Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
As the Bishops of the United States gather in Baltimore this week for their fall meeting, the family and the recent Synod on the Family are forefront in many bishops’ minds.
Now more than ever, there is a need to focus people on the sanctification of the family. Our culture is trying to push impurity as the accepted standard of moral behavior within families and purity is viewed as an unachievable standard for normal people.
But we know that Our Lord calls us all to purity and fifty years ago he sent his mother, calling herself Our Lady of America, to a sister in Ohio to call us to purity and sanctification of the family. Today, there is a movement underway to have the Bishops of the United States fulfill her requests with the promise to pour forth many graces.
The devotion to Our Lady of America has its source in private revelations to Sister Mary Ephrem (baptized Mildred) Neuzil, who was born in 1916 and was professed, in 1933, in the Congregation of the Sisters of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, which has its generalate in Dayton, Ohio. She had a number of mystical experiences culminating in vision of Our Lady under the title of Our Lady of America in the late 1950’s.
Our Lady’s messages to Sister Mary Ephrem Neuzil have been approved by and promoted by several bishops. For further information, none other than Raymond Cardinal Burke has investigated these apparitions and submitted a positive written report on the matter to his fellow bishops in 2007.
In her messages to Sister, Our Lady called for all of us to exercise the virtue of purity, particularly within the family. She asked that a statue be created of her likeness under the title of Our Lady of America. Further, she asked that the Bishops of the United States solemnly process her statue into the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. as she wishes to be honored there in a special way as Our Lady of America, the Immaculate Virgin.
Our Lady promised that if the Bishops did so, great graces would pour forth and that greater miracles than those granted at Lourdes and Fatima, miracles not of the body but of the soul, would be granted here in America, the United States in particular, if we would do as she desires. These graces would help bring about the era of peace that she promised at Fatima. However, failure to do so would lead us to terrible suffering and punishment for the world.
So it is there is a movement underway to use the occasion of this fall’s Bishops meeting in Baltimore, just miles away from the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C. to fulfill Our Lady’s request. The desire of the promoters of the devotion, including several bishops, is to use the scheduled adoration time on Thursday, November 13th, and have the bishops make the short trip to the shrine to fulfill Our Lady’s request.
At a time when purity and the family is under attack from both outside and inside the Church, I cannot think of a better time to fulfill Our Lady’s request. What a wonderful declaration of love for Our Lady and a declaration of the need for purity and sanctification of the family this would be.
Many of the Bishops are already familiar with the devotion because of Cardinal Burke’s letter in 2007 and I understand that there are several bishops who are very desirous to see this happen. Yet, unsurprisingly, there are difficulties as well. Some bishops are unfamiliar or unconvinced of Our Lady’s request. Also unsurprisingly, there are some bishops who are opposed to any private revelation as they consider it peasant mumbo jumbo. And of course, there are the real logistical difficulties of a pre-arranged schedule for the conference.
Yet still, there is real hope among promoters of the devotion that this might happen this week. I have been informed that the statue of Our Lady of America is currently on its way to Washington D.C. to be there should enough Bishops decide that fulfilling Our Lady’s request is worthwhile.
You can familiarize yourself with the visions and requests of Our Lady of America here. I hope that some of you will join me in praying for this to occur this week and maybe even send a note to your bishop asking that they accomplish the request this week. We have never needed it more.
By the Holy and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, deliver us from evil.