Catholic Herald staff
The Our Lady of Fatima statue will grace the Diocese of Superior with her presence Tuesday, Oct. 18, through Wednesday, Oct. 19, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Rice Lake.
The statue, sculpted in the likeness of Our Lady of Fatima with guidance from one of the three visionaries, has been traveling the world for nearly 70 years.
The statue is in the midst of a two-year, coast-to-coast peace tour to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions in Fatima, Portugal.
The statue is slated to arrive at St. Joseph, Rice Lake, 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18. Events at St. Joseph will begin with an anticipation Mass at 5:30 p.m., followed by a procession with the statue at 8 p.m., presentation by the statue custodian at 8:15 p.m., and litany and Benediction. Confessions will be heard until 10 p.m.
Bishop James P. Powers will celebrate a Mass at St. Joseph, 9 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19, followed by a scapular enrollment and closing ceremony that will last until the statue’s departure around noon.
Patrick Sabat, custodian of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue, believes the statue may have last been in the Diocese of Superior in the 1950s.
Last November, the organization sent letters to bishops around the country. They were hoping to visit 100 dioceses across all 50 states in honor of the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, Sabat explained.
After receiving favorable responses from bishops, they lined up the tour geographically, avoiding northern states in winter months.
“Fortunately, the bishop is very generous to host it,” Sabat said, “and that’s why we’ll be in the Superior Diocese.”
A native of the Philippines, Sabat first traveled with the statue in Australia and Asia in 2003, and he has accompanied it on U.S. tours since 2008.
This two-year tour is a different kind of quest, he added, since they will be visiting all 50 states and making a stop in the Philippines en route to Hawaii.
They always share the message of Fatima as they travel, he said, but this tour is especially focused on relaying Mary’s message of peace.
In his years accompanying the statue, Sabat has noticed it often makes people cry.
“I think it’s the expression of Our Lady, her face, her countenance,” he said, “how the artist captured the face with precise instructions from Sr. Lucia. Also the blessing, her presence for those millions who will never be able to go to the site of the apparitions.”
For more information on events at St. Joseph, call Mary Litschauer, 715-539-3800.
State entrusted to Mary
MILWAUKEE – Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki, of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, in union with the bishops who head the other four dioceses in Wisconsin, will entrust the state’s Catholics to the Blessed Mother, Friday, Oct. 7, during a Mass in Milwaukee.
It will mark the first time the entire state has been entrusted to the Blessed Mother at one time. Individually, the bishops will commemorate the entrustment in their own dioceses.
“Entrustment gives us a direction or a focus on what the expectation is when we’re engaged in prayer,” said Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki in a Sept. 23 interview with the Catholic Herald. “You’re receiving something you are responsible for. It’s an understanding of placing our trust in Mary.”