Fr. Matt attended Holy Apostles Seminary in Cromwell, CT, as a belated vocation. He was ordained in the Marian Year on Jan. 11, 1988 and served as chaplain of the Catholic University in the Diocese of Ponce, Puerto Rico.He was been serving in the Diocese of Bridgeport since 1991. In 2005, Fr. Matt earned his Licentiate Degree (S.T.L.) in the Theology of Mary at the International Marian Research Institute located at the University of Dayton, a branch of the Pontifical Marianum University in Rome, Italy. Currently, Fr. Matt is the chaplain of St. Camillus Nursing Home in Stamford, CT. He has been regular columnist of Soul Magazine for over ten years and is the author of two books.
David Carollo is the Executive Director of the World Apostolate of Fatima USA. Mr. Carollo’s responsibilities include overall operations of the National Blue Army Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, located in Washington, NJ; the Apostolate’s hotel & retreat center, Domus Pacis, located in Fatima, Portugal, and the Apostolate’s mission of spreading the message of Fatima in collaboration with the New Evangelization.
A lifelong Blue Army member, he served on the National Board in various capacities including as president, and is a member of the International Board of the World Apostolate of Fatima. As one of the leading Fatima experts, he has been a frequent guest on EWTN, including The Church Universal, Jim and Joy, and Primetime Sunday with the late Fr. Andrew Apostoli. He is also a frequent guest on Relevant Radio with Drew Mariani, and a regular host Winds of Change radio in Chicago. He is a regular speaker at Marian conferences, Fatima events, Catholic universities and parishes, and the Fatima Shrine in Portugal.
Talk on the 102nd Anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima by Fr. Luke Fletcher, CFR
Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, OFM - Homily on the 102nd Anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima
The question came up: Who is the patron saint for gardeners? According to Catholic Online, the patron saints for gardeners are: Adelard, Fiacre, Rose of Lima, and when you really think about it, Adam. My Catholic Source adds: Dorothy, Phocas, and Tryphon. We recently celebrated St. Isidore the farmer. He was a day laborer who did farming work outside Madrid. He attended Mass every day before he went into the fields. He and his wife, Maria Torribia had a little boy, who died in infancy. Henceforth, they lived together chastely and gave freely to the poor. Isidore died in 1130 and was canonized in 1622. Maria was canonized in 1697. St. Isidore is the patron for farmers.
One interesting fact about Isidore and Maria is their decision to live chastely. Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within a person and thus the inner unity of a person in his bodily and spiritual being. Living continently out of love for God is the celibate state. Celibacy is viewed by the Church as a gift from God – it is a charism of the Holy Spirit. It is never to be viewed as a lugubrious treatment of one’s body or of another person’s body. Celibacy and virginity are beautiful, not dirty.
Whether it is for vegetables or for flowers, garden work truly demonstrates the fresh, spontaneous, and generous work of the Holy Spirit. The flower which symbolizes chastity is the white lily. St. Joseph, Husband of Mary, is depicted in statues and pictures holding a lily. All the saints mentioned above share in some way this fragrant attribute of Jesus – His Purity of Heart. Perhaps St. Isidore and St. Maria were inspired by the Holy Family to live out their days in chastity in the service of charity for the purpose of offering the total gift of self as did Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
Reverend Fr. Luke grew up in small town Indiana. Raised nominally Catholic, he experienced a profound conversion while at a rock concert during his freshman year at Ball State U. He transferred to Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Upon graduating from Franciscan University in 1996, he joined the Community of Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in the Bronx. The friars live a radical life concentrated on prayer, fraternity, hands on work with the poor and the new evangelization. Fr. Luke was ordained to the priesthood in 2003. He has served as vocation director, postulant director, and presently as director of priestly studies. Fr. Luke gives retreats and leads pilgrimages.