"Dear children! Also today, I call you to prayer. Little children, prayer works miracles. When you are tired and sick and you do not know the meaning of your life, take the Rosary and pray; pray until prayer becomes for you a joyful meeting with your Savior. I am with you, little children, and I intercede and pray for you. Thank you for having responded to my call." April 25, 2001
THE PREPARATION AND THE EFFECTS
Has Easter come or gone? Has the event of the Resurrection, to which we prepared ourselves, marked our life or not? Perhaps are we glad it is all over now?
The meaning of the exercises of holy times is that we, lead by the grace of God, exercise ourselves in something, which will last, what we will keep as our permanent good and what will become rooted in our Christian attitude. In the life of the Apostles and of the first Church, Easter was not only a great beginning, but the meeting with the Risen Christ. This has become a mission, which never ends.
The call of Our Lady for us to decide totally for God is a call founded on her personal experience in the first Church, among others. It is a call for us to become used to the presence of the Risen Jesus in our homes, in the Church and in society. The Easter time should be en exercise in this presence. On the contrary, every word about conversion, prayer, a more intense Christian life, will rather be a burden than an inspiration, and some forms of Christian life will have a bad development.
Fr Ivan Landeka
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
Every year for Lent, numerous pilgrims come to Medjugorje. In the month of March, 45.000 communions were distributed and 1187 priests concelebrated the Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims from Italy, France, USA, Korea, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, Malta, Romania, Hungary, Austria, The Czech Republic, Germany, Slovenia, Portugal, Canada, La Reunion, Letonia, Porto Rico, Latvia, Denmark, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina were here.
THE FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION
On the Feast of the Annunciation, many thousands of pilgrims came to Medjugorje. The day before the feast, celebrated on the 26th of March this year, pilgrims gathered to pray the Rosary on Apparition Hill and for the Evening Prayer Program. During Lent, in a very special way, the Way of the Cross on Mount Križevac was an inevitable moment of prayer in the program for the pilgrims. Although there were many foreign pilgrims, numerous pilgrims from Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina as well came to celebrate this feast.
«THE KELLY FAMILY» ON PILGRIMAGE TO THE SHRINE OF OUR LADY, QUEEN OF PEACE
Six members of the well-known musical group “The Kelly Family”, spent one week in Medjugorje this month. The group is a family of Irish descent, who travel around the world singing religious and Christian music. This is their second trip to Medjugorje in one year.
This family, with fourteen children have risen to the top of the popularity charts in many European countries coming from a life of deep poverty. On this “journey of stardom”, the family endured many trials and much sufferings. During their first time in Medjugorje, they experienced the nearness of God and His Love. That prior experience has deeply influenced their personal, family and musical life and has opened new and unknown horizons for them. Medjugorje has become a place of a renewal of their faith, a source of peace and a place of healing for the entire family. They came back here, where they had found this healing grace. They wanted to tell to all young people who are undergoing difficulties and crisis:
“If you are in trouble, do not wait nor hesitate. Take the first bus, come to Medjugorje – and you will see! You will find the lost hope and the love you are longing for!”
“The Kelly Family” expressed their thanksgiving to Our Lady and for Medjugorje by singing several songs in the Parish Church during the Evening Prayer program on Monday, March 26th. They hope to return here sometime this year.
BELGIUM AMBASSADOR AND HIS SPOUSE IN MEDJUGORJE
On Sunday, March 25th 2001, Mr Robert Devriese the Belgium Ambassador in Bosnia and Herzegovina came to Medjugorje with his spouse. They spent one hour with dr. fra Ivan Sesar, the pastor here, in friendly conversation manifesting their interest in the events of Medjugorje. On their way back to Sarajevo they expressed a desire to visit the Bishop of Mostar, Msgr. Ratko Peric.
BIG CHIEF BEN SYLLIBOY INVOKES THE QUEEN OF PEACE FOR THE WELL-BEING OF HIS TRIBE OF MIC-MAQS
On March 22,2001, Big Chief from the tribe of Mic-Maqs, Ben Sylliboy from Canada, came to Medjugorje for the second time. The Mic-Maqs have become old friends of Medjugorje thanks to Mrs. Amy Bennett, who organizes pilgrimages.
This tribe of 40,000 members, scattered in the US and in the northeast of Canada, had received the sacrament of Baptism in 1610. Today, the Christian faith and religious practice is decreasing, and many are searching for their identity in old pagan traditions. The pilgrims of Medjugorje represent a real spiritual renewal, because they have started prayer groups and are giving a new breath to the religious practices of their people.
Today the tribe of Mic-Maqc face the same difficulties as other nations: drug addiction and the loss for the sense of life, seen mostly among young people. Big Chief, Ben Sylliboy, chosen for life, and whose role is mostly spiritual, visits all the reservations, one after the other. He accompanies the priest on his pastoral journeys and invokes the Queen of Peace for the well being of his tribe. He is deeply attached to Medjugorje because of the many signs he has received from God while here and as well as after returning to Canada. He is convinced that God is near, that God sees and knows each one of those He has created, and that He watches lovingly over everyone.
A HOUSE AT THE ENTRANCE OF THE ST. FRANCIS' GARDEN
A log cabin was built at the entrance of the St. Francis’ Garden thanks to the love and work of a group of French pilgrims. This house will serve as a welcoming centre for guests, as an information office and as a veterinary station.
St. Francis’ Garden has been created following the initiative of Fr. Slavko Barbaric. The Garden contains five basic elements: spiritual and meditative (through nature and in silence one can seek God), ecological (to understand the importance of the nature), pedagogical (the education of children, foremost those from the Mother’s Village, since the garden, although open, is the continuation of the Mother’s Village), therapeutic (hipo-therapy), recreational (re-creation, return back to creation). There is also a project of constructing an amphitheatre for seminars and prayer meetings. Today’s priority is to strengthen the exterior fence, to enlarge the existing artificial lakes and to make walking paths.
St. Francis’ Garden was the last project initiated by Father Slavko, a project he loved very much. The co-workers and friends of Fr. Slavko continue the work and they will be grateful for any advise,, suggestions or professional help.
THE FUND ”FRIENDS OF THE TALENTED” BECOMES THE «FRA SLAVKO BARBARIC» FUND - MEDJUGORJE
The Fund ”Friends of the Talented” - Medjugorje was founded in February 1991, with the intention to offer material and spiritual help to talented, but materially disadvantaged, students.
Since its founding, the Fund has given out 547 stipends and 1105 occasional one-time support, amounting to a total of DM 1.054.511,--. The Fund offers students not only financial assistance, but also organizes spiritual and cultural events, such as “Students’ days”, “Meetings for Graduates”, expositions and auctions of paintings. It also organizes concerts, poetry readings, promotions of literary works, and a painting course with Carmelo Puzzolo, a well-known Italian painter and sculptor.
Father Slavko Barbaric was the initiator and Founder of the Fund, and – until his death – also its President. Without his visionary spirit, his perseverance, his selfless service and love for students, this Fund would never have been created. Because of Father Slavko’s immense contribution to the creation and development of the Fund, at their meeting on March 30, 2001, the Board members decided to rename the Fund “Friends of the Talented” – Medjugorje. The new name is: The “Fra Slavko Barbaric” Fund - Medjugorje.
LENTEN CONCERT IN THE PARISH CHURCH OF MEDJUGORJE
A marvellous Lenten concert was performed by Croatian musicians from Mostar and Zagreb on the evening vigil of Holy Week in the Parish Church of Medjugorje. They played the “Satabat Mater” by Pergolesi and “Seven Last Words of Christ” by Haydn for both the parishioners and pilgrims. It was the first of three concerts they were to perform in Hercegovina in these days. Two following concerts were performed on April 8th in Capljina and on April 9th in Mostar.
We would like to express our deep thanks to the Director, Mr. Tonko Ninic, the solists, soprano Sandra Bagaric and mezzo-soprano Martina Gojceta, and the Chamber orchestra of the Symphonic orchestra of Mostar as well as the Choir of the Music School Ivan pl. Zajc. In a special way, we wish to thank the sponsors, the Education and Science Department of the Circumscription of Hercegovina-Neretva and the Municipality of Mostar West.
We hope that there will be many future occasions presented here in Medjugorje to enhance liturgical feasts by performances of such a high quality.
PALM (PASSION) SUNDAY
The traditional procession held in Medjugorje, introducing the Church to the beginning of Holy Week of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord, took place this year under a sky covered with heavy clouds and rain. Nevertheless, this did not impede the gathering of a great number of parishioners and of pilgrims.
The feast was embellished by the presence of Father Ivan Landeka, former Pastor of Medjugorje, who – together with the parish choir of Medjugorje directed by Sister Slavica – sung the Passion according to Luke.
The solemn Eucharistic celebration was by the new Pastor, Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar. In his homily, he underlined that Jesus didn’t only come for the Jewish people, but for all peoples of the world. He didn’t come as a political leader, but as our Saviour and Redeemer. During His entry into Jerusalem, the crowd proclaimed: “Hosanna to the Son of David"!”, and only a few days later: “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”. They specifically expected an earthly, and not an eternal salvation from Jesus. The pastor invited all the faithful to follow Jesus for what He was, and not for what man, in his selfish desires, expected from Him.
EASTER IN MEDJUGORJE
During Holy Week and for Easter, many pilgrims groups, who wanted to celebrate the biggest Christian feast – Easter - arrived in Medjugorje. Many thousands of pilgrims spent Easter in Medjugorje. Among the foreign pilgrims, the most numerous groups were from Germany, Austria and Italy. There were also very many pilgrims from all over Croatia, and from the neighbouring parishes, who came to Medjugorje for confession. Every evening during the evening prayer program about 30 priests were hearing confessions. During the Easter Tridium, the liturgies were celebrated in 11 languages.
THE 12TH INTERNATIONAL YOUTH PRAYER MEETING: "GROW WITH MARY IN WISDOM AND LOVE" - July 31, Tuesday to August 6, Monday, 2001
SPEAKERS : Fr. Daniel Ange, Fr. Ranier Van Carnap, Fr. Silouan, Fr. Stefan Reuffurth, Sister Elvira Petrozzi, Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, Fr. Branimir Musa, visionaries and other witnesses.
31. VII, Tuesday
THEME OF EACH DAY:
1. VIII, Wednesday - “. . .surrender yourselves completely to God” (Message 02.01.’86)
2. VIII, Thursday – “Dear children, fast and pray with the heart ! ” (Message 20.9.’84)
3. VIII, Friday - “I invite you to fall in love with the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.” (Message 25.9.’95)
4. VIII, Saturday - “. . . open your hearts to the Holy Spirit” (Message 23.5.’85) . . . pray for the gifts of the Holy Spirit” (Message 25.5.’00) (with Sister Elvira, founder of the community "Cenacolo")
5. VIII, Sunday – “ Let Holy Mass be your life.” (Message 25.4.’88)
6. VIII, Monday - Križevac – “Give witness to God and God's love. . . become Apostles of Love” (Message 25.10.’93)
1. Things to bring with you: small head-phones and small radio with an FM frequency, a Bible and umbrella.
2. Those with classical instruments (violin, flute, oboe, etc) wanting to participate in the choir, please contact the fax number 00 387-36-651-888. There will be rooms available at “Domus Pacis". Please send your name, address, age, instrument and years of experience in music. Wait for confirmation.
3. All groups participating in the Youth Prayer meeting: please do not arrange or make plans for any other programs during this week.
4. Rosary will be at 6 pm and Holy Mass at 7 pm every evening with the local community.
5. Each group leader should register with the Information Centre on arrival in Medjugorje.
6. It is necessary that all participants of the Youth Festival register at a registration table set up from 9 am to 6 pm every day; registration will take place throughout the entire week. DO NOT FORGET TO REGISTER SOMETIME DURING THE WEEK WHILE YOU ARE HERE!!!!
ATTENTION: DURING THE TIME OF THE YOUTH FESTIVAL, (WEDNESDAY TO SATURDAY,) THERE WILL BE NO MORNING MASSES AND ONLY ONE MASS IN THE EVENING FOR ALL PILGRIMS. THERE WILL BE SIMULTANEOUS TRANSLATION DURING THE MASS.
DISCRETION IS NECESSARY IN DISCERNMENT OF NEWS ABOUT MEDJUGORJE
Organizers of pilgrimages, and responsible parties of Centres of Peace and Prayer Groups, regularly ask us many diverse questions about spectacular news related to the Apparitions of Our Lady, presumed declarations of visionaries and about the position of Herzegovinian Franciscans.
It is impossible to personally answer each one of them. However, we encourage pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje to first “discern in the Spirit and in Truth” news which may be heard or read, and we invite each and every one not to be mislead or deceived by sensationalism or by shallow, and sometimes malicious news, being published.
All essential and necessary information concerning the events of Medjugorje can be found on our web-pages www.medjugorje.hr , which is the ‘official voice’ from Medjugorje. We ask you to accept in prayer and with seriousness, news coming from other sources, to disseminate them or - if necessary - to disregard them completely.
All Franciscan Friars serving in the Parish of St. James in Medjugorje are here with the permission of the local Bishop, Monsignor Ratko Peric, and all possess their canonical jurisdiction for exercising their priestly ministry.
SUMMER HOURS OF THE EVENING PRAYER PROGRAM
Beginning on Sunday March 25, 2001, the time of the Evening Prayer Program here in the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of Peace, Medjugorje changed. It begins at 6 p.m with the Rosary, followed by Holy Mass at 7 p.m., and ends with the Prayer for Healing and the Third Rosary at 8 p.m. Adoration on Wednesdays and Saturdays are at 10.00 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Rosary on Podbrdo Hill on Sundays begins at 3 p.m. The Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain on Fridays begins at 3 p.m.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 05/07/2001