Our Lady of Fatima statue crowned for centenary year

By Maria Bruns, Union of Catholic Mothers

Catholics from across England and Wales filled Westminster Cathedral on 18 February to witness the reconsecration and crowning of a statue of Our Lady of FatimaDuring Mass, Cardinal Vincent Nichols renewed the consecration made by one of his predecessors – Cardinal Bernard Griffin, the then Archbishop of Westminster – who had consecrated the statue at the Abbey grounds in Walsingham on 16 July 1948.
 
In the prayer of consecration, Cardinal Nichols said: "To you and your Immaculate Heart, in this centenary year of the apparition of Fatima, we reconsecrate ourselves in union not only with the Church, the mystical body of your Son, but also the entire world." This year marks the centenary of the apparition of Our Lady to Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco in Fatima in May 1917. The statue will tour 20 cathedrals of England and Wales over the course of the year, in a tour ending in Wrexham Diocese in October.

Writing about this has invoked happy memories from my childhood, when we had a picture of Our Lady of Fatima on our living-room wall and would often hear our mother relate to us how Our Lady had appeared to the poor shepherd children. Fatima seemed a long way away when I was a child, but I hope to visit the shrine in the not-too-distant future. Closer to home, the Sisters of Charity are holding a procession to honour Our Lady of Fatima on Saturday 13 May, starting at 2pm at their convent in Seel Street, to which we are all invited.

• Members of our UCM committee were invited to the Annual Civic Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral on 26 February, an event attended by legal and public service representatives from our city and giving thanks and offering prayers for those in positions of leadership and responsibility. We were honoured to take part in the offertory and, after the Mass, had photographs taken with Archbishop Malcolm McMahon and Roz Gladden, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

• The theme of this year's Women's World Day of Prayer was 'Am I being unfair to you'. Prepared by Christian women from the Philippines, it was both moving and thought-provoking.

I hope to see you all at our AGM on Saturday 22 April. For now, though, I wish you a happy and holy Easter.