if possible, for the canonization of the children.