"Dear children! This is a time of grace. That is why pray, pray, pray until you comprehend God’s love for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call." February 25, 2001
THE DIRECTION AND THE GOAL (on the way of preparation for Easter)
"It is enough to be naďve to choose any direction. The one who wants to keep the chosen direction needs a compass". (K. Steinbach) The one who does not know the right direction is more or less careless about the direction he is walking in. But the preparation for Easter has the same characteristics and so it also needs a clear direction and a visible goal. Without knowing one or the other, the preparation for Easter – the time of Lent – becomes a burden that brings nothing. The first step in the direction of Easter is to hear the word of the Scripture: “Come back to the Lord with your whole heart!” Listening to these words, we have to feel that this good news for us. Feeling that this is good news for us means to begin to have an Easter preparation and an Easter celebration. The Acts of the Apostles call Jesus the leader of the way into life. Jesus himself says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. He is the way towards the goal and is the compass. He leads us into life. To walk with Him means to walk towards life. This is why the call to conversion, manifested by ashes on Ash Wednesday, is joyfully, good news for us.
Fra Ivan Landeka
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
In the month of January, 35.000 communions were distributed and 568 priests concelebrated the Mass in Medjugorje.
During the year 2000, in the parish of Medjugorje 1,084.000 communions had been distributed, and 24.258 priests from this country and from abroad concelebrated Mass.
ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE ASSOCIATION OF GUIDES
At the service of the pilgrims of Medjugorje, the Annual Assembly of the Guide Association, took place in the house of prayer “Domus Pacis”. The spiritual guide of the meeting was Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic. The pastor, Dr. fra Ivan Sesar, listened to the Annual Report and to daily joys and concerns of guides in their service of pilgrims. They also gave some useful advice regarding their work. About 60 guides - qualified for this service – organize, receive and accompany the pilgrims around Medjugorje during their pilgrimage here. This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Guide Association existence and its service.
COUPLES IN THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY FAMILY
In Medjugorje, thanks to the initiative of fra Slavko Barbaric, the first international seminar “Couples in the School of the Holy Family” was held. Fifty couples from three continents speaking Croatian, English, German, Polish, Czech and Korean attended the seminar. They spent four days in the school of the Holy Family, in the school of Mary. In common prayer in the conference hall, in the church and on the hills, through conferences given by Franciscan friars; through testimonies given by couples who had experienced the intercession of Mary, they received the message: - to be converted, means to give God the first place in their lives, - to consecrate their family to God and to abandon themselves and their families into His hands. The message was also - to renew family prayer, (especially the prayer of the rosary), - to invoke the Holy Spirit, - to pray for peace in their hearts, in their desires, in their families and in the world, - to also discover love in their hearts in order to forgive in the family so that they could then be able to love and forgive others; - to read the Bible, in order to learn how God loves His people, - to fast, - to encourage old people to pray and to teach the young, at last to be an example. If they live these messages, they will become the joy of Jesus and the family will really bring forth holiness that renews the world.
In the concluding homily, the pastor, dr. fra Ivan Sesar underlined: “If our families follow the example of the Holy Family, where all members had respect, time, love, and patience for each other, they will have no reason to fear the future…”
THE PARISH ON PILGRIMAGE TO ST. BLASE IN DUBROVNIK
Every year, on February 3rd, the parishioners of Medjugorje go to Dubrovnik for the feast of St. Blase, Patron Saint of the city. This year, there were about hundred parishioners. One of the pilgrims shared his reflection: “Every year, Dubrovnik solemnly celebrates the feast of St. Blase, Patron Saint of the city.” In a solemn procession with relics of St. Blase, the town seemed to define itself, its faith, its values. St. Blase is the pride and the identity of Dubrovnik, but also its duty.
SEMINARS AT “DOMUS PACIS”
Franciscan sisters from Herzegovina gathered about 50 young girls from Herzegovina during two week-ends for spiritual renewal in the house of prayer “Domus Pacis”. The title of the spiritual renewal was: “You are my friends”.
Fra Dario Dodig directed a spiritual renewal for Franciscan Youth from Herzegovina from February 16 to 18 as well.
In Medjugorje, Mary leads us patiently and lovingly towards Jesus, teaching us how to become a son or a daughter, a disciple, a friend, a co-worker, an apostle, so that the world may know the One whom the Father has sent. These seminars are a good occasion to learn this, and the great interest of young people are proof of it.
REGISTRATION OF PILGRIMAGES AND CONTACT WITH GUIDES
Registration of pilgrimages prior to arrival is necessary for the parish in order to better assist the needs of the pilgrims. All relative information can be obtained in the Information Office, by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 00 387 36 651 988. In the same office, you can obtain all information about the availability, work and service of local guides.
THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR PRIESTS
The 6th International Meeting for Priests "THE PRIEST – SERVANT OF THE DIVINE MERCY” takes place from 2nd of July (evening) to 7th of July the (afternoon) 2001.
Things to bring with you:
You may make reservations:
Mgr Robert Rivas, bishop of Kingstown - was born in Trinidad, Tobago on June 7, 1943. He entered the Dominican order at the age of 18. He did his novitiate and Studies in Ireland. He was ordained in 1971. He attended the Angelicum in Rome and there received his Baccalaureate license in Theology. He returned to Ireland and studied Communications, Radio and Television production. He returned to Trinidad and worked in different parishes over a 7-year period. He was then appointed Director of Communications and later become Novice Master for the Dominicans in Formation, which he did for 10 years. In the early 1980's he was given an appointment in the Caribbean as the first Dominican to be the Assistant to the Master of the Dominican order in Rome for the promotion of Dominican life in the Caribbean. The dream of this appointment was to have the first Dominican province in the Caribbean. After 4 years he was appointed diocese Bishop after 19 years as a priest. His job includes working with the elderly, working very closely with the youth in drug programs, Formation in Faith of Catholics on the islands and a wide range of involvement of the Catholic Church in social issues. He presently travels the world speaking to the youth, directing retreats for priests and preaching the Gospel.
Fr. France Špelic - was born on September 24th 1927 in Slovenia. He joined the Liberation Army when he was not yet 15 years of age (during World war II), and was trained to be an Atheist and Communist. In 1946 he married and had a family during which time he became an officer in the Communist party. Later he resigned from his position as an officer and became a teacher. In 1954 he began reading the Holy Bible and because of this, he decided to withdraw from the Communist party. The consequences for this were very severe and there was constant interrogation and harassment by the communists. Nevertheless, he continued in his journey of faith and eventually had a calling to be a priest. Without any hope of becoming a priest, he still started to study Theology at the age of 41. Father Špelic came to Medjugorje for the first time in 1987 and it was here that he believed his ‘true conversion’ began. In the fifth year of his study his wife became ill with Multiple Sclerosis. He took care of her until her death on December 24th 1992. In spite of many obstacles and opposition, on November 21st 1993, at the age of 66, he became a priest. Presently he lives in Slovenia where a shrine to Our Lady, Queen of Peace, has been erected known as Kurešcek, where many pilgrims go for prayer and faith renewal. He has written an autobiography of his life and conversion experiences.
Fr. Bennet Tierney was born on November 24, 1954 in Limerick, Ireland. He joined the Legionaries of Christ in 1973 and was ordained a priest on December 24, 1985. He studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and received a degree in Philosophy. He also has a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum in Rome. He worked as Vocational Director in Spain for 3 years and then as the Director of “Regnum Christi” in Mexico for 8 years. He is the founder and Director of “Centro Empresarial” in Mexico. He has lead Spiritual Exercises for lay people and priests since 1985. His experience also included directing conferences and seminars for Seminary Formators in Italy for 6 years. He has written several publications on Bioethics and Genetic Testing. (The Legionaries of Christ is a religious community, which was founded in 1941 and has over 500 priests and 2500 seminarians from 40 different nationalities in it. “Regnum Christi” the apostolic lay movement under the Legionaries of Christ has over 50.000 members.)
Fr. Jacques Philippe - Father Jacques Philippe is a priest of the community of the Beatitudes. For ten years, he was responsible for their foundation in Rome. During these years, he directed many retreats and led missions in Italy and in the Eastern European countries. He has written several books on spirituality: on the prayer of the heart and prayer in general, how to receive peace of heart and how to live in the Holy Spirit. He is currently working on a new book about mercy and the freedom of the heart. After his time in Rome, he became a member of the General Council and responsible for priests and seminarians of the Community of the Beatitudes as well as for the novitiate house in France, for three years. After a training in Canon Law, he was working on questions of the Statutes of the community. One year ago, after having been member of the general council for ten years, he was discharged from this service in order to have more time to direct retreats, to write books and to serve as spiritual director.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 02/26/2001