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DETROIT — Fr. Anthony Fox, OFM Conv., doesn’t have a typical vocation story.

Growing up in Australia, his father didn’t appreciate religion, but his mother was a devout Catholic.

Fr. Fox recalls how his father didn’t allow his mother to go to Mass, but Fr. Fox remembers catching his mother late at night praying the rosary, seeing how much devotion to Mary can influence one’s life.

That influence inspired Fr. Fox when it came to decide what to do with his own life. He quit school as soon as possible at age 15, getting a job in a Catholic bookstore.

Through the influence of Mary’s intercession, and inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, Fr. Fox joined the Conventual Franciscan Friars in 1974, with the intention of becoming a brother.

But after returning from of the novitiate house in Baltimore, Md., in 1974, his superiors in Australia sent him back to the United States to study for the priesthood. 

Half the world away from his home, the man who despised school enrolled in a seminary in Massachusetts to study for the priesthood, depended on Mary’s intercession the entire time. Graduating from the seminary and being ordained in Melbourne, Australia on Nov. 29, 1982.

His priestly ministry has spanned two continents, ministering to people who have spoken 36 different languages, but with one thing in common: a devotion to Mary.

In anticipation of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Detroit Catholic sat down with Fr. Fox to discuss his vocation, Marian devotion, and how Mary is a mother to all.

And how anyone in need of assistance, no matter who they are – or where they are – can call on Mary for assistance.

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