"Dear children! Do not forget: this is a time of grace; that is why, pray, pray, pray! Thank you for having responded to my call." October 25, 1999
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY
This short message of October 25th - the three-times repeated call to prayer - is an incentive for us to remember: Prayer is not only a plea for the fulfillment of our needs. Saint Augustin gives a very important guideline for prayer: One should allow God to incline His ear upon our heart and allow our heart to incline upon God's ear. This is decisive and it is the art of praying. This, by the way, is also the art of praying for every human being. However, it is not our achievement, but rather the ability of that Spirit that God gives us and who prays within us, since we do not know how and for what we should pray, according to St. Paul.
So let us incline our heart upon God's ear and let us allow God to rest His ear upon our human heart. That is what Our Lady means when She calls us to prayer.
P. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
NUMBER OF HOLY COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of October 140,000 faithful received holy communion in the Sanctuary of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje and 3,047 priests from here and abroad concelebrated holy masses, that is 98 each day.
Throughout the entire Catholic world, the month of October is marked by great piety for the Virgin Mary. That is why such a great number of pilgrims came to this Marian Shrine during this month. The faithful came from all over the world. The most numerous were from the US, Poland, England, Ireland, Austria and Germany.
VISITS OF BISHOPS
During October, five bishops came on a private visit to Medjugorje: Msgr. Joseph Mugeny Sabiti and Msgr. Christopher Kakooza from Uganda, Msgr. Stanislas Lukumwena from the Congo, Msgr. Jose de Jesus Nunez Viloria, a retired bishop from Venezuela and Msgr. Emilio L. Bataclan from the Philippines.
In this Press Bulletin we quote the impressions of the two bishops from Uganda. Among other things, Msgr. Joseph Mugeny said: "I have no problem about anything here. In fact, what is happening here is with great intensity. All over the world, there are things happening. This time we are living in is a special time. God is giving us special graces through this place. Many people who have problems with their faith should come here to Medjugorje. Medjugorje is a chance, a privilige, special gifts given by God through the Blessed Virgin Mary to help us. The world is in an extremely bad state and it is good that we have places like Medjugorje. Wars, divorce, drugs - all these are bad things. We need such a place where we are able to learn about true love, true peace, true faith. So there is no doubt about what is happening here. It is much more intense here than in any other place. The people living here are very prayerful. I believe that the persons who lead the Church should come here and experience the graces and gifts of this place, which will help them to live a better life and to lead others towards God in a better way."
Msgr. Christopher Kakooza had the following thoughts: "The Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared in many other places. Important is Her call for compassion, prayer and penance. Our Lady asks us to sanctify our lives, to convert, to turn our lives toward God so that we may be worthy to enter heaven. I think the message we must take to the whole world is conversion, prayer and to go towards God and so to open the way to eternity."
MISSIONARY TRIP OF FATHER BRANIMIR MUSA
Father Branimir Musa spent the months of September and October in the US. He held three retreats in Chicago for members of hercegovenian Franciscan order in the US. Following the invitation of Medjugorje-pilgrims and Centers for Peace, Father Branimir attended Marian Conferences in Chicago and Portland, both of which lasted two days and were attended by thousands of faithful. Such encounters confirm that Our Lady's message of peace is spreading from Medjugorje throughout the entire world and finds fertile soil among modern man who seeks peace.
VISITING THE PRISONERS IN DEN HAAG
On behalf of the parish of Medjugorje, Father Slavko Barbari visited our prisoners in Den Haag on October 1, 1999. The visit had originally been scheduled on September 17th, however, for some unknown reason no entry permit was granted for the Netherlands at that time. Fr. Slavko was welcomed by Fr. Pavo Dominikovi, the missionary for our countrymen who work in the Netherlands. He visits the prisoners once a month. During their cordial talk, which lasted four hours, they spoke about their trials, the court proceedings, the witnesses - most of whom testify but want to remain anonymous. In any case, this is very significant! This was followed by personal confessions and the celebration of holy mass. All are in good spiritual, physical and especially in good mental condition. One of them said: "While listening to a witness, I felt sorry for him because I know that after all these lies he will not be able to find peace. So I began to pray for him."
General Blaki is awaiting his verdict with dignity; the prosecutor is asking for lifelong detention whereas the defense is pleading for an acquittal. Furunija and Muci have appealed their verdict and are waiting for a court order. The hearing against Darijo Kordi is still in progress. Many of the witnesses are former observers and humanitarian helpers. Now their true reasons for wanting "to help" have become even more apparent. The legal proceedings are continuing. The trials of the Krupeki brothers, Vlatko Krupeki, Papi, Josipovi, "erkez and anti have ended. New among them is Vinko Martinovi-tela from Mostar. All are in good spirits. They are aware that their trial is more of a political nature than a question of personal guilt. The logic of politics is unpredictable and so the verdicts are very uncertain. They have accepted the fact that here judgement is passed on the entire Croatian people, whose mere existence is bothersome to many. However, they are convinced that justice will prevail. They are particularly grateful to Medjugorje for organizing prayer meetings for them. Every first Saturday of the month, their families come on pilgrimage to Medjugorje. The prisoners are very thankful to those who include them in their prayers and to those who help them with material means.
FATHER LEONARD ORE REVISITED KOSOVO
Father Leonard Ore, the President of the humanitarian association "Medjugorje-Mir" in Split, visited Kosovo again on October 11, 1999. By talking with the priests and the population, he found out that conditions have not improved. Winter is near and the roofs of the burned houses have not yet been repaired. Many who have returned still live in tents next to their destroyed homes. The international humanitarian organizations have taken on the responsibility to repair the demolished roofs and to close the holes but, up to now, almost nothing has been done. Also the supplying of food, clothing and shoes is not adequate. It is necessary to now ask benefactors and small humanitarian organizations to help directly so that they will be able to supply the people of Kosovo with food and clothing before the onset of winter - especially in the more remote areas. In addition, there is a need for furniture and agricultural machines. We want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped the population of Kosovo in such a selfless manner.
In the last Press Bulletins we mentioned some of the important events regarding the spiritual life of the youth of our parish. October 10th was also an important day for them. We take this opportunity to inform you about the activities of FRAMA, the Catholic youth organization, in the parish of Medjugorje. FRAMA (Franciscan youth) is an organization to which belong young boys, girls, students and workers. The goal of this organization is to educate young people towards an active Christian life. FRAMA has been active in Medjugorje for the last three years and has about 50 members. In addition, there are candidates who want to join FRAMA, the "messengers of St. Francis". Since the FRAMA members are young energetic youths, it is the goal of the leader to use this energy in the right manner. The various activities of FRAMA include: weekly meetings for discussions and prayers, pariticipation in the liturgy of the local church (leading the rosary and sometimes singing during the mass), working in the media (editing of transmissions for the radio station "Mir", Medjugorje, and writing of articles for the Catholic press), stage-plays, ecological and humanitarian work, pilgrimages to wellknown places of pilgrimage etc. Also this year, eleven members spent some time on the island of Jakljan as hosts for the children and wives of the fallen Croatian defenders - who were there on vacation. Working with the children and leading them in the prayer program, the youths had a wonderful opportunity to give witness of their being part of the Franciscan movement. On October 3rd, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, together with members of three Franciscan orders, they performed the rite of St. Francis' passing away. On Sunday, October 10th, eighteen members extended their vows to live according to the gospel in the manner of St. Francis. At the same time, having met all prerequisites, fifteen candidates made their first vows. The vows were accepted by the parish priest, Father Ivan Landeka, who was assisted by Father Branko Rado, the spiritual guide of the youth.
RETREATS AT "DOMUS PACIS"
During the month of October, the humanitarian association "Help" organized two retreats as part of a program to prevent addiction for about 50 young people from Central Bosnia. The retreats lasted for three days. They were led by the leaders of the association and Father Branimir Musa.
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 11/03/99