By JOANNE FOX
The message that Our Lady of Fatima brought to the world a century ago will be reflected in the theme for an upcoming conference in Sioux City.
“The Path to Peace” conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 5 at the Sioux City Convention Center, sponsored by Trinity Heights Queen of Peace.
According to Executive Director Terry Hegarty, how to best recognize the 100th anniversary of the Fatima apparitions had been discussed at board meetings for months.
“At Trinity Heights, we have offered a variety of programs to promote our mission – to assist people in their journey of faith,” he said. “We decided to proceed with a conference in August, because it offers the best time we felt for people outside of Sioux City to travel. We felt that Aug. 5, a First Saturday, and the availability of Bishop Walker Nickless to celebrate Mass that day, made it a good choice.”
Father Wade Menezes, CPM, a Father of Mercy who hosts the Crux of the Matter on EWTN and is currently assistant general (Vicar) of the Fathers of Mercy, will have two presentations during the day.
“When asked, I said ‘yes’ precisely because the Fatima event, with its all-encompassing message regarding the need for world peace and the need for both individual and societal conversion, is just as timely today as it was 100 years ago when the fully-approved apparitions took place,” he said.
Father Charles Mangan, a frequent presenter at Trinity Heights programs, will be motoring from Sioux Falls for the event.
“I consider this centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima one of the greatest events that we have been privileged to live through,” he said. “I said ‘yes’ because I wanted to participate in any way that I could in this tremendous commemoration.”
Father Wade will speak on “Our Lady of Fatima: A Message of Faith” and “Our Lady of Fatima: A Message for Culture.”
“The thrust of my overall message is this – Fatima is about CPR: Conversion, Penance and Reparation, both on an individual and societal level,” he said. “This involves fostering valiantly the Gospel of life amidst a veritable culture of death, both individually and socially.”
Father Wade added, “Regardless of one’s state in life or vocation – single, married or a consecrated priest, brother or sister – we are all called to heed our Blessed Mother’s important message given at Fatima to three, humble shepherd children, two of which are now canonized saints of the Catholic Church and the youngest non-martyrs ever canonized in its 2,000-year history.”
Msgr. Mangan will personalize the significance of Fatima’s implications for participants.
“Fatima is for us,” he said. “This is a message for us that continues, even though it was 100 years ago, it’s more relevant than ever. We really find God’s abiding kindness that he gives to us through Mary, which inspires us to live the life of the Gospel that we’ve been called to live through baptism.”
When Father Wade speaks at conferences, similar to the one in Sioux City, those in attendance express their thanks in hearing “the truths of our Catholic faith, preached in a pure, unambiguous and unadulterated fashion.”
“People want to strive for holiness, for sanctity,” he said. “It is innate to human nature that we are called ultimately to happiness with God for eternity. This truth, too, is part and parcel with the Fatima event and message.”
Msgr. Mangan echoed those sentiments.
“People have a desire for sanctity, a desire to love God, to love Mary, a desire to serve the Lord and his mother, and also gratitude that God is not forgetting them, God is close to them, God is with them,” he said.
“Think of the word Emmanuel, which we use for Jesus and means God is with us,” Msgr. Mangan continued. “We see in Fatima that he’s especially close to us through our mother, his mother. We share the same mother. What a gift to come together, to pray, to learn, to grow, to understand how the Lord is calling us as we go forth in this 21st Century.”
If you go:
What: Our Lady of Fatima 100th Anniversary, The Path to Peace Conference
When: Aug. 5
Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; doors open at 8 a.m.
Where: Sioux City Convention Center
Cost: $25 which includes lunch
Pre-registration: Recommended for food count and material distribution
Contact: (712) 239-8670 or trinityheights.com