A year and half ago, my Pastor came to me and asked to get more information about the possibility of having the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima present at our parish. We found out about it initially through one of our parishioners. After some quick research and speaking to the Centennial Coordinator, Katie Moran, we decided to book the statue to visit our parish on October 8.
After months of coordinating over the phone and through email, the Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima arrived at the parish that I work at here in Arizona – Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church. To say it was a glorious day, would be an understatement! I have received a few acclamations already from parishioners thanking us for bringing the beautiful image of Our Lady of Fatima to the parish.
We were blessed to have the statue arrive mid-morning just in time for our last morning Mass (this was scheduled already), where we were equally blessed to have the Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix, Thomas J. Olmsted. Bishop Olmsted, present as well. He was invited out to the parish by my Pastor for Mass because the statue was visiting this day as well as to hear our teenage choral group, the Schola Justiciae. Listening to teenagers between the grades of 8-12 sing beautiful sacred music gives me great hope for the Catholic Church here in this particular diocese.
As Mass began, the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus led the procession followed by four Third Degree Knights who carried in the statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Following them was my committee who carried flowers/roses, the parishioners who assisted me a in variety of ways to make this visit a special one. Behind us was the entrance procession made up of altar servers, Deacons, Priests, and Bishop Olmsted. One of the great highlights of the Sacred Liturgy, besides receiving Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist, was when Bishop Olmstead consecrated the parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. After Mass concluded, many of the parishioners stayed behind to pray and venerate the statue.
At 7:00pm we had a dedicated procession and prayer service for anyone that wished to attend. We estimated around 350-400 people attended, with nearly 200 people being invested with the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. As someone who has worn the Brown Scapular, and has written on in the past, I found the investiture to be very moving and glad we promoted it as we did during the weeks leading up to the visit. Along with the investiture, we had a talk from the custodian, Patrick Sabat, about the history of the statue and saying “Yes” to Mary and Jesus today, a Marian consecration and a Holy Rosary, both which were led by our Pastor. Parishioners were asked to lead one of the five decades of the Glorious Mysteries.
When the prayer service concluded, with assistance of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, we moved the statue to our perpetual adoration chapel for the rest of the night where it remained until 7:00am this morning. As I said above, it was an incredible and blessed day not only for the Diocese of Phoenix, but most especially for our parish. It was one of the highlights this year here at St. Mary Magdalene.
Thank you most especially to Katie Moran and Patrick Sabat for your dedication to Our Lady and the World Apostolate of Fatima.
Our Lady of Fatima…Pray for Us