This July, America Needs Fatima sent a volunteer to the 49th State. As the Alaskan motto fittingly states, it was also our “Last Frontier,” the only state where we had not conducted home visits with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
On previous personal trips, I spent most of my time visiting relatives and the principal natural beauties, with which Alaska abounds. This trip, since I was traveling on my own and visiting a few homes that were only accessible via dirt roads, I was struck by the frontiersman character of the people.
This aspect was further driven home when, during the first week of my stay, I went out from the motel where I was staying (located about a half hour outside of Anchorage) to pray a rosary one morning around 11:00, when a neighbor warned me that a rogue brown bear had been seen just a few minutes before down the same road.
According to available data—which is scarce—Alaska is one of the least religious states of the union (along with Washington and Oregon), with fewer than 40% of the population (700,000) attending church regularly. It is unclear if the research upon which this data is based takes into consideration that not everyone lives within driving distance of a church. Whatever the case, Catholicism is still the largest single denomination, as it is in our country as a whole.
Most of the visits were scheduled in the Anchorage area. There were anywhere between one (the first visit) and seventy-five people in attendance, with the largest attendance being at a church and a convent, both of which featured perpetual adoration chapels.
Visits were also held in Fairbanks, where we had a particularly warm reception; many people came to more than one visit, with one lady attending four! It was touching to see that almost every single host had provided a beautiful floral arrangement for Our Lady, particularly roses.
Since it had been years since I had participated in this particular activity, I was surprised that the overwhelming majority of attendees, while familiar with the Fatima message in general, did not know the content of the third part of the Fatima secret, revealed in 2000. In fact, I only recall a handful of people who had heard of it prior to our presentation.
Unfortunately, the weather was predominantly overcast during my stay. I stopped by Denali National Park on the ways to and from Fairbanks, but I was not able to see “the high one” as Mt. McKinley is known in the native language. While the cooler weather was quite a reprieve from the successive heat waves that swept the “lower 48” during that month, most locals pointed out that attendance would probably have been higher any other season. Alaskans like to get out during the summer months, with the abundance of daylight. Others also pointed out that they knew of others who would have liked to host Our Lady, if they had had more advance notice.
Hence, while pleased to have served Our Blessed Mother by bringing Her Fatima message to hundreds of Alaskans, we are already making plans for another expedition to the Last Frontier.