In this Novena, that started on June 15th, 2009, almost at all times, day and night, groups from all different parts of the world were climbing up the Apparition Hill. Every afternoon, despite the rain, Rosary was prayed at 4 p.m. Morning Holy Masses were celebrated in different languages, and evening prayer programme began at 6 p.m. with Rosary. Franciscans from Međugorje were main celebrants at the evening Holy Masses.
Holy Communions distributed: 141.000
Concelebrating priests: 3.254 (104/day)
A group of pilgrims from Zagreb led by Krešo William Bello and the writer Nevenka Vidak decided to help actively the children from Mother’s Village. They collected books and donated books edited by their own publishing houses, so that Mother’s Village library was enriched by different new books, mostly for children, as well as encyclopedias, tales, novels…
Interview: Msgr. Leo Maasburg, national director of MISSIO Austria
Msgr. Leo Maasburg, National director of MISSIO Austria, was in Medjugorje in April 2009. During many years, he accompanied Mother Teresa on her journeys and at the occasion of the opening of new houses on different continents. He was preaching retreats for her sisters all over the world. When Mother Teresa opened her first houses in Moscow and in Armenia in 1988, Father Leo was spiritual counsellor of the sisters during several months, and thus the first „official” Catholic priest in the Soviet Union at that time. Afterwards, together with an Italian businessperson, he launched the largest Catholic Radio Family „Radio Maria”, which is present on all the continents today.
The Mother’s Day celebration took place on Friday, May 8, in St. Francis’ Garden in Mother’s Village. Children from the Elementary School Bijakovići and children from Mother’s Village with their teachers learned for that day several songs.
The parish Medjugorje is preparing for the 20th International Youth Prayer Meeting – Mladifest, with the theme, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2,5) (see: Program)
On Sunday, May 3, 78 children from the Medjugorje parish received the First Holy Communion. Holy Mass at 10 AM was presided by Fr. Miljenko Šteko, and during Mass sung the children choir “Little doves of peace” under direction of Sister Slavica Kožul. The church was filled with children, their parents and numerous pilgrims.
An exceptionally large number of pilgrims who came to Medjugorje for the weekend of May 1, springtime and 13 children choirs who sung during the evening Mass on May 1st, were the occasion to celebrate the evening prayer program at the outside altar earlier as usually.
Since May 1st, 2009, in the parish souvenir shop in Medjugorje you may find a new CD and a songbook “Ave Maria” with spiritual songs composed by maestro Djelo Jusic, and sung by three Medjugorje choirs: “Kraljica Mira“, “Magnificat“ and “Golubići mira“, directed by sister Slavica Kozul. Editor: Informativni centar „MIR“ Međugorje.
Holy Communions distributed: 116.000
Concelebrating priests: 2.323 (77/day)
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.
On Saturday, April 25, 2009, took place in Medjugorje a pilgrimage of bikers organised by the Christian Association KUP-KARMEL, the same that is organising the Peace Marathon. Robert Rukavina, president of the Association, imagined this pilgrimage as an event during which many bikers would discover new paths and visit a place where many wanted to go, but never did so.
On Saturday, April 25, took place in Medjugorje the pilgrimage of motorcyclists organized by the Christian association KUP-KARMEL. Among many others there were members of the club „Fjaka“ from Split. The club was founded in 2003, and counts 26 members. We asked Oliver Kolovrat about this pilgrimage:
The Croatian riding club “Konjanik” organized also this year a riding marathon to Medjugorje. Eight riders started at Kupres on Friday, April 24, in the morning, and on Saturday, April 25, four others joined them in Sovici. The goal in Medjugorje reached eight riders about 4 PM.
Valentin Inzko, the High Representative of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina visited Medjugorje on Saturday, April 18, 2009. He already came about twenty times. On Saturday, he assisted the Evening Mass at 6 PM. We spoke with him during his visit.