This post was originally written on September 9. I was unable to post it at that time.
Hi Everyone! It is hard to believe that I have been in Fátima nearly a week already! I have absolutely no idea where the time has gone, but I know it has gone by quickly.
The Congress is going very well, though there was a slight hiccup today. Some unauthorized literature was being distributed. I understand that the Sanctuary authorities were quickly notified.
Otherwise, we have been learning about some very good developments in the history of Fátima. There is now available a critical edition of Sr. Lucia’s Memoirs (all six). From what I recall of the presentation, there are different manuscripts which require some critical scholarly work. As it turns out, some manuscripts are held here at the Sanctuary while others are at the Carmel in Coimbra where Sr. Lúcia lived. I thought that was a fascinating revelation. I wonder what will become of Sr. Lúcia’s personal journal O Meu Caminho…?
Yesterday, I was able to speak with four people. The first was Bishop Serafim, the previous Bishop of Fátima. He is a wonderful man, very gracious. He answered some questions that I had, which were composed in Portuguese with help from a friend of mine. A local man who speaks both English and Portuguese posed the questions and translated the answers. The questions were written in both languages and so there is a record of what was asked.
I also met the Portuguese journalist Aura Miguel. Her name needs no introduction to people here in Fátima, but she is little known and appreciated within the English-speaking Catholic world. She did a lot of traveling with Pope St. John Paul II and knows a lot of VIPs. I was able to ask some questions to her and discuss some mutual interests. She is a faith-filled woman who loves Our Lady. I truly hope her book on Pope John Paul II is released someday in English. We need it.
The Vice-Postulator for the cause of Bls. Jacinta and Francisco is also here in Fátima. I was able to speak with her privately. Please pray for her as her schedule is very busy. Finally, I ran into Mark Waterinckx of Belgium last night. We went out to a local café shop for about an hour and a half with a friend of his and talked about all things Catholic. Yet another good man!
Truly, being here and meeting/speaking with all these great people is nothing short of amazing. One person said to me, “Our Lady brings her friends together.” I think this is true. There is a beating heart here in Fátima, and one must take time to be close to it and rest in the grace of God. There is simply so much here and one can miss out if he or she is not careful!
My presentation went well yesterday (it was switched back to the original scheduled time). I believe it was well-received, though I was as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. It was recorded on both video and audio devices and we even had it teleconferenced to the States via Skype so a friend could see it! The text shall be posted soon here on my web site.
Tomorrow is my last day in Fatima as my flight leaves Sunday morning from Lisbon. Pray that I find a good hotel near the airport and for a decent price.
I am praying for everyone. Please pray for me.