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If You Missed This Seminar:
Don’t Miss These Inspiring Audio Recordings of The Fatima Center’s Ambassador Seminar
by Bernadette Vesco
The Fatima Center hosted its first Ambassador Seminar from September 24-26, 2004 in Glendale, California. Over 200 people attended the event. The seminar, which focused on taking action for the furtherance of the Catholic Faith and the Fatima Message, included addresses from top Fatima experts and field workers, who covered a wide variety of informative topics.
Father Nicholas Gruner opened the seminar with his talk "The Message of Fatima and You", in which he explained the important role each individual person has in bringing about the fulfillment of Our Lady of Fatima’s requests. Many people feel that aside from prayer there is not much they can do to bring about the Consecration of Russia. Father Gruner pointed out, however, that individuals have much more influence than they realize, and that God has given them each a unique role in these times.
He reminded the audience that a mere 50 people were present for Our Lady’s second apparition at Fatima. That small group spread the word and because of them the crowds grew for each apparition, and culminated in 70,000 people witnessing October’s Miracle of the Sun. Father Gruner explained that the example of those 50 people is an image of how the victory of Our Lady will be accomplished: through us, the grassroots. Just as Our Lady used those 50 people to spread the news of the apparitions and thus indirectly bring the swelling crowds to Fatima each month, through our simple attempts to spread and promote the Fatima Message, we can be the instruments God will use to bring about the Consecration of Russia and peace.
Friday night’s second session consisted of a speakers’ panel, during which seven speakers addressed the topic "The Obligation to Believe, Obey and Promote the Message of Fatima" for ten minutes each. John Vennari, editor of Catholic Family News, addressed the common misunderstanding that Fatima is only a private revelation that no one is obliged to believe, in a talk entitled "Prophecy and Miracles".
Dr. Peter Chojnowski, Professor of Philosophy at Gonzaga University, discussed Our Lady’s role as Queen of Heaven and Earth, which distinction has been accorded to Her by Her divine Son, Who is King and Master of all things, in a talk entitled "Our Lady Claims Her Sovereignty".
Attorney and President of the American Catholic Lawyers Association, Christopher Ferrara, spoke on the prophetic elements of the Fatima Message that have already been realized and also touched upon some of the current proofs that the Consecration has not been done and that Russia has not been converted, in a talk entitled "God is Going to Punish You Severe".
Father Paul Kramer focused his brief address on our moral obligation to believe the Message of Fatima, in a speech entitled "When God Speaks — We Must Listen".
Jim Condit Jr. spoke of the many temporal and spiritual dangers we face in the modern world, noting that until Our Lady triumphs, the hope for millions of souls rests upon the actions to be taken by the comparatively few ambassadors of Fatima, Ambassadors of Jesus and Mary. His address is entitled "Even the Smallest Person Can Change the Future".
Gerry Matatics, Biblical scholar and president of Biblical Foundations discussed the error of naturalism so pervasive today, whereby the world seeks natural solutions to cure its problems, which are supernatural in origin. Mr. Matatics also presented a Biblical paradigm, in which he traced the parallels between the prophet Elias and Our Lady of Fatima. Read the text of his speech entitled "Prophecy and Punishment".
Father Nicholas Gruner concluded the speakers’ panel with a discussion entitled "By What Authority Must We Believe?" concerning our obligation to believe the Fatima Message because God Himself has given it to us, through His holy Mother. Our Lady has promised Her victory, Her triumph. Yet She has chosen to win through us. Therefore, it is time for us to do our part.
In Saturday’s first lecture, entitled "The Present Pagan Assault on Fatima and What You Can do About It", John Vennari spoke on the pagan Hindu ritual that was performed on May 5, 2004 at the chapel built where Our Lady appeared at Fatima. He traced the sacrilegious event to an interreligious congress that was held in Fatima in October 2003, during which the one true Faith was placed on the same level as false religions, heresy was openly propounded and applauded by high-ranking Church prelates and the announcement that Hindus were now permitted to perform their pagan worship in a Catholic shrine in India was also approved of. Mr. Vennari attended the congress, witnessed these atrocities and reported on them. In his presentation he included both video footage and audio recordings of the congress and its outcome, the May 5 pagan sacrilege. He concluded by giving practical examples of what each of us can do about the assault on Fatima.
Dr. Thomas Droleskey, founder and president of Christ the King College, spoke on "The Necessity of the Fatima Message to Retard Russia’s Errors". Our Lady of Fatima warned that unless Russia was properly consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart, Russia would spread its errors throughout the world. Dr. Droleskey explained that Russia’s errors are the errors of modernity, in which Our Lord and His Church have been rejected and man believes he is God. Russia’s errors, the lecture demonstrated, have become entrenched in individuals, in society and even in the Catholic Church. These errors can only be effectively retarded by the promotion of the Fatima Message, and they can only be destroyed by the Consecration of Russia.
The "How to Become an Effective Apostle of Our Lady" lecture comprised of brief presentations by Fatima Center workers on the various ways one can work to further Our Lady’s Fatima Message.
Coralie Graham addressed the Seminar on the "Supreme Privilege of Being an Ambassador of Jesus and Mary". She asked for all to open their hearts to the Blessed Mother and ask Her for help in this mission to bring about the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will save millions of souls and bring us true world peace.
Joanna Swords, who runs the Center’s volunteer department for North America, explained that one of the best means available for spreading the Message is through volunteers. Read the text of her presentation, entitled "Volunteering Action and Grace".
Andrew Cesanek gave a video presentation of the current Fatima web site project, in which archive.fatima.org has been revamped, and new material and web sites have been added to the network. Read the summary of his address, entitled "Fatima Web Network".
Coralie Graham, editor of The Fatima Crusader, discussed the quarterly magazine (see "The Fatima Crusader:Our Lady's Flagship"), as well as the recently completed Fatima documentary "Heavens Key to World Peace".
Don Pennell gave the audience practical advice on how to utilize various media outlets to disseminate Fatima information to the public, and offered simple and effective ways of spreading the Fatima Message to the Catholic bishops. Read the text of his presentation, which is entitled "This Seminar is About Action".
"Fatima and Catholic Action" was the title of Dr. Peter Chojnowski’s Saturday afternoon lecture. Dr. Chojnowski spoke on the notable Catholic Action proponent Jean Ousset, who strove in mid-Twentieth Century France to re-instill the Social Kingship of Christ in his country.
Too many Catholics separate their faith from the other aspects of their lives. We must not succumb to this error: our faith must permeate every single thing we do in life, and it must spill out to touch others. As Dr. Chojnowski explained, Ousset knew that his organization would never comprise a mass movement; yet he said that to be successful he merely required 1,000 elite men and women who would dedicate their lives to the cause. We too know that we may not have a mass movement working for our cause; but if we will join together and dedicate ourselves to Our Lady of Fatima we will help to save souls and bring about the Consecration of Russia. Dr. Chojnowski provided numerous examples of how we can effectively organize and engage in Catholic Action.
In a lecture entitled "Obstacles to Fatima: Modernism and Modern Thought" Father Patrick Perez explained why a knowledge of apologetics, which is the defense of the Catholic Faith through reason, is essential to living the Message of Fatima. Father Perez discussed the fact that modernism has been infused into every aspect of our lives and that even many within the Church hierarchy have succumbed to its errors, which is one of the reasons the Consecration of Russia has not been done. He talked about what he believes to be the biggest obstacles to the Pope and bishops doing the Consecration, including primarily the 1993 Balamand Accord. He noted that a knowledge of apologetics is necessary to both combat the modern errors that attack Our Lady’s Fatima Message, and combat those errors which prevent the spread of the Message to others.
Father Gruner concluded Saturday’s session with a lecture on "Fatima and Personal Sanctification". The Message of Fatima applies not only to the welfare of the world and the establishment of peace, but firstly to the salvation of souls. Our Lady said, "If My requests are granted, many souls will be saved and there will be peace."
Father Gruner reminded the audience that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is necessary for sanctification. As the Immaculate Heart is central to the Fatima Message, so should it be integral in our spiritual lives as well. He talked about the reparatory devotion of the Five First Saturdays, the Brown Scapular, and numerous other means of growing in holiness.
In Sunday’s first lecture, Gerry Matatics provided a "Scriptural Defense of Marian Doctrine and Devotion". In order to spread the Message of Our Lady of Fatima one must be able to defend, first of all, our beliefs regarding the Mother of God. Protestants often use certain passages from the Bible to argue against Catholic doctrine regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mr. Matatics demonstrated, using Scripture, how these arguments can be refuted. He discussed the seven most common objections Protestants have to Catholic teaching about Mary and provided Scripturally-based refutations of each objection.
Christopher Ferrara spoke on "The Catholics Duty to Defend the Faith". In this lecture he first discussed the importance of knowing exactly what we as faithful Catholics are defending against. We are living in a unique and unprecedented time, when the manifold errors that the pre-conciliar popes uniformly fought against and condemned have taken hold in the Church and completely altered Her orientation toward the world. Mr. Ferrara noted that this has led to upheaval, disorientation and outright apostasy.
Addressing the question of whether lay people have a right to do something about the crisis, he affirmed that the laity not only have the right but the duty to defend the Faith. He concluded the talk by pointing out that through Confirmation we have been made soldiers of Christ and members of His army; and if we neglect to do our duty in that army, we are deserters.
In Sunday afternoon’s session on "The Power of the Rosary", Father Gruner encouraged the promotion of a Rosary campaign, which can take many forms (see: "25 Million Rosaries"). Also, various people shared touching stories of favors and miracles they have received from the hands of Our Lady. (See: "Miracle Cure from Death’s Door by Our Lady of Fatima" and "5-Year-Old Converts Hindu Family Through Her Treasured Rosary".)
In a lecture entitled "A Rosary Crusade to Save America", Jim Condit Jr. reminded the audience that though the situation in the world and the Church seems almost irreparable, each of us has the ability to make a difference, especially through the prayer of the Rosary. He discussed examples throughout history of how the Rosary was instrumental in overcoming evil and saving nations from imminent peril, and he called for a conscious Rosary crusade to aid America in this desperate time.
Mr. Condit outlined some of the dangers we are currently facing, the specific intentions the crusade will have and the various forms the Rosary crusade can take. He also spoke of how each of us can begin implementing the Rosary crusade in our own homes and cities.
"The Imminent Chastisement for Not Obeying Our Lady’s Requests" was the title of Father Paul Kramer’s lecture, wherein he spoke about the punishment that is upon us for not heeding Our Lady of Fatima’s requests. He discussed numerous relevant prophecies contained in the Message of Fatima, other reliable Marian apparitions, as well as those given by numerous saints and holy persons.
He also talked about the Third Secret of Fatima and what is really contained in it. Quoting Pope Pius XII who warned that "soon the human race must undergo suffering such as there has never been in the history of the world," Father Kramer outlined what sufferings we can expect to undergo if Our Lady’s requests are not fulfilled. Yet he reminded the audience not to despair, as in the end Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph.
Father Gruner concluded the seminar with a talk entitled "Time of Apostasy, Time for Action!" in which he reminded the audience that though the battle we are engaged in currently is temporal, it is above all spiritual in nature. It firstly concerns souls: Our Lady of Fatima said, "I have come to warn the faithful to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins." The worldwide loss of faith and, as a result, the loss of souls, are the most disastrous effects of the spread of Russia’s errors.
Father Gruner spoke of the forces that are working to destroy the Church and damn souls to hell, and explained that only the weapons given to us at Fatima can effectively fight and destroy this powerful enemy. God has placed us in this time for a reason, he noted. Through prayer, sacrifice and action He expects us to take Our Lady’s side and fight in this decisive battle.
Our first Ambassador Seminar was both informative and edifying. Aside from the stimulating speeches, the conference also provided an opportunity for defenders of Our Lady of Fatima to meet and mingle, to gain solidarity in their struggle for the truth. Friendships and acquaintances were formed, and attendees were also given the opportunity to meet Fatima Center workers in person.
Even if you were not present for the conference, you too can be an ambassador of Jesus, Mary and the Catholic Faith. The more informed you are, the more effective your work will likely be. We therefore urge you to order cassette sets of the conference lectures, and benefit from the valuable information they contain. See the ad "Listen to Fatima Experts!".