A Smaller, More Spiritual Church is Emerging

As we honor the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Friday and Saturday, I am heartened by the great mission given to Lucia dos Santos at Fatima in 1917, to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart throughout the world, and that Jesus desired this devotion to be placed next to devotion to His Sacred Heart.

Devotion to the Heart of Mary leads us to one singular destination – her Son, especially in the Eucharist, where He is present to us on earth every day.  The apparitions of Fatima, from the appearance of the Angel in 1916, to the “last vision” on the mystery of the Holy Trinity, given to Lucia in 1929, point us to the Eucharist, the source and summit of our Faith. 

Throughout our tours of the Pilgrim Virgin statues, and especially as I experienced with the Eucharistic Revival Fatima statue tour along the Seton route of the walking pilgrimage to Indianapolis, we witness the vibrant faith and great love of the people for the Blessed Mother and their humble, reverent worship of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.

Parishioners from St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Silver Spring, MD, gathered before the Pilgrim Virgin statue of Fatima to seek her intercession and prayers.

These are largely modest people from all walks of life, not esteemed in the world, but full of hunger and great love for the Lord. They are from all ethnic backgrounds, yet come together under the same banner of faith. Their love for Jesus causes them to love their neighbor even more, and together, they form pockets of great devotion and holiness, which douse the flames of destruction coming from the evil one.

When they look into the eyes of the beautiful image of Our Lady of Fatima before them, they are able to surrender all to “Mama Mary” and leave with a sense of peace that God is with us in the smallest details of our lives; He hears our prayers and will get us and our families through this “valley of tears.”   

Catholics from the Diocese of Metuchen gathered before the Eucharist for a night vigil of adoration during the Eucharistic Revival walking pilgrimage along the Seton Route.
Photo by Gerald Wutkowski, Diocese of Metuchen

When Jesus is exposed on the altar in the monstrance, there is great reverence for Him; one can feel the warmth of His loving embrace. They are able to drink from the living water He gives in order to become love and mercy for the sake of others.

Sts. Jacinta and Francisco both commented on the fire in their heart that did not burn but caused them to love Our Lord and Our Lady even more. This sprang from their love and devotion to the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. We all have access to this fire of Divine Love in our own hearts, and should ask for it, because God is cultivating the future Church in us.

Long before he was Pope Benedict XVI, Fr. Joseph Ratzinger commented in a 1969 radio broadcast that the Church would become smaller but more pure – more spiritual, and from there would be renewed:   

“From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. …  The Church will be a more spiritual Church, not presuming upon a political mandate, flirting as little with the Left as with the Right. It will be hard going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek. The process will be all the more arduous, for sectarian narrow-mindedness as well as pompous self-will will have to be shed. One may predict that all of this will take time. The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain — to the renewal of the nineteenth century. But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.”

The little flock of believers exist in all areas of this country, sustained by the Real Presence of Jesus and the pure love of Mary in her Immaculate Heart. May we all be one, holy, catholic and apostolic church anew under these two pillars.


Barb Ernster is the National Coordinator/Communications Manager/Editor for the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA. 

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A Smaller, More Spiritual Church is Emerging

As we honor the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Friday and Saturday, I am heartened by the great mission given to Lucia dos Santos at Fatima in 1917, to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart throughout the world, and that Jesus desired this devotion to be placed next to devotion to His Sacred Heart.

Read More »

First Saturday and the Spiritual Motherhood of Mary

Many of you have probably heard about the movement for a fifth Marian Dogma, specifically to declare the Blessed Virgin Mary as “Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate,” and you wonder how this movement aligns with the message of Our Lady of Fatima.  We know that Sister Lucia never recorded Our Lady at Fatima ever saying anything about a fifth Marian dogma, but this does not mean there are not many significant parallels to the Fatima message.  Many of you might be surprised to hear that the movement for a fifth Marian dogma actually pre-dates the supernatural events at Fatima.

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Anything But “Ordinary” Time

Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the Church, marks the end of the Easter season. Leading up to this day we completed the Novena to the Holy Spirit which began on Ascension Thursday; “Come Holy Spirit fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy Love.” Although many dioceses transferred the feast to the following Sunday, most of us began the nine-day prayer on the traditional day. This was a great preparation for the mission ratified when the Holy Spirit came upon Our Lady and the Apostles. It is the time when the Holy Spirit comes upon us and fills us with the gifts needed to carry on our mission as Catholics. On Pentecost the Church was born.

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Our Blessed Mother Joins the Eucharistic Pilgrimage

To highlight a strong Marian aspect of the National Eucharistic Revival during the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, the World Apostolate of Fatima, USA is holding a “Eucharistic Revival Statue Tour” that will travel from the East Coast to the National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis, arriving on July 16.

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