On Monday, December 22, 2008, was opened the 40 km long section of them motorway Zagreb - Split - Dubrovnik from Šestanovac to Ravča, and this is very significant for the Medjugorje pilgrims.
From Medugorje to the entrance to the motorway at Ravče (through Ljubuški and Crveni grm), there are only 30 km , and from Ravča to Split only 76 km .
The traditional Christmas Concert by “Little Doves of Peace” from Medjugorje under direction of Sister Slavica Kožul took place on the 4th Sunday of Advent, on December 21, 2008, at 3 PM, in the parish church in Medjugorje. As every year, in this concert took part also maestro Đelo Jusić from Dubrovnik, founder and director of the children’s choir “Little Singing Dubrovnik”, the musician who arranged all the songs sung by the “Little Doves of Peace”, and who composed many new songs for them. (photos)
The traditional Christmas Concert will be given by “Little Doves of Peace” from Medjugorje under direction of Sister Slavica Kozul, on Sunday, December 21, 2008, at 3 PM, in the parish church in Medjugorje. This year’s special guest is the group “Magnificat”.
Preparation for Christmas: The Novena begins on December 15. Rosary on Apparition Hill at 2 PM. During the Novena – Holy Mass at 6 AM in the parish church.
The 14th International Priests Seminar will be held in Međugorje from June 29 to July 4, 2009 on the theme of: “You are my friends...” (John 15, 14). (Program)
St. Nicolas’ feast was solemnly celebrated on December 5, 2008, in Mother’s Village, in the Kindergarten „Saint Therese”. Fr. Karlo Lovrić played Saint Nicolas, and the children were delighted.
About 50 employees and collaborators of the ICMM and of the Parish office Medjugorje led by Fr. Petar Vlašić, the parish priest, began the month of December with a day of friendship and rest. On December 1, they went to Kupres.
On December 3, 2008, took place in Medjugorje the Advent Recollection Day for the Medjugorje guides, who are working with the Medjugorje pilgrims. The theme of the recollection was, “The pilgrimage as a way to the experience of the encounter with the living God”. The recollection was led by Fr. Danko Perutina. About 20 guides took part in it.
Holy Communions distributed: 58.000
Concelebrating priests: 1.327 (44/day)
The eight anniversary of Fr. Slavko Barbaric’s death was commemorated on Monday, November 24, also in Mother’s Village, the institution he had founded in 1993.
Mrs. Katarina Bednarczyk Sieminska (55) from Kazimierz Dolny near Lublin came on foot from Poland to Medjugorje. She walked 62 days; she made this pilgrimage with empty hands trusting only in God’s Providence. She carried only a cross, the breviary and a geographic map. The prayer intention of this pilgrimage was for the peace in the world, for the reconciliation of the whole world, which is one single God’s family. She is married, has no children. Her husband is an artist, a painter.
The 15th anniversary of the existence of the Information Centre MIR Medjugorje was celebrated on Tuesday, November 25, 2008, with a solemn Holy Mass in Saint James’ parish church in Medjugorje.
Mrs. Katarina Bednarczyk Sieminska (55) from Kazimierz Dolny near Lublin in Poland came walking to Medjugorje. Her pilgrimage lasted 62 days. She undertook it with empty hands, trusting only in God’s Providence. She carried only a cross, her breviary and a geographic map. The prayer intention of this pilgrimage was for the peace in the world. (Her testimony: preparing)
The eighth anniversary of Fr. Slavko’s death was commemorated in Medjugorje on November 24. He died on November 24, 2000, at 3.30 pm, after the weekly prayer of the Way of the Cross. Numerous parishioners and pilgrims climbed Cross Mountain praying the Way of the Cross. At the place of Fr. Slavko’s death, between the 13th and the 14th station, they remembered the moment of his passing into eternity. The Way of the cross was led by Fr. Danko Perutina. The evening Mass at the parish church was presided by Fr. Vjekoslav Milićević and concelebrated by numerous local and foreign priests. In his homily, he spoke about Fr. Slavko tireless action at the service of the pilgrims. During the whole day, parishioners and pilgrims were coming on Fr. Slavko’s grave, which has become one of the evident prayer places of Medjugorje.
Members of the Military Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina (logistic support stationed in Čapljina) visited Medjugorje on Tuesday, November 11, 2008. Fr. Petar Vlašić, the Parish Priest, welcomed them in front of the parish church, and encouraged them in their service. He spoke about the life of this unique parish, which is visited by the believers from all over the world. He distributed brochures about the Shrine, as well as the monthly Medjugorje magazine Glasnik mira.