Historic Chicago Fatima Procession a ‘Call to Arms’

by Anita Carey  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  May 15, 2017   

"We need a Catholic revolution — and let it begin here"

You are not signed in as a Premium user; you are viewing the free version of this program. Premium users have access to full-length programs with limited commercials and receive a 10% discount in the store! Sign up for only one day for the low cost of $1.99. Click the button below.

CHICAGO, (ChurchMilitant.com) - Thousands came out to pray in a historic procession with Our Lady of Fatima Saturday for an end to violence in the city.

During the candlelight procession, which took place on the 100th anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima, Portugal, an estimated 2,000 people came to St. John Cantius Parish in Chicago, Illinois to begin the first of six processions to be held on the anniversary of each of the apparitions.

Father Anthony Bus, pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka parish, where the procession ended, called on all the faithful to "a real Catholic revolution whereby we take up arms. In other words, we heed the call. The Rosary is our weapon."


Our Lady of Fatima statue used in procession

(Photo courtesy of Ruth-Margaret Durkin)

Church Militant spoke with Fr. Joshua Caswell, associate pastor of St. John Cantius parish, just before the event. He told us the procession is

a direct response to Our Lady's request to pray for sinners. We will be walking over places where people have been shot and city intersections where there have been tragedies. We are asking Our Lady of Fatima to bless our city and to bring the hope and that light that Christ brings. We want to show people who Chicagoans really are

Craig Johnson, an organizer for the Fatima centennial committee, observed that the atmosphere was "focused and serene," telling Church Militant, "It was more than Catholics doing their Catholic things. I sensed that the participants realized that there was something significant at stake and that they needed to be part of it, not only for their own good but for larger goals." Others noted the procession was "joyful."


First communicants

(Photo courtesy of Ruth-Margaret Durkin)

Participants, including young children, prayed the Rosary, sang hymns and walked the mile-long procession down Milwaukee Avenue, causing traffic delays. Johnson observed some motorists were puzzled and others dismissive, even witnessing a few sneers from those who sped by. Much more often, the procession was met with smiles and waves, with people leaving their cars to kneel or stand as the faithful went by.

"All the folks heading to their Saturday evening destinations or moving between their destinations were confronted suddenly by sights, sounds, and suggestions of things strikingly larger than the character of their work day or what they were anticipating that the rest of the evening held for them," Johnson told Church Militant. "It is in such juxtapositions that grace can be remarkably fruitful."

Father Caswell said, "We noticed people waving from their balconies as we passed by. When we walked through the cooperative housing area, many asked for a candle and joined the procession."


St. John Cantius Church

(Photo courtesy of Ruth-Margaret Durkin)

The march ended with a talk by Fr. Bus, pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church. In his closing remarks, he said, "A hundred years ago Our Lady spoke of the immodesty and the immorality" as being offensive to God. "Humanity is distancing itself from God," he noted, and urged the faithful to "pray for the conversion of sinners and a return to God."

He went on to remind the faithful that Our Lady forewarned about coming chastisements if we did not stop offending God, saying, "Mary's message is more important today than 100 years ago." He remarked that, "with the push of a button, we can literally annihilate entire nations," precisely as Mary predicted in her warnings.

Father Bus called the Rosary "the chain that binds us to God," urging, "We need a Catholic revolution — and let it begin here."


Adoration at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church

(Photo courtesy of Ruth-Margaret Durkin)

Father Caswell told Church Militant, "We have received such positive feedback in the days following the event."

A policeman carrying the statue of Our Lady of Fatima came back to the Church after many years away. And one young man sought confession after the procession.

Father Caswell commented, "Now, more than ever, our city and world is in serious need of help as people wander weary through life searching for meaning and truth. But there is that peace that Our Lady can bring to our city through the Fatima message of living the gospel every day."

Featured image courtesy of William Benjamin.


Have a news tip? Submit news to our tip line.

We rely on you to support our news reporting. Please donate today.
By commenting on ChurchMilitant.com you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our comment posting guidelines

Loading Comments