Pilgrimage - Retreat in Fatima
A pilgrimage presents the opportunity for us to encounter God in ways that can forever change our lives.
I invite you to join me on a retreat/pilgrimage to Fatima, one of the most significant Catholic pilgrimage sites of the last one hundred years. The crowds of the 100th anniversary have diminished and now is a wonderful time to experience the grace available to those who go on pilgrimage to this most special Shrine.
Pope Francis stated of the grace of praying in Fatima, "Each time we recite the rosary, in this holy place (Fatima) the Gospel enters anew into the life of individuals, families, peoples, and the entire world."
We have created a schedule that allows for two days of retreat in the middle of our pilgrimage, which I will be directing. This guarantees that each of us will have the opportunity for prayer and reflection that will aid in our encounter with Jesus and Our Lady. Our retreat will conclude on the Feast of our Lady's Assumption, which will surely be a special event in Fatima.
I believe there is a special grace present in Fatima and if pilgrims are able to take the time to be still, to be quiet, they are able to experience this grace. Fatima holds a place of prominence for me due to my encounter with our Lady on my first visit. I remember praying in front of the image of Our Lady and experienced her closeness and maternal care in a way that changed our relationship. It was an experience I have never had before or since. Such is the grace of Fatima.
Our time in Fatima will provide us the opportunity to visit all the significant places important to the story of Fatima. We will also spend an afternoon in the small village of Santarem, the sight of an inspiring Eucharistic miracle that took place in the 13th century.
Please consider joining me on this wonderful pilgrimage. Space is limited, so don't delay. God bless you, and know of my thoughts and prayers for you,
Fr. Dave Pivonka, TOR (President of Franciscan University of Steubenville)