It was shortly after the onset of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union – Russia being its largest nation state, and the instrument of chastisement chosen by God to punish mankind for its crimes – that Father Harold V. Colgan, pastor of St. Mary’s Parish in Plainfield, New Jersey, made a promise to Our Lady to consecrate the rest of his life to preaching devotion to Her.
The Blue Army
After he began preaching devotion to Our Lady in his parish, the Pilgrim Virgin statue of Our Lady of Fatima was sent from Portugal to the United States. Impressed by Our Lady’s Message, Father Colgan began spreading the Fatima Message at his parish and encouraged his parishioners to sign a little form pledging to Our Lady to heed Her requests in order to speed the advent of peace and the conversion of Russia, as She had promised at Fatima.
Large numbers of parishioners made their pledge to Our Lady of Fatima. Father Colgan preached from his pulpit: “We will be the Blue Army of Mary and Christ, against the red army of the world and of satan.”
After inviting writer John M. Haffert to deliver a conference to his flock, and seeing the positive effect on those attending, Father Colgan partnered with John Haffert to create the “Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima.” In May 1947, Father Colgan went to the Vatican and presented the project to Pope Pius XII, who gave it his blessing.
The Blue Army was a wonderful organization up until Vatican functionary Bishop Constantino Luna seized control as President of the then worldwide organization in 1981. From that point on, its flagship publication Soul magazine was co-opted and rendered a shadow of its former self, promoting a new non-confrontational Fatima “message.” Fatima-Lite, as we might call it, stresses only personal prayer and sacrifice.
As years went by, the Blue Army stooped to shockingly unconscionable depths, publishing patently misleading articles on the merits of Pope John Paul II’s 1982 and 1984 consecrations of the world.
Under Father Robert Fox, the Blue Army became a complete and pathetic tool of those bent on distorting and burying the true Message of Fatima. Continuing to promote erroneous information for decades, in 2010 the Blue Army formally changed its name to the World Apostolate of Fatima and continues – to this day – to mix true elements of Our Lady’s Fatima Message with false and misleading elements. There remain good people involved in it, of course, but it is to be feared that at this point the organization is not helping them – or anyone – live according to the true Message of Fatima.
The Fatima Center
Fortunately, Heaven – foreseeing the coming betrayal – took steps in 1978 to provide the world with another Fatima organization – The Fatima Center, guided by Father Nicholas Gruner. (See web article: “The Fatima Center: Our Lady’s Apostolate.”) The Fatima Center began in Canada shortly before the start of the downfall of the Blue Army, and even worked with the Blue Army until its fall into – and continuing persistence in – error made it impossible for them to continue to work together.
America Needs Fatima
Founded in 1985 by Preston Noell (who was succeeded as executive director in 1996 by Robert Ritchie) and headquartered in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, this organization is a branch of The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (also known as The American TFP). It is an organization of lay Catholic Americans concerned about the moral crisis shaking the remnants of Christian civilization.
The TFP was born from the idea of a Counter-Revolution, a reaction that would embrace every field of human activity, but especially art, ideas, and culture. The first TFP was founded in Brazil in 1960 by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. The American TFP is one of many autonomous TFPs that now exist around the world dedicated to the same ideals. Though the word ‘Fatima’ is part of the American organization’s title, the Message of Our Lady of Fatima was not – and is not – their sole focus. Promoting the Fatima Message of prayer, penance, and conversion is just one aspect of this organization’s activities.
America Needs Fatima (ANF) and its members are to be commended for their admirable witness to Catholic truth and morality, particularly in the face of the constant inroads of abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, and socialism throughout the United States. They also do some good in promoting public and private devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, but their representation of Her Message and requests is unfortunately horribly flawed. As one small example from their website, they misquote Our Lady stating: “Communism would spread its errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church.” On the contrary, Our Lady named Russia as that agent, and Communism is one of the many errors spread by Russia.
ANF also misquotes Our Lady as having said the Consecration of Russia will be too late. Never did Our Lady or Our Lord say any such thing. Our Lord did indicate to Sister Lucia that it would be “late” when the Consecration was finally performed, but He added that it would never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary. ANF’s promotion of their erroneous version is a serious problem because many Catholics are losing interest in praying and doing penance for the Consecration of Russia because they have accepted the error that it is now “too late.”
At their website, ANF claims: “The consecrations carried out afterwards were certainly pleasing to God but, as the historical events clearly show, they no longer had the power to forestall the chastisement.” Here is a grave error and misrepresentation of the Fatima Message, in comparison to which their other errors and carelessness with facts pale. Obviously, the dozen or more consecrations which are purported to have been made in response to the Fatima request failed because Church leaders have not yet fulfilled the simple terms of the request. Never has any Pope, in union with all the Catholic bishops of the world, consecrated specifically Russia – alone and by name – to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
This position statement of ANF should put us all on our knees, being yet another blasphemy (albeit unintentional) against the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady prophesied unconditionally at Fatima in 1917 that when Her request for the Consecration of Russia is at last heeded, it would have its full promised effect, both for the conversion of Russia and the cessation of the chastisements by which God would punish the sins of the world. Only She can help us, She said, and Her intervention will only come about by means of the proper Consecration of Russia!
Canada Needs Our Lady
As an affiliate of America Needs Fatima, this apostolate likewise does not have promoting the Message of Fatima as its sole focus. Incorporated on June 25, 2013, “Canada Needs Our Lady is a special campaign of the Canadian Society for the Defense of Christian Civilization to win the hearts and minds of Canadians for Mary.” Their main office is in Saint Hubert, Quebec. Their website contains very little information of any kind.
Confraternity of Our Lady of Fatima
This organization – started in 2020 by Christopher P. Wendt, the International Director, and Dr. Michael Sirilla, Professor of Dogmatic and Systematic Theology at Franciscan University, – was approved by His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider on July 26, 2020. It promotes itself as a worldwide family of Catholics who are dedicated to bringing about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as soon as possible.
It operates under the apostolate of MyCatholicCause.com (founded by Christopher and Veronica Wendt), a recognized 501c3 organization under the laws of the state of Ohio in the United States.
Currently on their website is a brief timeline on the Fatima Message – with some incorrect information confusing Our Lady’s 1929 apparition to Sr. Lucia, asking for the Consecration of Russia, with Our Lord’s 1931 warning to Sr. Lucia regarding the Church’s failure to heed Our Lady’s 1929 request. This organization considers the prayer said by Pope Francis on March 25, 2022 to have satisfied Our Lady of Fatima’s request, despite the failure to heed Our Lady’s instructions, and single out specifically Russia, and the failure to offer the act by the Pope in union with all the Catholic bishops of the world. They also remain silent on the issue of the urgent need for the Vatican to reveal the complete Third Secret, which by Our Lady’s express command should have been done in 1960 but was not done then nor in 2000.
Read a related article briefly summarizing the history of “The Fatima Center: Our Lady’s Apostolate.”
Editor’s Note: Of all prominent, English-speaking Fatima apostolates only The Fatima Center ensures that the entire Fatima Message is fully known, understood, and obeyed. It also reaches the greatest number of souls with the Fatima Message. For more information, see our October 2023 mailing, “What Sets The Fatima Center Apart?” (LF462), available from The Fatima Center, or at our online shop.