The Ecumenical Friends of Fátima Association (EFFA)

‘Father, may they all be one, just as you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.’  John 17: 21

The Ecumenical Friends of Fátima Association was inaugurated and consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima on Tuesday, 15th May 2001 by the Right Reverend Edwin Barnes, Bishop of Richborough and first Episcopal President of The Association, in the presence of His Excellency Serafim de Sousa Ferreira e Silva, Bishop of Leiria- Fátima.

Inside the new Church


  • promotes the worship of almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, through encouraging devotion to the Most Holy Virgin especially under her title of Our Lady of Fátima.
  • works for the re-union of all Christians under the patronage of Mary, Mother of the Church.
  • organises pilgrimages to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima in Portugal.
  • supports local festivals in dioceses and parishes in honour of Our Lady of Fátima.
  • encourages personal prayer amongst its members to Our Lady of Fátima, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Belonging to EFFA
Membership is open to all those who accept the traditional catholic understanding of the three-fold ministry and the seven sacraments.
Members form a Living Rosary
At present there are 97 members.

The Comunidade Vida e Paz (the Community of Life and Peace) runs a centre just outside Fátima for the rehabilitation of drug addicts.
From its outset, the founding members of EFFA did not want it just to be a pious club but wanted a serious social and practical commitment as well. This was discussed with Bishop Seraphim, and he suggested we could support this charity which is one of his own favourite charities in Fátima. After an exploratory visit, the members on pilgrimage that year (2002) were really impressed by the work that was being done by the Community, and decided to adopt it as the practical expression of EFFA’s apostolate.
Each year we make a practical contribution to the life of the community, and support it with our prayers. So far donations have totalled just under £8,000. Sometimes this has been spent simply to help with the day-to-day running costs of the community, sometimes it has gone towards special projects.

In 2004 our gift went towards the Community’s Apartment of Reinsertion, (a Half-Way House) in the city of Leiria (about 25 kms from Fatima). It gives them the opportunity to experience “real life” once again, but having the Centre totally supportive in the background.
In 2007 the Community applied our donation towards a new sculpture – a massive figure of Our Lady which stands on the porch of the chapel and dominates the main piazza and entrance to the Centre.  In 2008, the money contributed to re-paving the garden area in front of the chapel.  This year's contribution will be put towards updating their computer system

Every pilgrimage enjoys the privilege of saying mass in the Centre’s chapel, which lies at the heart of the community.
The Centre is concerned with the body, soul and spirit of its residents. At the entrance to the Chapel there is large ceramic roundel which highlights the three aspects of the community’s life: “compassion”, “adoration” and “evangelisation”
• Compassion is seen within the community as people are weaned off drug dependency.
• Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is becoming a real part of the day to day life in the community chapel.
• Evangelism takes the form of teaching the faith, simply because that is part of that wholeness of life meant for everyone.

Vide e paz - outside the chapel

In such a spirit of prayer with and for each other lies our strength and the depth of our commitment to the call of Our Lady to make sacrifices for the sake of others. It is in this spirit that the Ecumenical Friends of Fátima Association is both honoured and humbled to be able to support the work of the Comunidade Vida e Paz at Fátima.

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