Somonauk Hosts Our Lady of Fatima Procession
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
May 21, 2020
SOMONAUK—Father Kevin Butler, pastor of St. John the Baptist, was inspired by two particular stories when he arranged a Marian procession around the town on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
The first story was from the fifth century about Pope Gregory I (St. Gregory the Great). During a time of severe plague that ravaged Rome he organized a massive procession around the city, inviting everyone to pray to God that the plague would be lifted. And it was.
The second happened in Fatima during the Spanish flu epidemic. People who were ill or terrified of becoming ill processed there with images of Our Lady and other saints. From that day on there were no more cases of influenza in their district.
The Somonauk procession was organized with the coronavirus in mind, both to pray for protection from and an end to the pandemic and to maintain health guidelines.
“We have been careful to follow protocol,” Father Butler said beforehand. “We secured permission from the DeKalb County Health Department as well as our local Village Hall. We have Somonauk police stopping traffic on Rt. 34 when we cross.”
The 2.75 mile walk went from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and Father Butler led the Joyous, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the rosary throughout. 
Two members of the Knights of Columbus carried a bier with a statue of Our Lady of Fatima. A couple of other Knights followed, including Joseph Dillett who walked with a basket of blessed rosaries to hand out. 
The little procession was led by parish director of sacred music, Mark Mackeben. 
The DeKalb County Health Department gave permission for Father Butler to lead the rosary without a mask so he could be heard as he maintained six feet of distance from others. The rest had masks, most with the Knights of Columbus logo on them.
The event was livestreamed on Facebook, courtesy of a young parish member.
Some parishioners watched from their homes, and a few others expressed curiosity. 
One little dog joined the procession as it passed in front of its home. 
Following the procession, Father Butler crowned the parish statue of Our Lady of Lourdes with roses.
He then shared with Facebook followers about the quest to pray to Mary, with “very intentional prayer, for her to wrap her mantle around our parish community, the community of Somonauk and for the end to this virus, the end of this stay at home quarantine, that all of this will pass ... . We beg our Lady to intercede for us ... and we can get back to living life ... hopefully better, hopefully a spiritual awakening across our community and the whole world.”
There are confirmed cases in the Somonauk area, according to Illinois government sources.
May 13 marked 103 years since Our Lady’s first apparition to three shepherd children in the village of Fatima, Portugal.
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