By Christine Bordelon
Several local events in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s appearances in Fatima, Portugal, in 1917, to shepherd children Francisco and Jacinta Marto and their cousin Lucy dos Santos are scheduled throughout the archdiocese.
At St. Francis Xavier in Metairie – home to a replica of an original Our Lady of the Holy Rosary of Fatima statue given in 1948 by parishioner, Louis Carvalho, who was then Portuguese consul in New Orleans – there will be a talk by Father Chad Partain, the Diocese of Alexandria’s chancellor, on “Fatima: 100 Years Later,” Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. Father Partain is pastor at St. Frances Cabrini Church in Alexandria and director of Children of Mary.
St. Francis’ Fatima statue will be on the altar during the talk, and there will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a rosary recitation, benediction and reception.
Rick Redmann, past grand knight of St. Francis’ Knights of Columbus, will introduce Father Partain. He said the Knights first met Father Partain earlier this year when he spoke on the Fatima centennial at their annual retreat. This sparked an interest in Fatima and spurred the Knights to coordinate several parish events surrounding the centennial. The Knights have led the parish’s ongoing first Saturday rosary at their statue since June, and will continue Sept. 3 and Oct. 7 after the 8 a.m. Mass. A rosary held Thursdays at 6 p.m. also is coordinated weekly by the Friends of Deacon Ed Coudrain.
“Mary wants you to pray for five first Saturdays for the reparation of sins of the world,” Redmann said.
Background on Fatima
According to Fatima.org, when the Blessed Mother first appeared to the children in 1917 on the 13th of the month from March to October, she emphasized the need to pray the rosary daily, to wear the brown scapular of Mount Carmel, make sacrifices and amend for wrong doing.
She also introduced the “Five First Saturdays” devotion which Lucy, who became Carmelite Sister Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart, promulgated until her death at age 97 in 2005. Sister Maria Lucia was the longest-living seer; her cousins died within three years of the apparitions. Mary “promised that heaven would grant peace to all the world if her requests for prayer, reparation and consecration were heard and obeyed,” Fatima.org stated.
The International Centennial Pilgrim Image, a statue of the Immaculate Heart of Mary entrusted to the Alliance of the Holy Family International and Human Life International Austria by Pope Francis, will be in New Orleans for 10 days from Sept. 15-24.
It is one of six Fatima statues – one for each continent (Europe and Asia are considered Eurasia) – blessed by Pope Francis in Rome on Jan. 11, 2017, for veneration worldwide during the centennial of the Fatima appearances. Pope Francis declared the Fatima centennial a jubilee year – from Nov. 27, 2016-Nov. 26, 2017 – with a plenary indulgence granted to those who fulfill guidelines during this anniversary.
Father Bing Arellano, spiritual director of the Alliance of the Holy Family International, said Pope Francis was asked to send these images around the world “with an appeal to pray and offer reparation for the intentions of world peace and the sanctity of family life,” according to the Human Life International website (hli.org).
Missionaries from the Alliance of the Holy Family accompany the statue at each stop and explain the significance of the brown scapular of Mount Carmel and pray the rosary, organizers said.
Stops in archdiocese
The Centennial Pilgrim statue visits the northshore first Sept. 15, at Our Lady of the Lake for a 9 a.m. Mass, then adoration until 11 a.m. It goes to St. John of the Cross in Lacombe at 5 p.m. through Sept. 16; then to Sacred Heart Church in Lacombe with an all-night vigil through Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. The statue will travel to New Orleans, at Mater Dolorosa Sept. 17 at 4:30 p.m. On Sept. 18, it goes to St. Ann and then St. Catherine of Siena in Metairie.
Other stops: Sept. 19 at Good Shepherd Parish with Eucharistic adoration at 4:45 p.m., a 6 p.m. Mass and rosary at 7 p.m.; Sept. 20 at the Louisiana Priests’ Convention; Sept. 21 at Mount Carmel Academy from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., and from 5-11 p.m. at Tulane University’s Catholic Life Center; Sept. 22 from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. at Brother Martin; Sept. 23 at St. Anthony and also St. Joseph churches in Gretna; then Sept. 24 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in New Orleans.
St. Louis King of France’s Knights of Columbus Council 4663 has arranged an afternoon of prayerful encounter with Mary with a Lourdes Virtual Pilgrimage Experience Oct. 7 from 1-4 p.m., with a Mass at 4 p.m. Lourdes water, a grotto rock, a Marian rosary procession and eucharistic blessing are included in this event by the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospitality North American Volunteers (www.lourdesvolunteers.org).
The Fatima celebration continues at St. Francis Xavier with students conducting a living rosary at the statue Oct. 6 at 9:15 a.m., and the parish is holding its annual Fatima procession on the Saturday closest to Oct. 13 in conjunction with a worldwide Fatima celebration. Parishioner Wayne Zeringue, who has been involved in maintaining the St. Francis Fatima statue and helped in its recent restoration when it moved to the new church, said this date is significant because it marks Mary’s answer to the three children that she was the Blessed Virgin by creating the miracle of the “Dancing of the Sun” on Oct. 13, 1917.
This year’s rosary march will be Oct. 14 at noon, led by St. Francis’ Knights of Columbus and Daughters of Isabella. The Knights proposed route: carrying the statue from the church, down Metairie Road and back. The rosary will be recited in church for those who can’t walk the procession. A reception will follow.
Christine Bordelon can be reached at email@example.com.
OUR LADY OF FATIMA
CENTENNIAL PILGRIM STATUE
- Sept. 15: Arrival at Our Lady of the Lake, 312 Lafitte St., Mandeville, for 9 a.m. Mass with school children, followed by adoration until 11 a.m. Then 5 p.m. arrival, adoration at St. John of the Cross, Lacombe, with rosary and concert; 7 p.m. Mass; adoration until 10 p.m. benediction.
- Sept. 16: Adoration continues at St. John of the Cross at 7 a.m. and after 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Masses with processions. Outdoor procession at 4 p.m.; Mass at 5 p.m. At 7 p.m., Mass with procession at Sacred Heart Church, 28088 Main St., Lacombe, followed by adoration.
- Sept. 17: 8 a.m. Mass followed by rosary; 10 a.m. Mass followed by outdoor procession at Sacred Heart with rosary, choir. Adoration until 3 p.m. Then statue arrives at Mater Dolorosa, 8128 Plum St., New Orleans, for 4:30 p.m. adoration; Mass and procession at 5:30 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 18: 2 p.m. adoration with school children; open to public 3-4 p.m. at St. Ann Church and Shrine, 3601 Transcontinental Drive, Metairie. Then 5 p.m. arrival to St. Catherine of Siena Church, 105 Bonnabel Blvd., Metairie; 6 p.m. Mass with procession followed by rosary prayer service for Father Ronald Calkins; adoration to 9 p.m.
- Sept. 19: Arrival at Good Shepherd Parish, 1025 Napoleon Ave., New Orleans, noon Fatima statue adoration; 4:45 p.m. Eucharistic adoration; 6 p.m. Mass followed by rosary. Church closes at 8:30 p.m.
- Sept. 20: All day, Louisiana Priests’ Convention, Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St., New Orleans.
- Sept. 21: 8 a.m.-3 p.m., Mount Carmel Academy high school, 7027 Milne Blvd., New Orleans. Then, 7-10 p.m. at St. Joseph Church on Tulane Avenue in New Orleans, with outdoor procession at 7 p.m., rosary and confession at 8 p.m. and Mass at 8:30 p.m. St.
- Sept. 22: 7 a.m.-3 p.m., Brother Martin High School Chapel, 4401 Elysian Fields Ave., New Orleans. Adoration and education for students.
- Sept. 23: 7:30 a.m. adoration and rosary, St. Anthony Church, 924 Monroe St., Gretna; 8:30 a.m. Mass, procession; 10:30 a.m. arrival at St. Joseph Church, 610 Sixth St., Gretna, for adoration; Noon Mass and procession and 4 p.m. Mass.
- Sept. 24: Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 411 N. Rampart St., New Orleans, Mass, procession, rosary, confession at 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Spanish Mass and procession at 1:30 p.m. Adoration and rosary from 3:30-5 p.m.