On Thursday, November 24, 2005, the parishioners and the pilgrims commemorated the fifth anniversary of Fr. Slavko Barbaric's death in Medjugorje. In the afternoon, they prayed the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain, and in the evening, there was Holy Mass and Adoration in the Parish church, after which, in the large parish hall, Fr. Marinko Sakota’s book “Living with the heart” was presented.
Fourteen years after the fall of Vukovar, Mrs Mirjana Kovac, an economist born in Vukovar, came on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje to entrust to God and to Our Lady all the pain that she is still carrying in her heart. With tears in her eyes she shared both her memories and her hopes with us.
Before the war, Mrs Kovac was Director of a Health insurance company, during the war, she led the Croatian Medical Crisis Unit, and after the war, she was the assistant to the Director for the economy. Later she was in charge of the economy, and finally she became Director of Control in the Ministry of Defence of Croatia.
Lidija Paris spoke with Mirjana Kovac at the presbytery of Medjugorje.
During his visit to Medjugorje, on Saturday, October 22, 2005, Fr. Vinzenzo Brocanelli, ofm, moderator of the missionary evangelisation in the Franciscan Order, gave the following statement:
“This is my first visit to Medjugorje. I climbed the Apparition Hill. I think that this is a great centre of spirituality. In a word, if people come here to love Jesus more, they will be able to love their neighbour more, and they will become new missionaries. Regarding the Franciscans serving here, I can only affirm that I hold them in the highest esteem. They make themselves available to those who come here, and what has greatly impressed me, they are well pleased to do so.”
Mons. José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta, O.S.A., auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Panama, was in Medjugorje in September 2005. He came on a private pilgrimage with 17 pilgrims. Dragan Soldo spoke with him for Radio “Mir” Medjugorje.
On Friday, November 4, four bishops came to the Shrine of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje. Mons. Thomas Msusa, actual bishop of the diocese of Zomba, his retired predecessor Mons. Allan Chamgwera, and Mons. Remi Joseph Gustave Saint-Marie, bishop of Dedza, came from Malawi. Mons. Joseph Faber MacDonald, bishop of the diocese Saint John in New Brunswick, came from Canada.
Fr. Vinzenzo Brocanelli, Secretary general for the Missions of the OFM Franciscans, and Fr. Sime Samac, Definitor general of the Franciscan Order, visited Medjugorje on Saturday, October 22, 2005.
Mons. Michael Pearse Lacey, retired auxiliary bishop of Toronto, was on his fourth private pilgrimage in Medjugorje from October 9 to 17, 2005. He came with a group of pilgrims from Canada.
“The Days of Bread”, a manifestation that the pupils and the teachers of the Elementary School Bijakovici are organising for many years now in their school, took place this year in front of St. James’ Parish church. It’s meaning is to give thanks for “our daily bread” and for life that is coming from God, and to learn how to make use of the bread and of all the gifts of God.
Mons. Stanislas Lukumwena Lumbala, O.F.M., bishop of the diocese of Kole in the Democratic Republic of Congo, came for the second time on a private pilgrimage to Medjugorje in September 2005. He was ordained a priest in 1979, and a bishop in 1998. Mons. Lukumwena is the first black African who was a Franciscan Provincial in Congo, and the first black African ordained a bishop in Congo. He came alone to Medjugorje, for a few days of personal prayer and spiritual renewal.
The delegation of the Italian Ministry for Infrastructure and Transports led by Vincenzo Corbi was in Medjugorje on October 13, 2005. Mr. Vincenzo Corbi and his team visited the presbytery, where they met the Pastor, Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar.
Once again, we remind organisers of pilgrimages and those who accompany the pilgrims, that without the permission of the Parish Office nobody is allowed to lead groups to the prayer places in Medjugorje (Parish church and the space around it, prayer area around the statue of the Risen Saviour, Apparition Hill, Cross Mountain, Blue Cross, cemetery etc.).
With a special liturgy, which is celebrated on October 3rd, the vigil of St. Francis’ feast, the worldwide Franciscan family is celebrating the “Transitus” – the moment of saint Francis’ passing into eternity.
End of September 2005, Danko Vrancic (52) from Strmec (Donja Stubica, Croatia) came on bicycle from the Croatian national Marian shrine Marija Bistrica to Medjugorje.
On Saturday, 24. 09. 2005, in the crowded church of Medjugorje, two choirs gave a concert together: the Italian choir "I Cantori Veneti" under the direction of maestro Maurizio Betteto, and the Parish choir of the Queen of Peace under the direction of sister Slavica Kozul. (photos)
Mgr Issam John Darwish, BSO, DD., eparch of the Melchite Catholic Church in Australia and New Zealand, was on a private pilgrimage in Medjugorje from September 12 to 19, 2005. In Medjugorje, he celebrated the 33rd anniversary of his priestly ordination. He was born in Syria. Before becoming bishop for the Melchites in Australia and New Zealand in 1996, he worked in Lebanon in favour of abandoned children.