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WELCOME! TO FATIMA 2000

Speaker:
Chris Ferrara, Esq., Attorney
and Catholic Activist...

 Your Grace, Your Excellencies, esteemed delegates, it is my privilege to be your moderator for this conference, the third Fatima Conference here in Rome, I'm going to turn the podium over immediately to a man it is my privilege to introduce to you, I've worked with him for a number of years. I'd like to tell you a few things about him very briefly. He was ordained in Avellino, Italy in 1976, he then went to Canada, his home country, where he took over a very modest Marian Apostolate, called the National Committee for The National Pilgrim Virgin of Canada. Over the next sixteen years he took that Apostolate and turned it into the leading voice for promotion worldwide of the Message of Fatima. That message is now broadcast by this Apostolate through print, radio, and television media reaching millions of Catholics; publishing a magazine which has a circulation of 500,000. And it has done more to advance and keep alive the Message of Fatima than any other organization that I am aware of.

 This man, like so many others in the Church today who have held fast to tradition, has suffered persecution. Often, sadly enough, at the hands of his own brethren. He is not alone in this. Many of us who have held fast to the traditions have found ourselves outcast in certain precincts in our own Church. But I have been proud to render this man assistance. I am proud to call this man, this priest, this alter Christus, my friend. And I give you now, Father Nicholas Gruner.

Fatima 2000 Bishops, Priests, Religious and Delegates listened intently to the Speaker addresses.



Speaker: 
Father Nicholas Gruner, President/Director
of Our Lady of Fatima Apostolate...

 I thank you very much and I am very happy to have Chris help me and support me as I am happy and pleased to have all of you come here, not only to support us here today and this week, but also for your support of Our Lady's work. This would not be possible without you and your help.

 But I would like now to introduce His Grace, Archbishop Benedict To Varpin who has been a very strong helper and supporter. We are very pleased and honored to have him here to open the conference and welcome you and all the other Bishops and priests and sisters and laypeople.

 It will certainly be registered in Heaven that Archbishop To Varpin gave the imprimatur to our booklet on the Five First Saturdays. To date over 1,000,000 copies have been printed.

 It consists almost entirely of Sister Lucy's words from her Memoirs. People who have been promoting Fatima and the Five First Saturdays have said it is the best short book on the Five First Saturdays anywhere in the world, in any language.

 Archbishop To Varpin has been a Bishop now for seventeen years. He is the Archbishop of Madang, one of the most important seaports in the world, the second Archdiocese of Papua New Guinea.

 Archbishop To Varpin, along with other Bishops and The Fatima Crusader, has invited you all here and I would like to ask him to welcome all the delegates.

Speaker: 
Archbishop Benedict To Varpin, 
of the Archdiocese of Madang, 
Papua New Guinea...

 You can see on the invitation card myself, a couple of other Bishops, priests and your lay people have invited you here.

 First of all, I would like to welcome you all. I joined the group two years ago, that lovely week over there in Mexico. It was my first time to be in Mexico at that time, 1994, but I have been in Rome quite a few times. It is my fifth year now in Rome.

 The theme of our Congress Fatima 2000 is World Peace and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We have been talking about it a number of years since I joined this association. You know from history that Our Lady appeared to three innocent children in Fatima, and I hope to be there one day. I have been in Lourdes.

 I think it is the responsibility of the Mother of God to remind us that She raised a family, a family called the Holy Family; Jesus, Mary and Joseph, and it is Her concern to convey to us that we must form our life according to the Holy Family.

 When I started organizing myself to come to Rome, I contacted the Italian Embassy over there at Port Moseby in Papua New Guinea. And the Apostolic Nuncio asked me, "What are you going to do in Rome?" I said plainly, that "I am going to join the people who are praying for peace in the world."

 As you know well, in Papua New Guinea there is a lot of killing, a lot of bribery and all that. I was sitting there telling the administration that I joined a particular group, that we are praying in different languages and we share ideas.

 And then he contacted me again by fax, trying to stop me from coming.

 Then a few days later on I didn't know what to say, so I started walking around at night saying the Rosary and I got some inspiration, "I think I better go." So I contacted Father and the committee over there in Canada and told them, "I am going, send me my ticket. Thus, here I am.

 I would like to say something about my country, because talking with a number of you, you don't know where Papua New Guinea is.

 If you look at the map you'd be surprised to see a big island lying above Australia to the North. It is called the independent State of Papua New Guinea. It is a big island cut into two halves, almost equal in size, and taken together it is more than 800,000 square kilometers.

These two halves form the second largest island in the world. Half of the island has been taken over by Indonesia and the other half is the independent State of Papua New Guinea, which is where I come from.

And you can be sure that I love my country, in spite of many problems, like anywhere in the world; as I said earlier, corruption, bribery, some government ministers do not have the best interests of their country at heart. With you, I pray for my country and for your country.

According to recent statistics, the population is about 4,000,000. And there are over 800 languages. Imagine that, and I only know a few of these languages.

Going back to the theme of this conference, Fatima 2000, World Peace and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I want you to know that I am with you in heart and spirit in spite of my many difficulties trying to get here.

 We are here to pray for peace. We come from many different countries. Bishops, priests, brothers, sisters and our very dear people, the laypeople. They are the ones we are here to serve and that is why I became a priest and bishop: to serve the people, the families. The family is the basic structure of any society in the world today. And that is my motto, as a priest and a bishop of families. It is very, very important.

 Father came from a family. I came from a family. You came from a family. They are the ones we are working for. We are working for peace in the world, including the country of Papua New Guinea.

 It is only through the intercession of Our Lady that peace can be obtained and maintained and consolidated in this broken world.

 Whether you agree with me or not, I have been travelling around the world and I can tell you the world is going down, towards I don't know where.

 Somebody said yesterday: don't be afraid of death but be afraid of hell. Plainly there is no secret about it. So we are now on a journey towards 2000, into the 21st century.

 This morning we started the conference with the Rosary. It is the work of Our Lady. She has asked as She appeared in many places, that we pray the Rosary every day.

 We must also make sacrifices and do penance because Christ said to drive away evil and evil influences in the world, it can be done only by prayer, penance and sacrifices.

 With my conclusion, it is the very foundation of gathering here to pray for peace and means to overcome all the difficulties we are facing in the world today.

 So I am happy to join you again in Rome, and I would like to thank Father Nicholas Gruner and his co-workers for making this conference possible.

 It involved a lot of planning, a lot of money of course and praying too, inspiration from Jesus Christ Himself and His Mother.

 We are only the instruments. God and Our Lady are using us so we can bring peace to the world and to make the world a better world to live in.

 May this Fatima 2000 in Rome be an instrument in creating peace in the world, in conjunction with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. May God bless you all. 

 

 Fatima 2000 Welcoming Committee

 

Coralie Graham welcomes Mr. Anthony Sebastian, Manager of our Immaculate Heart Orphanage in India. Anthony presented a Spiritual Bouquet for the holy Father from the orphanage children. Mary Sedore, Director
Sister Frances Theresa, 
Corresponding Secretary
Archbishop To Varpin is shown giving everyone a warm welcome. Also, he is explaining the hardships that the Apostolic Nuncio gave him about attending the conference.


Speaker: 
Coralie Graham, Executive Director; 
and Editor of The Fatima Crusader...

Mary Sedore is a director of this Apostolate and she has a beautiful poem that she would like to share with you...

Speaker: 
Mary Sedore, Director...

Good Morning.

I am glad to be here at another Bishops Conference, to welcome you all here. I found this poem many years ago, and it means a lot to anybody that hears it. It's called

Listen to Me

Just stop awhile and listen to Me 
I have a question to ask of thee, 
Why are you ignoring My Mother? 

I chose Her to be My very own and 
greater perfection was never known, 
Why are you ignoring My Mother?

I was born through Her so we all 
would be spiritual members of one family 
Why are you ignoring My Mother? 

I've sent Her to you with a message divine 
Not once or twice, but many a time, 
And still you're ignoring My Mother. 

Like a wreath of graces Her Rosary She has given 
To Her loving children as a key to Heaven, 
And still you're ignoring My Mother. 

She came with My message to La Salette 
But those requests have not been met, 
Why are you ignoring My Mother? 

I sent Her again to a cave at Lourdes 
But just as before you spurned Her words, 
Why are you ignoring My Mother? 

To the fields of Fatima again She came 
For prayers and sacrifices in Her Son's name, 
And still you're ignoring My Mother. 

I sent Her to Earth from Heaven above 
So you would give Her your honor and love, 
And still you're ignoring My Mother.

When you ignore My Mother, you ignore Her Son 
Because to Me She is the dearest One, 
Why are you ignoring My Mother? 

You had better amend, and do not tarry 
The ideal way to Jesus is Mary, 
So stop ignoring My Mother.

Speaker: 
Coralie Graham...

Thank you Mary, I can't think of a more fitting poem to begin this conference.

I was going to explain why we're here, what we're doing here, but I think Mary's poem sums it up because so much of the world today is ignoring Our Mother: God's Mother.

Our Lady said at Fatima, "If My requests are granted, Russia will be converted and a period of peace will be given to the world." But She also said, "If My requests are not granted, the errors of Russia will spread throughout the world, the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated." What is left of the world will be "enslaved in Russian communism."

So why is the world ignoring Our Mother? These are very somber words She speaks. Very, very serious words. Why are they ignoring Her? Why are they ignoring God's Mother?

So we would know the Message of Fatima is true, that it came from God, He created a stupendous miracle so that we would know what to believe.

God knew there would be false apparitions here and there in the world today. He wanted to make sure we would know the Fatima Message is from Him and from His own Mother. God, in His infinite mercy and His great love for us all, created the Miracle of the Sun, which was witnessed by over 70,000 people.

God thought about this. He knew people, without such a miracle, would not believe the Message of Fatima, He knew people would ignore His Mother.

God, Himself, went to the trouble to prove the Message of Fatima is true and that it is truly from Him. Yet, still, after all that, most of the world, yes most of the world is ignoring it.

And this Apostolate of Our Lady of Fatima is dedicated to promoting the full Message of Our Lady of Fatima, and bringing about the fulfillment of Her promise, the reign of Jesus and Mary, the reign of the Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart. That is why Jesus said He wanted this Consecration to be done to the Immaculate Heart of Mary so the whole world will know that these promises of conversion and peace will be because of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He wants Her Immaculate Heart enthroned, beside His Sacred Heart.

Most of the world does not believe. And that is one of the reasons we are here for. Our job is to teach and promote the full Message of Fatima; spread it around and make them understand, make them believe.

We're all here today, not as speakers to guests, to an interested audience, we're all one team here today.

We must work together, all of us, from our own parts of the world and do what we can. We must take action. No longer can we sit back and hope someone else will do it.

This remnant that is here today is Our Lady's remnant, to bring about Her triumph. It's a position that I feel very grateful to be part of, but I know there's a lot of work and sacrifice that goes with it, and I'm asking each one here today to please do your part, do what it takes.

This is one of the most important jobs in the world. After all, we're not just talking about lives being lost, we're talking about souls being lost for eternity.

Every day that the Consecration of Russia is delayed, more and more souls are going to hell. We must not dwell on the inconveniences or the sacrifices involved.

What sacrifice is too great to save even one soul? If Russia enslaves the world there will be no freedom of religion and we all know what happens next. Just look at history for that.

We can't be smug and sit back and say, "It's not going to happen to me, it's not going to happen in my country. The grass is green, the sky is blue, how could we be enslaved?"

Well we can't be like ostriches with their heads in the ground and rose-colored glasses on and think it is not going to happen to us. God has told us it will happen if we do not heed Our Lady's request.

We have delegates here from around the world who are doing their part, but there are many who are not here today only because circumstances prevented them. And I would like to pay tribute to those who sacrificed and prayed so that all of us could be here today.

We knew it would be very expensive to be here and we thought about it long and hard before taking this step. How can we best steward the donations, the alms, the sacrifices that the people from around the world have sent to us to spread the Message of Our Lady?

When we studied the world events and the prophecies of the Saints, we knew the time was now. We must take Our Lady's urgent message to Rome to have this Congress here on the Holy Father's doorstep and finally bring the world's attention to Our Holy Mother's urgent appeal, Her warnings and Her message of peace.

As a mother and as a grandmother, I want a Christian tomorrow for our children and for your children. I don't want them to be enslaved, I don't want them to be coerced into submitting to communism for fear of losing their life.

Not one of us can say with certainty how we would stand up under a communist dictatorship. Can we guarantee that we will not buckle under to their threat of no food, no freedom, torture and death — not just of ourselves but our loved ones — unless we deny Christ? How many of us really know we could withstand watching our loved ones being beaten, starved and murdered before our very eyes — with their sinister promise of mercy for the "paltry" sum of simply rejecting Christ?

We know it has happened in history. And it can happen to us, and it will happen to us if we do not obey Our Lady of Fatima.

Jesus said, "Make it known." "Make it known to My ministers." That is why we have invited every Bishop in the world to be here and as many priests and religious as we could reach.

And we all know the obstacles that are placed in our path. But The Fatima Crusader never gives up. If there are any of us left we'll be on the corner with our tin cup and we'll be promoting the Message of Fatima, because it is too important to give up.

Some people have said, "Why do you bother? You shouldn't tell the Holy Father what to do." We're not telling the Holy Father what to do. Our Lady is telling him and the bishops and us what to do. Our Lady is the one Who gave us the formula for consecrating Russia.

Who are we or anyone to change that? Many say: "Russia has already been converted. Can't you see?" I'm sorry I cannot. And I don't think you can see that either. That is why you're here.

Pick up a newspaper. Our Lady said, "When Russia is converted, there will be peace in the world." Can anyone here say there is peace in the world? Can they say that they don't know of at least one country, one area not far from them that is now at war or near war? I think not.

"Russia will be converted." Converted to what? I don't see them having converted to the Catholic Church. Conversion means to the Catholic Faith, not as some people have gone so far as to say that Sister Lucy says conversion only means having the right, the freedom to decide whether you want to be Catholic or atheist.

Mary Sedore and Coralie Graham, editor of The Fatima Crusader and Richard Morse, a devoted worker of Our Lady's Apostolate discuss the Consecration of Russia with Cardinal Oddi. He says, "The Fatima Crusader is a very good magazine" and he promised to pray daily that The Holy Father will consecrate Russia. The Cardinal also emphasized the importance of Fatima stating that the Pope does not let a year go by without paying some tribute to Our Lady of Fatima.

Yes there is much disinformation and distortion of the Message of Fatima, I can't believe Sister Lucy would say that. We know that no Catholic would make a statement like that.

These lies and disinformation about Sister Lucy make our goal a little tougher to achieve. Not only must we spread the full Fatima Message, we must be prepared at the same time to defend our Faith and Our Lady's very words.

We must be prepared to fight for our Faith and Our Lady. We must constantly keep informed, to set the record straight. We have to prevent them from silencing Our Lady of Fatima.

They're not silencing Father Gruner. The opponents of Our Lady of Fatima think that if they silence him, they will be successful in silencing Our Lady. But we, you and I, are not going to let them.

We're a team here, and we're here to pray, to work, to take action and to decide 'what are we going to do now, what is our next step'. We want to do it respectfully. But, you've got to have stamina and a lot of prayer when you work for Our Lady of Fatima.

I'm sure every one of you has a story to tell about the obstacles you, yourselves have to overcome to remain diligent in working for Her. But the graces that come with it far surpass the sacrifice.

The key word here is perseverance. Don't give up. You think you've lost the battle but don't give up because you haven't. Our Lord tests us very often. And sometimes you think you failed or you've fallen for the last time, but never, never give up!

Here at The Fatima Crusader we have found that we are seemingly called upon to overcome insurmountable obstacles in almost every little thing we undertake to do.

Whenever we decide it's time to put out another issue of The Fatima Crusader, I'll walk into work the next morning and find all the cars broken down, the roof is leaking, the machines aren't working, half the staff is sick. I can tell you, every time we begin to put a magazine out, we've got to buckle up our seat belts, because you don't know what is coming the next day. When all our machines go down and we can't go to press, then we tape on St. Benedict medals and Miraculous Medals. Then Father Gruner would bless them and sprinkle holy water on them and they start working again.

I kid you not. We've become very close to the Curé of Ars. I always remember that at night when the devil set his bed on fire, he said, "Ah there's going to be a great conversion tomorrow."

That is what our saying is at The Fatima Crusader – when half the staff is gone and the roof is leaking and machines break down – "Boy this is going to be a good magazine!"

Now that's how we measure how effective what we're doing is going to be. So remember that when you go through your hardships in this work, remember — you're on the threshold of making some sort of conversion, some sort of breakthrough. And don't ever forget that. Pray to the Curé of Ars to help you through.

Remembering that, knowing that a Saint went through this, it helps us to feel that we are not alone, and you understand what is happening. It is the devil trying to deter you. God never gives us anything that we can t handle.

Pray the Rosary every day, that is our weapon to get us through this battle.

I'd like to thank everybody for being here again. We'll proceed with the program now, but first, there is another member of our team that I'd like to welcome aboard here – Sister Frances, and she has a few words she'd like to say to you.

Speaker: 
Sister Frances Theresa, 
Corresponding Secretary...

Your Grace, Your Excellencies, Reverend Fathers, Reverend Sisters, ladies and gentlemen.

We have here what was sent out in the mail to all of you and to many more, Spiritual Bouquets for the Holy Father, helping to strengthen him in all his undertakings and to do the Consecration of Russia.

We wrote a letter telling the Holy Father of the number of Spiritual Bouquets that have been forwarded to us at the Fatima Center by many concerned souls.

"Most Holy Father:

"The Spiritual Bouquets have been offered for Your Holiness' health and for the fulfillment of Our Lady of Fatima's requests especially the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, by Your Holiness in union with all the bishops of the world.

"We pledge 108,583 Rosaries; 56,701 Holy Communions; 38,419 Visits to the Blessed Sacrament and many other sacrifices totaling 73,279.

"Your Holiness, we continue to pray and sacrifice in order that Our Lady's request be fulfilled. We pray that soon your way will be clear to have our hopes realized."

I've been with Father since 1983. I had a very comfortable life until I met Father Nicholas Gruner. Since that time I have been kept very busy, and I love my work and all you people that write and call, and all the bishops and the priests. I just love you all. God bless you. 

The Holy Father greets Fatima 2000 Delegate Edmund Reczek. In the background, Mr. Joseph Cain, one of Our Lady's workers, is getting ready to hand deliver the Apostolate's legal petition to His Holiness, and to beg the Holy Father to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  (Photo by Mari Arturo.)

Speaker: 
Coralie Graham...

Thank you Sister.

The Message of Fatima tells us to pray, pray for the Holy Father, and this is one of the ways we can do that, by collecting Spiritual Bouquets and praying for him constantly. As the Message said, the Holy Father is also being persecuted.

Now I'd like to turn the microphone over to our master of ceremonies again, and thank you all very much.

Speaker: 
Chris Ferrara...

Just to call attention to the devotion shown by those who contributed these Spiritual Bouquets to the Holy Father: 108,583 Rosaries, and this points to something that perhaps is not well understood about those who call for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And it is this: Total loyalty to the Holy Father is implied in that request because those who request this of the Holy Father understand the uniqueness and the power of his office, and they understand that by his authority alone can the promises be fulfilled.

That is what true loyalty to the Holy Father means: a recognition of his status as the Vicar of Christ, the holder of the key to Our Lady's peace plan. And that is what this kind of spiritual devotion is all about.

Father Gruner will be giving a talk about the obligation that the Holy Father himself has mentioned regarding the Message of Fatima; the obligation it imposes upon the Church.

And I will be discussing with you from the Canon Law perspective the right and the duty of the faithful to conduct conferences like this to promote matters and concerns of the Church, especially the Message of Our Lady of Fatima.