50 years in the Priesthood
* St. John Bosco
* Sister Lucia of Fatima Dies
* Sister Lucia's Role with the Pope and the Immaculate Heart
* NEW BOOK! True Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
* Meditating on the Priesthood After 50 Years
* The Intimate Life of Sister Lucia
* The Hand that Rocks the Cradle
* Exploring Mother Mary's Final Wish
* The Husband's Role in the Family
* The Meaning of "Separation of Church and State"
* Fr. Fox Meditates on Near-Death Experiences
* Editorial - 50th Year - One of Suffering
* Fatima Family Forum
* Questions & Answers
* News Briefs & Comments
Editorial - 50th Year - One of Suffering
This issue is arriving late. It is perhaps unlike any other. There are various reasons: the death of Sr. Lucia whose life deeply touched my own; my 50th anniversary as a priest of Jesus Christ; my close brush with death two times, just a week apart, as the result of a near-fatal car accident last November 15. And finally, as I continue to recuperate from several major surgeries of the past year, radiation treatments for some months, and the injuries of the near-fatal car accident, all this has hindered my ability to work until recently.
The death of Sr. Lucia prompts us to feature her in this issue. Never in the 2000-year history of the Catholic Church has a humble nun, with but a few years of formal primary education, been called by heaven for a mission touching the universal Church, the Pope and all the bishops of the world, and even governments of nations. Her messages have proven accurate. Her mission has proven vital for the future of the world and the Church. She has contributed to the salvation of souls and the veneration of the Immaculate Heart of God's Mother throughout the world.
Sr. Lucia's death, just short of 98 years, was the fulfillment of another Fatima prophecy. She would remain long upon the earth to spread devotion to the Immaculate Heart of God's Mother.
During the week of her funeral I was interviewed twice on Catholic radio concerning Sr. Lucia and her death. The hour interview on EWTN radio, and also one on EWTN television, regarding the book Intimate Life of Sister Lucia, brought countless calls for the book. It is a book which I was originally not to publish until her death. It contains documents previously not available at Fatima until I presented the book to Fr. Cristino, in charge of the archives at the Fatima sanctuary. He requested it. See more about this book in this issue.
In this issue I give a brief meditation after 50 years in Christ's holy priesthood. These years of great joy, assisted by the "Cause of our joy," have passed so quickly. "When one is busy and happy, time flies."
I finally gave in to the suggestion to write an autobiography and titled the book, a Priest is a Priest Forever. I must say that my 50th year has been for me a year of the greatest physical sufferings, as can be noted in the first paragraph of this editorial. And yet, this 50th year has been like the other 49. I've been more happy each year in living Christ's priesthood, more happy than the previous year.
In many ways it is a great grace to brush death so closely but continue on. I had never had a car accident before. They were always something that happened to other people. I hesitated to share with you some of the experiences I've been through the past five months as I've been returning gradually to physical normalcy with the help of therapy. But the joy of being alive, able to continue to serve the Lord, souls, His church, is too great to retain within myself.
After some years of repeated encouragement from respected people to write a book on my life, I finally started an autobiography. I had started it some months before the serious accident. Then I could not think about that during the first months of recovery. Realizing my 50th anniversary as a priest was coming up April 24, 2005, I finally was able to to get back to writing. I continued writing the book, under physical difficulties to get it out by the time of the 50th anniversary. Park Press gave special considerations to get the book printed quickly.
Artist Mark Sanislo of Coon Rapids, Minnesota, who painted the beautiful cover of our Blessed Mother for the book, Messages from the Heart of Our Mother, painted the cover for the book, A Priest is a Priest Forever.
About the cover: Mother Vicar, Sister Catherine (left) of the Monastery of the Holy Angels and Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Hanceville, Alabama, came with Sr. Marie Machelle and Brother David to visit Fr. Fox during the time of his recuperation. They found him offering Holy Mass in his home and afterwards posed for this picture.