"Dear children! In this time of grace, I call you to come even closer to God through your personal prayer. Make good use of the time of rest and give your soul and your eyes rest in God. Find peace in nature and you will discover God the Creator Whom you will be able to give thanks to for all creatures; then you will find joy in your heart. Thank you for having responded to my call." July 25, 2001
FROM THE BEGINNING
Each one of us has omitted to complete and to develop something in his life’s knowledge and art. Often, we regret it, especially when it seems to us that precisely this would have helped us in certain circumstances. What mostly impedes the growth in diverse areas of life is the impossibility or the lack of determination to start something from the beginning. Young people and adults have some kind of fear, when they have to start something almost from the beginning, especially in the area where we think that we have learned how to do it. It is difficult to start from the beginning even when we know that we can succeed only if we start from the very beginning.
All this concerns also the religious knowledge and experience. To mend what we already have acquired and lived creates an uneasiness in us. To start from the very beginning in our religious practice is painful. What will be the reaction of others? Will we succeed, will the others understand it in the right way?
Pilgrims bear witness that in Medjugorje they make an exceptional experience, and that – in their religious practice – sometimes they started some things from the very beginning, sometimes from zero, and that this does not push them away, but brings them closer to Medjugorje. Precisely this will gather this year, in the beginning of August, thousands of young people.
Fra Ivan Landeka
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of June, 180.000 communions were distributed and 3651 priests from the country and from abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from Romania, Italy, Poland, Belgium, Korea, Germany, France, Canada, Austria, USA, Slovakia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Holland, Yugoslavia, South Africa, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, Hungary, Mexico, Vietnam, Portugal, The Czech Republic, England, Ireland, Lebanon, Scotland, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina.
The 9th Military Pilgrimage took place in the shrine of Medjugorje, as every year, on June 28th.
Militaries participated in the prayer of the Rosary, and the central point was the evening Holy Mass presided by fra Danko Perutina, who delivered the homily.
In time of war, soldiers recognized Medjugorje as a place of prayer, of peace and reconciliation. They continue to see it as such and, as they said in one previous pilgrimage: “In spite of military forces, which govern the world, only in God can man feel secure”. Their coming this year confirms it.
DIAMOND AND GOLDEN MASSES OF HERCEGOVINIAN FRIARS
On the feast of St. Peter and Paul, apostles, in the parish church of Medjugorje, fra Vinko Dragicevic celebrated his diamond priestly jubilee, and his brother, fra Marko Dragicevic, celebrated his golden jubilee. Both of them are born in the parish of Medjugorje. They were joined by fra Leonard Orec, former parish priest of Medjugorje, and fra Dobroslav Begic, former vicar in the parish of Medjugorje, who also celebrated their golden jubilee.
In a solemn Holy Mass, concelebrated by many priests, numerous faithful thanked God and these tireless friars for their selfless service during many years, when they were often persecuted because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
A NEW PROVINCIAL FOR THE HERCEGOVINIAN FRANCISCAN PROVINCE
End of June, fra Slavko Soldo, until now superior of the Franciscan hercegovinian custodia in the USA, born in Medjugorje, was elected new provincial of Hercegovina. In this service, he succeeds the former provincial, fra Tomislav Pervan, who is known by many pilgrims as parish priest of Medjugorje from 1982 to 1988.
In the name of all the pilgrims and all the friends of Medjugorje, we invoke the blessing of God on the new provincial, on the new government of our Province, and on their service.
MEETING OF CHOIRS
July 1st, a traditional meeting of choirs of Hercegovina took place in the parish church of Medjugorje. With their singing, they embellished the Eucharistic celebration, after which followed the official programme, presenting six choirs. In the overfilled parish Church, the assistance enjoyed the beauty of sacred music. At the beginning of the concert, the parish priest of Medjugorje greeted the singers and encouraged them to continue in their musical art.
SIXTH INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF PRIESTS
The Sixth international meeting of priests took place July 2 to 7, 2001. There were 243 priests from 36 countries (United Arabic Emirates, Montenegro, Nigeria, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Vietnam, Hungary, India, Uganda, South Africa, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Canada, Rumania, El Salvador, Mexico, Argentina, Portugal, Switzerland, Poland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, France, Australia, USA, England, Belgium, Austria, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina). The theme was “Priest – Servant of the Divine Mercy”.
This year’s preachers were Mgr Robert Rivas, bishop of Kingstown, F. France Spelic, F. Bennet Tierney, F. Jacques Philippe, F. Jozo Zovko and Sr. Elvira Petrozzi.
They meditated and spoke about “The life God wants from a priest”, “Prayer – a way towards God’s Mercy”, “Priorities in priestly life”, “Priest, a mystery of Divine Mercy”.
During six days, priests were attending the conferences, sharing, praying and celebrating the Eucharist in communion with the people of God. The day before last, they climbed the Cross Mountain praying the Way of the Cross, and the last day, they celebrated the Morning Prayer at the tomb of fra Slavko Barbaric, who initiated these Priests Meetings in 1996.
The meeting was coordinated by fra Ljubo Kurtovic.
From year to year, the number of priests who choose to make their annual retreat in Medjugorje, under the protection of Our Blessed Mother – the Queen of Peace, is growing. The abundance of fruits of this meeting can be seen in the Statement they adopted at the end of the retreat:
“We, priests from diverse countries, are gathered for the Sixth Retreat for Priests with the theme: “Priest – servant of the Divine Mercy”. We attended conferences given by Mgr Robert Rivas, F. France Spelic, F. Bennet Tierney, F. Jacques Philippe, F. Jozo Zovko and Sr. Elvira Petrozzi.
We want to express our gratitude to the Lord for having called us into His priesthood. Christ confided us His all-powerful and infinite mercy and love to give them to our brothers and sisters. We are encouraged and strengthened by the motherly intercession of the Queen of Peace at this source of grace, who calls us to her Heart to lead us to Her son Jesus, being fed at the source of life, the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist.
We thank the Lord for His infinite trust in spite of all our weaknesses, refusals and limits. We implore the Lord to give us the experience of forgiveness of our sins, so that we may give forgiveness to others. We promise our fidelity to the Lord in the announcing of his Good News, which was given and confided to us, to bring fruit in the hearts of those who listen to it.
We want to and we decide to grow in holiness, and to seek to know the Lord more and more through prayer, who gives himself to us, so that we may give ourselves to others from day to day without reserve.
Mary gathers us here from all over the world, from diverse colours and races, diverse languages and nationalities, to make us her children, leading us to Jesus Christ. Here, we can hear her voice telling us: “Do whatever he tells you!” (John 2,5). Here, we experienced the beauty of belonging to the Lord and to His Church. We experienced the truth of “how good it is and how pleasant where brethren dwell as one” (Ps 133/132, 1).
We renewed our love and our Yes to the Lord and to His Church. We want to discover the merciful face of Christ through personal sanctification, so that the infinite treasure of His Mercy may be seen through our lives.
We express our availability to witness for the Lord to all who are erring and seeking peace, love and happiness far away from the Lord.
We put the whole Church, the whole world and ourselves under the protection and the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Queen of Peace, that she may protect us and guide as her beloved children.
Medjugorje, July 2 to 7 2001
They also addressed a letter to the Holy Father:
Dear Holy Father,
The 6th International Meeting of Priests in Medjugorje, which attracted about 250 priests, sends You greetings and our filial love.
Our Conference this year was on the Priest – Servant of the Divine Mercy, and we listened to Mary’s call to do works of mercy out of love. As we return to our various countries and communities, where we minister to our people, we return as missionaries of Mercy.
At Medjugorje, we prayed for You and asked Our Blessed Mother to care for You in a special way in Your pastoral ministry to the whole Church.
We now express our loyalty to You and our availability to serving the Church. May Mary, the Queen of Peace and Mother of Mercy, smile at You today. God bless!
Sincerely in Christ,
Bishop Robert Rivas, Kingstown, St. Vincent
ON BICYCLE TO MEDJUGORJE
A group of 25 cyclists from the parish Riolo Terme, Ravenna, came to Medjugorje on June 6th. After many hundreds of kilometres on bicycle to reach the shrine of Medjugorje, they climbed the Apparition Hill and the Križevac. After the evening prayer programme, they returned home content with this experience, which was very strong, because of the great heat of the journey. But, “there is no real pilgrimage without a real effort, and this is what brings the true joy. We will come back”, said the Italian cyclists.
WEB PAGE AND A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT FRA SLAVKO BARBARIC
A documentary film about the life and the work of fra Slavko Barbaric “In Gospa’s name” has recently been published by Michael Mayr, a German producer. The documentary can be found in the Parish Office in Medjugorje. There is also a new web page about Father Slavko’s life and work, by the same producer. The web-address is: www.paterslavko.de
We inform all those who want to participate in the International Meeting for Leaders of Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups “Pray, pray, pray…” announced for February 10 to 14, 2002, that the meeting will take place February 17 to 21, 2002.
You can send your registrations by e-mail: email@example.com , by fax: + 387 36 651 300 (for Marija Dugandžic), or in the Information Office personally or by phone: + 387 36 651 988. The programme and all information about this seminar can be found on our web-pages: www.medjugorje.hr or in the Bulletin 162 from May 26, 2001. (Note the change of dates: February 17 to 21,2002)
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 07/29/2001