One day a few months back, while online I went to a recommended website that was promoting a public rosary campaign. The organization running the campaign was Tradition, Family and Property (tfp.org). The campaign was called America needs Fatima and the more I read, the more interested I became in this endeavor. The notion was that with all the troubles confronting America today, and with the 90th anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima approaching, a thousand public rosary rallies across America was in order. I thought it was a terrific idea and after much prayer I agreed to be a rally captain.
After realizing the rosary would take place on Oct. 13th, I thought there might be a problem because that was the weekend of our annual carnival. I had agreed to volunteer to help that weekend; I do every year. I almost canceled the rosary but it dawned on me that a little prayer during the carnival would not only be appropriate but beneficial to our efforts. Growing up, the Church or the Knights of Columbus, always ran all the carnivals and feasts I attended - and they all were named after a Saint or Our Lady. Prayer and worship went hand-in-hand at all these events. This will be an opportunity to enlist a little prayer into our carnival I thought - that can only help, right?
After promoting the rosary, sending out invitations, talking it up, Oct. 13, 2007, a beautiful Saturday afternoon, finally arrived. I set the stage for my first public rosary and both parishioners and knights came out to pray for America. October being the rosary month, and the 13th coming on the heels of respect life week, the setting couldn’t be better. We gathered by the statue of the Blessed Mother, in front of the parish hall, my all-time favorite place to pray the rosary, and it couldn’t have gone better.
I broadcasted the glorious mysteries through a PA system - a little scripture; a Hail Mary, a little more scripture; another Hail Mary. It was the first time I ever ran a rosary this way and it turned out to be a great way to meditate on the mysteries and pray the rosary as a community.
About a week before the rosary rally I received my final update on the campaign across America from TFP, they announced that there would be two thousand public rosaries across America that day, twice their original estimate. It seems a lot of Catholics thought it would be a good idea to pray for America that day. Of course everyday is a good day to pray for America. As I said at the closing of the rally, after thanking everyone for praying with me, there’s a lot to pray for, and America, well, she needs our prayers on a daily basis.
Our Lady of Fatima had an important message, a message the Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI has encouraged the faithful to learn, live and spread. Ninety years after the sun danced we gathered to pray, to remember Fatima and show the community her message has relevance today. Prayer, repentance, self-sacrifice, reparation – America needs Fatima!