Not content with praying in private, a growing number of brave Catholics are committed to proclaiming the Fatima message and their Catholic Faith in the streets and public venues throughout America.
On Saturday, October 16, 2010, America Needs Fatima's (ANF) successfully carried out nearly 6,000 Rosary rallies all over America including far-off Alaska, Hawaii and Guam.
Thanks to the zealous efforts of Rosary captains around the nation, thousands of faithful Catholics armed with their rosaries and banners trooped to the public square to pray for America's conversion and heed the message of Our Lady of Fatima.
The response to America Needs Fatima's 2010 campaign is nothing short of outstanding!
Not only did America Needs Fatima successfully reach this year's goal of 5,000 rallies, it far exceeded expectations and almost hit the 6000 mark (5, 963 to be exact.) topping last year's 4, 337 rallies. Once again, throngs of Catholic faithful proudly displayed their Faith on their chests as they publicly recited the Rosary for all to see.
Initial reports and reactions
In Buffalo, NY, about 40 sisters gathered on a sunny Saturday afternoon outside the Felician Motherhouse on Doat Street to pray for the nation's leaders as they tackle the myriad dilemmas facing the country. Sister Henriella Kakol explains, "America needs Fatima to make atonement and reparation. We come to pray the Rosary, to heed Mary's call, to give praise to God for all those that don't, and seek his pardon and our conversion." 1
The Rev. James Grady, pastor of St. Landry Catholic Church, led about 90 of the faithful Saturday in reciting the Rosary at noon on the St. Landry Parish Courthouse Square in Opelousas, LA. First-time rally attendee, Virval Bradley, comments, "I just felt a calling to be here. I belong to a Rosary group and my entire Rosary group is here. I just felt like I needed to be here." 2
In Leesburg, VA, Rosary captains Stan and Mary Theriault organized an impressive gathering of 300-400 people at the Loudon Country Courthouse grounds. Local police helped coordinate the event by rerouting traffic and blocking off certain areas of downtown Leesburg. After Mass at the local Catholic Church, participants walked much like in a procession to the rally grounds. The event was capped by an offering of 200 roses at the feet of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima brought to the venue by ANF members.
Coral Gables, FL local ANF supporter Sergio de Paz reports, "For the last four years, Our Lady has been blessing Miami with an increase in Public Rosary Rallies as well as a much greater number of participants, with greater exposure… Exuberant young parents with their children, prayed for America and the future of their children. Our Lady could not have picked a better group, they all went home full of graces and hope."
Fond Du Lac, WI's first Our Lady of Fatima Public Square Rosary Rally drew a crowd of about 100 participants. They offered their prayers "to beg God to save America from today's immorality and secularism," as
handouts state. "It's public reparation for the sins of the world," said Julie Petersen, Fond du Lac's Rosary Rally Captain. 3
Spurring and inspiring others to act
In an increasingly secularized atmosphere that pushes religious expression out of the public square, one could only imagine the effects these Rosary rallies have on the average passerby or onlooker and even the participants themselves. More importantly, one can never underestimate the inner workings of grace engendered by these acts.
A moving example is that of one woman (Kathy Worboys of Honeoye Falls, NY) who chanced upon a magazine article in her parish church regarding public Rosary rallies, a subject that's quite new to her. Looking more closely at the article the following week, she noticed a picture of a banner accompanying the article that said, "As human efforts fail to solve America's key problems, we turn to God, through His Holy Mother, asking His urgent help." Those words captivated and inspired her. She resolved to become a Rosary captain and organize a Rosary rally herself. 4
A case of a collapsed disc caused by a speed bump didn't slow down or dampen the spirit of one ANF volunteer (Mary Ellen Piel of Kansas). In spite of the mishap, she successfully recruited a friend to become a Rosary captain while talking over the phone in her hospital bed!
And talk about determination. A daughter's due date (which would be on October 16, 2010) of one new Rosary captain didn't faze his resolve to proceed with the rally. He plans to hold the rally at the hospital instead should that happen.
Touching God to act through prayer
St Alphonsus once said, "I never feel more confident of my salvation than when I pray." If this is true on the individual level, how much more effective would it be on a collective level? Isn't it true that we gain more indulgences when we pray the Rosary in a family group or a religious community?
Behold America's ills are before us: abortion, drug abuse, divorce and the breakdown of the family, pornography, blasphemies, increased crime, etc. Now the homosexual agenda pull all the stops to promote and legalize homosexual marriage! Where will this continuing moral decline lead America?
Aren't these enough reasons for Americans to elevate their voices in unison to the Throne of God so that more souls would convert and amend their lives?
Now more than ever, we need a Public Rosary Crusade to move God to save our nation!
The Rosary is the great weapon of the Twenty-First Century as in centuries past
There are many benefits that could be gained by praying the Rosary and these are amply covered and expounded in many pious books. But much closer to home, Sister Lucy had this to say in a 1957 interview she gave to Father Augustín Fuentes, postulator of the cause of beatification for the seers of Fatima, Francisco and Jacinta at that time. She said, "The last means that God will give to the world for its salvation are the Holy Rosary and My Immaculate Heart… Father, with the new efficacy Our Lady has given to the Rosary, there is no problem in the life of anyone which cannot be solved by frequently praying the Rosary." 5
Support from the hierarchy
Since their inception, these rallies have found support from both bishops and clergy alike.
This year, Guam's archbishop Anthony Sablan Apuron, added his stamp of approval as he addressed his pastors and rectors in a letter of Wednesday, October 6.
"In solidarity with AMERICA NEEDS FATIMA, I request that on Saturday, October 16, 2010 … the Rosary be prayed at 12 noon in your parish." Archbishop Anthony explained that AMERICA NEEDS FATIMA's goal is to "win the heart and soul of America for Mary by spreading Our Lady's Fatima message and promoting devotion to Her Immaculate Heart."
Monthly Rosary Rallies – the next step?
After the 2010 Public Square Rosary Crusade on Saturday, some captains have decided that the rallies need to be done more frequently. One example is Rally Captain, Barbara Renner from Littlestown, PA. She had a small rally on the 16th, but has already planned another for November 13th.
America Needs Fatima hopes and prays that all those captains who are inspired by Our Lady to do monthly rallies, will actually be able to carry out this important work, so more acts of public reparation and prayer
could be offered to God in face of an ever increasing sinful and pagan culture corroding today's society.
It is to heed and console Our Lady who told Sister Lucia at Fatima on the apparition of October 13, 1917 that, "'Let them offend Our Lord no more, for He is already much offended."
2011 Public Square Rosary Crusade
Some are already asking about the 2011 Public Square Rosary Crusade on Saturday.
Yes, by the grace and guidance of Our Lady, we will hold next year's Rosary crusade on Saturday, October 15, at noon local time. Our goal is 7,000 rallies, 1,037 more than this year.
Is this too big of a step forward?
Perhaps. But we do not hope in our own abilities to reach the goal of 7,000 rallies. We only look to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, for inspiration, courage and dedication to accomplish this lofty mission. She has brought us all this way. She will bring us to the successful accomplishment of the 2011 Rosary Crusade.
Ed Graveline, Rally Captain from Las Vegas, said it so well:
"All in all, it was a wonderful day to pray a public Rosary, so that all will know that it will be through the Immaculate Heart of Mary that the victory will come."
That is similar to the message that Our Lady gave the world on September 13, 1917, when She said:
"In October, I will perform a miracle so that all may believe."
And you can be part of that host of Rally Captains who echo faith in the Fatima message, so that America and the world will indeed be able to see and believe in the saving message of Our Lady. While there is still time!
You can already sign up to be a Rally Captain in 2011 by filling out the advance registration form on the website of America Needs Fatima at:
McCarthy, Robert J., "Rallying For America," BuffaloNews.com, October 17, 2010, http://www.buffalonews.com/city/article222400.ece [back to text]
Bastien, Judy, "Faithful Garther For Fatima," Daily World, October 17, 2010, http://www.dailyworld.com/article/20101017/NEWS01/10170324 [back to text]
Roznik, Sharon, "Public Prays For Peace," fdlreporter.com, http://www.fdlreporter.com/article/20101018/FON0101/10180383/Public-prays-for-peace [back to text]
Smith, Justine, "Honeoye Falls Woman Plans Public Rosary Rally," Catholic Courier, August 16, 2010, http://www.catholiccourier.com/cc/index.cfm/regional-life/livingston/news/honeoye-falls-woman-plans-public-Rosary-rally/ [back to text]
Fr. Fuentes Conference (on Sr. Lucy's message entrusted to him on Dec. 26, 1957) was originally published in "HACIA LOS ALTARES" in October, 1958, with the Ecclesiastical approbation of Don Manuel Anselmo Sanchez, Vicar General of Vera Cruz containing all the facts stated in the Conference in even fuller detail. The English translation of Fr. Fuentes May, 22nd, 1958 historic Conference was published in a newspaper called Fatima Findings (Vol. XIV, No. 2) in June of 1959, under the title, A Recent Interview of Sister Lucy of Fatima. [back to text]