'Fatima Tour of Peace' comes to Schaumburg on Nov. 6
To commemorate what believers consider a miracle that occurred 104 years ago, the faithful will welcome the arrival of a traveling Marian statue in union with the "International Fatima Tour for Peace."
Schaumburg's Church of the Holy Spirit will host the upcoming tour with a full day's schedule of events from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, in the church, 1451 Bode Road, in Schaumburg.
The visit of the renowned traveling statue, under the co-chairmanship of parishioners Jose and Maria Aluquin, has peace as its motivation and marks the anniversary of the 1917 Marian apparitions to three illiterate children in Portugal.
Known as the International Pilgrim Virgin, the statue, sculpted by noted artist Jose Thedim, with the aid of its sponsors continues to travel worldwide as it has since 1947, with an aim to alert folks to pray for peace, praise God and hear the Fatima story concerning the appearance of the Virgin to 11-year-old Lucia dos Santos and her two cousins on May 13, 1917.
Instructed to return on the 13th of each month, dos Santos at the time told officials that the Virgin Mary promised the children an October phenomenon to convince unbelievers that her appearances to the children were true.
More than 70,000 believers and skeptics assembled Oct. 17, 1917, and witnessed what is called "The Miracle of the Sun," an occurrence in which the sun, covered with a veil so folks could look at it, danced in the sky, spun wildly and once hurled itself toward the crowd before returning to its orbit.
Artist Thedim used the depiction of Lucia dos Santos, who entered a Carmelite convent and died in 2005, to give authenticity to the statue's features.
The "Encyclopedia of Catholicism" says, "Although approved by the church, the events at Fatima are considered private revelations."
A procession at 8:45 a.m. will lead to the crowning of the Our Lady of Fatima statue by parishioner Jeanine Gayton. The Rev. Jeremy Thomas, pastor of Church of the Holy Spirit, will celebrate a 9 a.m. Mass, followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a talk by statue custodian Patrick Sabat, the recitation of the rosary at 11:30 a.m., and time for private prayers from noon to 4:30 p.m. Thomas will hear confessions from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Former pastor the Rev. William Tkachuk will celebrate the 5 p.m. Mass, followed by further devotions, benediction and a farewell procession at 7:30 p.m.
Founded in 1972 by the Rev. George Kane, Thomas said the parish for many years has hosted the traveling statue.
"The reason we are hosting the event is because it helps us to bring people to prayer," said Thomas. "And because it is part of our ongoing ministry here at Church of the Holy Spirit."