Nearly 200 bishops and priests from throughout Latin America attended, including representatives from Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Mexico, Trinidad, Jamaica, Peru, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay; as well as from India, Philippines, and the USA.
The conference was held in the beautiful city of Botucatu, about 180 miles west of Sao Paulo. Archbishop Aloysio José Leal Penna, the Archbishop of Botucatu, welcomed the conference and arranged for the diocesan retreat center to house the event.
The talks were held in a large professional tent placed in the center of the Retreat House courtyard. This provided an open-air atmosphere, and allowed participants to enjoy the sunny weather of Botucatu, a city whose name comes from an Indian word meaning “good air”.
|The priests attending the Conference showed eagerness to learn more about the urgent Fatima Message for the salvation of souls and world peace.
Reverence and Enthusiasm
Our Lady of Fatima’s Message was received with reverence and enthusiasm by those present. The clergy were energized by the conferences, and expressed a keen desire to spread the Message in their parishes and dioceses.
The speakers at the conference (see page 56) covered many topics including the simplicity and profundity of the Fatima Message; the Miracle of the Sun; the Five First Saturdays; the latest developments regarding the Third Secret; (see page 29) the need for the Consecration of Russia; the true satanic nature of Marxism; hate crime legislation that effectively outlaws Christianity; the virtual takeover of Latin America by Protestantism; (see page 58) the deceptions of the UN and perestroika; (see page 50) new and horrifying weapons of war; and various other subjects all relating to the Message of Fatima (see page 96 for a full listing). A top-notch team of translators simultaneously translated the talks into Portuguese and Spanish.
The clergy had their souls fed as well as their intellects. There was time for prayer, Holy Mass and Benediction. The entire 15 decades of the Rosary were recited in common every day. The Latin American clergy nurture a great love of singing, and many beautiful hymns to Our Lady were intoned throughout the week.
Much interest was shown in Father Gruner’s proposal for a “Fatima Movement of Priests”, a loose confederation of priests who will adhere to five basic principles:
1) Total adherence to the dogmas of the Faith as infallibly defined by the Magisterium;
2) To believe and preach the constant teaching of the Ordinary and Universal Magisterium on Our Lady’s special role as Mediatrix of all graces;
3) To understand and promote the full Message of Fatima;
4) To pursue unwaveringly the true Consecration of Russia, by name, in a public ceremony conducted by the Pope and all the bishops of the world in obedience to Our Lady of Fatima and Her divine Son;
5) To live the Fatima Message in our daily lives and to promote it by word and example.
A booklet on The Fatima Movement of Priests was published at the conference in English and Spanish. The booklet is soon to be translated into Portuguese, French and Italian to spread this movement throughout North, South and Central America, and to the entire world.
Immediately after the close of the conference on Friday night, with the blessing of Archbishop Penna of Botucatu, the conference held a beautiful Rosary Procession through the streets of Botucatu that ended at the Cathedral (see page 45 for story).
A final dinner was held on Friday evening after the procession. Priests from various countries made heartfelt public presentations thanking the Fatima Center and its benefactors for holding the event, telling how much they benefited from the conference, and pledging to spread Our Lady’s Message to their people at home.
Also on the final day, newspaper reporters came to the conference and interviewed Father Gruner, John Vennari and others about the Message of Fatima and the Third Secret. The following Sunday, the Brazilian newspaper Diário da Serra featured a front-page color story favorable to the conference entitled “Third Secret of Fatima brings Religious to the City”. (See photos on page 39.)