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Bud Macfarlane, Sr
Like so many Catholics of his time, especially the men, he was weaned on the faith but didn't really know and practice it to the fullest. Patricia, like so many women, was the heart of the family and the one who never gave up praying, realizing in God's time Bud would join her at the same level of spirituality. That transformation began as the eighties dawned when, after a charismatic conference in 1979 he attended a Cursillo in 1980. He found, just like riding a bicycle, it is something you never forget and soon he was back in the rhythm of daily Mass like his days in grade school. His life began to change, as he and Patricia became involved with the Blue Army and a year later on May 13, 1982 they were at the Fatima Shrine in Lewiston, New York at the same time the Holy Father was in Fatima, Portugal - a year to the date that the Pope had been shot and he was returning to Fatima to thank the Blessed Mother for interceding for his life. It was there he purchased a book on Fatima and as Bud says, that book changed his life. A year later he became a Knight of the Immaculata and the following year a Knight of Columbus. He was now thoroughly entrenched in parish work and living his faith to its fullest. But he felt he could do more and so he and Patricia passed on a vacation to Hawaii, opting instead for a pilgrimage to Fatima, Lourdes and Rome and never looked back. Upon their return Bud began speaking extemporaneously at various KC Council meetings in the area and various parishes. This soon spread to the high schools as he spoke on the power of the Rosary, the importance of living a Eucharistic life and how Marian apparitions were leading others to the faith. It became a great tool for vocations and Bud contacted the new shepherd of the Newark Archdiocese Archbishop Theodore McCarrick who had been installed in July of 1986. The archbishop gave Bud his blessing and he began speaking throughout the archdiocese.
It was on May 8, 1991 that signaled the beginning of a tremendous apostolate that would spread worldwide in less than a decade. He was giving a talk at St. Leo's in Elmwood which was a Franciscan parish. He had just completed a nine day novena to Saint Anthony, a beloved Franciscan and great preacher and lover of the scriptures, and had dedicated his talk to the Padre of Padua as well as Saint Maximilian Kolbe who worked so closely in evangelizing through the media, and Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the quintessential role model for speakers. Unbeknownst to him someone videotaped Bud's talk and presented it to him afterwards. Bud and Patricia were touched and copied several, sending copies to friends and especially his children who are all practicing Catholics. That was the beginning.
Since that time he has edited several books on the subject, and sent hundreds of thousands of his audio tapes "Marian Apparitions Explained" all over the world, being translated into French, Spanish, and even Mandarin Chinese so millions can experience it. This same talk he gave at St. Leo's is considered the the most popular Catholic audio tape of all time. Hard-hitting, factual, and meticulously researched, it was the first trustworthy, orthodox summary of the relationship among the many Marian apparitions during the past two centuries. Last year he issued another tape entitled "The Secret to Happy Families" wherein he emphasized the evils of artificial contraception, and how this practice is corrupting and destroying Catholic families, parishes, and the proper functioning of the priesthood. The personal theme of his talks are personal holiness and family togetherness through prayer and cooperation. He based his talks on Pope Paul VI's encyclical Humanae Vitae (July 25, 1968), Pope Pius XII's Mystici Corporis Christi (June 29, 1943), and various encyclicals by Pope John Paul II including Redemptoris Mater (March 25, 1987), Redemptoris missio (January 22, 1991), Veritatis Splendor (August 6, 1993) and Evangelium Vitae (March 25, 1995).
Bud stays active on weekends going wherever he's needed around the country to speak while still maintaining a career as a general manager for Innovative Plastics, a packaging corporation in New Jersey. Those are his roots. He still attends and is active at both parishes where he grew up - Immaculate Conception and Our Lady of Mount Carmel. His sense of humor has not only sustained him throughout his 66 years, but has been part and parcel of his presentations for he is an entertainer with talent that puts many in Hollywood to shame. He longs for a return of today's comedians to the clean, funny days of yesteryear and if there's any movie star or someone famous and worthy to be impersonated who you'd like to hear, just name him and chances are Bud will go into an exacting rendition of that person that will not only impress but leave you laughing. His devotion to Our Lady and his country? Anyone who knows him knows he does not carry emotion on his sleeve. It comes from his heart. He takes very seriously the words "In God we trust" and proudly points to America as being the only nation in history who has helped so many countries throughout the world. Yes, America is in trouble morally, and that is all the more reason to fight to save her and few are as committed to this cause as Bud Macfarlane Sr., whose recreation consists of playing on the New Jersey Senior Olympics softball team. For "team" is what it's all about, especially when it comes to God and family.
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