Religious traditions, and establishment of formal economic and cultural ties are the foundation of a formal memorandum of understanding between Ourem/Fatima, Portugal, and the village of Russells Point.
Mayor Albuquerque, left, signs a memorandum of understanding establishing formal Sister City relations alongside Russells Point Mayor Robin Reames Friday during a special village council meeting at the municipal building. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | NATE SMITH)
Also pictured in Saturday's Examiner: Gifts presented Friday by Mayor Luis Miguel Albuquerque of Ourem/Fatima, Portugal, to village officials in Russells Point included a replica of the Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, as well as books detailing the significance of Fatima, Portugal, as a Holy site for Catholics and population and geographic details about city.
The agreement was memorialized Friday during a special meeting of the village council conducted in the municipal building.
“The cities of Fatima and Russells Point share similar goals of international cooperation, mutual prosperity, and world peace, and our cities believe it is in their collective interest to strengthen ties between them,” reads the agreement, which was signed by Mayor Luis Miguel Albuquerque of Oruem/Fatima, Portugal, and Russells Point Mayor Robin Reames.
The city of Fatima, located in central Portugal, is a civil parish contained within the municipality of Ourem, and is a significant location of Catholic pilgrimage.
It is the site of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in 1917 and Russells Point is the site of the largest statue of Our Lady of Fatima in the United States.
“People of all religions visit both cities to see the shrines there dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima,” according to the agreement.
Mayor Miguel Albuquerque addressed council and those in attendance through his translator, Fernando Paquim, calling it a privilege to be in Russells Point.
He said he hopes the agreement creates greater cultural interest and engagement between the newlyminted sister cities, and he invited local officials and those gathered to visit Fatima.
The agreement signed Friday supports and promotes, “development of new social, economic, academic and cultural community programs to encourage both cities’ residents to share their experiences as a medium for learning from one another.”
Read complete story in Saturday's Examiner.
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