CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 25 March 2017

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Centenary of Marian apparition marked

HONG KONG (SE): A statue of Our Lady of Fatima that was blessed by Pope Francis on January 11 this year was the guest of honour at a celebration held at St. Joseph’s in Central of the centenary of her appearance at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917.

The gathering was reminded of the importance of reflecting on their lives and the need for conversion, which is the central message of the Marian apparition in the Portuguese village 100 years ago.

More than 300 people from the Filipino and the Chinese communities of the parish gathered at the grotto in the church compound to pray the rosary before the statue was carried in procession by four members of the Legion of Mary to the church.

They were joined by Father Jay Flandez, the chaplain to Filipinos, and Father William Gonzales Tan, the guest speaker for the day from Taipei.

The statue was then crowned by Father Midas Tambot, the parish priest at St. Joseph’s, after which Father Flandez and Father Tan placed rosary beads and a scapular in its hands.

Father Tan said that now is high time to repent and undergo conversion.

In encouraging people to live a consecrated life in response to the message of the apparition of Our Lady through oblation, making reparation and confession, he warned that the world is experiencing a spiritual global warming.

He added that it is important for everyone to strengthen their spirituality through adoration, the rosary and the Eucharist.

Father Tambot led a Mass together with the four priests present. He reminded the packed church that we need to humbly acknowledge our need for conversion, be resolved to change and rely on the mercy of our loving God.

During the Mass, the congregation recited the Act of Consecration, a prayer penned by Pope John Paul II in union with all the bishops of the world on 25 March 1984, entrusting all individuals and peoples of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

After making its last appearance in Hong Kong on January 28, the statue was scheduled to leave the first stop on its Asian tour and travel to The Philippines to continue its pilgrim journey.

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