From October 24 to 28, 2016 representatives from 29 countries, such as Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, Nigeria, Mexico, Panamá, Ireland, to name only a few, attended this meeting in Domus Pacis, the international headquarters of the World Apostolate of Fatima. There were a total of 120 people, including bishops, priests and religious sisters.
The General Assembly of the World Apostolate of Fatima is one of the major events in the life of our association. It takes place every four years, in Fatima. The scope of the meeting is to evaluate the activities of the association and to launch the pastoral plan for the years ahead, enriched by the experiences shared by all the participants.
The meeting of this year had the particularity of being held in the context of the celebrations of the Centennial of the Apparitions of the Angel and that of the Jubilee of Mercy, with the eyes put in the major celebrations of 2017, the Jubilee year of Our Lady’s apparitions in Fatima. The theme chosen for the Assembly was, in fact, taken from the Angel’s words in the 2nd apparition of 1916: “The Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary have designs of Mercy on you”. This theme was nicely expanded through conferences delivered during the meeting.
The program included also the presentation of reports from each nation, as well as the presentation of projects associated with the celebrations of the Fatima Centennial. Time was also given for workshops in small groups, divided by regions, to discuss the issues that concern their own realities, in terms of living and spreading the message of Our Lady of Fatima.
An important part of the program were the moments of prayer and liturgical celebrations, both in the chapel of Domus Pacis as well as in the Shrine of Fatima, where a solemn Mass was celebrated in the Chapel of the Apparitions, in thanksgiving for the commitment of all the members of the Apostolate. Afterwards, the assembly processed with the new banners of the World Apostolate of Fatima towards the Holy Door in the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, where all were invited to pray.
The group also celebrated Mass in the Parish church of Fatima where the three little shepherds were baptized. After this, everyone walked the Stations of the Cross and visited the sacred places where the Angel appeared and the houses of the little shepherds.
In the last day of the general assembly, the participants enjoyed a pilgrimage to Santarem to visit and venerate the church of the Eucharistic miracle and then, to go to Lisbon for a visit to the Church of Saint Anthony and a panoramic tour in the city.
As established by the WAF Statutes, the delegates have also elected the new Board of Trustees to serve the international Apostolate for the coming four years, 2016-2020.
The World Apostolate of Fatima rejoices with the joyful dynamism and commitment of each WAF member in the various countries who, with love and zeal, promote devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary by emphasizing the calls she offered us in Fatima.