PRAYER OF THE ROSARY
The month of October in Catholic tradition is the month during which the prayer of the rosary is proclaimed. On the one hand it proclaims the importance of that prayer form, while on the other hand not diminishing thereby the immense prayer treasury of the Church throughout two millennia. The prayer of the rosary has shown itself to be a prayer form for all age levels and that we can therefore shape it in different ways, while not thereby destroying its prayer content. In that prayer form there is left a great amount of room in which it can in various ways be enriched and adapted to circumstances, to age groups and the prayer habits of the individual or of a group.
The prayer of the rosary is "a plunging into Mary's very breath of life, the substance of which is Christ! (Guardini)" The theology of the Christian Church of the East calls Mary the "hodegetria", which means the companion on the way to the face of God.
I would wish for all who will pray the rosary through October that with Mary they deepen their bond with Christ!
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRATIONS
During September in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 120,000 Holy Communions were distributed and there were 3,100 concelebrations at Holy Mass by priests from home and abroad, that is 100 priests daily.
To enumerate the countries, as we usually do, is quite impossible due to the great number of countries from which pilgrims came to Medjugorje during September. We will only say that the faithful came on pilgrimage to this shrine during September from all five continents and that the most numerous were groups from Latin American countries.
PRAYER MEETING IN FULDA
On September 11th in the German city of Fulda a prayer meeting was held for all Medjugorje pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje from Germany. This is already the fourth meeting of that kind. Greeting those faithful gathered in the overflowing cathedral Fr. Dominic Ramljak addressed a special greeting to Msgr. Johannes Dyba, the Archbishop of Fulda who presided at the Eucharistic celebration. In his address to those Medjugorje pilgrims present, he said this among other things:
"Those who persevered beneath the cross were the first ones that saw Jesus after His resurrection. The understanding that resurrection exists gives us strength to persevere in carrying the cross. For a Christian it is a privilege when he is permitted, like Simon of Cyrene, to persevere under the cross. Today also Jesus is going on the way of the cross through time. . ."
Fr. Ivan Landeka, the pastor of Medjugorje, also participated in the prayer meeting and on that occasion told the gathered faithful:
"That which bonds people with Medjugorje is the experience of faith. In the heart takes place an inner healing that gives a person the strength to help others. It isn't a simple thing to understand and interpret the cross. Jesus took charge of his task and fulfilled it on the cross. On the cross the history of salvation becomes evident. Therefore, one is not allowed to forget the positive and salvific message of the cross. The messages that the Mother of God is giving in Medjugorje since 1981 are a help to the church today. Prayer conversion, fasting, peace, reconciliation and Eucharist are man's way to Jesus. The man of today needs a home, but that can only be God. A confirmation of that is the 15,000 young people who gathered in August at the international prayer meeting in Medjugorje.
PRAYER MEETINGS IN BELGIUM AND LUXEMBOURG
At the invitation of Medjugorje pilgrims Fr. Slavko Barbaric visited Belgium and Luxembourg from September 17th to 20th. We will publish his impressions from that missionary journey in the next Press Bulletin.
11TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF CENTERS OF PEACE OF CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA
The representatives of 17 Latin American countries gathered from September 24th - 28th in Medjugorje for the 11th international meeting of the Centers of Peace. The theme of these years meeting was: Mary calls: Return to the Father." These centers have arisen throughout Latin America as places of gathering for all those who sense the importance of Our Lady's call in Medjugorje. Their activity pertains primarily to the spreading of the messages and the organization of prayer groups and of pilgrimages. As we have said, this is the 11th meeting, but just the third time to be held in Medjugorje. For five days 430 participants spent time in prayer and meditation, exchanging the experiences of their years-long work in spreading Our Lady's messages of peace among the faithful of the Spanish speaking regions. Especially stressed was the need for spiritual growth in the living of Our Lady's messages for each individual, as well as the spreading of the messages to others, and the founding and direction of prayer groups. This is an incentive and a good example to everyone of how to work together in the spreading of the messages of peace.
After the meeting was finished about 100 participants continued their pilgrim stay in three days of spiritual exercises in Medjugorje.
SEMINARS AT "DOMUS PACIS"
At the "Domus Pacis" house of prayer two prayer and fasting seminars were conducted. From September 13th to 18th fifty Polish pilgrims participated in one seminar, while from Oct 4th to 10th a seminar was conducted for 35 pilgrims of German speaking regions. There are always more and more groups of various languages that are registering for this kind of seminar. Many have discovered the strength of fasting and prayer on their pilgrimage to Medjugorje and have decided to go on that path following Our Lady's call to prayer and fast.
At the same house from September 24th to 26th a seminar was held for girls that for several years the Franciscan sisters have been organizing.
FEAST DAY OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI
The feast of St. Francis of Assisi is celebrated on October 4th in the entire Catholic world, but that feast is nevertheless especially solemn in Franciscan communities. It was that way in Medjugorje. On October 3rd, the day of Francis' passing away, a solemn evening mass was celebrated. The church for that occasion was particularly decorated with flowers and candles, and the Franciscan friars and sisters who are assigned to serve in the parish of Medjugorje, went in procession singing through the church yard and came back before the altar where the rite of St. Francis' passing away was performed.
7TH MEETING OF LEADERS OF CENTERS OF PEACE AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER GROUPS
The parish office of Medjugorje for the 7th year already is organizing a meeting for the leaders of prayer groups, and of charitable and pilgrimage groups connected with Medjugorje. It will this time also be held in Neum at Hotel "Sunce" from March 19th to 24th, 2000. The theme of the seminar is: "Medjugorje - A Prophetic Thrust For the 21st Century."
Program of the Seventh Meeting for Leaders of Centers of Peace and Medjugorje Prayer Groups
Sunday, March 19, 2000
Monday, March 20, 2000
Tuesday, March 21, 2000
Wednesday, March 22, 2000
Thursday, March 23, 2000 - Day of Prayer
Friday, March 24, 1999
Lecturers for this year's seminar are:
Fr. Franjo Vidovic, - born February 19, 1960 in Crnkovci, near Osijek, Croatia. He completed elementary school in 1975 in Zagreb. In June 1979 he graduated from the Franciscan Classical Gymnasium in Vosoko. On July 15, 1979 he entered the novitiate of the Hercegovina Franciscan Province in Mostar.
From 1980 - 1984 he was imprisoned in the Zenica prison sentenced for "anti-communist" activity. He obtained his diploma in philosophy-theology studies in 1987 and obtained a Masters degree in theology at Augsburg University in 1991 and in 1992 did pastoral work in Hercegovina at the monastery of Humac. During 1992 he was active as a military chaplain for units of the Croatian Armed Forces. He received a Doctorate in biblical theology in 1997 at the University of Graz in Austria. Presently he is engaged in pastoral work in Weissenstein in Austria. He works in a rehabilitation station and teaches Biblical theology of the New Testament at the Jesuit Philosophical Faculty of the in Zagreb.
Fr. Sabino Palumbieri, sdb ..........
Alfons Sarrach - born 1927 in the then free state of Danzig, and grew up in the German-Polish tradition. In 1939 during the Nazi regime he was taken away along with his family to a concentration camp. After World War II he studied philosophy, theology and psychology in Rome and Paris. In 1965 he became a free lance journalist, and later was editor in chief for several daily newspapers. He is the author of numerous publications and boosk. In 1992 he published the book, The Prophetic Thrust of Medjugorje, which attempts to penetrate more profoundly into the secret of the great impetus which, starting in 1981, is coming from the little place of Medjugorje in Hercegovina and which has helped millions of people in the whole world again to find a sense of the future, after a century during which hatred reigned in many states.
The number of spaces is limited and each year the number of participants is always greater. Therefore we ask you to register your coming to the prayer-educational seminar as soon as possible and no later than the end of January. You can register by fax at +387 88 651 444 or by e-mail: email@example.com in care of the Information Center or right at the Information Office of the Shrine.
Simultaneous translation for all language groups will be organized. The price for lodging, transport and seminar is 315 DM per person for double room (a day extra!). Single supplement is 40 DM. Payment will be made to the Seminar organizer upon arrival at the hotel. There is possibility for transport from the Split airport to Hotel "Sunce" in Neum. All who need transport on March 19 should give notice of the flight number and exact time of arrival to the Association "Medjugorje-Mir" in Split no later than the end of December by fax +385 21 361 354. For the last day transport will be organized from Neum to Medjugorje. Radio and earphones for simultaneous translation should be brought along. Radio and earphones will also be made available during the seminar.
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 10/06/99