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Bishop Burbidge blesses Fatima statue at Fairfax Memorial Park

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This year is not only the centenary of the apparitions at Fatima, Portugal to the shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto. It also marks the 60th anniversary of Fairfax Memorial Park, consecrated under Richmond Bishop Peter L. Ireton.

Nearly 200 people gathered in the Garden of the Rosary burial section as Arlington Bishop Michael F. Burbidge blessed a statue of Our Lady of Fatima July 16. The blessing was followed by recitation of the rosary and a reception.

“We are honored and grateful to Bishop Burbidge for blessing this statue,” said Mike Doherty, president of Fairfax Memorial Park.

Bishop Burbidge thanked everyone for coming and said it was appropriate to gather on a Sunday for the occasion.

“Sundays, we as a church commemorate the resurrection of Jesus, the great truth of His promise that He is more powerful than even death itself,” he said. “So it is with renewed faith that we gather in prayer this day.”

The bishop blessed the statue, praying, “May all who look upon this image of Our Lady of Fatima and pray for her intercession be drawn closer to her Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Through her prayers may those who have gone before us … enter into eternal rest in the kingdom of heaven.”

It was a special day for Martha Raza, who has served as an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion for 20 years with Our Lady of Fatima Church’s Portuguese community in Riverdale Park, Md. She is also a parishioner of Church of the Nativity in Burke. Raza said it was the one month anniversary of her mother’s passing.

“Since I have represented on many occasions the Portuguese-speaking Catholic community, I am here for them and I am here for me,” she said. “It is a blessing to be here.” 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017