The Pastor’s Corner
Dear Sacred Heart Family,
We are approaching the 100th anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, next month on October 13th Over 70,000 people witnessed the miracle of the sun including people miles away from the apparition site. For six months prior to this event, three young children claimed to have been visited by the Mother of God. What seemed like a series of unusual, isolated events, in a remote Portuguese hamlet, would have profound implications for the world, the future, and possibly ourselves. Through Saint John Paul II, the Church and the world heard the call to repentance and conversion which the Mother of God entrusted to these simple, young shepherds. Our Blessed Mother has been given power by God to encourage, protect and help us in all things, leading us closer to Our Savior, Jesus Christ.
There are three practical “gifts” from Our Lady to enlist the Blessed Mother’s assistance as we seek to know and love Jesus better. I suggest these three presents which can help us: 1) “Unpack” 33 Days to Morning Glory, 2) “Unpack” the message of Fatima, and 3) “Unpack” the beautiful prayers taught by Our Lady at Fatima. I ask your permission to briefly “unpack” these together.
First: 33 Days to Morning Glory. We ordered 500 copies of this book to present as a gift to interested families two weeks ago. I was concerned how these would be received. They were received well. All 500 copies went out by the 11:15 Mass. We have ordered more and they will be available soon. While I initially suggested aiming for October 13th as a date to make or renew your entrustment to Our Lady, it’s only one of many, many special days of Marian Feasts you might choose. Another would be December 8th (the Immaculate Conception) or December 12th (Our Lady of Guadalupe). A great resource to unpack this teaching is to use our parish account online atFORMED.org which is like Catholic Netflix. FORMED is a streaming web service where you can discover edifying media: movies, documentaries, Bible Studies, audio books, teaching and more, at your convenience. Fr. Michael Gately, the author of 33 Days to Morning Glory, has videos and downloads available to accompany your personal retreat as you read the book. Form a small group and use a leader guide, or download a study guide. Watch the six videos including an introduction, a video for each of the four weeks, and a final prep video leading up to the consecration. For those interested, log onto FORMED.org and register using our parish access code: N26FYP which you use along with your own personal email address to make an account for free.
Second: History! The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) has a wonderful and comprehensive website about the centenary of the Fatima Apparitions. Please visithttps://www.ewtn.com/fatima/ to experience a wonderful introduction to the history, message, and potential of Fatima to affect your life.
Third: The prayers taught to the children at Fatima. Many people today are familiar with a prayer we often recite at the end of a decade of the Rosary: “Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy Mercy.” Our Lady requested that this prayer be included after each decade of the Rosary. This prayer is fairly well-known and used throughout the world today. However, the visionaries at Fatima were taught several additional prayers as well. Today I would like to highlight the first one, known as the “Pardon Prayer.” In the spring of 1916, an angel appeared to them and identified himself as “the Guardian Angel of Portugal”. He asked them to pray as follows: “My God, I believe, I adore, I trust, and I love Thee! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not trust, and do not love Thee.”
Perhaps this week, unpacking one of these gifts-FORMED materials, Fatima history, and prayer for others could help us discover Our Lady’s powerful answer to the challenges each of us face today. May God bless you!
In Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart,
Fr. Bjorn Lundberg
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From the Catholic Diocese of Arlington
Acquire all the virtues you wish you had.