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Fox in Portugal, 1992

Robert J. Fox (December 25, 1927 -November 26, 2009) was an American priest and a prolific author of religious books for members of the Roman Catholic Church. As well as his writings, Fox worked as a priest in a number of rural towns in South Dakota. He was the Director of the national Fatima Family Apostolate and Youth for Fatima Pilgrimages as well as the editor of the Immaculate Heart Messenger and had written frequently for a number of Catholic publications in the US. The Fatima Family Apostolate organises the national Annual Marian Congress attended by thousands of people annually.


Life and career

He was born in Watertown, South Dakota in 1927. His father, Aloysius Fox, was a farmer. Fox was raised in a religious family and developed a vocation at an early age. After graduating from Watertown High School Fox studied at St John's University, an all-male Benedictine liberal arts college in rural Minnesota between 1947 and 1950. Fox graduated from the St Paul Seminary in 1955.

After being ordained, Fox served as an Associate Pastor in several congregations where some of his supervisors suggested that he start working as a writer. He started sending in letters and articles to Catholic publications and they were published. He eventually became a weekly columnist for the National Catholic Register and has written regularly for a number of other publications.

Fox became the pastor of St Anthony's parish based in Bristol, South Dakota in 1962. He was the pastor in a number of parishes in South Dakota between 1961 and 1971. He became the pastor at St Bernard's Church in Redfield, South Dakota in 1971.

In 1971, Cardinal John Wright, the Prefect for the Congregation of the Clergy asked him to write six books as part of the General Catechetical Directory kept at the Vatican. Fox did so and started a prolific career with well over 50 books to his credit as at 2005. In 2005, he published an autobiography A Priest is a Priest Forever.

As thanks for the request, Fox built the first shrine commemorating the Virgin Mary in Redfield in 1972. He took his first pilgrimage group to Our Lady of Fatima in Fátima, Portugal in 1974 for six weeks and has been doing so ever since.

Fr. Fox gave talks at many conferences across the globe, often appeared on television making appearances on EWTN and produced a quarterly magazine Immaculate Heart Messenger.

Listed among his many conference presentations are sound Catholic faith teachings that are Mariological which took place in Fatima, Australia, Poland, Syria, Mexico, Italy, and the United States.

Among Fr. Fox’s numerous television and radio appearances are several Mother Angelica Live Shows; an appearance on Johnette Benkovic’s The Abundant Life; EWTN Doug Keck's Bookmark; Daily Mass; WEWN shortwave radio and Sirius Satellite Radio; Relevant Radio

Fr. Fox was responsible for having built three shrines to the Virgin Mary since that date. He began the Fatima Family Apostolate in 1986 and has been the director of that body since then as well as the editor of its newsletter. In 1987, he began the first National Marian Conference in Alexandria, South Dakota in June of each year with an annual average attendance of 8,000. He celebrated 50 years in the priesthood in 2005.

After Fr. Fox's retirement, he offered daily Mass only at the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, which is part of Our Lady of the Angels Monastery Hanceville, Alabama. He continued to write books and was the editor of the Immaculate Heart Messenger Magazine and could be seen on EWTN.

He died on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 2009.


Robert J. Fox published books, including:

  • Religious Education: Its Effects, Its Challenges Today, Daughters of St. Paul, 1972.
  • The Catholic Prayerbook, Our Sunday Visitor, 1974.
  • Renewal for All God's People, Our Sunday Visitor, 1975.
  • Charity, Morality, Sex and Young People, Our Sunday Visitor, 1975.
  • The Marian Catechism, Our Sunday Visitor, 1976.
  • Saints and Heroes Speak, Our Sunday Visitor, 1977.
  • A Prayer Book for Young Catholics, Our Sunday Visitor, 1977.
  • Principles of spiritual growth]: Phase 2 : module on guilt (Genesis 2 bridges the gap between the old and the new), Intermedia Foundation - 1978
  • Teenagers and Purity; Teenagers and Going Steady; Teenagers Looking toward Marriage, St. Paul Editions, 1978.
  • Ten sermons on the Mother of God,: In light of Vatican II and Our Lady of Fatima, with addendum: Four articles on Communism and the Church, AMI Press - 1978
  • Catholic Truth for Youth, Ave Maria Press, 1978.
  • A World at Prayer, Our Sunday Visitor, 1979.
  • A Catechism of the Catholic Church: Two Thousand Years of Faith and Tradition, Franciscan Herald, 1980.
  • A Catholic Prayer Book, Our Sunday Visitor, 1980
  • Rediscovering Fatima, Our Sunday Visitor, 1982.
  • Prayerbook for Catholics, Christendom Press 1982
  • The Call of Heaven: Life of Stigmatist of San Vittorino, Father Gino, Christendom Publications, 1982.
  • The Mary Book, Mother of Evangelism, Fatima Family Apostolate
  • The call of heaven: Bro. Gino, stigmatist, Christendom Publications, 1982.
  • A Prayer Book for Young Catholics, Our Sunday Visitor, 2nd ed., 1982.
  • Jacinta of Fatima: Her Life As She Might Tell It, Ami Intl Pr, 1982
  • St. Therese of Lisieux: Her Life As She Might Tell It, Ami Intl Pr, 1982
  • St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort: His Life As He Might Tell It, A M I Press, 1983
  • Fatima Today, Christendom Publications, 1983.
  • The Catholic Faith, Our Sunday Visitor, 1983.
  • Opus Sanctorum Angelorum:, AMI Press - 1983
  • The Work of the Holy Angels, AMI International, 1984.
  • Family Bonding Through Discipline, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1987.
  • Families, Seedbeds for Vocations, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1987.
  • Blessed Jacinta and Francisco, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1987.
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary: True Devotion, Our Sunday Visitor, 1986.
  • Guidance for Future Priests, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1988.
  • A Handbook on Guadalupe, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1988.
  • Until Death Do Us Part, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1988.
  • National Children's Day to Honor Our Lady: Second Sunday of October : a handbook for parents, teachers and pastors, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1988.
  • St. Joseph Promise, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1989.
  • True Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1989.
  • Marian Manual, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1989.
  • First Saturdays, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1989.
  • To Russia with Love, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1989.
  • The Gift of Sexuality: A Guide for Young People, Our Sunday Visitor, 1989.
  • Fox-Sight: Telling the vision of Robert J. Fox, Our Sunday Visitor, 1989.
  • Mary's White League for Children, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1990.
  • Illustrated Rosary Meditations for Children, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1990.
  • Protestant Fundamentalism and Born Again Catholic, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1990.
  • Fatima Today - The Third Millennium, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1990,2002.
  • Mary Book: Mother of Evangelism, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1991.
  • Only Heroic Catholic Families Will Survive, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1991.
  • Catechism of Church History, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1991.
  • The World and Work of the Holy Angels, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1991.
  • Covenant With Jesus, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1992.
  • Kolbe St. of the Immaculata, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1993.
  • A Man Called Francis, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1996.
  • Mary Through the Ages, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1996.
  • A Young Catholic's Apology for the Faith, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1995.
  • Jesus - Light of the World, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1997.
  • Catechism on Mary and the Pope Who Changed the World, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1998.
  • Manual of Prayers, Our Sunday Visitor 1998
  • Fundamentals of Faith, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1999.
  • Mary in Mid-America Shrine Book, Fatima Family Apostolate, 1999.
  • Documents on Fatima & Memoirs of Sister Lucia, Fatima Family Apostolate, 2000.
  • The Intimate Life of Sister Lucia, Fatima Family Apostolate, 2001.
  • Light from the East - Miracles of Our Lady of Soufanieh, Fatima Family Apostolate, 2002.
  • Reclaiming Your Children for the Faith , Fatima Family Apostolate, 2003.
  • Catechism in Poetry , Fatima Family Apostolate, 2003.
  • Messages from the Heart of Your Mother, Fatima Family Apostolate, 2004.
  • A Priest is a Priest Forever - Autobiography, Fatima Family Apostolate, 2005.
  • Ray Likes to Pray, Fatima Family Apostolate, 2006.
  • Fatima is Forever, Fatima Family Apostolate, 2006.
  • Masculinity: The Gentle Man , Fatima Family Apostolate, 2007.
  • Eucharist: Heaven and Earth Unite , Fatima Family Apostolate, 2008.
  • Mary Teaches the Faith at Fatima, Fatima Family Apostolate, 2009.



Further reading


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