The economy is struggling, entertainment is reaching new depths of vulgarity and bullying is becoming the norm at all age levels.
In stark contrast to the anger and despair, islands of peaceful prayer will bloom in public places throughout the Panther Valley on Saturday as dozens of faithful Catholics will gather to pray the most holy rosary.
"We believe Blessed Mother wants us to pray in public so other people can see us pray, and pray with us," said organizer Pat Rabayda of Summit Hill. "Especially at this time in America, we need prayers. We have, all around us, people who are trying to take God out of our nation. We need to put God back into our nation, into our government. We need to not be afraid to say the name of Jesus Christ. We are here in a free country, but our freedoms are being taken away from us. We need to pray for all of that."
The prayer groups are being promoted by America Needs Fatima. According to the organization's website, 7,515 Public Square rosary Crusade rallies have been scheduled to date.
The groups will meet at noon across America. Locally, groups are preparing to meet at the Depot Square fountain in Tamaqua; in front of St. Joseph's Church in Jim Thorpe; at St. Patrick's cemetery in Nesquehoning; at Ludlow Park in Summit Hill and at St. Johns Byzantine Church and Kennedy Park in Lansford.
"In The Secret of the rosary, Saint Louis de Montfort states: 'Public prayer is far more powerful than private prayer to appease the anger of God and call down His Mercy and Holy Mother Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, has always advocated public prayer in times of public tragedy and suffering'," the website states.
Oct. 15 was chosen because it is close to Oct. 13, "the day God worked the miracle of the sun at Fatima, Portugal in 1917. America needs a monumental miracle of conversion," the ANF website states.