The 5th International Pilgrimage for Persons with Disabilities was completed with Holy Mass held at 11 am, at the White Dome of St. James’ Church on Sunday, June 12, 2016. This Pilgrimage was held with the theme “In Mary’s School” and around 1800 participants gathered. Prior to this Holy Mass, all participants spoke about their impressions and shared their testimonies. Fr. Jozo Mužić from Split was the main celebrant, while the parish priest Fr. Marinko Šakota and ten other priests concelebrated. The celebration of this Eucharist was really moving and special as it was adjusted to the needs of the participants. The excerpt from the Gospel was presented with short play and participants read prayer of the faithful.
Fr. Jozo said that Church is kept alive by those who suffer, who suffer for God and those others who are healthy in their bodies, but do not see their sins as their hearts are hardened. It is suffering that needs to be offered to God, as it is road many saints took in the past. He said that these days of the pilgrimage passed in the unselfish atmosphere of self-giving. “ I can see this unselfish giving of our hosts who took us in their homes, of volunteers, persons who accompanied persons with disabilities and of those who are ill and who had to cope with the rest of us. This free giving and reception is the logics of our God. This is something that surprises us always, as it is beyond our human logics, our calculations and plans. This is the logic of the Holy Gospel. As long as we stay close to it, we would have future, we would have strength for life and we would have joy”, said Fr. Jozo in his homily.
Fr. Marinko Šakota thanked all at the end and he was evidently happy due to many blessings that accompanied this pilgrimage. He thanked all who organised it and he thanked parishioners who provided accommodation for all participants: „Thanks be to dear Lord for this 5th International Pilgrimage for Persons with Disabilities. Sometimes I think of this event as of the Youth Festival, it is full of joy and love. Our parish became the parish of mercy and our parishioners became people of mercy. Thanks be to dear God for that! We opened our homes to you and you opened your hearts to us. Thank you all for having decided to come here!”, said Fr. Marinko. Jasminka Vasilj, the President of Association „Susret/ Encounter“ also thanked all participants of the pilgrimage and invited them to come again next year for the 6th International Pilgrimage. (photos)