Fr. Ivan Matić is a priest from Croatian Franciscan Province of Sts. Cyril and Methodius seated in Zagreb. He was born in Janjevo, came to Croatia, to Zagreb, where he began his Franciscan journey and worked mainly with youth. He studied in Rome at the time Franciscan Youth was founded, and in Assisi, while in 2000, he returned to Zagreb and came to work in the church of St. Francis in Kaptol.
In 2000, after the General Minister at that time, Fr. Giacomo Bini invited him to come back to Rome, Fr. Ivan came to the General Curia in Rome and took service of the General Assistant for the Franciscan Third Order and for the Franciscan Youth, where he stayed all up to now.
He said how years he spent in Rome where huge experience for him and he is grateful to God for all that. It was the service that enabled him to be united, through Franciscan fraternities and communities with the whole world, with youth in all continents. After thirteen years, Fr. Ivan is now awaiting for the new service, and we had chance to talk to him during his visit to Medjugorje and we discussed various issues like Franciscans, Franciscan Third Order, Franciscan Youth, work with youth, new evangelisation, Medjugorje, election of Holy Father.
This is what Fr. Ivan said about Medjugorje: “I was in Medjugorje on many occasions, both as a part of my service or on private visits. I would always use my visit to spend time in personal prayer and in celebration of Sacraments. The new evangelisation is especially obvious here through the sacrament of Holy Confession, since people desire to return to God and to reconcile with God, themselves and their loved ones. Priests are witnesses that evangelisation takes place when God comes to heal people in Holy Confession. That is the greatest role of Medjugorje, not just for us who are here, but for all of the people throughout the world. This is a place of reconciliation, place of peace, place where Heavenly Mother invites in a simple way Her children to return to God. She invites us just like mother, with words of love, even in words of pain, but always in hope so that children can return to God hoping that dear Lord will give them strength to make that step of returning to their Father.”