This year’s Youth Festival in Medjugorje was honoured by the presence of two bishops.
Mons. Domenico Sigalini, Bishop of Palestrina near Rome, assisted in the opening of the Festival, and gave a catechesis session to the young people on August 2nd.
Mons. Jérôme Gapangwa Nteziryayo, Bishop Emeritus of Uvira (Congo), who has already visited Medjugorje on several occasions, was one of the concelebrants of the evening Eucharistic celebration on August 5th.
On Wednesday evening, August 2nd, 2006, Tatiana Matejaš-Cameron gave a concert at the Youth Festival in Medjugorje, and on Thursday morning, August 3rd, she gave her testimony to the thousands of young people who gathered for the Festival.
This is the first time that Tajči has performed in this region since leaving Croatia in the nineties. She no longer sings pop music, but only spiritual songs and her concerts are thematic: “I Believe”, “Emmanuel”, “I Thirst” and “Let it be”. During the last years, Tatiana has given hundreds of concerts all over the USA, where she found her way to God and where she settled and founded her family. (See: http://idobelieve.com/)
Mons. Domenico Sigalini, Bishop of Palestrina near Rome, spent three days on pilgrimage in Medjugorje. Mons. Sigalini was consecrated Bishop only fifteen months ago. He was the last bishop to be appointed by Pope John Paul II. Before his Episcopal ordination, for ten years he was the delegate for pastoral work with youth. Last summer in Cologne, during the World Youth Days, he was one of the bishops who gave catechesis in this context.
On August 1st, Mons. Domenico Sigalini assisted in the opening of the 17th International Youth festival in Medjugorje. On the morning of August 2nd, he gave catechesis to the young people.
On June 25, the parish of Medjugorje celebrated the feast of St. James, its patron saint.
Following tradition, the morning Eucharistic celebration which took place in the park near the parish church was preceded by a procession with the statue of St. James, and the singing of the litanies of All Saints. This year, the honour was given to those living in the areas of Medjugorje called Sivric, Kozine and Dodig.
Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr. Stanko Dodig, a native of Medjugorje, and concelebrated by Fr. Slavko Soldo the Herzegovinian Franciscan provincial, Fr. Ivan Sesar parish priest of Medjugorje, and about twenty local and foreign priests.
Mons. Joseph Vianney Fernando, Bishop of the Kandy diocese in Sri Lanka and president of the Bishop’s Conference of Sri Lanka came on a five-day pilgrimage to Medjugorje in July 2006. On Friday, July 21, he celebrated Holy Mass in English and gave a homily. He met the Franciscans at the Parish Office and spoke with them about the Medjugorje events. (Interview: preparing)
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: