Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.

The BIG One

05-07-2017Fr. John LettersFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The BIG ONE is coming. No, not my first heart attack - still awaiting that one, but the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions at Fatima. The First Apparition took place on May 13, 1917, when Our Lady appeared to the three children, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta on the 13th of every month from May until October. Her messages were dire warnings about the coming scourges that would engulf the world: two World Wars, Communist Russia and China - all of which were responsible for the deaths of tens of millions of people. Also, since she chose to appear in a city in Portugal named after the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, she also wanted to warn us of the conflict that is engulfing the world currently. Still, despite the warning of coming calamities, Our Lady offered hope that through prayer and penance some of the suffering could be mitigated and limited. After this period of 100 or so years, she promised that a period of peace would come upon the earth.

Prior to the Apparition of Our Lady, an Angel, who called himself the Angel of Peace, the Guardian Angel of Portugal, visited the children. The Angel in a sense tutored the children in prayer so as to prepare for Our Lady. The angel instructed them to pray: My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You. The angel told the children to pray, as the hearts of Jesus and Mary were ready to listen.

The hearts of Jesus and Mary are ready to listen to us as well. We need to pray. The world is becoming more chaotic, and the stakes are as high as ever. Human solutions seem to evade us, and divisiveness is increasing among nations and within nations. The world is on a ruinous course once again, but that course can be altered if we take the teachings of Fatima to heart and put them into practice. Our Lady’s requests at Fatima include the following: praying the Rosary daily, acts of reparation and sacrifice, and wearing of the Brown Scapular of Mt. Carmel. She also urged us to practice the First Saturday Devotion (Mass and Rosary for 5 consecutive first Saturdays). We have been given this unique opportunity of the centennial celebration of the Apparitions of Fatima to beg our Lady to remember her promise of peace and to make us instruments of that peace.

We are on the cusp of this period of peace, but we must still heed Our Lady’s directions to pray and seek repentance for our sins. The prayer that she instructed us to pray is the Rosary, especially to be prayed together in families. So for this centennial celebration, I invite you to pray the rosary often and to join us for the following:

Saturday May 13
8AM Mass for the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima
12 Noon Rosary
5PM Vigil Mass with Bishop Olmsted

Then on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary, August 22, we will begin a 54-Day Rosary Novena in our Diocese culminating on October 13, the date of the final Apparition, with our Bishop solemnly consecrating the Diocese of Phoenix to Our Lady of Fatima.

Love, Fr. John B.

PS Thanks to all who contacted Tempe City Council regarding additional Dispensaries for Medical Marijuana. The City Council meeting scheduled for May 4 has been rescheduled for May 25 at 6PM at which time the Council will vote on the issue.

PPS We were finally able to complete the Convent Chapel for the Sisters, so now the Sisters have the Blessed Sacrament present in their Convent and will have Mass once a week in the Chapel. We could still use donations of Mass vestments (chasubles): green, red and violet.