Pilgrimage to Fatima

In an hour I will be picked up by Juan Landa, director of Mater Dei Tours, and we will go to O'Hare airport in Chicago where we will catch a flight for Newark and then one for Lisbon, Portugal. I am on my way to Fatima!

Juan and I worked together in the summer of 2006 when I went on pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Juan takes care of all the details and I serve as chaplain for the group. About two dozen of us are going to Fatima today.

I am very much looking forward to this pilgrimage. I don't know if I'll be able to blog while I am there, but you can follow our itinerary at the Mater Dei web site. I am carrying the Apostleship of Prayer and all its members, supporters, promoters, and benefactors in my heart and will be lifting everyone up to our Mother.

As I reflect on this pilgrimage, I think about the connection between the message of Fatima and the Apostleship of Prayer. Three words come to mind: prayer, sacrifice, reparation. When she appeared in Fatima in 1917, these are the things that the Blessed Virgin Mary invited the world to undertake more fervently. She assured us that prayer does make a difference and that sacrifices make prayer even more powerful. Finally, since sin has done so much damage to the world, she invited us to do what Jesus did: to make reparation or repair the damage that sin has caused. These three--prayer, sacrifice, and reparation--are certainly part of the program of the Apostleship of Prayer. I am looking forward to reflecting on this some more in Fatima.