Fatima Family Apostolate

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The Fatima Family Apostolate (FFA) is a U.S.-based Roman Catholic Apostolate with headquarters in Hanceville, Alabama, founded in 1986 by Fr. Robert J. Fox and named after Our Lady of Fátima.


The mission of the Fatima Family Apostolate is to promote the true message of Fatima and the sanctification of family life.

The FFA is located in Hanceville, Alabama. It is an international Apostolate, having members all over the world and publishes a quarterly magazine called the Immaculate Heart Messenger.

Summary or principles

The Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate is a working document to guide the various segments of the Apostolate as outlined in the Charter and the Marian Manual. For adult groups, the first literature to be studied by a newly forming group is the Charter itself. This can be done during the first couple of meetings so that it can be reasonably completed before starting to use the Marian Manual. It is the Marian Manual which provides the key formats for the meetings once the group is established and is to be used by all groups as outlined in the Charter- [1]

The FFA has no source of income and no dues are required of members. There is no major staff. The Immaculate Heart Messenger Magazine serves as a means of communication among the various groups. The Director of the FFA serves as the editor of the Immaculate Heart Messenger- [2]

The structure consists in following the format for meetings as designated in the Marian Manual.([3]

The Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity of the Second Vatican Council said that all baptized members of the Church am called to holiness; there is no need for a priest to be present at prayer meetings.[4]

The spirituality of the Apostolate

The Apostolate's stated main goal is the sanctification of family life. It tries to educate and form children from their earliest years through adolescence into young adulthood.

In pursuit of living a sanctified married life, members of the Fatima Family Apostolate are required to accept all the official teachings of the Catholic Church, and to not accept dissent from Church teachings on faith and morals. The Apostolate respects what it considers the authority of Jesus Christ vested in the Pope and bishops of the church, and are expected to instill this into their children.

The Apostolate follows the Apostolic Exhortation of Pope John Paul II Familiaris Consortio (The Role of the Christian Family in the Modem World) regarding the spiritual connection between matrimony and the Holy Eucharist.[5]

Members meet at least once per month to pray and discuss. They undertake to do the spiritual reading in the course of the month.[6] They educate their children to pray and try to leave an irremovable impression on them. Apart from morning and evening prayer and prayers before meals, certain forms of prayer are expressly encouraged, including reading, meditating and other devotions and practices.[7]

Various groups

The FFA has six major segments in which members may participate according to their needs and circumstances.

1. Married Marian Couples - married couples who meet at least once per month for at least one hour of prayer and discussion. A group may be formed with as few as two couples, with the preferred size being five couples. When a group has grown to seven or eight couples and another couple wishes to join, groups divide (pp. 41 & 42).

2. Fatima Family Youth Groups - composed of teenagers with an adult leader, or young single adults, with these two groups meeting separately.

3. Children’s Groups - may vary in age from about four or five to age twelve, starting with talks for small children[8]

4. General Family Prayer Groups- mixed groups of adults of all ages and marital status.[9]

6. Suffering Members for the Conversion of One’s Country - permanently disabled people. They can receive a special certificate of membership and a card with a short daily prayer. (p. 44).[10]

Robert J. Fox, Founder of the FFA, died on 26 November 2009 at his home in Hanceville, AL, USA. A lay person author and writer and convert to the Catholic Church, John C. Preiss, became President of the Fatima Family Apostolate and Editor of the quarterly magazine the Immaculate Heart Messenger.

There are FFA groups in Australia and it is finding its way into the Philippines where its magazine, the Immaculate Heart Messenger is printed for places in Asia. Australia members made a summary of the FFA Charter.


  1. Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate(p. 13)
  2. Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate(p 14)
  3. Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate pp. 14 & 15)
  4. Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate (p 16)
  5. Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate(p. 25)
  6. Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate(p. 29).
  7. Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate (pp. 31 & 32)
  8. Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate(p. 43)
  9. Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate (p. 44).
  10. Charter of the Fatima Family Apostolate pp. 44 to 46

External links