Fatima Centennial Reflection: 1917-2017


Terrorism is destroying lives. Hatred and division have struck the heart of our own country. Prejudice and racism are deeply rooted in so many hearts. Abortion destroys millions of innocent lives. Gender ideology is wreaking havoc. Scandals, unbelief, and division continue to rack the Church. Across the globe and in our own homes, problems abound. Sometimes, watching the news or reading the headlines becomes an occasion for us to throw up our hands with the overwhelming feeling that the world is falling apart. And yet, Our Lady told us in Fatima, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” That is, Mary’s Heart, so completely given to Jesus, will be victorious over all evil. As we come to the close of this celebratory year of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions in Fatima, let these words of our Heavenly Mother resound in our ears as the final word from God about what is happening in our times. Our Lady is the guiding star that God gives to us to navigate these difficult and treacherous times. She comes to us as a Mother to turn our gaze away from the crumbling walls around us and to fix them on her Son Jesus Christ who never fails and is always in control.

There are problems in the world, in the Church, in our families and in our own lives that simply cannot be resolved by human means, no matter how excellent. Today Bishop Zubik will consecrate the Diocese of Pittsburgh to Our Lady of Fatima. This weekend at all the Masses, we will consecrate our parish and our families to Our Lady. In this consecration to our Lady of Fatima, we are being led to a deeper belonging to Our Lady which always means a deeper belonging to Jesus Christ. This act of consecration is a surrendering of everything to the incomparable care and power of the Queen of Heaven. In effect we are saying, “Mother, we cannot do this ourselves. You take care of it. You come and have your triumph here.” What we know with certainty is that through this consecration, Our Lady will be able to bring about transformation and new life in ways that we cannot imagine. Pray the Rosary regularly. Offer every hardship and difficult for the conversion of sinners. “O my Jesus, it is for love of You, in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners.”