Sacred Heart Parish celebrates 100th Fatima anniversary

Tue, Apr 25th 2017 08:00 am

BOWMANSVILLE — Sacred Heart Parish will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady's appearance to three shepherd children, Lúcia Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto, in Fatima, Portugal, as she pleaded with them to pray for peace and "poor souls who have no one to pray for them."

During May through October, Sacred Heart Parish has several events scheduled. In honor of this special anniversary, it will be hosting a special Mass, followed by the rosary and mediations on the 13th of every month at 7 p.m., from May through October. The one exception will be on the 19th of August at 7 p.m.  First Friday and First Saturday Masses will be held at 8:30 a.m. each day, with overnight adoration between them. The rosary will be prayed daily at 7 p.m.

During this 100th anniversary year, the faithful are also being offered three ways to obtain a plenary indulgence. In addition to these, the faithful must fulfill the ordinary conditions, which are to go to confession and Communion, be interiorly detached from sin, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

The first way is for "the faithful to make a pilgrimage to the Fatima Shrine in Portugal and participate in a celebration or prayer dedicated to the Virgin." In addition, the faithful are to pray the Our Father, recite the Creed, and invoke the Mother of God.

The second is to pray before any statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Those who are seeking an indulgence must also pray an Our Father, recite the Creed and invoke Our Lady of Fatima.

Finally, the third way to obtain a plenary indulgence applies to people who, because of age, illness or other serious cause, are unable to get around. These individuals can pray in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima and must spiritually unite themselves to the jubilee celebrations on the days of the apparitions, the 13th of each month, between May and October.

Celebrating this event is an opportunity to reflect deeply on the messages of Our Lady of Fatima. Are you spiritually prepared to receive all the graces and blessings that are available to you? Are you ready to pray for peace, reparation for sinners, and to give thanks for blessings we have all received?

This a great opportunity to be present before one of the first statues made of Our Lady of Fatima. When Father Robert Zilliox became pastor at Sacred Heart Parish last year, little did he know that he was entering the home of one of the very first statues ever made of Our Lady of Fatima. José Thedim, reflecting the precise instructions of Sister Lucia, sculpted it in 1947.

Father Earl Kleis, pastor of Sacred Heart in 1947, visited the famous sculptor in Portugal. Impressed by Father Kleis' devotion, the sculptor offered him the statue.  Upon his return to Bowmansville, the men of the Edward J. Bastian Post of the Catholic War Veterans offered to raise money for the cost of shipping.

Bishop John O'Hara crowned the statue in 1948 when it arrived in Bowmansville. After this, it was processed from Sacred Heart to St. Mary Parish in Lancaster and back, with a crowd praying the rosary.  Since then, the statue has resided at the side altar in Sacred Heart and will be available for public prayer.   

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