"Dear children! Also today I call you to prayer. In this time of grace, may the cross be a sign-post of love and unity for you through which true peace comes. That is why, little children, pray especially at this time that little Jesus, the Creator of peace, may be born in your hearts. Only through prayer will you become my apostles of peace in this world without peace. That is why, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." November 25, 1999
We have closed the calendar for the ecclesiastical year of 1999 and the liturgical calendar for 2000 is on the table. Although it will not be an occasion for congratulations, it does not mean that something serious is not beginning. On the contrary! The pre-Christmas season is starting in which there is no more room for the counting of years, but whose contents are valued and counted.
As Christians what should we do to stimulate one another to a more intensive faith life? Criticize? No! Whoever just criticizes wastes energy. Praise? No! The one who is only praised becomes arrogant. Perhaps say to one another something that the other can accept. Open the Gospel and see the simplicity of the Word that edifies and changes! Our Lady's messages and the manner in which she directs us can be for us a good manual on how we can admonish one another about something.
Fr. Ivan Landeka
N E W S
VISITS - STATEMENTS OF BISHOPS
In Press Bulletin #129 we wrote about the visit of bishops that were in Medjugorje at the end of October. In this number we bring you their impressions.
After spending several days in Medjugorje Msgr. Stanislaus Lukumwena from Congo among other things also said this: "The first morning as soon as I came, I went to pray on the Hill of Apparitions. That impressed me very much, because I encountered many people who were concentrated and devoutly praying. An important experience was also the evening prayer program at which there were many people. The many people from different countries and various languages, who prayed together gave me a profound and inexpressible feeling of joy. I am here on a private visit, and therefore officially I accept the position of the Church, but a personal experience is still something else. I can personally say that it is clear to me that all this that is happening here, and especially the great number of people, cannot not be interpreted in any other way than a special intervention of God. Therefore, regarding the authenticity of the apparitions - we should leave that judgment to those persons in the Church are also called to that. I personally am praying that the moment of recognition come as soon as possible. Our Lady has always told us to pray for peace. The world today is divided. There is neither peace nor love. I recommend everyone to try to pray humbly with all their might that peace come as soon as possible to all people. I would recommend to all communities that do not have vocations to come here and pray in this spirit that is alive here and they will certainly have vocations. To all of you who are living here I wish to say that you should continue to work in the spirit of St. Francis: dedicated and humbly, as you are already doing. Keep on hoping, because the time of recognition will come and everyone will be happy."
Msgr. Jose de Jesus Nunez Viloria, bishop of Guyana in Venezuela came with a group of pilgrims and stayed himself as a pilgrim in Medjugorje from October 24 - 28, 1999. He said the following about his impressions:
"After these days spent in Medjugorje I have very positive impressions. It is clear to me that in this place there is something very strong and supernatural. Without this supernaturality these events could never hold out to such an extent and spread like this throughout the whole world. I know that all the more people are coming from the whole world and that many pray here and are converted. This is a great supernatural reality of which the facts themselves speak. The visionaries simply convey that which Our Lady tell them and that is what the Bible calls for: peace, conversion, prayer, fast and the faithful accept it and continue living accordingly. When I listened to one of the visionaries I saw that some pilgrims are concerned also with questions of curiosity, but the visionary answered very simply: she can only say what Our Lady tells her, and they have to ask a priest the other things. My impression is very positive about everything that is happening here. I especially like the evening program, rosary and mass and adoration.
This is the real way of conversion.
The only thing I can say as a brother is that you who work here need to be patient with the people who come here. They come from far away, many things they don't know and, as much as possible, you always have to listen to them patiently and help them. To the visionaries, priests and pilgrims I would recommend to accept Mary who today is helping us in a special way to come to Christ, and He is the only Mediator and Savior. To her Jesus said from the cross: "Behold your son, but to the disciple He said: "Behold your Mother! I am convinced that is the reason of the apparitions that is giving Mary the right and from which comes the duty that she appear and help us and our job is to accept her. What is being announced here is the essence of the Gospel, therefore we have to accept it. Therefore, the renewal of life according to the Gospel is at work. The spirit of devotion and fervor that is seen here will truly serve the new evangelization. I commend myself especially to your prayers, also all priests and the whole world, and I myself promise to pray for all of you."
In the second last week of October Msgr. Emilio L. Bataclan, a bishop from the Philippines made a private visit to Medjugorje. Before leaving Medjugorje he also said this:
"I believe that Our Lady is appearing here. She is the Mother and she cares for us. I believe that she is always with her children, especially when they have to suffer, when the they so many problems. I have no difficulties believing that Our Lady is here because, above all, the "sensus fidelium" [sense of the faithful] says that Mary is here, and also my priestly and pastoral experience through a full 25 years, and now also that of being a bishop helps recognize the special signs that May is present here and that she is caring for her children. I would like to say to everyone: Mary is the Mother who loves and truly has to come to this world. She comes and says what we have to do, because she cares for us. I hope that the world will open its heart and soul to this good Mother. Let us pray mercy for all people to open their hearts. Let us pray for each other. May God bless you all."
PRAYER PROGRAM CHANGE OF SCHEDULE
We announce to all pilgrim groups and individuals who come on pilgrimage to Medjugorje that since September 13th the daily evening program in church lasts from 5 PM to 8 PM (5PM Rosary, 6 PM Holy Mass, blessing prayers and the third part of the rosary).
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is on Wednesday and Saturday from 9 PM - 10 PM and on Thursday immediately after the evening mass. Adoration and prayer before the Crucifix is every Friday in the church after the evening mass. Every Sunday at 2 PM the Peace Rosary is prayed on Apparition Hill and every Friday the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain at the same time. Confessions are heard every evening at least one hour before the prayer program starts. With the change from summer time the evening program in church does not change. Only the hour for prayer hour on the mountains changes.
All masses for different language groups take in the morning on the basis of previous reservation.
All announcements in connection with the prayer program in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje as well as other announcements can be obtained from the information office at 00387-88-651-988 from 9 AM till 5 PM. We request all organizers of pilgrim groups upon their arrival in Medjugorje to inform their pilgrims about the possibility of obtaining needed information at the Information Office that is located in front of the parish house and not at the parish office.
SEMINARS AT "DOMUS PACIS"
At the "Domus Pacis" House of Prayer two seminars on prayer and fasting for French and German speakers were conducted in November. A seminar for young ladies was organized and conducted by the Franciscan Sisters from November 5th- 7th, and young members of FRAMA (Franciscan Youth) from Hercegovina held their prayer meeting from November 26th - 28th. "HELP", the organization for aid to youth, also conducted its own prayer - educational meeting this month from November 23rd - 25th.
CHANGE IN THE BULLETIN
As you may have noticed, there no longer appears PRESS BULLETIN in the title of our organ, but only BULLETIN. The reason for that change is the contents and length of the text that we wish to offer you. Accordingly this new title seems to be more appropriate. Moreover, in every Bulletin we will also publish the last message of Our Lady since the word of Our Lady in the parish of Medjugorje is also the reason for all the other events about which we write. With the hope that these changes will be welcome, we send sincere greetings to all readers with a promise of prayer.
The Editorial Staff
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 12/01/99