INFORMATION CENTRE "MIR" MEDJUGORJE
Alongside the beginning of Our Lady's apparitions appeared the need to present them to a broad public in the right way. There was never any intention of doing publicity in today's meaning of that word, but only to help people come to the truth. Our activity in the present day has the same purpose.
The objections are justified that there should have been already organized, from the very beginning, an efficient system of spreading the messages of Our Lady's apparitions right from the heart of where they were taking place. However, the difficulties, which prevented this, are also justified. We recall that, when in 1981 the apparitions began, Medjugorje was groaning under a communist dictatorship. That meant being constantly under the surveillance of the police and not even being able to get close to, much less to build modern means of communication. For just one word and even less than that, a person went to jail. That kind of situation made it hard to find skilled lay persons who would be able to work on the tasks of spreading Our Lady's messages by means of social communication. The third great difficulty was the negative position of the bishop toward the Medjugorje events, after his initial enthusiasm and courageous stand in the face of the communist authorities.
Nevertheless, the difficulties did not kill all of the good ideas. With the announcement of the arrival of democracy in 1990, a more systematic consideration of everything began. Sadly, a horrible and unjust war began within a short time, so that all the ideas were postponed for better days. Due to the difficulties of the war, the number of pilgrims decreased, but the difficulties did not extinguish the desire within people to be in touch with Medjugorje and to know about what is happening. This is why the "Information Centre" started functioning in November 1993. It began to systematize archives and a library, and to send reports about events to the whole world. Meanwhile, necessary electronic equipment was supplied, and in November 1994 the pilot number of the "Press Bulletin" was issued. It is available through the Internet; so too is Our Lady's messages and their interpretation.
As time passed by, other new ideas have been developed like the Robofax, radio, Internet, local television… Their aim is to help make it easier to spread Our Lady's messages.
The organization of archives began with the gathering of material on healings taken place so far. At the present time, about 445 healings have been reported, a large number of which have the necessary documentation.
Journalists were continuously coming and writing about the Medjugorje apparitions. Naturally, it was impossible to collect all of those newspaper articles, but a large number of them are stored in our archives. The most interesting of them are, of course, those from the communist period. One can read the fury of evil with which they gruffly speak about Our Lady's apparitions.
Also, many photographs were taken in Medjugorje in the course of these twenty years. We preserve them in one section of the archives and use them in various newspaper articles or the preparation of some new book.
We have also initiated the gathering and preservation of photographic films. We are doing it in the manner of big newspaper firms.
Many books also were continuously written with the desire to search for and penetrate the heart of everything that has been happening in Medjugorje. A part of them is gathered together in different languages on the premises of our "Centre." At the present time, we do not have adequate space to display them, but with further building up of the shrine we expect to achieve that.
We are, hereby, requesting all of those who are able to help in the collection of books for our library or material for the archives to do so. The "Centre" is not just ours. The data we have at our disposal is also intended for all of the other centres in the world, as well for individuals who wish to publish written works on the theme of Medjugorje events.
3. Information Office
Due to an increase in arrival of pilgrims, the "Information Office" began to operate again in August 1995. It was first set up in 1991, but the war interrupted its functioning. At the present time it operates daily.
The job of the "Information Office" is to provide every possible type of information to pilgrims. It also gathers notifications of pilgrim groups coming, so that we are able to better organize services at the shrine. It should be mentioned here that the does not deal with accommodation for pilgrims.
The "Information Office" also provides the service of arranging a meeting of pilgrims with one of the visionaries. In the same way, it is also possible to arrange meetings with priests who are serving at the shrine. We request all pilgrimage group leaders to bear this in mind. With that kind of mutual interaction and organization, you will be helping both yourselves and us.
The "Association of Guides," that was re-established in September 1995, is also closely connected with the "Information Office." The "Association of Guides" was started in 1991 for providing information to Medjugorje pilgrims in the fields of religious, cultural-historical, archaeological, and ethnographic life. They are prepared with definite training for these tasks. Upon arrival in Medjugorje, it is possible to request their services at the "Information Office."
At the request of many pilgrims, primarily from the centres of peace, we decided to inaugurate the publication of a Bulletin to offer regular information about the current events in the shrine. It represents the official position of the shrine. In that way, it is easier to avoid the start and spread of false information about Medjugorje events. In it one can find various news items, announcements, messages… this enables the friends of Medjugorje throughout the world to keep contact with the shrine.
5. Different Services Available
Our “Centre” also has the task of co-operating with journalists, TV and radio crews who arrive in Medjugorje or who are interested in Medjugorje. We wish to offer them the best quality information at our earliest convenience about the events here. In the same way, we wish to offer our services to those writing books or articles, as well as those wishing to achieve academic degrees using the theme of Our Lady's apparitions.
In March of 1996, we began to give information about the happenings in the Parish of Medjugorje through the Internet network. In doing this we have improved our possibility of communicating with others.
At the beginning of the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, a public radio entitled "Radio Medjugorje" began functioning. It dealt with political, religious, cultural, sporting, and various other subjects. It was open to everything that was of current interest to the local people in Medjugorje. Since the equipment was weak and worn out, this radio had to discontinue after operating for two years. Later on there were insufficient means for it to reopen.
After the decline of the communist reign of terror, serious thought was given to the inception of a radio station under the patronage of the Queen of Peace shrine in Medjugorje. There were many ideas, but only in March of 1996 were we able to realise them. Our Radio station started broadcasting around the 15th anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions.
Radio “Mir” Medjugorje broadcasts programming created in our studio in Medjugorje for 12 hours a day (10 am to 10 pm), and more if necessary. The rest of the day is covered by the Croatian Catholic Radio. Our programme covers religious, cultural, educational, social, sporting, and other themes. The central part of the programme is the daily live broadcasting of the Rosary and the Holy Mass from the Parish Church. Our Radio can be heard in the greatest part of Bosnia and Herzegovina and of Croatia. We have 30 thematic blocs and 7 daily blocs. The Radio “Mir” Medjugorje is the most listened to radio channel among Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our radio broadcasts on following frequencies: 101.5 MHz; 102.3 MHz; 100 MHz; 106.7 MHz; 100.1 MHz; 104.7 MHz and 96.1 MHz.
Our reporters are collaborating on the radio named "Radio Herceg-Bosna" (audible in almost all of Bosnia-Herzegovina as well as a large part of Croatia). At times, they also collaborate on "Croatian Radio - studio Zagreb." Once a month, for a half hour, we have a link to "Radio-Maria" from Italy.
Along with radio, television is the most influential modern medium of communication. Many believe only what they see on television. They say, "We saw it." They are forgetting that one can also manipulate with all of this.
For the time being, we are not able to organize a TV studio that would be at the service of the shrine and of the truth, and free from any manipulation. But we are remaining completely open to this possibility.
Currently, we are closely collaborating with two TV studios: Croatian Television (HTV)-Zagreb and Croatian TV studios in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This way pictures from the shrine are broadcast both to the proximate and more distant area. Of course, we are the disposal of every well-intentioned TV crew that comes by Medjugorje.
9. Automatic Speaker 090-810-850 (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 060-325-325 (Croatia)
We also have charge over an automatic speaker of HPT, 090-810-850 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and 060-325-325 in Croatia, which work only in the Croatian language. At whatever time you call these numbers you can hear the most recent of Our Lady's messages followed by a meditation and news from Medjugorje, which are renewed every Wednesday. The automatic speaker began to work on January 17, 1991 in Croatia and on October 25, 2001 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Call and be in touch with the events in Medjugorje!
10. Books and Brochures
We have begun to edit books and brochures on Our Lady's apparitions in various languages.
We invite all of the friends of Medjugorje to support the projects of the Information Centre in spiritual and material ways so that Our Lady's message may continue to be spread all over the world.
Connection with other CENTRES in the world
We wanted to get in touch with other centres in the world from the very beginning. The greatest hindrance was the war and the very poor telephone lines. All of this is now improving, so that our contact with others will be made easier.
When representatives from various centres come to Medjugorje, we would like to meet with them and exchange experiences. That will be of benefit to both of us.
There are thousands of ways that we can help each other. From this presentation of the work of our Centre and of the ideas it proposes to itself, we hope you were able to find a field in which we could more closely collaborate. For our part, we are likewise open to any kind of collaboration with you.
It is necessary to keep in mind that the "Information Centre “Mir” - Medjugorje", along with the priests who are working in Medjugorje, is the only official representative of the shrine. No one else can be or is that, even if they live and work in Medjugorje. We are mentioning this for the sake of misunderstandings that occasionally arise.