The Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima visited our church and thousands of Catholics came to venerate and pray before the Blessed Mother.
Over a thousand people including: our school children, parishioners from our own church, other parishes in Brooklyn, members of our New York City Police Department and Catholics from all over New York City came to celebrate her arrival with a special crowning of her statue.
The NYPD Honor Guard escorted the statue into our church to applause and tears. The statue was carried by the NYPD Holy Name Society and accompanied by our school children who had just received their First Communion.
After the welcoming ceremony, the crowds never stopped with hundreds more coming to pray before her every single hour after that, including faculty from nearby schools, police, firemen, doctors, dentists, little children. Many stopped their busy day to take time out to pray in the presence of the Fatima statue. We were extremely honored that Deacon Kevin McCormack from Xaverian High School, put his busy day on hold to come pray with us for a few minutes. It was like that the entire day. People making the time to come pray with the Blessed Mother.
The rosary in the evening was said in English, Italian, Spanish and Polish. We were honored to have Father Joseph Gancila lead the rosary ceremony for us. Fr. Joe attended the ceremony despite having a broken foot. Fr. Joe is always there for us.
The special mass in honor of the Blessed Mother was celebrated by Monsignor Romano and concelebrated with pastors and priests from many neighboring parishes including: Monsignor Noone from Our Lady of Angels, Monsignor Caserta from St. Bernadette, Fr. Guy from St. Francis Cabrini, Fr. Joe Gancila from Mary Mother of Jesus, Fr. Toro and Fr. D’Antonio From St. Athanasuis, Fr. Andrew Soley, Fr. Raso, and Fr. Martin from Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The overwhelming crowd in attendance had the honor of listening to Monsignor Caserta deliver the most inspiring homily. His special and heartfelt words touched everyone that evening. More importantly, those in attendance remembered his words and took those words home with them.
Adding to the solemnity of the Mass and the inspiring words of Monsignor Caserta was the beautiful and emotional music provided by Mrs. Janet Cullen, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Children’s Choir and Tone Chime Choir. This special visit of this special statue deserved only the most special music in honor of Our Blessed Mother and Mrs. Cullen and our children performed brilliantly.
In attendance, besides the huge amount of parishioners and visiting Catholics were members of the Polish School and apostolate, the Spanish apostolate, members of the Figli Maria SS Addolorata, members from San Crucifiso, Religious from St. Bernadette, Religious from Visitation Academy, faculty from Our Lady of Guadalupe, Home School Association from Our Lady of Guadalupe, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Italian Apostolate, NYPD Holy Name Society, and Knights of Columbus.
From the first minute the Pilgrim Statue arrived Catholics of all ages, from all walks of life, those who are suffering from illness, those confined to wheelchairs, the elderly, the very young, married couples, mothers carrying their babies, school children of all ages, all prayed before her and left humbled and inspired.
People of all ages found it impossible to control their emotions…..grown men and women wept uncontrollably in the presence of the Pilgrim Statue.
Monsignor Robert Romano adds, “For this one moment, we all came together, stopped everything else in our lives and made the Blessed Mother the center of our lives, and the Blessed Mother smiled on all of us. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience that none of us will ever forget.”