"Dear children! Today I call you to be my extended hands in this world that puts God in the last place. You, little children, put God in the first place in your life. God will bless you and give you strength to bear witness to Him, the God of love and peace. I am with you and intercede for all of you. Little children, do not forget that I love you with a tender love. Thank you for having responded to my call." February 25, 2005
THE LANGUAGE OF PRAYER AND OF THE DESERT
In the time of Lent, we are invited to persevering prayer, to fasting, to penance and to the works of mercy. All these acts are complementary and they become one, all are important and proceed one from the other. The time of Lent is a time of walking through the desert. This desert is not a useless solitude. The desert is the space for our silence and for the word of God. The desert is not a space in which we would be abandoned; it is the space of the encounter. It is important to know how to stop our rushing. It is important to hear the right word in the middle of such an amount of talking. One author wrote: “So much talking - but only one true word. So many sounds - but which is the right one? So many ways - but only one way is true.”
The space of the desert has to be filled by the spirit of prayer and so create a spiritual oasis. Only prayer enables us to understand the time of loneliness and of trial. Jesus was praying, and this is how ha came to understand the will of the Father. The Virgin Mary is praying and so accepting the plan of God. Moses was praying, and this is how he found the way of the exodus. Prayer is an encounter, the encounter between God and man. It is the encounter, which makes us live. This is why Jesus is saying that we should pray unceasingly. Our Lady is often repeating this in her messages.
Our prayer must be humble and free from our personal plans. In prayer, we must be freed from any haughtiness. We should always remember what Jesus said about it: to pray in the secret of the heart. In prayer, we receive everything and we do not give much. We offer an empty heart, and God fills it. In prayer, it is also necessary to know how to wait. The cardinal Michael Faulhaber wrote: “Be trustful and patient in each prayer, even when the hours of God pass so slowly.” God never remains silent; he is perhaps speaking the most when we have the impression not to hear anything.
We all desire changes in our environment and in the world, but we have the impression that nothing happens. Thus, we become impatient and oppressed by the thought that the world is evil. That everyone is evil. Then, it is necessary to go into the opposite direction: we are the ones who have to change. We also should know that we cannot change only by our willpower. We must and we have to allow God to change us. In prayer, God is acting, and He is transforming us. This is why in the time of Lent, and at any time, let us not expect changes in others, but in ourselves. Albert Schweitzer said: “Prayer changes people - and people change the world.”
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of January 2005, 40.000 communions were distributed and 761 priests from this country and from abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
In January, pilgrims were here from: the USA, Italy, Korea, France, Canada, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
PRESENTATION OF THE BOOK “THE CROATIANS KNOW IT”
The book “The Croatians know it” written by Ivan Ugrin was presented on January 23 in the video-room of the Information center “Mir” Medjugorje. The book was published by «Matica Hrvatska» Split. This is the third book written by Ivan Ugrin, journalist and redactor of “Slobodna Dalmacija”. The distinctiveness of his texts is his Christian approach of the problems of our time.
«Matica Hrvatska» Citluk organized the presentation of this book. The speakers were Fr. Miljenko Stojic, Josip Botteri Dini, Kresimir Sego and Andrija Stojic.
FEAST OF BLESSED CARDINAL STEPINAC – COMMEMORATION OF THE MARTYR’S DEATH OF THE FRANCISCANS OF THE PARISH MEDJUGORJE
On the Feast of Blessed Cardinal Stepinac, February 10, the parish of Medjugorje commemorates the martyr’s death of the Franciscans from this parish: Fr. Krizan Galic, Fr. Jozo Bencun, Fr. Marko Dragicevic, Fr. Mariofil Sivric, Fr. Grgo Vasilj and Fr. Jenko Vasilj, six out of 66 Franciscans of the Herzegovinian Province, who were killed by Tito’s partisans and communists during and at the very end of the Word War II.
The Sacrifice of Mass was also celebrated in memory of all the victims from the Parish Medjugorje, fallen during the World Wars I and II, and during the recent war for the defence of the country, as well as in memory of all those who gave their lives for the faith and the homeland. The Mass, concelebrated by 18 priests, was presided by Fr. Branko Rados, pastor of Medjugorje. In his homily, Fr. Branko underlined the unwavering fidelity to Christ and to the Church of these martyrs; their example speaks to us in our times, when it is so easy to make compromises with false values. The parish choir under the guidance of Sr. Slavica Kozul sung during Mass. Sanja Komadina from Radio “Mir” Medjugorje read a short biography of the murdered Franciscans from Medjugorje.
THE 10TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR PRIESTS
The 10th International meeting for priests will take place in Medjugorje from July 4 to 9, 2005. The theme of the meeting is “The Eucharist and Mary – Do whatever He tells you!” (Jn 2,5)
PROGRAM July 4, 2005, Monday 13.00-18.00 Registration of the participants in the New Hall behind the Church 18.00 BEGINNING OF THE SEMINAR (Prayer of the Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for health of body and soul, Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary) July 5, 2005 – Tuesday 08.30 Laudes in Latin and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 09.00 Talk (Dr. Fr. Zvjezdan Linic, ofm) 10.00 Break 10.30 Prayer 15.30 Talk (Dr. Fr. Zvjezdan Linic, ofm) 16.30 Break 17.00 Prayer 18.00 Evening Prayer Programme (Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for health of body and soul) July 6, 2005, Wednesday 08.30 Laudes in Latin and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament 09.00 Talk (Dr Fr. Zvjezdan Linic, ofm) 10.00 Break 10.30 Prayer 15.30 Talk (Dr Fr. Zvjezdan Linic, ofm) 16.30 Break 17.00 Prayer 18.00 Evening Prayer Programme (Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for health of body and soul) 22.00 Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament July 7, 2005, Thursday 06.00 Rosary at the Apparition Hill 09.30 Talk, prayer (Dr. Fr. Zvjezdan Linic, ofm) 10.00 Break 10.30 Prayer 15.30 Talk (Dr. Fr. Zvjezdan Linic, ofm) 16.30 Break 17.00 Prayer 18.00 Evening Prayer Programme (Rosary, Holy Mass, Adoration) July 8, 2005, Friday 06.00 Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain Confessions 16.00 Prayer, meditation 18.00 Evening Prayer Programme (Rosary, Holy Mass, Veneration of the Cross) July 9, 2005, Saturday 08.30 Laudes at Fr. Slavko Barbaric's tomb 09.00 Sharing of experiences, suggestions and witnessing
CONCLUSION WITH HOLY MASS AT NOON
The lecturer of this seminar is Dr. Fr. Zvjezdan Linic, ofm, born in 1941 in Svilno near the Shrine of Our Lady of Graces of Trsat (Croatia). He became a Franciscan in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1967.
He studied in Samobor, Zagreb, Paris and Innsbruck where he obtained a doctorate in liturgical theology in 1970.
His did his pastoral service among the Croatian workers in foreign countries (in Innsbruck and in Paris) as well as in Croatia (Trsat, Karlovac, Novi Sad, Osijek, then in Zagreb), between 1981 and 1997. Since 1997, he is a director of the House of the Encounters called “Tabor”, near the Franciscan monastery in Samobor, where he organizes and leads retreats and recollections.
Most of the priestly and pastoral life of Fr. Zvjezdan is dedicated to young people and the Franciscan secular Order. Through the sacraments of Christian initiation, he helped a great number of young people to know Christ the Saviour and to enter into the Church. On several occasions, he taught theology. He is giving retreats for priests, religious and laity. He is particularly known as organizer of seminars of Christian initiation and seminars for healing and liberation.
You may make reservations by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax: +387-36-651-999 (for Marija Dugandzic).
We ask all priests who have arranged their own accommodation with a family in Medjugorje to note in their application the name and the phone number of the family where they will be staying.
We will arrange accommodation for all the priests who have no direct contacts and have not arranged their own accommodation. (Please note in your application if you wish us to arrange accommodation for you.)
Instead of a monetary payment, we ask you to kindly celebrate five Mass intentions.
It is necessary to bring with you: your celebret given by your superior, an alb and stole, a Bible, a small FM radio with headphones (for simultaneous translation).
Many priests who do not have access to Internet may not have been informed about the existence of this international meeting in Medjugorje. Therefore, we kindly ask all Organizers of pilgrimages, Prayer Groups and Centres for Peace to publish this information as widely as possible by all means at their disposal, so that as many priests as possible may participate. In as much as it is possible, we also kindly ask you to financially assist the priests who would like to come but do not have the necessary funds for such a journey. We thank you in advance and pray for God’s blessing and the blessing of the Queen of Peace upon you and your work.
SEMINARS AT DOMUS PACIS
In January, one seminar for 30 members of the Franciscan Youth Fraternity from Herzegovina (FRAMA), as well as one seminar for 30 young girls, led by the Franciscan sisters, took place in “Domus Pacis”.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 02/27/2005