On Sunday, May 6th, 2007, eighty-two children from Medjugorje Parish received the sacrament of First Holy Communion. Their catechists, Sister Slavica Kozul, Sister Petra Bagaric and Sister Iva Bešlić prepared them for this sacrament of unity with the Eucharistic Jesus. The Solemn Mass was presided over by Fr. Boze Milic. The children’s' choir “Little Doves of Peace”, under the direction of Sister Slavica Kozul, embellished the celebration with their beautiful singing. (photos)
In the beginning of May 2007, Zdenek Fučik, a young priest from the parish of Mikulov in the Brno Diocese of the Czech Republic, decided to make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje on his bicycle in order to thank God both for his priestly vocation and for the first year of his priesthood. He received his priestly ordination on June 24th, 2006, which was precisely the 25th anniversary of the first apparition in Medjugorje.
In 1991 after partaking of dinner at my parents’ house, my father asked me to watch a video concerning Medjugorje. I have always loved Our Blessed Mother, so I was fascinated to hear that she was appearing in Medjugorje, and I asked my father if this was truly possible. Ten years had elapsed, and I hadn’t heard one single priest speak about it in a church! My father told me that it was a protestant man who had made the tape. That evening, there was a dreadful storm which prevented me from driving back to my own home, so I spent the night at my parents’ house. During that night, I truly felt Our Lady’s presence in the room. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before. On the one hand, I was excited, but on the other hand I was nervous, nevertheless I felt at peace. Something happened that night. She touched me. That experience remained etched in my mind. Whenever I heard Medjugorje mentioned, the fascination returned.
In the beginning of May 2007, Mons. Bernardo Cazzaro, Archbishop Emeritus of Puerto Montt, Chile, visited Medjugorje. He came in company with a group of pilgrims from Italy. Since he retired from active episcopal service, Mons. Cazzaro serves as spiritual counselor and confessor in the Monte Berico Shrine near Vicenza in Italy. (Interview in preparation)
On May 1st, 2007, the staff of the First Aid Station of the Order of Malta from Cologne (Germany) and their associated volunteers resumed their annual service in Medjugorje. They will be at the service of the pilgrims and the parishioners until November 1st of this year. The Order of Malta invites any volunteers who wish to be involved in this service to contact them. (See: http://www.malteser.de)
Holy Communions distributed: 69.000
Concelebrating priests: 1.246
Holy Communions distributed: 136.500
Concelebrating priests: 2.565
The summer Prayer Programme schedule in Medjugorje begins on May 1st.
Praying of the Rosary in the Parish Church begins at 6.00 pm. Holy Mass is at 7.00 pm, followed by the Prayer Programme according to the day of the week. Eucharistic adoration on Wednesday and Saturday is at 10.00 pm. Both the Rosary on Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Krizevac begin at 4.00 pm.
Thirteen friends, all members of a sport group from Zanica near Bolzano in Italy, undertook a 640 kilometer relay race from their own parish to Medjugorje, which they did in a spirit of pilgrimage. Each day they either walked or ran from 7.00 am until 8.30 pm. The participants rotated in relay every 12 kilometers, whether running or walking, each one according to his own capability. One of them even walked for two kilometers despite being disabled. Seven days were required to complete the journey from Bolzano to Medjugorje in this manner. From Bolzano they went to Ancona where they took a boat for Split, after which they journeyed onwards via Stobreč, Šestanovac and Zagvozd, Slivno, Vitina and Ljubuški to Medjugorje itself. They used two campers in which they spent each night.
In the Franciscan Province of Herzegovina has been designated a new Administration. As Provincial has been chosen our parish priest, Fra Ivan Sesar. We send ours congratulations to Fra Ivan and we wish success on its task, the God’s Blessing and the intercession of the Queen of the Peace in the exercise of this service of responsibility.
Also this year Holy Triduum of the Holy Week has ghatered pilgrims from all the world here in Međugorje. A large number of pilgrims of various linguistic groups has newly rendered necessary that the Liturgy and the Way of the Cross were carried out by groups. (photos)
Holy Week, the highpoint of the Lenten preparation for Easter, begins with Palm (or Passion) Sunday. In Medjugorje, the liturgy of Passion Sunday begins with the reading of the Gospel and the blessing of the branches, and is followed by a procession from the site of the old parish church, culminating with the celebration of Holy Mass in the current Parish Church. (photos)
At the end of February of this year, Fr. Petar Vlašić, curate in the parish of Medjugorje with responsibility for the care of the filial church of the Merciful Jesus in Šurmanci, visited both St. Polycarp House, the Home for elderly and sick people, and Redemptoris Mater, the diocesan missionary seminary in Pula (Croatia). This visit was in response to an invitation from Mr. Martin Kliman, Director of St. Polycarp House, where the residents are taken care of by the sisters of the Merciful Jesus who came from Poland to Croatia in 1990.
Among the pilgrims who came to Medjugorje in the month of March, there was a group from the Pacific island of Tahiti. They attracted attention to themselves by their very pleasant and harmonious singing. This pilgrimage was organized by a deacon who is in charge of the training of catechists in Tahiti.
The visionary Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo had daily apparitions from June 24th 1981 to December 25th 1982. During the last daily apparition, Our Lady gave her the 10th secret, and told her that she would appear to her once a year, on the 18th of March. It has been this way through the years.
Mons. Frane Franić, retired Archbishop and Primate of Split-Makarska died on the 17th of March, 2007, in the Clinical Hospital in Split.
As a professor of dogmatic theology he became an active participant in the Second Vatican Council, in addition to his membership of various other official commissions of that Council. He had served as a bishop in difficult historical times. With unwavering determination, he strengthened both fidelity to the Gospel and loyalty to the Holy Father, while at the same time he promoted ecumenism and dialogue in society as a whole. Mons. Franic’s burial was planned for March 21st in St. Peter’s Pro-cathedral in Split.