On Saturday, January 21, 2012, we will commemorate the 10th death anniversary of former Medjugorje parish priest, Fr. Leonard Orec. He was born in Posuski Gradac in 1928, and died in Zagreb in 2002. We will celebrate the evening Holy Mass at 6 p.m. in the church of St. James on that day.
Fr. Leonard attended the elementary school in Posuski Gradac, Grammar School in Siroki Brijeg (1940 – 1945), as well as in Varazdin and Sarajevo. He spent his years as seminarian in Sarajevo. He received his Franciscan habit in 1946, and he was ordained as a priest in 1951. He worked as educator in Split and Kraljeva Sutjeska. He received his post – graduate title of doctor of science at the University of Theology in Ljubljana in 1956, with the thesis of “Relation of Mary and Christ in devotion of people in Bosnia and Herzegovina ferom 1463 to 1878”.
Apart from the parishioners of Medjugorje parish, there were numerous pilgrims from all over the world. According to the information of Information Office there were larger groups of pilgrims from Korea, China, Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Hungary, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Slovakia, Poland, the United States, Czech Republic, Portugal, Canada, Ukraine and Lithuania.
There were also large groups of pilgrims from Croatia and Canada, along with many groups from other countries that are not mentioned above. (photos)
Number of Holy Communions: 83.000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 1452 (46 per day)
In the previous 2011 there have been 2 027 900 Holy Communions given in the church, and total of 41 094 priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses.
The 20th Anniversary of the “Fr. Slavko Barbaric” Association for providing stipends and grants to students was celebrated with solemn Academy held in Medjugorje on December 29, 2011 in the packed Hall of the Blessed John Paul II.
Twenty years ago Fr. Slavko Barbaric initiated founding of this Association, with the intention of offering material and spiritual help to talented and poor students.
Since Fr. Slavko had greatly contributed in foundation and work of this Association, the Board of the Association brought up decision in 2001 about changing the name the Fund “The Friends of the Talented” Medjugorje to the Association “Fr. Slavko Barbaric” Medjugorje. (fotos)
And indeed, from His fullness we have received grace to grace, for He is our peace!
With desire that God’s peace reigns in all of the hearts, all of the families, all of the countries and in the whole world, united in prayer with all of the friends of Medjugorje throughout the world:
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May this Christmas be for you day of joy and peace. May Jesus visit you in your families and may he be born in the hidden place of your heart!
Parish Office of Medjugorje
Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje (photos)
Čestitka - fra Petar Vlašić, župnik
At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 3:30 pm and lasted 11 minutes.
Our Lady's Message to Jakov:
“Dear children! Today, in a special way, I desire to take you to and give you over to my Son. Little children, open your hearts and permit Jesus to be born in you, because only in this way, little children, you yourselves will be able to experience your new birth and set out with Jesus in your hearts towards the way of salvation. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Christmas is about to be solemnly celebrated in Medjugorje, as it is mostly appropriate for the most joyful Catholic solemnity The evening prayer programme will begin at 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve with Rosary and Holy Mass will be at 6 p.m. All priests from Medjugorje parish will concelebrate in that Holy Mass. After the evening Holy Mass, community Cenacolo will have their live performance of Nativity Scene. It will take place outside the parish church of St. James’. The Christmas Vigil will begin at 10 p.m. and will be continued with Midnight Holy Mass.
Early Holy Masses at 6 a.m. are celebrated since November 28, and that is preparation for all of the parishioners for the feast of Birth of Jesus. Novena started on Thursday, December 15 with Rosary at 2 p.m. on Apparition Hill and will last until December 23rd. Radio station “Mir” Medjugorje is broadcasting early Holy Masses and that began on Friday, December 16th, 2011.
The evening prayer programme begins with Rosary at 5 p.m., Holy Mass at 6 p.m. and regular prayer programme follows afterwards. Confessions are available from 5.30 a.m. until 7.30 a.m., and during the evening prayer programme. In the last few weeks members of Cenacolo community are making a set for live Nativity Scene that will take place during Christmas season outside the church of St. James.
Three-day seminar was held from December 9th to December 11th, in house of prayer and encounters – “Domus Pacis” for members of music groups of local Franciscan youth. This seminar was organized by Branch Council of Franciscan Youth with Fr. Josip Vlasic, Branch Spiritual Assistant as the main leader and with two seminarians Fr. Marin Kracic and Fr. Zvonimir Pavicic who assisted him throughout the retreat. There were forty-one members of Franciscan Youth who participated and they came from fifteen different branches (Suica, Tomislavgrad, Rosko Polje, Kongora, Posusje, Posuski Gradac, Kocerin, Drinovci, Ruzici, Humac, Medjugorje, Citluk, Cerin, Mostar, Siroki Brijeg).
The feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was solemnly celebrated this year as well. Along with many local faithful, there were groups from Germany, Austria, Italy, Korea, Spain, France and the United States. Eight Holy Masses were celebrated, four in Croatian language at 6, 8, 11a.m. and at 6 p.m. There was a retreat of fasting, silence and prayer for pilgrims from Croatia prior to this feast. A little before this retreat there was Advent spiritual renewal in Domus Pacis for youth from Sarajevo. It was conducted by Fr. Danijel Rajic, spiritual assistant of Franciscan Youth from Sarajevo. He was a guest of Radio “Mir” Medjugorje along with two girls who participated in this retreat, Verica Kramer and Karolina Baresic. “Students who study in Sarajevo and come from other regions like Dalmatia, Vojvodina, etc. are all here as well as the members of Franciscan Youth from Sarajevo who are engaged in different activities in the church of St. Anthony in Sarajevo. Their wish was to have this retreat in Medjugorje. Verica, a student of Faculty for Traffic, said: “After Holy Mass, one feels relieved and renewed.” Karolina, a journalism student, said: “Young people who come to Bistrik are celebrating community and prayer, and this is opportunity for us to renew ourselves in spiritual way.” (photos)
The meeting of Provincial Boards of six Provinces of South Slavic Conference of Provincial Ministers of the Franciscan Order was held in Medjugorje for the first time. During their meeting all participants had chance to get to know different ways of their work and to share their experiences. Dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar presided over this meeting, since he is the host Provincial. Dr. Fr. Nikola Vukoja, the Secretary of the Conference, gave a lecture and suggested some guidelines for further work. On the first day of the meeting, all participants concelebrated in the evening prayer programme in the church of St. James, and Dr. Fr. Nikola Vukoja gave a homily. (photos)
Number of Holy Communions: 66.000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 1348 (44 per day)
On Thursday, November 24th we commemorated the 11th anniversary of death of Fr. Slavko Barbaric. Fr. Ivan Dugandzic was the main celebrant of the evening Holy Mass in the church of St. James, and there were 25 priests that concelebrated. Fr. Ivan said in his homily: “We are remembering today 11th anniversary of death of Fr. Slavko, Franciscan and a priest who was in Medjugorje more than any of us and who served to Our Lady through Her messages. Fr. Slavko was not the one who taught about fasting and prayer, but he was genuine example and encouragement to many. He did not have to direct pilgrims to go and climb Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain, he was going before them. Therefore, we are proud and grateful for his life and we pray to our Lord to give him reward he deserves.” (photo)
Radio Station “Mir” Medjugorje celebrated its 14th anniversary of their work on November 25th, 2011. Since this anniversary happened to be this year on Friday, day of prayer and fasting, director, workers, associates and supporters of Radio Mir Medjugorje will climb Cross Mountain and pray the Way of the Cross along with the rest of the parish.
The station was blessed and opened on November 7, 1997 by Msg. Lazaro Perey, bishop from Mexico and the official start of programme was on November 25, 1997. After the station was initially just transmitting the evening prayer programme from the church of St. James, the programme was developed and broadened and now we have 24 hour – radio programme.
On Thursday, November 24, we will commemorate the 11th anniversary of Fr. Slavko Barbaric’s death. Fr. Slavko was born on March 11, 1946 in Dragicina, and he was educated in Cerin, Visoko and Sarajevo. He graduated in Graz and received his doctor’s degree in Freiburg. He was ordained in 1971, and since that time he was active in several Herzegovinian parishes. He became familiar with the events in Medjugorje in 1982, and from that time became servant of Our Lady in everything he did: prayer, talks and testimonies, prayer encounters throughout the world, his fatherly love and acceptance of all pilgrims, his care for addicts, poor and abandoned children. He also organised various events like: Peace Walk, seminar for priests, Youth Festival, seminar for married couples, seminars of prayer, fasting and silence. All of these events became essential part of Medjugorje programme.
Fr. Slavko died on November 24, 2000, after having completed prayer of the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain. He was buried in Kovacica cemetery.
We will commemorate his death by climbing Cross Mountain and praying the Way of the Cross at 2 p.m., and celebrating Holy Mass at 6 p.m. in the church of St. James.