On the evening of May 13, 2022, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, parishioners from St. Patrick’s in Lufkin began gathering outside the Angelina County Courthouse in Downtown Lufkin for the first of many rosary rallies and processions throughout the Diocese of Tyler. 

In collaboration with Texas Needs Fatima Ministry, Fr. Denzel Vithanage, pastor of St. Patrick’s in Lufkin, led a bi-lingual Rosary procession around the Angelina County Courthouse praying all twenty mysteries of the Rosary. The procession was accompanied by a mariachi band, dancers and representatives from Catholic Daughters of America, the Guadalupanas, the Knights of Columbus and others who helped lead each mystery of the rosary. 

Fr. Vithanage explained to the Catholic East Texas that Marian devotions are very important to him and his parish. He encourages the rosary to be prayed frequently, especially during the months of May and October, months dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the rosary. Fr. Vithanage also led the 33 Days to Morning Glory devotion at St. Patrick’s Catholic School, which is attached to the parish. 

Texas Needs Fatima Ministry was started in the Diocese of Tyler by Jeanne Holloway, who lives in Mineola. Holloway was inspired by Ellen and Dan Kasprzyk, founders of Maine Needs Fatima. Ellen and Dan Kasprzyk have supported Holloway tremendously in her efforts to start the Texas Needs Fatima Ministry. Holloway’s hope is to eventually spread to other dioceses in the state of Texas, but for now, she has organized rosary rallies and processions throughout the Diocese of Tyler. 

On May 13, 1917, the Blessed Mother appeared to three children in Fatima, Portugal. She would appear to these children once a month for the next six months. Throughout these apparitions, the Blessed Mother asked the children to pray for repentance throughout the world and that hearts be converted and follow her son, Jesus. In the last of these apparitions on October 13, 1917, the day known for “the Miracle of the Sun,” the Blessed Mother revealed herself as the Lady of the Rosary. Throughout her appearances to the three Fatima children, the Blessed Mother asked the faithful to pray the rosary more frequently. 

In early 2022, Holloway brought the idea for Texas Needs Fatima Ministry to Bishop Strickland. Bishop Strickland encouraged Holloway to move forward, requesting that a rally be held in each deanery. Holloway has organized six Rosary rallies throughout the Diocese of Tyler from May to October, 2022, and has already started planning for 2023. The first rally was in Lufkin on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima. The last rally will be in October, the month of the rosary, at Saints Peter and Paul Chapel in Tyler. 

Below is a schedule for the Rosary Rallies for the rest of the year. 

Sun. June 12, 2022: Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Holly Lake Ranch, 12pm.

Sat. July 16, 2022: Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, Daingerfield, 12pm.

Sat. August 13, 2022: Henderson County Courthouse, Athens, 10am.

Sat. September 10, 2022: Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Mt. Vernon, 12pm.

Sun. Oct. 16, 2022: Saints Peter and Paul Chapel, Tyler, 3pm.

All are encouraged to participate in a rosary rally near you. If you do attend a rosary rally, be sure to bring a lawn chair. 

For more information visit texasneedsfatima.org.