Our History:

Blue Army beginnings

WAF Mission: To help people throughout the Diocese learn, live and spread the message of Fatima


 HISTORY of the World Apostolate of Fatima (WAF/Blue Army)

of the 1st Saturday Holy Mass & Breakfast

Spiritual Directors/Guest Speakers ~ Fort Wayne South Bend Division



Locally, The World Apostolate of Fatima, formally known as The Blue Army had its beginnings in 1947, at St. John’s parish in New Haven, IN established in the grade school. With concerned, followers of Mary learned about the six Apparitions in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Their pastor, Father Ehrman was enthusiastic about the good news of a Peace Plan from heaven and encouraged the spreading of the message of Our Lady. Fr. Ehrman formed the original group, began studying the Soul magazine and with Bishop Pursley’s permission, invited Co-founder of the Blue Army, John Haffert into the Fort Wayne/South Bend diocesan to teach the Message of Fatima and its hope for peace. Enthused members began attending the yearly conference at the Blue Army Shrine Headquarters in Washington New Jersey. In 1947, Father Larry Fettig was appointed as the first Spiritual Director of the Blue Army in Fort Wayne/South Bend Division by Bishop Pursley.



As noted above, in the early years (1947) of the Blue Army in New Haven, Father Larry Fettig was appointed as the first Spiritual Director. Our Bishops chose the following Marian Priests to guide the Fatima Apostolate in the Fort Wayne/South Bend Diocese: Father Paul Miller, Father Herman Schurr, Father Adam Schmitt, Father James Seculoff, Father George Gabet, FSSP. Current Spiritual Director: Father Glen Kohrman and Assistant Spiritual Director Father Robert Garrow.



In 1947, with the encouragement of Father Fettig and the leadership of Sister Paulita; Marie Butler, Gloria Yagodinski, and other church members the Holy Mass and Breakfast events were held on the First Saturday of June at St. John’s Church, New Haven. With the help of Rosemary Urbine, Fran Barentos, Cecil Savard, Frank and Ada Federspiel, Laurence and Mary Tippmann, Emma and Jim Momper, John and Phyllis Kuhn, Betty and Marsh Lomont ~ the celebrations began with Holy Mass, followed by breakfast and a guest speaker. The annual event was held in available parishes such as St. Patrick’s, Queen of Angels, St. Jude’s, Fort Wayne, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Warsaw and St. Louis, Besancon.

Speakers were layman and priests - Bishop Pursley, Fr. Schurr, Father Robert Fox (founder of the Fatima Family Apostolate), Fr. James Stoyle, Fr. Phil DeVolder and Fr. Glen Kohrman.

Since 2011, Father Adam Schmitt received permission from Bishop D’Arcy for the privilege of having the annual Holy Mass & Breakfast said at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in order to give the message of Mary more importance and then breakfast was served at St. Mary’s Parish. In 2013, looking forward to the 100th centennial year of Our Lady’s Appearances at Fatima (2017) and to reach more souls about Mary’s appearances the date for the celebration was changed to the First Saturday of October.


Speakers for WAF Holy Mass & Breakfast:

Held at the Grand Wayne (2012 to Present)

2019: John Preiss – “The 100th Anniversary Of The Deaths Of Saints Jacinta and Francisco Of Fatima”

2018: Fr. Joseph Mary Wolfe, EWTN – “The Message of Fatima”

2017: Fr. Daniels Scheidt, St. Vincent, FW – Topic “Top Ten “Extra Secrets” of Fatima”

2016: Bishop Rhoades – Topic “The Fatima Message”

2015: Sr. Angela de Fatima Coelha, postulator St. Francisco/St. Jacinta/Sr. Lucia – Topic “The Lives of St. Francisco & St. Jacinta”

2014: Fr. James Bromwich – “The Message of Fatima as It Applies to Today”

Held at other local parishes:

2013: Fr. Jacob Meyer – Topic - “Our Lady and Our Reverence to Her”

2012: Fr. George Gabet- FSSP Topic – “The Battle of Lepanto up to Our Lady’s Message of Fatima”

2011: Father David Mary Engo of the Franciscan Brothers Minor – Topic “Message of Fatima”

2010: Deacon Bob Ellis – WAF National Coord. - Topic “Spoke on the Apostolate and What Activities National was promoting”

2009: Recognized the Jubilarians – Watched film “Miracle of the Sun” w/follow-up by Fr. James Seculoff

2008: Michael La Corte, Executive Director of WAF, USA: - Topic “Fatima, The Path to an Era of Peace”

2007: Collin Donovan, EWTN Vice President for Theology @ EWTN

Speakers cont.

2006 Celebration in Warsaw, @ Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Fr. Sergius Wroblewski,OFM

2005: Right Rev. Abbot Edmund F. McCaffrey - Topic “Mother of the Eucharist”

2004: Msgr. Wm. Lester - Topic: “Reflections of Fatima”

2003: Father Joe Rulli – Topic “Jared by Fatima”

2002: Bishop John D’Arcy/Fr. James Seculoff/Fr. Adam Schmitt – Topic “Fatima Message Sharing-Growth of Fatima Apostolate

2001: Axillary Bishop Daniel Jenky

2000: Fr. Ladis John Cizik – Topic “Cell Holy Hours and Fatima Today”

1999: Fr. Herman Schnurr – Topic “Be Not Afraid…Pray the Holy Rosary”

1998: Mr. Robert Griesemer – Topic “The Fatima Message in Today’s World”

1997: Missing book ?

1996: Fr. Otto B. Pisoni – Topic “Mary and Her Fatima Message of Hope”

1995: Louis Kaczmarek – Topic “Holy Mary”

1994: Fr. Stanley Smolenski – Topic “The Marriage of Mary and Joseph”

Fr. Fox was also a guest speaker at our Breakfast in the 80’s.

Started in the 1947 – the simple Annual Holy Mass & Breakfast event was held at the parish level and grew to what it is today.

The available recorded History is stated above: 1994-2018.


Parish School Message Outreach

Father James Seculoff, Superintendent of the Catholic Schools, was greatly supportive in spreading the message.  He encouraged Gloria, Rosemary and the others to enter classrooms with the Fatima filmstrips, rosaries, scapulars, and information of Our Lady’s Peace Plan which encouraged the children to share the message with their parents. (1970-80’s).

Betty Lomont who sponsored the Fatima Trivia contest and essay contest and awarded scholarships to the 3 top winners for many years in memory of her husband, Marsh Lomont.


*Father Adam Schmitt wrote a little booklet, Reflections on the Mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary. It was used to help to fulfill the 15-minute meditation on the Most Holy Rosary while also praying the Holy Rosary before the celebration of the Holy Mass. The Sacrament of Penance was offered by many local priests before the Holy Mass.

*Children dressed to represent the Fatima children seers: Lucia Santos, Jacinta and Francisco Marto

*The Franciscan Friars held diocesan Jr. high retreats in local parish schools on the Message of Fatima

*Rosary-making at local parish schools

*Conferences/Events informing pilgrims about the message of Fatima. (Assisi Conference/Family      Conf./Christ Child Festival/St. Andrew’s Retreat, and many Diocesan events.)

* Created Holy Hour Booklet 3/1988

On October 7, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI decreed that the World Apostolate of Fatima be a public association of the Faithful.

 As a Public Association of the Faithful, the World Apostolate of Fatima serves as the sole Catholic Church-Sanctioned organization responsible for the propagation of the message of Fatima and acts in the name of the Church when fulfilling its purpose. Only a public association can receive a mission to teach Christian doctrine in the name of the Church, promote public worship or pursue a purpose which by nature is reserved to ecclesiastical authority (canon 301 §1)’.

No other Fatima organization currently holds this status or responsibility to the Church.


Submitted by Emma Momper, Emeritus Trustee, with help from other Emeritus WAF members and BOD members.


Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!