WAVERLY (SNR) – The 32nd annual Marian Mass, rosary, and candlelight procession will be held Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 7 p.m. on the Marian Center Grounds, 112th and Fletcher Rd., near Waverly.
Bishop James D. Conley will be the main celebrant and homilist. All are welcome to attend the evening of prayer, reflection and commemoration, specifically for the present-day crisis of faith and need for healing in the world.
The Marian event includes the Mass, an international rosary prayed in several languages, and a candlelight procession with the singing of Tres de Maio. The tradition began 32 years ago, inspired by a group of pilgrims from St. Teresa Parish in Lincoln who visited Fatima, Portugal and experienced the beautiful devotion to Our Lady of the Rosary. Recognizing that only a few people from the Lincoln Diocese would ever be able to attend the event in Portugal, the group decided to replicate the devotion and bring it home to Nebraska.
Related: Slideshow from 2018 event
The story of Fatima began in May 1917, against a backdrop of World War I, and an atheistic mindset sweeping across Europe. Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children, asking for prayer, penance, and to deliver the message that unless people changed their ways, “a worse war would occur.” Culminating Oct. 13 of the same year, the Blessed Mother asked the children to share her words, “Do not offend God anymore,” and then she pointed to the sun, which began to pulse and spin, and eventually appeared to fall to the earth, sending pilgrims fleeing and begging for mercy. Many pilgrims were healed in this moment, and as the sun returned to the sky, the grounds were completely dry, though they had been saturated with rain for days prior. This is known as the Miracle of the Sun, and is a historically documented event.
St. Teresa Parish commemorates the event as near the Sept. 13 apparition as possible, with this year’s event falling on Sept. 11, which commemorates the 9/11 attack on the United States 18 years ago.
Outdoor accommodations will be available with restrooms, wheelchair accessibility, and seating. Candles and rosaries will be available for the procession. Free-will donations will be accepted to cover expenses. Youth groups and parishioners of all ages are encouraged to come. In case of inclement weather, the event will be held at the Cathedral of the Risen Christ, 3500 Sheridan Blvd., at 7 p.m.