In the Parish of Medjugorje, the Solemnity of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross is called “Križevac” and is traditionally celebrated on the first Sunday after the 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. (photos)
Mons. Robert W. Finn D.D., Bishop of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, Missouri, USA, paid a private visit to Medjugorje, together with a group of pilgrims, from the 2nd to the 5th of September 2006. Each day he concelebrated the English Mass for the pilgrims in St. James’ church, and he concelebrated the evening Masses as well. He also heard confessions and visited the prayer places in Medjugorje together with other pilgrims.
The winter schedule of the prayer programme re-starts on Monday, September 11th, 2006.
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.
Holy Communions distributed: 115,600
Concelebrating priests: 3,771
Holy Communions distributed: 255,500
Concelebrating priests: 5,558
During July and August 2006, groups of pilgrims came from 53 countries: Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, Congo, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Ethiopia, England, France, FR Reunion, FR Martinique, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Kosovo, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia (Voivodina), Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, the USA, Vietnam, Wales.
Mons. Antal Majnek, OFM, Roman Catholic bishop of Mukachevo (Ukraine) visited Medjugorje from the 7th to the 10th of August, 2006. He was ordained a bishop in 1996, and was appointed bishop of Mukachevo in 2002.
This was Mons. Majnek’s third visit to Medjugorje. He is open to the ongoing events here, while back in his own diocese, he supports the prayer movement which is greatly appreciated by the many pilgrims who come to Medjugorje from his diocese.
At the parish office, Mons. Majnek met with the Franciscans serving in Medjugorje parish. He spoke with them about life and their pastoral work in Medjugorje.
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 the 21st of July, he celebrated Holy Mass in English and gave a homily. He met the Franciscans at the Parish Office and discussed the Medjugorje events with them. Before leaving, he gave an interview and spoke about his diocese, his country and his impressions of Medjugorje. (Interview: Lidija Paris)
The 17th International Youth Festival took place in Medjugorje from August 1 to 6, 2006. This year’s theme was, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119 :105), in harmony with the theme, which the Holy Father Benedict XVI gave to the youth for this year’s World Youth Day that took place on Palm Sunday in local Churches. (photos)
The 17th International Youth Festival took place in Medjugorje from the 1st to the 6th of August, 2006. This year’s theme was, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119 :105), in harmony with the theme which the Holy Father, Benedict XVI, gave to the youth for this year’s World Youth Day that took place on Palm Sunday in the local Churches. (photos)
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.