"Dear children! Today I call you to renew prayer and fasting with even greater enthusiasm until prayer becomes a joy for you. Little children, the one who prays is not afraid of the future and the one who fasts is not afraid of evil. Once again, I repeat to you: only through prayer and fasting also wars can be stopped – wars of your unbelief and fear for the future. I am with you and am teaching you little children: your peace and hope are in God. That is why draw closer to God and put Him in the first place in your life. Thank you for having responded to my call." January 25, 2001
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF OUR LADY FOR CHRISTIANS
We enter into the twentieth year of the phenomenon and the events of Medjugorje. After twenty years, we still cannot affirm that all that happened is completely clear. The nature of such a phenomenon, as it was the case in the past, will occupy the attention of theologians and specialists for a long time. One thing is more or less certain: Our Lady has led those who come to Medjugorje on the path of faith in Jesus Christ. People sensed this and began the journey. Everything else is in the shadow of this fact.
Why is the role of Our Lady so important in all these events? Karl Rahner, a German theologian, said, “Mary represents what a Christian is.” This is what is most significant for Mary in the history of the Church. In Medjugorje and in similar events, Our Lady presented Herself as what a Christian truly is. In this role, She calls to conversion, to prayer, to fasting and to peace.
Fra Ivan Landeka
N E W S
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CONCELEBRANTS
In the month of December, many pilgrims come to Medjugorje for Christmas and New Year. In the parish, 60.000 communions were distributed and 758 priests from the country and from abroad concelebrated at Holy Mass.
The most numerous groups came from Singapore, England, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia, Peru, Canada, Panama, Belgium, Lebanon, Indonesia, Letonia, the Netherlands, Brazil, Spain, Romania, USA, Germany, Austria, Italy, Korea, France, and, of course, Croatia.
THE NEW YEAR
On New Year’s Eve - as on Christmas Eve and Sunday, December 28th - the community of sister Elvira performed a “Living Crib” behind the church of St. James.
Also this year – as has been a tradition for a number of years - a prayer vigil was held for the New Year. The prayers began at 10 pm and ended with midnight Mass. Several thousands of faithful participated. Again, the most numerous were the young people coming from practically all European countries and the USA. Thus the parishioners and pilgrims together saw the Old Year out and ushered in the New Year singing and praying for peace so much needed for modern man in today's world. Fra Branko Radoš was the main celebrant at Holy Mass. The fact that the number of pilgrims increases from year to year shows how profound this experience is for those who for once await the New Year in Medjugorje in prayer. Many of those who come, keep returning. In this uncertain and troubled world, young people are still deciding to entrust their future to God.
SEMINAR FOR STUDENTS
From December 29th to January 1st a prayer seminar was conducted for the young members of "Friends of the Talents’ Fund". They are members of this Foundation, which helps them during their studies at different Universities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. For the last few years, these young people have started the New Year in the joy of prayer and togetherness. Fra dr. Ivan Sesar, parish priest of Medjugorje, greeted them in the New Hall and took them to Fra Slavko’s tomb, where they presented flowers and candles. After the ceremony, they joined other faithful for the evening prayer program in the parish church.
About 40 students from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia participated in this seminar, which the "Friends of the Talents’ Fund" had organized.
THE END OF THE JUBILEE YEAR
On January 6, 2001, the pastor of Medjugorje, Dr. Fra Ivan Sesar, together with the parishioners and pilgrims, marked the end of the Jubilee Year in a solemn Holy Thanksgiving Mass. With the song of Te Deum, the faithful expressed their thanksgiving for all the graces received throughout the world - graces poured out on the Church and on all those who do not yet know the love of God.
The parish continually thanks the Lord for pouring out an abundance of graces upon the Church and the whole world.
EIGHTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR LEADERS OF CENTERS OF PEACE AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER GROUPS
As we already mentioned in the previous Bulletin 154, the Medjugorje parish office is organizing the eighth meeting for leaders of Centers of Peace, charity and prayer groups to take place in Medjugorje from February 26th to March 1st, 2001. The theme of this year’s meeting is “PEACE AND RECONCILIATION”.
Other details and information about this seminary can be found on our web-pages (Information). We ask you to send your registration by the February 15th 2001 at the latest.
SEMINAR FOR PRIESTS
The 6th International Seminar for Priests will take place from July 2 to July 7, 2001. The theme is “Priest – Servant of the Mercy of God”. Once again, the families from the parish will accommodate all priests participating in this seminar in their homes. Registrations by fax: 00 387 36 651 888.
WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONDOLENCES
As it is not possible to thank each one personally, we herewith express our gratitude to those who have in a written or oral way communicated their condolences on the occasion of the death of fra Slavko Barbaric.
In those difficult moments, your words have been an encouragement and consolation. Your letters and phone calls showed the greatness of the work God accomplished through fra Slavko. For us, it is a motivation to continue on the same path: the path of prayer, penance and conversion.
One again: thank you from the heart!
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 01/26/2001