Marian presentation at Stonehill College to close out Fatima centennial


By Kenneth J. Souza
Anchor Staff
kensouza@anchornews.org

EASTON, Mass. — As the centennial observance of the 1917 apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima draws to a close, a special Marian presentation is being planned for October 7 at Stonehill College in Easton.

Sponsored by the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate — one of the orders ministering in the Fall River Diocese at Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford — the day-long program entitled “The Promise and Our Part in the Plan” is designed as a follow-up to “The Warning and Our Plan for Peace” event previously held on May 13 in Bloomington, Ind.

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“The two events — May 13 and October 7 — are intended as ‘bookends’ of the centennial of the Fatima apparitions, and while each is independent and integral, they were designed to be complementary,” explained Friar John Mary, F.I., one of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate serving Our Lady’s Chapel and the program director for its companion radio station, Radio CorMariae.

“The earlier event focused on the prophetic aspect of Our Lady’s warning to humanity to ‘stop offending God,’ or incur catastrophic consequences, while presenting the solution that Our Lady offered: her ‘peace plan from Heaven,’” he said. “The October event, as the title indicates, focuses more on the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart and again brings attention to the practical program of Spiritual life given in the Fatima message: the means by which each of the faithful can personally help bring about real and lasting Christian peace.” 

A full-day Marian evangelization event, “The Promise and Our Part in the Plan” will focus on the integral message of Fatima — Our Lady’s invitation to live the Gospel today. It can best be described as a review and pastoral interpretation of the Fatima message that the Blessed Mother first imparted to three Portuguese shepherd children in the tiny village of Fatima a century ago.

The program will offer instruction regarding the promised “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart” and Our Lady’s “Peace Plan” — which can be hastened or delayed according to the faithfulness of our response to her requests.

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions and the prodigious “Miracle of the Sun,” the day will commence at 8 a.m. and run through 5 p.m. in the Martin Auditorium at Stonehill College. Activities will include the celebration of Holy Mass and four talks given by prominent Marian evangelists — Father Elias Mills, rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisc.; Msgr. Arthur Calkins, member of the Pontifical International Marian Academy; Father Bill Casey, member of the Congregation of the Fathers of Mercy; and Steve Dawson, author and founder of St. Paul Street Evangelization.

Father Mills will discuss “Consecration: The Heart of the Message,” during which he will explain how consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is at the heart of the Fatima message, as Heaven’s program for the Salvation of souls and the catalyst for world peace.

Author of the best-selling work, “Totus Tuus: Pope John Paul II’s Program of Marian Consecration and Entrustment,” Msgr. Calkins will present “The Role of St. Joseph in the Church since 1917.” He will focus on the prophetic dimension of the apparition of St. Joseph to the Fatima seers on Oct. 13, 1917, during the famous “Miracle of the Sun” event. His talk will also examine two recent approved apparitions of St. Joseph.

“I believe that Fatima really does bear the imprint of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, even if obviously if we think readily of Mary’s Immaculate Heart because of the way she revealed herself at Fatima,” Msgr. Calkins said during his presentation in May. “If the call was great 100 years ago, I think it is much greater today.”

A frequent guest on EWTN, Father Casey will discuss “The Rosary: The Invincible Weapon,” during which he will reflect on the victory of the Holy Rosary and argue that by taking up our Rosary, the impossible becomes possible.

“My brothers and sisters, you must know that we are living in historic times for the Church and for the whole world,” Father Casey said in May. “In October of this year, we’re going to observe the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s final apparition and the ‘Miracle of the Sun.’ We’re going to observe the 100th anniversary of Red October — the start of the communist revolution in Russia, the spread of organized militant atheism all over the world, which in the past century has resulted in the deaths of an estimated 90 million people worldwide.”

A revert to the Catholic faith, Dawson will focus on “Practical Evangelization with Our Lady of Fatima” and will discuss ways to evangelize and catechize using the Fatima message as an example of the many principles of Christian doctrine.

After the Spiritually-challenging events of the day, participants will conclude the Fatima centennial with a more relaxing evening program of dinner and entertainment, from 6 to 9 p.m., situated in Stonehill College’s beautiful Pettit Atrium. The optional social hour from 5 to 6 p.m. will also offer a chance to mingle with speakers and other guests before sitting down to a served dinner, followed by dessert, coffee, and inspiring music for the soul.

Evening performances will include a unique “Musical Celebration of Mary” featuring Catholic country artist Randy Albright and three classically-trained sisters collectively known as The Cloutier Trio.

A veteran Nashville performer and songwriter who has been called “the Johnny Cash of Catholic Music,” Randy Albright’s songs have been performed by legendary country artists like Vince Gill, Alabama, Faith Hill, and Alan Jackson. He now devotes his time and talent to writing and singing songs for the greater glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and in service to the Church.

Albright is best known for his song “Mary Said Yes” and his well-known Pro-Life video “Let Me Live,” both of which have been presented on EWTN and Catholic radio and performed at Pro-Life gatherings around the country.

Having been adopted into a Polish-American Catholic family after his unwed mother gave him up for adoption, Albright wanted to be raised Catholic.

“Because I grew up with a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and being told that I was adopted through St. Ann’s Orphanage, I always saw the Blessed Virgin as my Heavenly mother and St. Ann as my Heavenly grandmother,” Albright said in an interview.

The three home-schooled sisters that comprise The Cloutier Trio — Maude, 14; Mara, 12; and Marianne, nine — will add a touch of classical culture to the evening with a performance of inspired chamber music pieces from the masters.

All those who attend “The Promise and Our Part in the Plan” will have the opportunity to earn the Fatima plenary indulgence as approved by Pope Francis, while fulfilling First Saturday devotions with Rosary, Eucharistic Benediction and Confessions.

Tickets are now available for the day session, including lunch ($49); evening program, including dinner ($59); and discounted full-day tickets for just $89 and can be purchased online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3052076. For more event details, visit www.livingfatima.com/october7.


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