GORHAM---What began with enthusiasm and an idea last winter has turned to fulfillment and pride as Daniel Kasprzyk helps construct a cross-shaped tent and thinks about what he and his fellow volunteers have created in Gorham.
Months ago, Dan and his wife, Ellen, learned about a movement entitled “America Needs Fatima” that encourages individuals and families to come together to pray the rosary. During 2017, thousands of individuals around the country have gathered once a month to publicly pray the rosary in honor of Our Lady of Fatima, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the appearance of Mary to three young visionaries in the town of Fatima, Portugal.
“We knew we wanted to bring this experience to Gorham,” said Dan. “We obtained permission from St. Anne Parish and worked with other parishioners and the Knights of Columbus to organize outdoor rosary rallies with tents, music, banners, information booths, free rosaries, and special guests.”
The events have been held each month and have drawn people from all over Maine, including Bishop Robert Deeley, who attended the August rally.
Mary appeared to the children monthly, a total of six times, bringing a message of prayer, penance, and reparation. The visits culminated with the so-called “Miracle of the Sun,” which occurred on Sunday, October 13, 1917. The miracle was foretold by the Blessed Mother, and thousands turned out to see what they described as the sun appearing to dance in the sky.
To commemorate the occurrence, the final outdoor rosary rally will be held at St. Anne Church, located on 299 Main Street in Gorham, on Saturday, October 14, at 11 a.m. The event will begin with an outdoor Mass, celebrated by Fr. Lou Phillips, pastor of St. Anne, followed by the rosary rally at noon, and a fellowship barbecue at 1 p.m. with live music scheduled.
“Everyone is welcome,” said Dan. “Non-Catholics, people who have never prayed the rosary, everyone. We’ll offer rosaries and guidance for anyone interested.”
The Kaspryzks have also set up a website to promote the gathering and the anniversary year (www.maineneedsfatima.org) and will livestream the rally on the website for those who can’t attend.
According to “America Needs Fatima,” over 21,000 public square rosary rallies will be held in the U.S. this weekend, including an additional rally on the west lawn of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland on Saturday at noon.
“Our Blessed Mother is calling all of us to renew our dedication to Jesus, her son,” said Dan. “What better way to honor Jesus and Mary than with these lovely celebrations.”