"Dear children! Do not forget that you are here on earth on the way to eternity and that your home is in Heaven. That is why, little children, be open to God’s love and leave egoism and sin. May your joy be only in discovering God in daily prayer. That is why, make good use of this time and pray, pray, pray; and God is near to you in prayer and through prayer.Thank you for having responded to my call." July 25, 2000
YOUTH FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM
From time immemorial the saying is valid: “Youth are the hope of the world”. That is an incontestable truth. Thus it was for all times, and also today. It was especially revealed at a time of crisis. Today is also a time like that. The world today is tinged with different obscurities and confusions. Ideals are destroyed, values trampled. Before youth most often stands the monotony of everyday events for which it does not pay to go through any trouble. Youth today therefore are in great danger of quickly getting old. Many look at youth with fear and skepticism. Older people know how to speak up how it was different in their time, how they were younger in their youthful years. Youth put the blame on their elders, proclaiming especially how nothing is offered to them, how they are not taken seriously, how nothing is expected of them. And in that they are completely right. The greatest pain for youth is that nothing is expected of them. The Church in this Jubilee Year is especially proclaiming the role of youth, exhorting that youth be allowed actively to take their place in society. The Church thereby really is only illuminating the words of the Lord Jesus who said: “If you would be perfect, sell what you have and give to the poor and then come and follow me!” (Mt 19:21). We should help youth to grow, not only in age but even more in wisdom and grace. If the Church and society take that position, then there’s no need to fear for youth. Then they will be the hope of the world and that will be a hope that becomes reality.
Fr. Branko Rados
N E W S
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
During June in the shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje 140,000 Holy Communions were distributed and at holy mass there were 3,089 concelebrations by priests from home and abroad, that is, 103 priests daily.
Since June 25th marked the 19th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions in the parish of Medjugorje more than 100,000 faithful were in Medjugorje just for those few days. For that reason it is not possible to enumerate the countries from which they came. There were pilgrims for every continent. But the most numerous were pilgrims from Poland and Croatia.
STATEMENT OF THE PRIESTS
At the end of the seminar they issued this joint statement which we here present completely:
We, the 272 Roman Catholic priests and seminarians, religious and secular, are gathered here from 30 different countries, serving in the most diverse ministries, together with some representatives of the Greek Catholic, Orthodox and Anglican Church, for the fifth priests’ retreat on the theme: “Priest - Man of the Most Holy Trinity and Servant of the Lord’s Body.” We listened to several talks by Fr. Daniel Ange, Fr. Rufus Pereira, Fr. Martin Ramoser, Fr. Manjackal, Fr. Cosimo Cavaluzzo, Sr. Elvira Petrozzi, Fr. Jozo Zovko and Fr. Slavko Barbaric.
During this year of the Great Jubilee we desire to rejoice in being children of God, in being chosen by the Lord and consecrated in his priesthood. We are happy for all the gifts the Lord has given through his Church, entrusting us with his own Son Jesus now already for 2000 years.
We are grateful that he made us servants of his Body and his Blood, witnesses of his mercy, men who give life to the world by giving it God, a God made present who is bestowed in the sacraments.
As sinners, unworthy of the mysteries entrusted to us, we seek forgiveness of all those people we have offended, disappointed or saddened, beseeching them to call on God’s mercy both with us and for us.
If we have also obscured the face of Jesus in his Church, we henceforth desire to do everything to make it radiate, intensifying our own consecration.
We have come accordingly to let ourselves be fully renewed in the Holy Spirit, yielding to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that we received at our priestly ordination. We have come to receive from the Father’s heart through the hands of Mary, Queen of Peace, a new burst of love for Jesus, a new zeal, a new apostolic thrust.
We desire to become worshippers in love with Jesus in the Eucharist, thus courageous apostles of the Love that gives Life, ready even to lay down our own lives in order to protect life and rescue love.
We thank God for the mystery of our Church. We desire to love her as Jesus loves her and, ready to shed our blood for her, to work with all our strength for her Unity, for the communion of the sister Churches, in the fullness of love and truth, so we can all know the joy of faith.
We affirm our loyalty in heart and soul to the Holy Father, the servant of communion, the warrantor of Truth and the champion of life.
We affirm our love for the divine Truth revealed in God’s Word which nourishes us everyday, and our fidelity to the great Tradition that is alive in the Church of the East and the West.
We desire to be servants of the poorest, the most fragile, of the people that life has wounded the most, so that divine love may shine forth and so people may touch the heart of God.
We desire to be consumed without restraint to offer the truth that sets free to the most poor, for whom hope and life is lacking: to those who yet do not know that God loves them. We desire to radiate the Gospel and do all that is possible to be able to give divine life to youth that are so lost.
We thank God for the fortitude of the martyrs of this century which by wars and totalitarian regimes has caused more deaths than all the preceding centuries, especially among our brother priests. We not want our infidelity to render their blood unfruitful, rather on the contrary, to bear fruit, comporting ourselves proudly and worthily of these our elder brothers. Are we not the Sons of their tears, their prayers, their love? Of one thing we are certain: we are grateful to their blood, shed out of love, for the great outpouring of the Spirit that is renewing the whole Church.
And finally, we bless the Lord who confides our priesthood and our ministry to the Holy Mother of God, the Mother of Christ’s priests, the Mother of the Church, the Queen of heaven and earth, the Queen of Peace and Reconciliation.
We have come here to thank her for the countless fruits of this pilgrimage place which we have established with the faithful in all of our countries. We thank her for all the signs of her Motherly Presence at this decisive time of passing from one millennium to another. She constantly reminds us of the Gospel, she leads lost children toward the Father, she points us to our future: the return in glory of our Savior who will transform our lowly bodies into His Glorious Body.
In expectation of our final Resurrection, may Mary keep us faithful to the end and make saints of us for the joy of the whole Church on earth and in heaven. Amen.
Medjugorje, June 30 - July 6, 2000.
FEAST OF ST. JAMES CELEBRATED
The feast of St. James, patron of the parish of Medjugorje, was solemnly celebrated July 25th. In the presence of a large number of the faithful the solemnity began with a procession from the parish church with the statue of St. James to the park where Fr. Ivan Landeka presided at the solemn Eucharistic celebration.
The parish of Medjugorje was established in 1892. Already then the parishioners decided to take St. James as their patron, who is also the patron of all pilgrims! The old parish church was built in 1897. Since it was built on soft ground, the construction of a new parish church was soon begun. The remains of the old church are located in the circle park next to the shrine. The new church was completed and blessed in 1969. It was too big for the people of that time and no one really knew why it was built so large. Just as in far back 1892 none of the parishioners could have imagined that millions of pilgrims would come to their parish and that St. James, the patron of their parish, would also become the patron of all those pilgrims.
SEMINAR FOR INNER HEALING
Also this year in Medjugorje from July 8 - 12, a seminar for inner healing was held. About 600 of the faithful from southern Croatia, central Bosnia-Hercegovina participated in the seminar The seminar was in a special way aimed at people who have family problems. It was led by Fr. James Manjackal and Sr. Margaret Vallapila. For five days the faithful gathered to pray and meditate on the spiritual talks of Fr. Manjackal and participated in the evening prayer program. All those who spent these five days in prayer and meditation had power impressions. Therefore we believe that there will also be such an opportunity in Medjugorje every year for such a seminar.
INTERNATIONAL YOUTH PRAYER FESTIVAL
The traditional eleventh international youth prayer festival will be held from July 31- August 6, 2000. The theme of this year’s festival, at which a large number of youth is expected to participate, will be “The Word Became Flesh and Dwelt Among Us”. The festival begins July 31st with the evening prayer program. We wish a hearty welcome to all participants and abundant blessings from God.
You still have time to register and participate in this unique encounter for youth of the world. Information and registrations can be made at the Information Office of the shrine. Tel: 00387 36 651 988.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 07/26/2000