NUMBER OF COMMUNIONS AND CELEBRANTS
In February, despite the small number of pilgrims, 22,000 communions were distributed and 465 priests from Croatia and abroad concelebrated at the Eucharist. This month's number of communions is identical with February 1987. Likewise the number of concelebrants is the same as February 1989. And of these were pre-war years of peace when many more pilgrims were coming.
A NIGERIAN ARCHBISHOP VISITS MEDJUGORJE
Archbishop Gabriel Gonsum Ganaka of Nigeria privately visited Medjugorje for the third time. He made the following statement on the occasion of his visit.
"Since the time my faithful are coming to Medjugorje, I too, as Archbishop, feel the duty to come, to see what happens and to have a personal experience of this place of intense prayer. I still remember the strong impressions I had after my previous visits. Our Lady's messages are simple, practical and life changing. I realize the Church has not yet recognized the apparitions and I submit myself to its judgment. Pope Urban VIII said it is better to believe in private revelations and apparitions than not to believe. When the Church approves of them, your would have already taken advantage. Though waiting for Rome's decision, I came to Medjugorje to talk to the priests, sisters and laity about the events.
I have preached in 12 dioceses and I always mention Medjugorje. I have a lot of books and videos too to make it known to the people. It is really something extremely interesting. The messages have spread all over the world and people are attracted to come here. I have met many of the faithful who daily pray the rosary. I met one person who incessantly prays for priest since coming to Medjugorje. The messages changed a lot of people in my diocese. Even life in convents changed after they had become known. But we must still spread them more and more. That's why I wish to have as much information as possible about these events. There are groups that pray for peace according to the wish of Our Lady herself. If you look at the messages of Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje, you will see that they are the same: peace, conversion, and penance. They are all important and biblical. Even though it is not always easy or possible, I would like my diocesan priests to come to Medjugorje because it is important for them to come, see and experience. I permit no one, myself included, to be prejudiced, because that means to judge without seeing. To sum up, as an archbishop I'd like to invite all those who have not yet done so, to come to Medjugorje. The reason is to be personally persuaded and not to be prejudiced against what they don't know. They may have their own opinion only after a personal experience. When I meet the visionaries and priests working there, I see fruits that edify me. I am really grateful for the opportunity to come here. It is important for everyone to respond and then peace will dwell within us. I promise my prayers and my blessing to all pilgrims and friends of Medjugorje and, in turn, I recommend myself to their prayers."
COMMUNITIES - THE MARIAN COMMUNITY - "OASIS OF PEACE"
Nine years ago the Marian community "Oasis of Peace" was born in Medjugorje. It is a response to Our Lady's wish to live and to put her messages into practice. This community has been recognized by ecclesiastical authorities and today has nine houses one of which is in Medjugorje. Their main house is in Rome. The community consists of clergy, lay men and women, and married couples. All have dedicated their lives for peace which is God's gift which still has to be prayed, earned through suffering and then shared with others. The life style is contemplative and affords to all who are sincerely seeking God and His peace the possibility of also finding it in the life of the community. Prayer, the most important element of their life, work and a simple family life in nearness to God is the daily treasure of this community. The Marian community "Oasis of Peace" opened its house if Medjugorje five years ago. It lives from the donations of benefactors and its members are open to meet with pilgrims interested in knowing more about their kind of life.
A N N O U N C E M E N T S
Now that we are in Lent the number of pilgrims is daily increasing. They come during Lent to be closer to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ with the help of Blessed Mary. We want to invite all pilgrims to set out on this path as sincere and open pilgrims and they will surely be led to a bright Easter through the sacraments, prayer, penance and silence.
Parishioners and pilgrims gather in the church for the evening program of prayer from 5 - 8pm. The joyful and sorrowful mysteries of the rosary start at 5pm, Holy Mass at 6pm followed by the blessing of religious articles, a prayer for healing and the glorious mysteries. On Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9 - 10pm there is an hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament as occurs on Thursdays after the evening mass. Every Friday at 2pm the Way of the Cross is prayed on Krizevac, the Cross Mountain. On Sundays at 2pm the rosary is prayed on Podbrdo, the Hill of Apparitions. Holy Mass for pilgrims in different languages takes place each morning at different hours. At 10am each day various visiting priests preside at the English language mass.
We would like to remind all those who wish to attend the seminar on prayer and information in Tucepi from April 2 - 6, 1995 to please make their reservations as soon as possible and not later than March 20. This may be done at the number of Fr. Leonard Orec: tel & fax 385-21-361-354.
Published by: INFORMATIVNI CENTAR MIR - Svetiste Kraljice Mira (Information Center MIR - Shrine of the Queen of Peace), 88266 Medjugorje.
Last Modified 11/22/2002