M E D I T A T I O N
MARY - MEMORY OF THE CHURCH
In the month of May the Church turns to Mary, while still under the strong impressions of the Easter events. The Church thereby does not for a moment lose Jesus Christ from sight, but through Mary tries to get still closer to Him. In his homily on the feast of Mary, Mother of God, January 1, 1987, Pope John Paul II, while speaking of Mary, spoke of her as the MEMORY OF THE CHURCH. We could interpret that expression also as a new title that the Church gives to Mary. Seen from the view of history, theology, and content, that title says a great deal. No one else possesses the same total memory of Jesus from His incarnation to the cross, burial and resurrection as Mary does.
She brings that memory before the Church today just as she has in times past. The month of May is an opportunity for a Christian in faith and decision to accept that memory and to accept Mary as the authentic witness of Jesus' Gospel for this age.
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
VISIT OF AN ARCHBISHOP FROM PANAMA
In the last issue of the Press Bulletin we announced that Archbishop Jose Dimas Cedeo from Panama visited Medjugorje. We present here a portion of the conversation that Fr. Slavko Barbaric had with him:
S.B.: In brief tell us about yourself!
J.D.: I am an Archbishop in Panama, Central America. I am President of the Bishops' Conference. Spanish is the language spoken. Panama has about one million inhabitants, and it is interesting that it I the first diocese founded in all of America, and now has eight dioceses. I am 47, and bishop from the foundation of this diocese. The conditions in our Church are good. We still have sufficient vocations and it is especially important that we have many lay movements and active laity who bring a true spirit to the activity of the Church. We have many reasons for hope.
S.B.: What can you say about your stay in Medjugorje?
J.D.: I have come for the first time to Medjugorje. With me came twenty pilgrims. During these days I have seen and experienced a great devotion and zeal in prayer. That is noticed in all pilgrim groups. The readiness for prayer is amazing. The spirit of faith that is felt here in prayer encourages a renewal of faith in the hearts of all who are coming here.
S.B.: Are the fruits of Medjugorje visible in Panama?
J.D.: By all means, thank God. We have a parish community that is led by Fr. Francesco Verar. He often comes to Medjugorje and the church is made completely the same as this church in Medjugorje. Francesco has also founded a community that is called: The Sisters of Mary Queen of Peace. Every evening they also have the same program as here in Medjugorje. They are very active.
S.B.: Is this community already recognized by the Church?
J.D.: Yes. I recognized this community on the diocesan level when I saw what they are doing and how they are living and that their main work is to pray for peace and when I sensed their spirituality.
The community is in existence already for several years. They are having good experiences. And I invited the pastor, who knows them well and when he again confirmed everything to me, I recognized the community precisely on June 25, 1998. And that is exactly also the anniversary of the apparitions. I am fully conscious that this is a fruit of Medjugorje.
FR. RENÉ LAURENTIN IN MEDJUGORJE
The well known French Mariologist, author of numerous books about apparitions of Our Lady in the world, a friend of Medjugorje, visited Medjugorje last week with a group of 100 French pilgrims. During his two day stay in Medjugorje Fr. Laurentin participated in the evening prayer program in the church of St. James and visited Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain. He also gave a lecture on Our Lady's apparitions in Medjugorje.
FR. LEONARD OREC IN ALBANIA AND MACEDONIA
In mid-April Fr. Leonard Orec, director of the humanitarian association "Medjugorje-Mir", went with an Italian humanitarian convoy to visit Albania and Macedonia, the countries in which the greatest number of refugees from Kosovo are placed. In his report Fr. Leonard gives a first hand testimony of how he encountered all the things that happen in humanitarian work that the numerous humanitarian workers from around the world meet up with, who are presently trying to relieve the greatest humanitarian catastrophe of our times. The Albanian and Macedonian Caritas is doing everything to obtain and also to deliver the humanitarian aid to the refugees in time. And they really need everything: food, clothing, shoes, hygienic necessities, and medicines. Fr. Leonard is requested to advise everyone in the world who delivers aid to Albania directly to notify Albanian Caritas at least one week in advance of the address of the receiver, complete details of the contents, the vehicle data, the name of the driver, and the date and place of their border crossing. He also points out that it would be well for a representative of the receiver to meet them at the harbor of Dra. Thereby many inconveniences can be avoided underway and there will be a security that the aid will be delivered to those for whom it is intended.
Our friends and the friends of the Queen of Peace have always known how to recognized brethren in trouble. They have confirmed that now also for the humanitarian catastrophe in Kosovo. We are grateful to all to have help so far and give notice also that all further information about the manner of sending aid can be obtained at the office of "Medjugorje-Mir", tel. 00385 21 361 354; fax 00385 21 342 258.
CELEBRATION OF MOTHERS' DAY
On the eve of Mothers' Day, May 8th the children of the parish of Medjugorje after the evening Holy Mass congratulated their own mothers for that day as well as all the mothers of the world with an appropriate program. For that program the "The Little Doves of Peace" parish childrens' choir, under the direction of Sr. Slavica Kozul, with songs and recitations tried to express all their love and gratitude to the greatest of all loves - a mothers' love. Also participating in the program was the male singing group "Medjugorje". Through the one-hour program the children with selected lyrics and music sang to the mothers. But all those present, the faithful both from home and abroad left the church with the feeling that the deepest and strongest feelings were indeed still left unspoken in the depth of the childrens' heart. After all it is an experience known also to the many who come on pilgrimage to Mother Mary in Medjugorje: they returned to their homes taking also the experience of the Mother's nearness and love which till now no song has ever succeeded to sing. Therefore also this program dedicated to our earthly mothers ended with the thanksgiving hymn to the heavenly Mother Mary - To the Queen of Peace.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje, BiH, fax number: +387-88-651-444.
Last Modified 05/19/99