On Sunday, September 23rd, 2007, during the 11 o’clock Mass, the new parish priest of Medjugorje Fr. Petar Vlašić was solemnly inducted into his new pastoral duty.
According to the liturgical rite, Mons. Ratko Perić, the local bishop, gave the keys of the church and of the tabernacle to the new parish priest, who in turn publicly professed his faith in front of the faithful present. With his hand on the Bible, he promised to announce the Good News and to serve his parishioners faithfully, promising fidelity to the Catholic Church and to his bishop.
The association “Nada“ from Široki Brijeg, a club composed of parents from Herzegovina whose children experience difficulties in psychophysical development, visit Medjugorje regularly on pilgrimage to the Queen of Peace. In September 2007, approximately 70 parents together with their children came to Medjugorje in the company of Sister Anamarija Biško.
Franz Gollowitsch Jun., who together with his father has organized almost 450 pilgrimages from Austria to Medjugorje over the course of the last twenty years, cycled to Medjugorje on a personal pilgrimage in September, 2007.
Among the numerous pilgrim groups who came to Medjugorje, there was a group from Kierlikowka (Poland). Twenty-four workers of the ASGA factory, together with the owners of the company, Anna and Stanislaw Lukasik, visited Medjugorje from the 15th to the 23rd of September, 2007. ASGA specializes in sewing liturgical vestments and employs 32 workers.
Every year, the residents of the Center for rehabilitation fra Ante Sekelez from Vrlika, Croatia, make a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. On the 19th of September, 48 residents and workers from the Center visited their beloved shrine once again.
Fr. Francis Farry (41) from Donegal (Ireland) was ordained a priest on July 1st, 2007. Medjugorje was instrumental in his spiritual and emotional formation. This is his testimony:
I came to Medjugorje for the first time in 1995. I was 29 years old and very lost. At that time, I was a taxi driver, and I was financially well off. I also had my own house in Dublin, yet I felt very lost. I was seeking something, but I couldn’t find it. Things seemed meaningless somehow.
Among the many pilgrims who came to Medjugorje for the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Cross was Stipo Jakovljević from Bešpelj, in the parish of Podmilačje (Shrine of St. John). Not only did he walk here, but he came barefoot. The journey took him four days altogether. Last year also, Stipo walked barefoot to Medjugorje to honour the Feast of the Nativity of Mary.
The winter schedule of the prayer programme re-starts on Monday, September 10th, 2007.
Praying of the Rosary in the Parish church will begin at 5.00pm, Holy Mass at 6.00pm, followed by the usual prayer programme according to the day of the week.
Eucharistic adoration on Wednesdays and Saturdays will begin at 9.00pm. Rosary on the Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain will each begin at 2.00pm.
In the Parish of Medjugorje, the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday after September 8th, Feast of the Nativity of Mary. In honour of the Holy Year of Redemption 1933/34, and inspired by their pastor Fr. Bernardin Smoljan, the parishioners, despite their poverty, built a monumental cross, 8.5 m high and 3.5 m wide, on the hill above Medjugorje. Relics of the true cross of Jesus, received from Rome for the occasion, are embedded in the crossbar itself. (photos)
A prayer initiative called “Collaborators of the Queen of Peace” was initiated in November 2004, in Zadar (Croatia). It was inspired by the repeated calls of Our Lady: “Pray, pray, pray”. The fundamental characteristic of this prayer initiative is to find half an hour a day for prayer.
Holy Communions distributed: 128.500 (4.145/day)
Concelebrating priests: 5.985 (193/day)
Holy Communions distributed: 318.000 (10.258/day)
Concelebrating priests: 6.196 (200/day)
The Fifteenth International Meeting for Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer and Charity groups will be held in Medjugorje from the 2nd to the 6th of March 2008. The theme of the gathering is, “Trust in God’s Providence” (Matt 6, 26-34)
The number of places is limited, this is why we kindly ask you to register your arrival at the seminar as soon as possible. You can send your registrations by fax: 00 387 36 651 999 (to the attention of Marija Dugandžić) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Simultaneous interpretation will be available for all language groups. (Program)
Within the framework of usual changes of pastoral staff in the Franciscan Herzegovinian Province, and according to the Regulations of the Church, Fr. Petar Vlašić was appointed new Pastor of Medjugorje. From the year 2000 to now, he has been vicar in Medjugorje, in charge of the filial church of the Merciful Jesus in Šurmanci.
Mons. Claude Frikart, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Paris, was in Medjugorje from April 7 to 13, 2007, with a group of pilgrims from France. Mons. Frikart was an Auxiliary Bishop of Paris from 1986 to 1997, and also during eight year the confessor of the seminarians. He was born in 1922, was ordained a priest in 1948, and consecrated a bishop in 1986.
Mons. László Bíró, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese Kalocsa-Kecskemét (Hungary) was on the Youth Festival in August 2007. With his first coming to Medjugorje, he responded to the invitation of a group of about 1000 young pilgrims from Hungary. Many of them had been converted in Medjugorje, and they wanted their bishop to feel the spiritual power of this place. He climbed the Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain. He experienced that, while climbing the Cross Mountain, one is not only elevating himself physically, but is also spiritually elevated by God.