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75th Anniversary Celebration

St. Joseph Parish celebrated its 75th Anniversary on April 13, 2024!

Welcome to a journey through time, celebrating 75 years of faith, community and resilience. Along the beautiful shores of Lake Erie, St. Joseph Parish has stood as a beacon of hope and unity, nurturing the spiritual lives of countless families across generations.

After months of preparation with parishioner and retired broadcaster Paul Orlousky at the helm, this special documentary has been created in honor of the rich history and enduring spirit of our Parish. Please join us in reflection of our remarkable journey and in celebration of the milestones that have shaped who we are today!

What a wonderful 75 years it has been! ENJOY!

An immense THANK YOU to Paul Orlousky and all others that made this documentary possible. With all of your contributions, our past, present and future have all be beautifully intertwined and can be remembered for years to come!

Follow the Footsteps of Paul with Fr. Ron this Fall!

In celebration of St. Joseph's 75th Anniversary, we are once again hoping to form missionary disciples as they join Father Ron Wearsch on another amazing pilgrimage. Set sail on a 9-night cruise through the breathtaking Greek Isles, where one will have the opportunity to visit ancient temples and idyllic seaside villages in six ports of call: Santorini, Ephesus (Kusadasi), Mykonos, Volos, Thessaloniki, and Philippi (Kavala). Experience the best of both worlds with private group tours and free time in Athens and on the cruise during this spiritual, historical and cultural adventure.

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There are still a few spots open! It's not too late to register!

Haven't made up your mind and want to learn more?
Click below to watch the video recap of the informational Zoom meeting with Magi Travel's Mark Hoffman!

The World-Famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Fatima is coming to St. Joseph Parish!

As a continuation of our 75th Anniversary celebration, join un on Monday, July 8th, as we welcome this beautiful statue to our beloved Parish for a very special day. Please see below for the day's events.

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History of the International Pilgrim Virgin Statue 

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Our Lady Set Forth from Fatima to Claim Her Dominion
Through the Pilgrim Virgin Statue


The world-famous International Pilgrim Virgin Statue (IPVS) of Fatima was sculpted in 1947 by famous sculptor José Thedim. The image reflects the precise instructions of Sister Lucia (the surviving seer at Fatima). Her desire was that the pilgrim image represent Our Lady’s position when she revealed herself as the Immaculate Heart to the Shepherds in 1917.

The Spiritual Presence of Our Blessed Mother

In the presence of hundreds of thousands of pilgrims at Fatima, the statue was blessed by the Bishop of Fatima on October 13, 1947. It was the second “twin” statue commissioned as the Pilgrim Virgin that would carry the blessings of Fatima to the West (including the Americas) while the first statue, commissioned on May 13, 1947, would travel to the East. The purpose of the Pilgrim Virgin Statue tours was and still is to bring the graces of Fatima and Our Lady’s message of hope, peace and salvation to those many millions of people who may never have an opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Fatima itself.

The Bishop entrusted the statue to John Haffert, co-founder of the Blue Army, and prayed that Mary herself accompany the statue wherever it goes. Mr. Haffert had met with Sister Lucia in 1946 to understand what Our Lady wanted of the Catholic faithful and together they composed what came to be known as the Blue Army Pledge. Six days after the blessing, Mr. Haffert brought the statue to Canada where it was solemnly crowned on the grounds of Ottawa University by the Most Rev. Alexandre Vachon, D.D., Archbishop of Ottawa.

On December 8, 1947, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the statue entered the United States in Buffalo, NY. The Buffalo police reported that they witnessed the greatest traffic jams in their history when nearly 200,000 people lined the streets to welcome Our Lady. In the intervening two years, under the direction of Monsignor William McGrath, the first statue custodian, the Pilgrim Virgin statue visited more than 50 dioceses in Canada and the United States, filling cathedrals, churches and other venues from Boston to California, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. In the 
St. Louis cathedral, 310,000 people were in attendance in one week; in the Buffalo cathedral, 220,000 were present during a stay of 35 hours; and 125,000 attended Our Mother of Sorrows church in Chicago, in a single day.

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On May 13, 1951, the statue arrived at Fatima at the close of the Holy Year designated by Pope Pius XII. Over a million people were there for this solemn occasion. During his radio address, His Holiness remarked: “In 1946, I crowned Our Lady of Fatima as Queen of the World and the following year, through the Pilgrim Virgin, She set forth as though to claim Her dominion, and the favors She performs along the way are such that we can hardly believe what we are seeing with our eyes.” 

A Special Blessing for the Pilgrim Virgin Tours

On October 24, 1952, Pope Pius XII blessed the statue and imparted a special blessing on the work of the Fatima Pilgrim Tours. Largely through the Pilgrim Virgin Statue tours, Mr. Haffert went on to spread the Message of Fatima worldwide and more than 20 million people signed the Blue Army Pledge. The Bishop of Fatima accompanied Mr. Haffert and the statue custodian on many tours and special “world peace flights.” The most famous peace tour occurred on October 16, 1992 when six bishops descended on Red Square in Moscow carrying the Pilgrim Virgin Statue. It was crowned at  

midnight in front of Lenin’s tomb. An uninterrupted flow of graces and favors have been reported wherever the statue has traveled, including physical cures (which can only be officially pronounced by Church authorities). More important, people are converted and return to the sacraments after many years of being away from the Church.

 

Sister Lucia Welcomes the Statue

 

On the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress that took place Lourdes, France in 1981, the statue remained overnight at the convent in Coimbra, Portugal, at Sister Lucia’s request. She remarked afterwards that she had never seen any image which so resembled the actual apparition of Our Lady.John Haffert reported in his book, “Her Own Words”: I do not hesitate to say that I myself have seen that image change its appearance. I was privileged to accompany the statue to America, with Canon Oliveira in October 1947. On more than thirty occasions the statue has shed tears and once I myself wiped a tear from its cheek.

That Lucia found the image “so much like Our Lady” is remarkable. In 1946 I had shown Lucia many pictures of Our Lady, hoping that she would say that one was more like Our Lady than another. She looked at every one of the images with almost absolute indifference. None…not even the most beautiful, resembled the actual vision of Our Lady who was “more brilliant than the sun.”


Indeed Our Lady appeared to be so beautiful to all three children that they after seeing Her they wanted to die, finding no beauty any longer in anything on earth! I have never doubted that when Lucia had the Pilgrim Virgin statue in the Coimbra convent overnight, through the miraculous image Our Lady gave her again the experience of Her “presence,” even as She conveyed this sense of Her “presence” all around the world through this miraculous image.

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The statue has visited more than 100 countries, including Russia and China, bringing the great message of salvation and hope, “the peace plan from Heaven,” to countless millions of people. The custody and mission of this world-famous statue is under the auspice of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA – Our Lady’s Blue Army - which continues her journeys throughout the world with its principal statue custodian Patrick L. Sabat.

The World Apostolate of Fatima, USA – Our Lady’s Blue Army – is a Public Association of the Faithful under the Pontifical Council for the Laity – the official voice of the Vatican on the Message of Fatima. Its mission is to learn, live and spread the message of Our Lady of Fatima, in communion with the Church and in concert with the New Evangelization. For more information visit www.bluearmy.com.
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