"Dear children! Also today, I call you to fill your day with short and ardent prayers. When you pray, your heart is open and God loves you with a special love and gives you special graces. Therefore, make good use of this time of grace and devote it to God more than ever up to now. Do novenas of fasting and renunciation so that Satan be far from you and grace be around you. I am near you and intercede before God for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call." July 25, 2005
PRIESTS AT THE SCHOOL OF OUR LADY
Often, the priests quote and address to the faithful the following words of Jesus: “Come to me, you all who are tired and oppressed, and I will give you rest.” (Mt 11,28) These words are addressed to all, including to the servants of God. With the echo of these words, each year at the beginning of July, in Medjugorje gather together priests from the whole world. Our Lady is inviting them to restore their spirit. The Mother knows that her sons are at service, that they are tired and, more, heavily burdened, and she is inviting them to her school - the school of total abandonment and of listening to the will of God.
Thus Medjugorje became, so to speak, a center of rehabilitation for priests. It became a place of transfiguration. The priests feel here at home. They are at their Mother’s house. It is like remembering one’s own childhood, hearing again the call, which they had heard from their own mother: “My son, are you hungry? My son, do you have worries? Are you well?” These are questions that a mother is asking. These are questions asked by a love without end and without limits.
Priests who, for years now, are coming towards their Mother in Medjugorje, feel this love. Here, in a deep trust, continue conversations started a long time ago, new topics are opening, weights imposed by the world are rejected; the Mother is dressing the wounds of her children, the Mother is comforting and giving direction. So, it is not surprising that many priests are saying that - precisely in Medjugorje - they rediscovered the force of their vocation and their election. Here, they feel like at the permanent source of their vocation and they feel the importance of the priestly service.
In our times, when everything is done that the servants of God are pushed at the margin of the contemporary world, Our Lady is gathering them and preparing them for new missions. The Mother takes care of her sons and she is stretching her hands, which lead to Jesus. At the school of Our Lady, the priest returns to his roots and turns to the source. Thus is renewed the identity of this vocation for the service, service appointed by Jesus Christ.
Fr. Mario Knezovic
NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND NUMBER OF CONCELEBRANTS
During the month of June 2005, 111.100 communions were distributed and 3.574 priests from this country and from abroad concelebrated Holy Mass in Medjugorje.
In June, pilgrims were here from: Great Britain, Poland, Italy, Ireland, Lebanon, Japan, Korea, the USA, France, La Reunion, Rumania, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Slovenia, Lithuania, Tahiti, Slovakia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Macedonia, Portugal, Denmark, Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland, Scotland, Germany, China, Singapore, Argentina, Finland, South Africa, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia.
A NEW CROWN FOR OUR LADY’S STATUE AT ST. JAMES’ IN MEDJUGORJE
The crown was blessed and the statue was officially crowned by Fr. Branko Radoš, pastor of Medjugorje, after the solemn evening Mass on June 25, 2005, the day of the 24th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje, in the presence of two bishops: Mons. Geevarghese Mar Divannasios Ottathengil, catholic syro-malankara bishop of the diocese Bathery, Kerala (India), and Mons. Jerome Gapangwa Nteziryayo, retired bishop of Uvira (Congo).
Angel Maria Garcia Alvarez (from Madrid, Spain), architect designer of the new crown offered to St. James’ in Medjugorje at the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the apparitions (also designer of the magnificent Magna Monstrance offered to the Shrine in 2001) gave a testimony about how this project came about and how it was realised.
“This is a beautiful story that starts with the Magna Monstrance, and in my understanding, the crown is the logical conclusion of it. The Magna Monstrance was dedicated to the memory of father Slavko Barbaric. It was commissioned in January 1st 2001, about a month after his death, and was the first of several works in which we have been involved, helping the parish to renovate the most important liturgical objects: those that are related to the Eucharist. After all these commissions, came the crown for the statue. I like to imagine that Our Lady takes care that all things are prepared and beautiful for the liturgy of the Eucharist and the Adoration, and then the Lord Himself is happy to see His Mother crowned with a beautiful crown.
The first time I heard about the idea to make a new crown was a comment from father Svetozar Kraljevic on the Feast of Saint Francis, 4th October 2003, after the mass, in front of the statue. I was there with my wife Amparo, when we brought a group of Spanish pilgrims to Medjugorje. Later I knew that Fr. Branko Rados, the pastor, was thinking about it since a long time ago. The commission was formally requested by the pastor the day before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception last year 7th December 2004. He wanted a nice and valuable crown for the statue, for the coming 24th Anniversary of the apparitions of 25th June 2005, in this year of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX in 1854.
The people involved, besides the pastor father Branko and father Svetozar, were my wife Amparo, the countess Felicia Traun, 14 Spanish families or individual donors, the workshop who fabricated it, and me as the designer. At the beginning, there were no donors. The parish requested the crown like a typical commission to be paid by the parish to the workshop as usual. During the process of design someone came to me in Madrid because she was interested in giving some money for the parish. This person wished to donate half of it for the Mother’s Village, and the other half for the new crown. Then my wife and I both realized that we could find enough donors in Spain to pay for the whole crown and it would be a great honour for all of us. We asked the pastor if he would accept this donation, and he agreed. So, this crown is totally a gift from a few Spanish families and pilgrims to Our Lady and to Medjugorje.
My contribution also involved the transportation: I transported the crown from Spain to Medjugorje in my own hands.”
“THE MASTER OLOF CHOIR” FROM SWEDEN ON TOUR IN B&H AND CROATIA
“The Master Olof Choir” from Stockholm, Sweden, under direction of M. Bo Tobiasson, began a tour in B&H and Croatia on Saturday, July 2, in the Parish Church in Medjugorje. The choir accompanied the Evening Mass, and after Mass gave a short concert for the faithful. The concert was broadcasted live on Radio “Mir” Medjugorje.
This amateur mixed choir was founded in Stockholm in 1940. The choir is ranking four in Europe and second in Stockholm. “The Master Olof Choir” has travelled to Poland, Denmark, Hungary, France, Germany, Iceland, USA, Italy, England/Wales and Ireland.
A NEW CD FOR THE 24TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE APPARITIONS - SONGS FOR ADORATION
For the 24th anniversary of the apparitions, the Information Center «Mir» Medjugorje published a new CD. This CD contains meditations and songs known to all those who are coming for Adoration to Medjugorje. They were recorded by a group of young people who are from week to week accompanying the Medjugorje Adoration with music and singing. We wish it to be our contribution to the Year of the Eucharist and a stimulation for Eucharistic Adoration.
This CD can be purchased only and exclusively in the souvenir shop of the Parish. The income is for humanitarian purposes and for the upkeep costs of the Shrine. In Medjugorje, nobody except the Parish office has the copyright for the duplication and selling of this CD.
PARISH OFFICE MEDJUGORJE IS NOT SUPPORTING THE SATELLITE TV PROJECT “MARY TV” IN MEDJUGORJE
Numerous pilgrims are asking us questions about the construction and the media project “Mary TV” undertaken in Medjugorje by the organisations “Children of Medjugorje” and “Sveti Maximilien Kolbe”, means Denis Nolan and Sr. Emmanuel Maillard. The Parish Office and the Information Center “Mir” Medjugorje are doing all that is within their possibilities to spread Our Lady’s message all over the world, but, in connection with this TV-project, the Parish Office declares that it is not yet time for such a step, that the Parish Office is not included in any project of creating a TV station in Medjugorje, that it has neither administrative permission nor human or material resources for the opening of such a media in Medjugorje, that it has not given any consent to Denis Nolan and Sr. Emmanuel Maillard for the construction of the building, which has for the goal the opening of a satellite TV station under the name “Mary TV”, that it is not supporting the fund raising for this intentions, and that it is not participating in any way in this project.
Signature: Fr. Branko Radoš, OFM, Pastor of Medjugorje.
THE 10th INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF PRIESTS
The 10th International Meeting for Priests took place from July 4 to 9, 2005. This seminar gathered 294 priests from 27 countries from all of the continents. Prof. Dr. Fr. Zvjezdan Linic, ofm, spoke to them on the theme: "The Eucharist and Mary".
During these days, priests were sharing, praying, and celebrating the Eucharist in communion with the people of God. Feeling here at the school of Mary, they went to pray at the places that Our Lady had especially chosen for prayer: the Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain. The last day, they went to pray at the tomb of Fr. Slavko Barbaric, who initiated these Priests Meetings in 1996.
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 large number of participants and in their moving testimonies at the end of the retreat.
We entrust them into your prayers.
THE 16TH INTERNATIONAL YOUTH FESTIVAL - MLADIFEST 16 – MEDJUGORJE 2005
The 16th International Youth Festival - Mladifest 16 – will take place in Medjugorje from August 1st to August 6th, 2005. The theme “We come to adore him” (Mt 2,2) is in harmony with the Year of the Eucharist and the World Youth Day, which, later in August, will gather together in Cologne hundreds of thousands of young people around the Holy Father. (Programme)
THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL MEETING FOR MARRIED COUPLES
The 6th International Meeting for Married Couples will take place in Medjugorje from October 26 to 29, 2005. The theme of the seminar is «Dialog in the Family – How to Educate Children?»
Bring with you: a small FM radio with headphones (for simultaneous translation) and a Bible. The seminar will take place in Medjugorje in the New Hall. Participation per couple: 40 €. You may make reservations by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax +387-36-651-999 (for Marija Dugandzic). The number of participants is limited because of the available space in the Hall, se we ask you to send your registration as soon as possible, latest by the end of September. All the participants are invited to individually provide their accommodation in Medjugorje.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 07/29/2005