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placeholder October 23, 2017   •   VOL. 55, NO. 18   •   Oakland, CA

Almost 600 people filled St. Joseph the Worker Church on Oct. 13 for the closing ceremony of the 100-year anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima.

Servers assisting at Mass line up for Communion.

Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, with St. Joseph the Worker pastor Rev. Ken Nobrega behind him, distribute Communion.

Diocese rededicated to Mary

At a closing Mass for the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima at St. Joseph the Worker Church, Berkeley, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, rededicated the Diocese of Oakland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Mary can remove the barriers between us and her Son, the bishop said. He reminded those in the filled-to-capacity church of Mary's request to Sister Lucy, one of the three children to whom Our Lady appeared: to build a chapel at Fatima in Mary's honor and to pray the rosary every day.

The Marian apparitions began on May 13, 1917, when Francisco Marto, who was 9 years of age, his 7-year-old sister, Jacinta, and their 10-year-old cousin, Lucia dos Santos, who later became a Sister, reported seeing a vision of the "lady dressed in white" — later called Our Lady of Fatima. A total of six apparitions reportedly took place on the 13th of each month through October of that year, when after a rainstorm, a miracle of the "dancing sun" was observed by 70,000 people who were in attendance at the final apparition.

Many parishes in the Oakland diocese had events and Masses for the 100th year. St. Joseph the Worker Church was named the Diocese of Oakland's official pilgrimage site for the Fatima Centennial.

At the beginning of Mass, Bishop Barber said "Tonight's Mass is for the people in need in wake of the fires in the Diocese of Santa Rosa.

"Beseech the Blessed Virgin Mary to ask her Son to intercede for the people of the Santa Rosa Diocese," he asked.

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