First, I want to remind all our parishioners that this coming Tuesday, August 15, is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven. This Solemnity is a Holy Day of Obligation, meaning that all Catholics are obliged to attend Holy Mass under the same conditions as the obligation to attend Holy Mass each Sunday. Plan now to come and honor our Blessed Mother, Mary! You can find the various Holy Mass times, including the vigil Holy Masses in this bulletin.
Second, this Sunday, August 13 (all parishes), and next Saturday, August 19 (8am at St. Mary, Bellechester), we will honor Our Lady of Fatima in a special way. I encourage you to participate and continue to learn more about the message of Fatima and what each of us can do to spread the Kingdom of our good Lord Jesus!
In August of 1917 our Blessed Mother desired to visit the shepherd children of Fatima – Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia on the 13th of the month. However, her plan was interrupted by the local civil authorities. Her plan, though, was not thwarted. She was merely delayed! Our blessed Mother works to bring about the Kingdom of our good Lord Jesus in beautiful and yet persistent ways. We should count on her in every need! Here is how the events in Fatima in August, 1917 are recounted: “As August 13th approached, the story of the apparitions had reached the anti-religious secular press, and while this ensured that the whole country knew about Fatima, it also meant that many biased and negative reports were circulating. The children were kidnapped on the morning of the 13th by the Mayor of Vila Nova de Ourem, Arturo Santos. They were interrogated about the secret; but despite his threats and promises of money, they refused to divulge it. In the afternoon they were moved to the local prison and threatened with death but determined that they would die rather than reveal the secret. On August 19, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta were together at a place called Valinhos, near Fatima, late in the afternoon, when they again saw Mary, who spoke to Lucia: “Go again to the Cova da Iria on the 13th and continue to say the Rosary every day.” Mary also said she would perform a miracle, so all would believe, and that if they had not been kidnapped it would have been even greater. Looking very sad, Mary then said: “Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.” With that she rose into the air and moved towards the east before disappearing. By now the children had thoroughly absorbed Mary’s plea for prayer and penance, and did everything they could to answer it. They prayed for hours while lying prostrate on the ground and went as long as they could without drinking in the burning heat of the Portuguese summer. They also went without food as a sacrifice for sinners to save them from hell, the vision of which had so profoundly effected them. They even knotted some pieces of old rope around their waists as a form of mortification, not removing them day or night.” (from https://wafusa.org) Remember the Plenary Indulgence that is available for us on the 13th of August. Please see elsewhere in this bulletin for more details. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, St. Joseph, and St. Columbkill, may God bless you, your families and our parishes! In Christ through Mary, Fr. Kasel
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