In these times of turmoil, groups of the faithful across the nation plan to gather at noon on Saturday, Oct. 13, to create islands of serenity by publicly praying the most holy rosary.

The prayer groups are being promoted by America Needs Fatima.

According to the organization's website, 9,000 Public Square rosary Crusade rallies 1,000 higher than the goal have been scheduled to date.

Here are the local groups, locations and captains: St. John Byzantine Catholic Church, Bertsch Street, Lansford: Captain Patricia Rabayda; Ludlow Park, Summit Hill: Captain Aurelia DeMatto; Kennedy Park, East Patterson St., Lansford: Captain Pat McHugh; St. Patrick's Cemetery, Nesquehoning: Captain Fran Yacapson; Depot Square Fountain, Tamaqua: Captain Donna Carrigan; St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Jim Thorpe: Captain Pat Hydro; Intersection of Routes 309 and 54, Hometown (in front of the furniture store); Captain Joyce Minehan; St. Peter and Paul Byzantine Catholic Church, Beaver Meadows: Captain Walter Camier;

The America Needs Fatima website provides this history of the rosary Crusade: "After World War II, Austria was divided between the United States, France, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union. The Soviet section was the richest one and included the capitol city of Vienna. The Viennese were subject to the all the atrocities of communist occupation. In 1946, Fr. Petrus Pavlicek, after making a pilgrimage to Mariazell, Austria's principle Marian shrine, heard an interior voice that said: "Do as I say and there will be peace." To obey this inspiration of Our Lady, Fr. Pavlicek founded the Holy rosary Crusade of Reparation in 1947. This Crusade consisted of a call to the faithful of Vienna to participate in public rosary processions in the streets of the city. The intention of the rosary was for the end of communism in their country and the world. At first, the processions were minuscule, but they gradually grew to staggering proportions.

In 1955, after eight years of spreading the word about the Crusade throughout Austria, the rosary processions would often have half a million participants – about one tenth of the Austrian population. Finally, through the help of Our Lady, the Soviet forces inexplicably pulled out of Austria in October of 1955.

At Fatima in 1917, Our Lady made it very clear that the rosary is the supernatural solution to our earthly problems. Father Pavlicek also saw this as a solution and promoted a national rosary Crusade that saved Austria from Communism. Just like in Austria, the rosary can save America."

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.

For more information, call Pat Rabayda at (570) 645-4340.