The year 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s series of apparitions to three poor shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal. Through these three simple children, Our Lady chose to reveal her plan of peace to the world. The essential elements of the message are to pray and offer sacrifices for the conversion of souls. Lucia, Jacinta, and Francesco immediately began doing just that as soon as Our Lady asked them. Besides receiving the messages from Our Lady, each child lived the message daily in their lives. Because of this simple faith, Jacinta and Francesco are now canonized saints and no doubt, very soon Lucia will be as well. One of the many lessons of the message of Fatima is that the daily prayer of children can change the world.
The capstone of our virtue of the month program this upcoming school year is faith. Faith “is the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that he has said and revealed to us, and that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because he is truth itself.” (CCC 1814) The children of Fatima will be our role models. Our Lord was surely referring to the faith of such as these when he said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18:3)
In order to carry out this theme and make it present daily, the entire school will be enrolled in the World Apostolate of Fatima. This summer the National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima has been visiting many parishes in New Hampshire in order to spread the message of Fatima. The World Apostolate of Fatima is the custodian of the statue. The apostolate is a Church approved international association of the faithful. It is made up of individual members that live around the world and follow the principles of the apostolate. Members pledge to make a morning offering, pray the Rosary daily, and offer sacrifices that occur in the normal course of the day for the conversion of souls.
Each school day will begin with a morning offering led by the classroom or homeroom teacher. Also, each day five individual classes will pray one decade of the Rosary. Kindergarten through 12th grade will participate on a rotating basis. The entire school will continue the tradition of meeting once per week to pray the Rosary in the St. Joseph Center as well.
The purpose of enrolling in the World Apostolate of Fatima is to grow in faith and cultivate a prayer life which together with the practice of virtue, will foster holiness and peace. The virtue sequence for the year is listed below.
- September- Courtesy
- October- Circumspection
- November- Patriotism
- December- Faith
- January- Honesty
- February- Orderliness
- March- Moderation
- April- Kindness
- May- Magnificence