"Dear children! With this message I call you anew to pray for peace. Particularly now when peace is in crisis, you be those who pray and bear witness to peace. Little children, be peace in this peaceless world. Thank you for having responded to my call." January 25, 2003
WHERE DOES GOD LIVE?
All human beings, according to psychologists and theologians, are in quest of a certain higher power. They direct their gaze towards heaven. We seek and permanently long for the cause of our existence. This seeking and longing is natural in and of itself. Our seeking is a human reality. We cannot live all alone, but the question is how do we seek and whom, in fact, do we seek? Do we seek our Creator or an illusory god made according to our fancies and our needs?
People, as God’s creatures, should long for and seek God the Father who wanted us to exist as a radiance of His own face. Any other seeking would mean going astray, and any other longing would be an illusion. God of the Christians is a reality, he is not an invented god but Emmanuel – God with us. He is present all around us. Let us seek Him and long for His presence.
There is a beautiful image in the Gospel according to John. Two disciples ask Jesus: “Rabbi, Master, where dwellest thou?” He saith unto them, ‘Come and see.’” (Jn 1,38-39) This short dialogue says and reveals so much! It reveals human longing for God and God’s concrete invitation to an encounter with Him. What did Jesus mean when he said: “Come and see”? Where should the disciples go to encounter their Master? We maybe sometimes think that we should go from place to place to encounter God. We seek Him without really knowing where He stays, which is His address. It is important to know that God is not hidden. He revealed Himself to us, He continuously talks to us, He gives Himself to us at every moment. He also speaks to us in Medjugorje through Mary. He speaks to us in the silence of our humble prayer, in every sigh, in the gift of time, in the life of the nature, of people, of the sun…
God’s address is within us, in your brother, your sister… We are temples of the Holy Spirit. God dwells in us if we have not blocked the way through sin. God dwells in the heart of your neighbour whom you have maybe despised and abandoned. God invites you to come and visit Him on the address where people are ill, poor, rejected, hungry and thirsty, handicapped and unemployed. This is God’s address. Jesus invites us to seek Him there. Hence, let us allow him to lead us in his dwellings and reveal us His home.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of December, 50,000 communions were distributed and 916 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
Pilgrims were here from Korea, Italy, Germany, Poland, Great Britain, Austria, France, Slovakia, Czech Republic, the USA, Romania, Portugal, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Lebanon, China, Latvia, Panama, Croatia, and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In the year 2002, 1,138,000 Holy Communions were distributed and 27,377 priests from this country and abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
ANNUAL MEETING AND RECOLLECTION FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS OF THE FUND “FRA SLAVKO BARBARIC”
The annual meeting of the Board of Directors and scholarship recipients of the Fund “Fra Slavko Barbaric” took place on December 29, 2002.
The President of the Fund, Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar, greeted then the students and thanked them for coming in such a large number. He underlined that this unconditional gift of the Fund should be a motivation for them to continue to develop diligently the gifts that God has given them. He also greeted Fr. Branko Rados, pastor of Medjugorje, and thanked him for all that the Parish is doing for the Fund. At this occasion, a Gold Medal of the Fund should have been given to Prof. Dr. Fr. Ljudevit Rupcic, one of the biggest donors of the Fund, but he unfortunately could not assist at this gathering. It will be given to him at another occasion. The students and the Directors also visited the tomb of the founder of the Fund, Fr. Slavko Barbaric, and then celebrated the Eucharist. After Holy Mass there was a discussion group for the students under the theme “Youth and Drug Addiction”. As guests were invited former drug addicts, members of the “Cenacolo” community. The meeting ended with socialising and sharing.
From December 29, 2002 to January 1st, 2003, the Fund also organised a seminar of spiritual recollection for students, led by Sr. Petra Bagaric, Sr. Leopoldina Kovacevic and Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic.
Those who wish to help in the realisation of the goals of this Fund may contact the Fund on the following address: Fund “Fra Slavko Barbaric” – Medjugorje / 88266 Medjugorje / BiH / PP 29 / Tel/Fax: +387 36 651 549 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YEAR IN MEDJUGORJE
This year, several thousands pilgrims from numerous countries and from all the continents gathered together for the New Year’s Vigil. The Vigil was presided by Fr. Mario Knezovic and Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic. One hundred priests concelebrated Mass with them. Pilgrims and parishioners were accommodated also in the New Hall and under the tent, where they could follow on a large screen whatever was happening in the church. The vigil and Holy Mass lasted from 10 pm to 1 am, and they were translated into several languages.
In our restless world, where sometimes everything seems to be hopeless, this large crowd of the faithful, especially of young people who represent the majority in Medjugorje for the New Year, are a sign of hope for a better world.
CARDINAL SCHÖNBORN, ARCHBISHOP OF VIENNA (AUSTRIA), ABOUT MEDJUGORJE
On December 1, 2002, in a catechesis given in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Cardinal Schönborn said the following about Medjugorje:
“I do not wish to express an opinion on Medjugorje from the point of view of a judgment of the Church. There is, however, one thing I can observe, over and over again, namely, that this is a place where an intensive mission-station of heaven obviously exists, where thousands upon thousands of people find prayer, confession, conversion, reconciliation, healing and deeper faith.”
RADIO “MIR” MEDJUGORJE EXTENDS ITS PROGRAMME
With the beginning of the New Year, Radio “Mir” Medjugorje has extended the broadcasting time of its own programme. Now, it broadcasts its own programme from 10 am to 10 pm. The programme is enriched by new interesting rubrics from religious and social life. The rest of the time, Radio “Mir” Medjugorje transmits the programme of the Croatian Catholic Radio from Zagreb.
According to the decision of the CRA (Communication Regulatory Agency), Radio “Mir” Medjugorje put into functioning its eighth transmitter, situated on Kozara near Banja Luka, transmitting on the frequency of 106.7 MHz. Thus, since mid-December, the inhabitants of the region of Banja Luka, of Jajce and of north Bosnia can also hear the programme of Radio “Mir” Medjugorje.
RELIGIOUS AND HUMANITARIAN ASSOCIATION “MEDJUGORJE-MIR”
The religious and humanitarian association “Medjugorje-Mir” was founded in 1992. Its president and spiritual leader was Fr. Leonard Orec, from the very beginning until his death on January 21, 2002. The headquarters of the Association are in Split (Croatia), in the Franciscan monastery in Poljud. The Association also has an office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in the Parish office Medjugorje. The Association gathers people of good will from all over the world who want to act on humanitarian and charity level. Most of them are inspired by Our Lady’s messages in Medjugorje.
The warfare in this region provoked a genuine outpour of goodness in the hearts of pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje. It is almost impossible to make an exhaustive list of all the good that the friends of Medjugorje have done with the mediation of this Association. During the years of war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, about 46,000 tons of humanitarian help were gathered. This help reached not only the deprived and the needy in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, but also those in Albania, Kosovo, Montenegro and Macedonia. Thanks to the Medjugorje benefactors, through the mediation of this Association, help also reached Ecuador, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Other activities of the Association are: help in rebuilding the regions devastated by the war, care for the sick and the handicapped, godparenthood for children in need, help for students, help for Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia, projects of missionary evangelisation and special contributions to the promotion of the culture of peace and solidarity.
In his very fruitful Franciscan and humanitarian work, Fr. Leonard was diligently building pathways that were binding people and promoting peace and solidarity. He helped many pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje to do good all over the world. Together with them, and with the help of the Queen of Peace, he was building the third hill in Medjugorje – the Mount of Goodness. After Fr. Leonard’s death, Fr. Ivan Landeka was chosen for the leader of the Association “Medjugorje-Mir”. The Association continues to work and continues to be at the service of all those who want to help, as well as of those who need help. Fr. Leonard’s prayers and his intercession from heaven support the work of the Association now, so that the little ones of this world may be seen and cared for.
All those who want to continue to collaborate with the Association “Medjugorje-Mir”, and all those who want to join us in the work for the welfare of the needy, may contact us on the following address: “MEDJUGORJE–MIR”, Poljudsko setaliste 4, 21000 SPLIT, CROATIA / Tel: +385-21-381 322, Fax: +385-21-381 324, e-mail: email@example.com .
Fr. Leonard once wrote: “A person in need is Our Lady’s concern. She sees the need with her eyes and with her heart, as once in Cana of Galilee. She saw the exiled on the Adriatic coast, the hungry in Bosnia, those who went back to Ilok. Her motherly gaze skipped neither the Moslems in Kosovo, nor the hungry Orthodox in Macedonia. She told Jesus: ‘They have no bread’, and Jesus commanded to his disciples, ‘Give them to eat’. This is how miracles happen also in our times. God is doing them with the help of people.”
On January 21, 2003, the first anniversary of the death of Fr. Leonard Orec, Holy Masses will be celebrated in his memory in St. James’ church in Medjugorje at 6 pm, in the parish church in Posusje at 4 pm, in the Franciscan church in Zagreb/Dubrava at 7 pm, and on January 23 in the Franciscan church in Split/Poljud at 6 pm.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord!
3RD INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR FOR MARRIED COUPLES
The 3rd International Seminar for Married Couples will take place in Medjugorje from February 13 to 16, 2003. The theme of the seminar is: “Put God in the First Place in Your Families”.
It is recommended that you bring
The seminar will take place in the New Hall behind the Church. Participation fee per couple is 26 €. You may make reservations by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or at the Information Office, by phone/fax: +387-36-651-988 (for Marija Dugandzic). Number of participants is limited because of the limited space in the Hall, so we ask you to send your registration as soon as possible, at the latest by February 5, 2002. All the participants are to arrange for their accommodation in Medjugorje.
You can find the Program own for the Seminar on our web page www.medjugorje.hr.
THE 10TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR GUIDES AND LEADERS OF PEACE CENTRES AND MEDJUGORJE PRAYER, PILGRIM AND CHARITY GROUPS
The 10th International Meeting for Guides and Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups will take place in the New Hall in Medjugorje from February 23 – 27, 2003. The theme is, “The Essentials of Medjugorje”. The number of places is limited, and the number of participants is increasing from year to year. This is why we ask you kindly to make your registration as soon as possible, at the latest by February 10, 2002. You can make your registrations by tel/fax + 387 36 651 988 (for Marija Dugandzic) or by e-mail: email@example.com, or personally at the Information Office. Simultaneous translation is available for all language groups. The price of the seminar is 62 € per person. This includes all the costs of organization and of functioning of the seminar (lecturers, translations of texts, simultaneous translation and lunch the last day). When you register and pay on the first day, you will receive a nametag, which will allow you to participate in the seminar. We ask you to kindly arrange for your own accommodation in Medjugorje. We believe that will not be a problem for you, because you have been coming to Medjugorje for many years and have your friends and acquaintances here. We ask you to kindly bring a small FM radio with headphones.
We are looking forward to your reservations and to welcoming you at this meeting!
You can find the Program for this Seminar on our web page www.medjugorje.hr.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 01/26/2003