OUR LADY OF FATIMA MINISTRY STORIES

 One day a visitor from another parish decided to attend our Seniors Group meeting on a Wednesday afternoon. It happened that there was a funeral in the church at the same time. The beautiful sounds of our Funeral Choir carried into the hallway. She said they didn’t have such a choir at their parish and she exclaimed: “You don’t know how lucky you are to have such a beautiful choir!” Yes, we do!


The Rosary Prayer Line started in 2004 and currently has 200 members who pray for the intentions of the people who call in. To this date with the help of Jesus and Mary we have had 338 people call back to tell us they have been helped by our prayers (and this does not represent the total number of petitions answered). Some of the people who called back said they had found employment...they had healing of family relationships... successful operations and recuperations ... changes of residence...tests came back with good results...physical healings. Many people found peace with their situations after asking us for prayers.


I brought communion to a woman every week for years. I listened as the woman confided in me about family problems, then about the brain tumour the doctors discovered. One day the woman lapsed into a coma and was rushed to the hospital. She remained in a coma until our pastor came to administer the Sacrament of the Sick.  For that brief time, she woke up to receive the Sacrament, and then lapsed back into a coma and died the following day. The woman had given me a ceramic butterfly which to this day sits on a small table in my living room. I ended up having the deepest connection with this woman and think of her every day when I look at the butterfly. The woman once told me: “The only time I’m at peace is when you come.” I am honoured to be in the Pastoral Care ministry. You can’t say in words what it means to take the parish out to the people. You are really doing God’s work.


Last summer I brought my grand-daughter from Montreal to the Saturday 4:30pm mass. At the time my aunt was very ill and had not seen my grand-daughter for several years. We arrived early and as we walked into the church my granddaughter exclaimed “what on earth are cookies doing at the back of your church Nanny?” She was referring to the hosts waiting to be brought up to the altar for Communion. As I tried to explain the symbolism of the body and blood of Christ, a Hospitality Minister had overheard our conversation and approached us to ask if I would like to bring the gifts to the altar with my granddaughter. What an honour!

When we got up to bring the gifts to the altar my aunt was surprised and absolutely thrilled to realize her great-niece was to be part of the celebration. When it was done my granddaughter shared with me that she was so afraid to spill anything that she held the carafe so tight she thought she was going to crack it!!! These are once in a lifetime experiences and moments I will treasure forever.


 

This is one of the many things that stand out in my twenty-four years in the Legion of Mary. We were assigned to teach the children at Dr. F.J. McDonald School how to make rosaries, how to say the rosary and to explain the mysteries of the rosary. It was amazing how many children gave up their lunch hour to join us in the library. They were thrilled with the fact that they could pick out the colour of the beads they wanted and proceeded to thread them onto a special rope to which was tied a cross. During the making of the rosary we would tell a story about one mystery or sing a hymn to Mary. One day my fellow Legionary told the students that today would have been my grandson’s 2nd birthday, that he is now in heaven with Jesus and Mary, and after class I would be going to visit his grave. After the class as we were gathering the beads and putting them back into their boxes, one of the little boys came up to me and said “I made this rosary for your grandson – would you take it with you?” I hugged and thanked him and later at the grave tied it to the little bush my son had planted there. Today, some twenty years later, it is still tied to the bottom of what is now quite a tall bush!