St. Joseph celebrates 100 year anniversary of Fatima with Rosary rallies

Two public rosary rallies with over a hundred participants were held in St. Joseph on Saturday, Oct. 14, as part of the America Needs Fatima Campaign in order to inspire people to pray the rosary. Despite the rainy weather, participants at LeBlond High School publicly prayed outside. (photo – Sara Kraft)

By Sara Kraft

“A hundred years ago, it was raining just like today,” stated Deacon Marcelino Canchola to those gathered to celebrate the one-hundred-year anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima’s appearance. “Seventy thousand believers in a small rural village wanted to see the miracle (of Our Lady of Fatima’s appearance) for themselves.”

On October 14, the closest Saturday to the October 13 anniversary, two rosary rallies were held in St. Joseph as part of the America Needs Fatima campaign.

The St. Joseph rallies were two of the 21,570 rosary rallies being held throughout the United States through the America Needs Fatima campaign. Additionally, South Africa hosted 683 rosary rallies and Canada hosted 533 rosary rallies, along with hundreds of sister rallies in other nations such as Poland, Ireland, Belgium, Australia and Cuba. The purpose of the rallies was to inspire others to pray the rosary every day. The America Needs Fatima campaign seeks to capture the heart and soul of America by spreading the Message of Our Lady of Fatima. In 1917, Our Lady appeared at Fatima to three shepherds with a message of warning and hope for humanity. If the world did not convert, the Blessed Mother said there would be much suffering, famines and wars. To avert such disasters, Our Lady asked for prayer and penance. She also promised that her immaculate heart would finally triumph.

Today, Our Lady’s message is more timely than ever. “World events are spiraling out of control. Society is splintering,” stated Francis Slobodnik, national coordinator of the 2017 Public Square Rosary Crusade on the American Needs Fatima website. “We must turn back to God and ask Our Lady for supernatural solutions. There is an urgent need for amendment of life and penance. If only we’d do what she requested at Fatima, people would get the courage and wisdom to turn things around in America.” The America Needs Fatima campaign is dedicated to bringing this urgent message into people’s homes and to the public square.

“We came here today to pass on Mary’s message – one soul at a time, one rosary at a time,” explained organizer John Kreipe.

“When Our Lady appeared to those three shepherds, she wanted them to pray, pray, pray for the atonement of sinners,” explained Juanita (Nita) Flores-Card, who organized the first rosary rally in the St. Joseph area in 2014. “She has stopped a lot of wars and miracles have happened due to the rosary.”

“You know, the weather was like this a hundred years ago,” commented Nita. “The sun appeared and it was dancing. The people were so worried it was the end of the world. A lot of people converted through that miracle.”

The first rosary rally was held in 2014 at the St. Joseph City Hall. Each October since, the rally has been held at different locations all over St. Joseph – including Bishop LeBlond High School and St. Francis Xavier Parish.

This year, two separate rallies with over a hundred participants total were held in the St. Joseph area. One was held at St. Patrick Parish, which was moved indoors to the church due to the rain.

At St. Patrick Parish, the group prayed all four sets of mysteries of the rosary, led by St. James School, St. Francis Xavier School, Cathedral School, and Bishop LeBlond High School students.

“We wanted children to participate, because that’s who Our Mother appeared to,” explained Deacon Canchola. Additionally, the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard from Council 571 attended.

Participants at Bishop LeBlond High School donned umbrellas and raincoats to find protection from the elements. The school is located on Frederick Avenue, one of the busiest streets in St. Joseph.

“Despite the weather, it was inspiring to see people come out and do a public rosary,” stated Carl Johnston, who attended the rally at Bishop LeBlond High School. “Many cars slowed down to see what we were doing.”

“It really humbles me to be the instrument of a public witness to the rosary,” explained John. “Our Lady promised if we prayed the rosary, Russia would be converted, and if not there would be a worse war. Sadly, those things have come true. On this centurial anniversary, we meet to show compliance with her request.”

“Pray the rosary. Pray it every day,” challenged John. “We need to persevere.”

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Friday
November 24, 2017
Newspaper of the Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph