Dr. Turton was born in Buffalo, New York in 1932 and earned her Bachelor of Science in Home Economics Education at the State University of New York, College at Buffalo. She attained her masters in the field of Student Personnel. Continuing her studies, she enrolled at Cornell University and Syracuse University, achieving a Doctorate in Education Administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo. With the bulk of her education behind her, she began teaching at her alma mater in Buffalo where she also served as college administrator and became the first Alumni Director for the school for eighteen years which is still one of the longest tenures in that field for the entire education system in the State of New York at any level.
In the late eighties she took a sabbatical and made a pilgrimage to various Marian sites which also took her to Akita, Japan where she saw firsthand the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary that had wept 101 times. She met with the ordinary of the Diocese of Akita, Bishop John S. Ito who personally asked her to head up the United States Information Center for Our Lady of Akita since the apparitions had been approved by Bishop Ito in 1984. Dr. Rosalie said "yes" both to the Bishop and to God. Returning to the states, she founded the 101 Foundation in 1989 with the specific purpose of fulfilling His Excellency's request. She was inspired to initiate a free audio and video tape lending library for people interested in knowing more about Our Lady and her appearances throughout the world. This library has since expanded to more than 1000 titles on video and even more audios. Over the years membership in the organization began to grow where today there are over 40,000 members. She began editing a newsletter appropriately called The 101 Times on a quarterly basis which grew in circulation. Along with other articles of interest the newsletter began reporting on other Marian apparition sites around the world. Before you knew it, Dr. Rosalie had entered the publishing business, producing a number of videos and books all distributed by mail order, and attracting top authors such as John Haffert, the founder of the Blue Army, Alan Ames of Australia, John Bird of England, and Dr. Courtenay Bartholomew of Trinidad, as well as others. One of the latest books published is the Life of Saint Joseph, which was dictated by Jesus to Sister Maria Cecilia Baij, Abbess of a Benedictine Convent in the 1700's. The first printing was completed and delivered to the 101 Foundation by "God-incidence" on the Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 1997. Already 25,000 copies have been sold and Dr. Turton is currently compiling a new and fascinating book on Mary's chaste spouse and the foster father of Christ. It is expected to be available this fall.
Dr. Rosalie has thrown herself into this apostolate just as she dedicated herself to teaching which was merely a stepping stone for her mission with the 101 Foundation. As more of the faithful clamored for her to lead a pilgrimage to Akita, she saw an opportunity to not just go, but to make it a true pilgrimage of prayer and evangelizing. Contacting various spiritual directors and bishops, she organized the first World Peace Flight in 1992, chartering two 747's for the "Victorious Queen of the World Peace Flight" which carried 940 pilgrims around the world including Moscow's Red Square where the faithful dedicated Russia to Our Lady of Fatima, carrying the Fatima Pilgrim Statue with them as well as the Traveling Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and other icons to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Two years later Rosalie launched the second world peace flight titled, "Triumphant Queen of the World Peace Flight" which took over 400 on another incredible pilgrimage to places which included China and the Holy Land. In China they passed out hundreds of thousands of bibles and the Holy Spirit was definitely with them as they escaped detection from the Red Communist soldiers and government-run police who were suspicious of everyone. Three years later in 1997, Rosalie was at it again. With Cardinal Ricardo Vidal of the Philippines as spiritual director and the famous International Pilgrim Virgin statue, Rosalie hosted 850 pilgrims on two 747's for the "Two Hearts World Peace Flight." Naturally, each plane bore the logo of the Two Hearts on the hull. Flying around the world again, the pilgrims stopped in Akita, Japan and again in Russia.
She continues to book these landmark spiritual pilgrimages with several planned between now and autumn 2000. The most recent pilgrimage to Fatima and Lourdes, which Dr. Rosalie just returned from last week, was sold out. But no rest for Rosalie - she was off again this past Monday for Ireland with another group of pilgrims. Her rationalization is that she can rest later, God's work needs to be done. This includes the "Jubilee Year Victory Peace Flight" scheduled for October 2000. Already the first 747 is sold out for her most extensive pilgrimage ever that will take pilgrims to Portugal, Spain including Garabandal, France that covers both Paris and La Salette, Amsterdam in Holland and Our Lady of All Nations, Rome and the seat of Catholicism with a hopeful audience with His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the Holy Land where pilgrims will walk in the footsteps of Jesus, visiting many places of history and scripture, and finish up in Medjugorje.
Dr. Rosalie also believes in the Garabandal prophecies foretelling the Warning and the Miracle and, in God's time, she'll be ready, already taking reservations for the "Garabandal Miracle Flight." Every year, in anticipation, Rosalie tentatively books the planes that might be needed in the event the Miracle is announced. The cost is only $1000. if someone books before the Warning, which we believe is very, very close. Those who wait until after? The cost accelerates to $1,500. Sort of a reward for the former group - those who have not seen but have believed. For more, you can go to the Foundation's web site at www.101foundation.com.
At 67 years young, Dr. Rosalie has no plans to retire anytime soon. To borrow from Robert Frost, "...and miles to go before I sleep," Dr. Turton rationalizes that she'll have all eternity to rest. But if she doesn't stay busy evangelizing souls and spreading the Blessed Mother's Messages, there could be too many who, when they're called to their eternal rest, might experience the nightmares of hell instead of the dreams and reality of Heaven. As a true Apostle of God's Will, Rosalie doesn't want damnation for anyone. The Foundation's motto is "Eve took us away from God, Mary brought us back." Dr. Rosalie Turton is intent on bringing us all the way back through her foundation and dedicating her life to responding to Our Lady's invitation to spread the Messages.
Fr. Flanagan was born in Roscommon, Ireland on July 13, 1886. After elementary and secondary school, he set sail for America in 1904 to seek his dream, but his dream was not in the secular style he had envisioned but as a priest of God. He had been brought up as a devout Catholic and his roots gnawed at him, prompting him to enroll at Mount Saint Mary's College in Emmetsburg, Maryland the same year he arrived in the United States. Two years later he received his Bachelors Degree and in 1908 graduated with Masters Degree. Even with his diploma in hand, something was missing. Remembering his mother's words to follow his heart, he sought out his parish priest who arranged for him to attend St. Joseph's Minor Seminary in Dunwoodie, New York which was a conduit for young Irish and Italian men with a calling to the priesthood. After completing his studies there, he returned to Europe to pursue his Novitiate and Major Seminary studies in Rome and then Innsbruck, Austria where he was ordained in 1912.
His bishop in America immediately assigned the young Fr. Flanagan to an Irish immigrant parish on the plains in O'Neill, Nebraska at St. Patrick's Catholic Church as an assistant pastor there. After four years there the parishioners openly wept when he was transferred to another Irish parish, this time about 170 miles southeast to the city of Omaha. The church was also named St. Patrick's. It was here that he first came into contact with extreme poverty and orphans which moved him fo establish and operate a shelter for unemployed men called the Workingmen's Hotel. He was also concerned about the alarming number of homeless boys who had either run away from home or had been left orphans. The Nebraska winters were harsh and many parents would die or were incapacitated by injury or illness during the severe winter for the life expectancy was much shorter then. Add to this the number of men who had gone off to war during World War I and not returned or abandoned their families and the ranks of homeless boys mushroomed. Orphaned or neglected boys would find their way to the city to seek shelter, food and go to any length to survive. Fr. Flanagan could see the pattern of how young and vulnerable youth could easily turn to crime because of their circumstances that were not their fault. After all, there could be no peace of mind if there were no piece of bread!
These young men found in Fr. Flanagan a friend who cared for their physical welfare as well as their spiritual welfare. The need produced the idea to open a home for homeless boys in 1917 to compliment the shelter for unemployed adult men. Through the grapevine and his own contacts, and with Archbishop Jeremiah Harty giving him his blessings, Fr. Flanagan found a modest Victorian house that had been owned by a German family and which, because of America's war with Germany, had fallen in disfavor in the neighborhood and left abandoned. Literally for a prayer and $90 for the first month's rent, Fr. Flanagan leased the property from the bank. He would turn something disgraceful into something full of grace. Thus on December 12, 1917, clearing the snow away from the entrance to the house he opened "Boys Town" where around six boys were allowed to live.
Thanks to the insightful vision of Archbishop Harty, he freed Fr. Flanagan from his duties downtown at St. Patrick's, assigning him to concentrate all his energy into this new endeavor. The shepherd of the diocese was so concerned for his flock that he temporarily assigned two nuns and a novice from the Sisters of Notre Dame and would help in anyway he could save financially. Fr. Flanagan accepted these terms and set about to accommodate and fund the growing number of boys who were coming to the home. Trusting to a fault, Fr. Flanagan never locked the doors and in the early years theft was quite common but Fr. Flanagan persevered, holding to the belief that "there was no such thing as a bad boy." Two weeks after opening the home it was already overcrowded with 25 boys. Despite the crowded living conditions, it was a joyous first Christmas for all. He begged the courts not to send wayward boys to jail but that he would take them in and be responsible for them. He didn't have a clue how he could fulfill this promise, but he trusted in God's Providence.
Over the years Fr. Flanagan, already a household name in Omaha, began currying favors from people of all walks of life and creeds. No matter their faith, in Fr. Flanagan's work they saw a common thread. Bakers would give him bread and dough to make bread, a farmer gave him a cow - "Lucy" by name so the boys could have milk. Clothing was donated as well as furniture, utensils, food galore and musical instruments. One volunteered to teach the boys music. Though there were a few boys who dropped out, most of them adapted well to their new family and working together, they helped Fr. Flanagan make it work. In fact, the more boys, the more cohesively things ran as peer pressure disciplined their actions and coop work fulfilled the chores and helped all of them mature. Word spread throughout the country of Fr. Flanagan's home for boys and support grew rapidly. By 1921 there were already 1,300 boys from 17 states who had been helped at Boys Town. The community was totally supportive as wives volunteered their time and services to help the nuns. The astounding success prompted the Archbishop to assign even more nuns and establish a grade-school there. Though the education was thoroughly Catholic, Fr. Flanagan saw Christ in everyone and therefore insisted that no boy, regardless of race, color or creed, be turned away.
In 1922 friends helped him buy a small 10-acre farm just a few miles north of Omaha, but it wasn't large enough for the growing needs of Boys Town and he sold it, taking the funds from that transaction to purchase 160 acres ten miles west of Omaha called "Overlook Farm." They say from tiny seeds great oak trees grow and this was indeed the case with the virgin land he bought by pleading, begging and bargaining with the owner who originally had no intention of selling the land. But God works in strange and mysterious ways and through the persistence and faith of Fr. Flanagan, the City of Boys Town officially began on October 22, 1921. The boys were transfered to the new property and, sleeping in tents while they worked to help develop the property it became a labor of love. All of Omaha responded with Masons, Jews, Atheists and Catholics lining up to help. Compassion knows no walls. Like a thriving city, Boys Town became independent as year-by-year it grew in esteem, population and prestige. Graduates of Boys Town spread the word as well and in 1936 Boys Town became an official city in the State of Nebraska. Fr. Flanagan had begun a Boys Town Choir that gained recognition when he asked newly ordained Father Francis Schmitt, a singer and accomplished organist to take over as director. Soon the Choir became famous for their melodious sounds, reverence and professionalism. If there was anyone not familiar with Boys Town, that would change in 1938 when Hollywood stars Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney, two of Fr. Flanagan's fellow countrymen, agreed to screen Fr. Flanagan's story with the hit film "Boys Town" in which Tracy won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Fr. Flanagan. He donated his Oscar to Boys Town where it still is on display today. In 1940 a sequel to this "Men of Boys Town" was released, conveying the message of Fr. Flanagan's pet project to countless more Americans. The movies had an upside and a downside. The former was greater recognition and donations to Boys Town; the latter was Fr. Flanagan was swamped with attention, interviews and requests that cut greatly into his time away from the boys. But he would not let his spiritual life suffer.
At the end of World War II, Fr. Flanagan's fame and accomplishments had spread worldwide and the international exposure prompted him to travel to Asia and back to Europe, his first opportunity since his seminary days, where he worked feverishly to establish international Boys Towns so young men the world over could be accommodated. His itinerary took him to many of the war-ravaged cities including one of the most devastated - Berlin. It was while he was there on May 14, 1948 that, after a full day of conferences, that he awoke shortly after midnight complaining of chest pains. He called a priest and doctor who rushed to his side. He was having a heart-attack from which he would not recover. His heart, so full of love for so many, was too big to contain all he had given to God's children and it literally burst. He died just after midnight on May 15, 1948. The whole world was saddened and he was brought back home to be buried in his beloved Boys Town where a shrine was eventually built in his honor.
His legacy lives on today with homes in twenty US cities and overseas as well. What began in a modest, drafty Victorian house is today international with Boys Town USA in Omaha a thriving city on 900 acres with a hospital that has treated over 100,000 children and full scholastic facilities for boys and girls from every walk of life, race, color and creed. For more on Boys Town you can go to Boys Town. Little did Fr. Flanagan ever dream his caring for one or two would multiply to the numbers served today, but then, his total trust in God never waivered for though he had only a few loaves, he knew God would feed the multitudes. That's what miracles are made of!
J.R.R. Tolkien was born to English parents Arthur and Mabel Tolkien in Boemfontain, South Africa on January 3, 1892. When he was three his family moved back to England except for his father whose work precluded him from joining them. Young J.R.R. would never get the opportunity to know his father for he died of a hemorrhage in 1896 after suffering for several months from rheumatic fever. Back in England his mother and sister May began studying the Catholic Faith and in 1900 they and J.R.R. and his sister Hilary were accepted into the Church. That same year, at the age of eight. J.R.R. was accepted at the King Edwards School in Birmingham where he studied until November 14, 1904 when his world seemingly fell apart with the death of his mother. Left homeless, Father Francis Morgan, a half-Spanish, half-Welsh priest at the Birmingham Oratory, offered to take them in. It was the beginning of his Catholic journey.
After graduating from Oxford, Fr. Morgan married J.R.R. to his childhood sweetheart Edith Bratt. The couple had several children as he advanced in his studies and began teaching English at several higher institutions culminating with a tenure Oxford. Their first son John Tolkien would go on to become a priest. In his Old English studies he had dissected "Beowulf" and the mythology of the classics in various languages including Welsh, Finnish, Gaelic and Gothic German. It was this indoctrination into the languages and the settings that greatly influenced his imagination and writings. Other factors were the war which he had been drafted to serve, experiencing first hand the evils of hate and violence which also influenced him in his portraying good vs. evil in his works. With the Armistice signed on November 11, 1918 he returned to Oxford where he was assigned the position of Assistant Lexicographer for the New Oxford English Dictionary. Talk about having a treasured vocabulary at one's disposal! During this time he published first work "Lost Tales". His success translated into his being reinstated as a full time professor of English at Oxford where he was granted a chair in the Merton Professorship of English Language and Literature. It was during these days of teaching that his imagination soared. If J.R.R. was anything, he was a loving, doting father who loved his children John, Michael, and Christopher. He had imparted the faith to them but it seemed over their heads. Thus he chose his strength to convey to them the power of God and relate with their make-believe world. Voila, the "Hobbit" was born. It began as a fairy tale and would end in a million dollar enterprise though J.R.R., or Ronald as he was known to his friends, never realized the great profits that would ensue. His son Christopher would take over after his death and negotiate the rights for his most famous work "Lord of the Rings" to become a major motion picture.
His characterization of these fictional characters took on a fantasy that drew readers like magnets. His command of the many languages allowed him to mix and match words and names, creating new wondrous beings that people will forever remember. His name "Tolkien" means "Foolishly brave or stupidly clever." He was neither foolish or stupid, but very brave and clever. He created a whole new world of friend and foe in what he called "Middle-Earth." Borrowing from medieval history and mythology, the works of C.S. Lewis and many other authors as well as the Bible, he told the story of the Trinity in a way another Brit would never have imagined - Saint Patrick who used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. Ronald used characters and situations to describe the Trinity with the Lord of the Rings being God Himself. "Lord of the Rings" was a work sixteen years in the making and it was, in essence a trilogy long before George Lucas concocted the trilogy of "Star Wars". Yet both were the same in nature, Lucas' in a place far, far away in space and Tolkien's in a place far, far away in Middle-Earth. In both there was the consummate struggle between good and evil with the good winning out in the end. As "Lord of the Rings" grew in popularity he could see many, especially the counter-culture, were missing the true Trinitarian spiritual message in his work and looking upon it as new age - a "real trip" - adopting it as their bible. This bothered him for he had hoped to convey the meaning of God and His creation in this to reach those who had no time for the Bible. It was truly an opus that still has not been fully appreciated or all the hidden meanings to it analyzed. As his popularity grew, his privacy eroded slowly but surely over the years until finally, Ronald, an extremely sensitive and good family man, herded his wife Edith and sons and moved to an undisclosed address with an unlisted phone number in Poole, England to escape the fame and attention. He did this both for his own sanity so he could continue to write in relative solitude and to protect his family from the sharks out there as well as the pride of fame.
It proved a wise move for it afforded him ample time with his bride of over fifty years and his grandkids who he regaled with tales from his earlier works and used as a sounding board for newer stories he was writing. Though that might sound as if he were using them, the whole purpose he began writing fantasy was for his own kids and for everyone else's children that they could experience the vast universe of imagination. He made the Elves, Dwarves, Trolls, Orcs, and Goblins come alive and the favorite of all was, of course, the Hobbit. Because of his unorthodox writings he was regularly condemned and scorned by the English Literature establishment but cherished and loved by millions the world over.
In 1971 his beloved wife Edith died on November 29, 1971 and was buried on All Souls Day. He returned to Oxford where Queen Elizabeth bestowed the coveted C.B.E. on him. Two years later, still mourning the loss of his wife, he was admitted to a private hospital in Bournemouth, England where, on September 2, 1973 at the age of 81, J.R.R. Tolkien died. He was interred next to Edith in a single grave in the Catholic section of Wolvercote cemetery in the northern suburbs of Oxford at eternal rest with his bride of 55 years in this life. The ultimate story teller had been silenced, but his son Christopher would not let his legacy die and proceeded to publish his last work posthumously entitled "The Silmarillion". Tolkien had conquered the goblins and been received by the Lord of the Rings into the inner circle of Heaven for his faithfulness and unique, unorthodox way he reached millions.