From July 3 to 8, 2006, the eleventh international seminar for priests took place in Medjugorje. Two hundred and fifty priests from twenty-five countries participated, with simultaneous translation into ten languages.
The first Seminar for Priests was organised by Fr. Slavko Barbaric in 1996. The goal of these seminars is to familiarise priests who come to Medjugorje, with Our Lady’s messages and with the spirituality that is being developed here. These gatherings are, in effect, retreats for priests which help them to fortify their faith and their vocations in the presence of Our Lady. The first retreat in 1996 gathered together about thirty priests, with numbers increasing throughout the years.
From July 2 to 5, 2006, a group of 30 deaf and dumb pilgrims from Italy (Rome, Abruzzo, Marche) came to Medjugorje. Four other pilgrims came with them, as well as Fr. Vincenzo Di Blasio, their chaplain and interpreter, who belongs to the “Little mission for the deaf and dumb”, which was founded in the 19th century by Don Giuseppe Gualandi. Fr. Di Blasio says that persons with this severe handicap are very open to all that has to do with sight - hence also the phenomenon of the apparitions - and this is why he already went with them on pilgrimages to Lourdes and to Fatima. This is his second pilgrimage to Medjugorje, where he is discovering Our Lady from another perspective.
Holy Communions distributed: 141.500
Priests concelebrating: 3.152
Holy Communions distributed: 200.000
Priests concelebrating: 4.503
Fr. Dermod McCarthy, ordained a priest in 1966, Editor of Religious Programmes in RTE, honoured for his lifetime achievement in religious broadcasting, a consultor of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications at the Holy See and former Administrator of the Pro-Cathedral of Dublin, was in Medjugorje in June 2006, together with a large group of about 300 Irish pilgrims. At the end of his pilgrimage, he shared with us his thoughts and experiences. (Interview by Lidija Paris)
The 25th Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje was solemnly celebrated in the spirit of gratitude for all the graces received. (photos)
The visionary Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez had her regular annual apparition on June 25th 2006.
From Thursday June 15 to Friday June 23
4 pm Novena – Rosary on Apparition Hill
Saturday June 24 – Solemnity of St. John The Baptist
6 am „Peace March“ from Humac to Medjugorje
Begins at Humac at 6 am in front of St. Anthony’s church
Arrival in Medjugorje about 10 am. Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament
Confessions during the morning and after 5 pm
8 am and 11 am Holy Mass in Croatian
Masses in other languages – according to the program
6 pm Rosary
7 pm evening vigil Mass
10 pm – 6 am Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Sunday June 25 - anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions in Medjugorje
Confessions during the whole day
5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11 am, 4 pm Holy Mass in Croatian
Masses in other languages – according to the program
6 pm Rosary
7 pm evening solemn Mass
The Italian bicycle club “Avis-Aido“ from Grumello del Monte near Bergamo, organised a non-stop cycle relay pursuit from Our Lady’s Shrine at Boldesico to our Lady’s Medjugorje, to take place from the 1st to the 4th of June. The goal of this sport-cum-religious endeavour was the promotion of peace.
At the end of May 2006, a small group of pilgrims from Lusaka in Zambia, came to Medjugorje. Fred Mtamira, Florence Mwale, Jeremy Banda and organiser Joan Cochrane, outlined their impressions:
Mons. Emilio Ogñénovich, retired Archbishop of Mercedes-Luján (Argentina) visited Medjugorje from the 25th to the 31st of May, 2006. During his visit, he met Fr. Ivan Sesar, the parish priest. Having founded both a catholic television station and a catholic radio station in Buenos Aires, Mons. Ogñénovich expressed his desire to visit Radio Mir Medjugorje, which he considers to be the vital organ of communication for Medjugorje. In an interview given to Huanita Dragićević, Mons. Emilio Ogñénovich said the following about Medjugorje:
At the end of May, a family with ten children came on pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Paul and Sandy O’Leary from Alberta, Canada, came with their ten children, together with the children’s grandmother. Nowadays, it is rare to see such a large family with happy parents who dare to accept so many children. We asked them to say something about this pilgrimage and about their family:
On the 25th of April 2006, Mons. Franjo Komarica, Bishop of Banja Luka, stated in the Večernji list (Zagreb daily newspaper, Croatia):
“Before the war, I paid several official visits to Medjugorje. For a considerable time now, Medjugorje is a world phenomenon that has outgrown the limits of the local diocese. Responsibility for the judgement of the Medjugorje phenomenon must rest with the Holy See, while the local bishop has the right and the duty to take care of the correct liturgical and pastoral life of his diocese as a whole, which includes the parish of Medjugorje.” (Večernji list, 25.04.2006)
Holy Communions distributed: 251,500.
Priests concelebrating: 5,122.
Groups of pilgrims came from 47 countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, France (including La Reunion and Martinique), Germany, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Panama, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the Ukraine, USA, Vietnam.
Ella Poon from Hong Kong, living and working for 6 years now in Shanghai, came to Medjugorje in May 2006, with a group of friends currently living and working in Shanghai.
This is her testimony.
Ella Poon: “I came to Medjugorje for the first time in May 2001, and I stayed here for two weeks. I felt a deep inner conversion before returning to China, where I was at that time head of an advertising agency. While here, I began to appreciate Our Lady as a person who is so loving and gentle, and I just wanted to spend more time here and get to know even more about her.
In May 2006, several TV and Radio crews, as well as journalists, visited Medjugorje, because their houses are interested in the Medjugorje phenomenon that will soon celebrate its 25th anniversary: Australian TV, RTBF (Belgian television broadcasting in French) and journalists from BBC Radio and from a Scottish daily newspaper.
A crew from KTO (French Catholic television) visited Medjugorje in March, and a journalist from «The Irish Catholic» newspaper visited in April.