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Our Lady of Fatima Church, Craftsbury

Jeannine Young, a parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Craftsbury, leads  prayers during a special celebration there in honor of the 100 th anniversary of Our  Lady’s apparitions in Fatima, Portugal. (Vermont Catholic/Cori Fugere Urban) Jeannine Young, a parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Craftsbury, leads prayers during a special celebration there in honor of the 100 th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions in Fatima, Portugal.
The name of the Catholic church in Craftsbury honors the Blessed Mother who appeared to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, a century ago.
 
So to honor the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, parishioners of the church that bears her name hosted a special celebration May 13.
 
“These people are gathered in the name of Mary. They find a connection to the Blessed Mother,” said Father Angelito Sumod-ong, administrator of Mary, Queen of All Saints Parish that includes the Craftsbury church as well as St. Norbert Church in Hardwick and St. Michael Church in Greensboro Bend.
 
About 75 people gathered at Our Lady of Fatima Church for an outdoor rosary, Mass in the church, a May crowing and a potluck dinner.
 
Parishioner Jeannine Young spearheaded the event at the church where she made her First Communion in the late 1950s. “Our Lady of Fatima is home,” she said of the church that is usually open only from Memorial Day through Columbus Day but was opened on the 100th anniversary of the first Marian apparition at Fatima. “This church is special to the people of Craftsbury, and not just the Catholics.”
 
Annette Gann of St. Norbert Church attended the celebration at Our Lady of Fatima Church, saying the lesson she has taken from the Fatima apparitions is the importance of “a lot of prayer and sacrifice to get to heaven.”
 
Her grandchildren, 9-year-old twins Ethan and Sadie Gann, processed down the main aisle of the church during Mass with other children and adults in the May crowning; Sadie placed a crown of flowers on a statue of the Blessed Virgin.
 
During his homily on Mother’s Day weekend, Father Sumod-ong – dressed in white vestments with a picture of Our Lady of Fatima and the three children -- encouraged unconditional love for everyone even the unlovable, forgiveness and service to those who cannot repay.
 
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