Over a dozen parishes of the Archdiocese of Newark will host a Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima — which has traveled the world on a mission to spread peace and hope since 1947 — during its archdiocesan tour from April 28 through June 10.
Once transported from the Shrine of Fatima in Portugal, the statue will be on display for veneration at St. Pius X Parish in Old Tappan from April 28 through May 1. The figure will then visit 12 other churches throughout Bergen, Essex, Hudson, and Union counties, with each church offering initiatives related to the veneration of Our Lady. For example, St. Pius X Parish will celebrate a Mass in her name on Saturday, April 29, at 9 a.m., after which people will be invited to pray the rosary every 90 minutes until the 4:30 p.m. vigil.
To commemorate Our Lady of Fatima’s first apparition on May 13, 1917, a procession will commence from Newark’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on Saturday, May 13, at 1:30 p.m. and travel to Newark’s Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. There, the statue will be presented for veneration, followed by a Mass dedicated to Our Lady at 5 p.m. and a special reflection at 7 p.m. This reflection will be delivered by Ricardo Casimiro, co-leader of the statue’s pilgrimage and campus minister at Montclair State University. Casimiro has made 40 visits to Portugal’s Shrine of Fatima as part of his studies of Our Lady.
“I’m very excited the statue is coming to the Archdiocese — it’s been my dream to bring her here for a long time,” said Casimiro, who received the Shrine of Fatima’s Centennial Medal in 2017 due to his commitment to Our Lady. “Her presence here reminds us that we’re never alone. Our Lady is always with us in our suffering and our moments of joy. So, visiting the statue is a chance to renew our faith and find hope for the future.”
The archdiocesan tour of the statue is intended for parishioners to thank Our Lady for her protection during the COVID-19 pandemic and request her intercession amidst current global conflicts. It is also meant to generate excitement for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day festival, which will take place in Lisbon, Portugal, from Aug. 1-6.
This year the Archdiocese of Newark — with the supervision of Casimiro and Father Kevin Kilgore, pastor of St. Pius X Church in Old Tappan — is sending 43 youths on a pilgrimage to participate in the festival, during which they will visit the Shrine of Fatima. To prepare them for this journey and encourage all young people to foster a relationship with Our Lady, Casimiro will lead a catechetical program at Montclair State’s Newman Catholic Center on Sunday, May 7, starting at 5 p.m. Afterward, a Mass dedicated to Our Lady will be celebrated by Father Jim Chern, director of campus ministry for the Archdiocese and Montclair State. Students from all four archdiocesan universities have been invited to attend.
“The statue is a beautiful article of faith,” said Father Kilgore, co-leader of the statue pilgrimage who will celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Fatima before bringing the statue to the Archdiocese. “It’s traveled all over the world. Millions of people have prayed before her over the years. And many more wish they could visit her, but she’ll be with us because the Lord wants her to be here. The Lord wants us to see her and grow our devotion. It’s all divine grace.”
Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Fatima is a Marian apparition who appeared to three shepherd children in Cova da Iria, Portugal, on six occasions between May and October of 1917. During her initial appearances, Mary showed three prophetic visions to the children and urged them to pray the rosary daily for world peace and sinners’ salvation. During her final apparition on Oct. 13, thousands of people observed what is now known as the Miracle of the Sun — the sight of the sun zig-zagging through the sky.
Three decades later, the original Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima was created by sculptor Jose Ferreira Thedim using a detailed description provided by one of the children who saw her, Sister Lucia dos Santos. This statue was eventually duplicated multiple times and has traveled across the world to bring Our Lady to those who cannot visit the Shrine of Fatima.
Statue Tour Information
The full tour schedule of the Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima can be found here:
St. Thomas the Apostle in Bloomfield
Holy Trinity Epiphany Church in Newark
Holy Family Parish in Nutley
Newman Catholic Center at Montclair State University in Montclair at the Student Center Ballroom, as well as during Sunday Mass
St. Stephen’s Church in Kearny
Our Lady of Fatima Church in Newark
Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Newark;1:30 p.m. Procession for Peace
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark at 5 p.m.
Christ the King Church in Hillside; 7 p.m. Candlelight procession
Our Lady of Fatima Church in Elizabeth
St. James the Apostle Church in Springfield
St. Anthony Church in Belleville
Holy Cross Church in Harrison
St. Catherine of Siena Church in Hillside
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Newark
Sacred Heart Parish in Bloomfield at 1 p.m. on May 31
May 31-June 1
Sacred Heart Parish in Bloomfield
Our Lady of Peace Parish in New Providence at 6 p.m. on June 1
June 1-June 2
Our Lady of Peace Parish in New Providence
Our Lady of Fatima Parish in North Bergen at 6 p.m. on June 2
June 2-June 4
Our Lady of Fatima Parish in North Bergen
St. Joseph Parish in Jersey City at 3 p.m. on June 4
June 4-June 6
St. Joseph Parish in Jersey City
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark; 8 p.m. Portugal Day Mass
June 8-June 9
St. Henry Parish in Bayonne 10 a.m. on June 8
St. Genevieve Parish in Elizabeth at 3 p.m on June 9
June 9-June 10
St. Genevieve Parish in Elizabeth
St. Pius X Parish in Old Tappen at 4 p.m. on June 10; the final Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Michael Saporito at 4:30 p.m.; 8 p.m. rosary and candlelight procession
Those interested in visiting should contact each parish for hours of operation and event agendas. For more information about the tour and the archdiocesan World Youth Day pilgrimage, visit www.facebook.com/WYDNEWARK.