SALT LAKE CITY — Five Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Salt Lake City will host the Fatima Centennial U.S. Tour for Peace in honor of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.
The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima is on a two-year journey across the United States. The goal of the tour is to “allow Our Lady of Fatima to claim her dominion over America through her Immaculate Heart and to bring the urgent message of Fatima to a world in need,” reads the tour web page. The tour began March 20, 2016 and will end on Dec. 20, 2017.
The message of Our Lady of Fatima, who appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal from May through October of 1917, has become known as the Peace Plan from Heaven.
“God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace,” Our Lady of Fatima said in part.
That message has continued to be heard through the years.
“The evangelical call to repentance and conversion, uttered in the Mother’s message, remains ever relevant. … It is still more urgent,” Pope John Paul II said.
His words were echoed by Nancy Sliwinski, a St. Ambrose parishioner who, with members of other parishes, organized an effort to host the Fatima statue in the Diocese of Salt Lake City.
“Earlier in the year my sister told me about the Virgin visiting her diocese, so I decided to look into it,” Sliwinski said.
She contacted the people responsible for the tour, and now is excited about the image visiting Utah.
“Ever since I went to Medjugorje, I have seen Our Lady working in my life,” she said. “It was just a need to bring her here. It is a time that we need our Blessed Mother to fight against the evil that is in the world.”
The International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima is one of two statues sculpted in 1947 by José Thedim. The image reflects the instructions of Sister Lucia Santos, one of the children who saw the Fatima apparition.
“I think the main thing is that she will lead us to her Son, Jesus,” Sliwinski said, adding that many people do not know Jesus, and “how can they love him when they don’t know him? … Our Blessed Mother can help us, leading us to him.”
Lori Jenkins, a parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas in Logan, shares Sliwinski’s feelings.
Our Lady of Fatima’s “message is more relevant today than ever, because everything that’s going on,” Jenkins said. “I think it’s very exciting to welcome her in our parishes.”
The schedule for the Utah parishes follows.
Tuesday, Sept. 12: Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 2864 South 9000 West, Magna, beginning with an opening procession and Mass in English at 8 a.m. Other events include a bilingual Mass at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 13: St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 725 South 250 East Hyde Park, beginning with an opening procession at 8 a.m. A bilingual Mass will be celebrated at 6 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 14: St. Joseph Catholic Church, 514 24th St., Ogden, beginning with an opening procession at 8 a.m. Mass will be celebrated at 5 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 15: St. Martin De Porres Catholic Church, 4914 South 2200 West, Taylorsville, beginning with an opening procession at 6 p.m. and including an all-night vigil from 8:30 p.m. and continuing until the closing procession at 6 a.m. the following day.
Saturday, Sept. 16: St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church, 1375 E. Spring Lane, Holladay, beginning with an opening procession and crowning at 8:30 a.m., followed by Mass at 9 a.m.
For more detailed information, contact the parish.