On Sunday, February 18, 2007, during the evening Mass at 6 pm, members of the Franciscan Youth Fraternity from Medjugorje (FRAMA) celebrated the rite of making their promises. 51 new members were received into the Fraternity, and 34 of them made their first promises “to consecrate themselves during one year to Christ, living his Gospel within the Franciscan Youth Fraternity”. 13 of them renewed their promises for one more year.
The 18th International Youth Festival - Mladifest 18 – will take place in Medjugorje from August 1st to August 6th, 2007. The theme of the encounter is, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (Jn 13:34) (“Dear children! Today I call you to love. Little children, love each other with God’s love…The risen Jesus will be with you and you will be His witnesses.” - Message of March 25, 2005) (Program: preparing. See also: International meetings)
In the parish church during Lent, from Ash Wednesday (February 21st) to Passion Sunday (April 1st), after the evening Mass in each case, we will pray the Way of the Cross on Fridays (replacing the Veneration of the Cross) and again on Sundays (replacing the prayer for health of body and soul and the Rosary).
Archbishop Estanislao Esteban Karlic, Archbishop Emeritus of Paraná, Argentina, and former president of the Episcopal Conference of Argentina, visited Medjugorje on February 13 and 14, 2007.
Every year on the feast of Blessed Cardinal Stepinac, Medjugorje Parish celebrates Holy Mass in memory of all the victims from this parish who fell during World Wars I and II, or during the recent war in defence of the country, and also in memory of all those who gave their lives for the faith and for the homeland. The parish remembers especially the Franciscans who were either born in Medjugorje or who had worked in the parish, and who - either during or immediately after World War II - perished at the hands of the partisans and the communists.
When Christmas is over and when the New Year has come, when the Three Kings are gone and all the Christmas decorations are put away, Medjugorje enters into the winter quotidian of January and February, which differ from the other 10 months of the year. Except for the presence of some foreign pilgrims or little groups who have purposely chosen this quiet time for personal prayer, in this period, St. James’ parish does not differ much from other parishes in Herzegovina.
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The leading team of the Croatian football, the FC Dinamo from Zagreb, spent seven days in Medjugorje on training. Under the guidance of Branko Ivanković, the chief of the team of experts, 25 players came to Herzegovina: Turina, Lončarić, Kelava, Vranić, Šarlija, Čale, Ćorluka, Drpić, Jertec, Tadić, Pokrivač, Mamić, Da Silva, Chago, Sammir, Modrić, Etto, Vugrinec, Ćutura, Vukojević, Carlos, Schildenfeld, Janjetović, Pandev and Antunović. They were exercising twice a day in the sport and recreation center “Circle International”. Every day, about 300 supporters were coming to Medjugorje to observe them. (photos)
On Sunday, January 21, 2007, was commemorated the fifth anniversary of the death of Dr. Fr. Leonard Oreč, former parish priest of Medjugorje and founder of the religious-humanitarian organization “Medjugorje-Mir”. Holy Mass was celebrated for him in the parish church. It was presided by Fr. Ivan Landeka, another former parish priest of Medjugorje and actual president of the organization “Medjugorje-Mir”, and concelebrated by the present parish priest of Medjugorje, dr. Fr. Ivan Sesar.
Holy Communions distributed: 50.500
Concelebrating priests: 1.301
Holy Communions distributed: 70.500
Concelebrating priests: 948
Twelve bishops from nine countries from five continents came to Medjugorje in 2006.
Prayer and Fasting seminars in silence
Croatian 4 seminars 150
Polish 3 seminars 88
French 3 seminars 88
Italian 3 seminars 111
German 3 seminars 61
Lithuanian 2 seminars 99
Czech 1 seminar 47
Ukrainian 1 seminar 43
Russian 1 seminar 40
Slovak 1 seminar 48
English 1 seminar 33
Hungarian 1 seminar 20
Total 24 seminars 828 participants
At the last daily apparition to Jakov Colo on September 12th, 1998, Our Lady told him that henceforth he would have one apparition a year, every December 25th, on Christmas Day. This is also how it was this year. The apparition began at 3:23 pm and lasted 6 minutes.
(Published in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Spirit, October 19, 2006 and in http://www.spiritdaily.org)
Some years ago when I was first a bishop in Louisiana, it must have been 1988, I was making my first "ad limina" visit to the Holy Father in Rome.
The other bishops of Louisiana were with me and, as what the custom of John Paul II, we were invited in to enjoy a lunch with him. There were eight of us at the table with him.
Soup was being served. Bishop Stanley Ott of Baton Rouge, La., who has since gone to God, asked the Holy Father: "Holy Father, what do you think of Medjugorje?"
The Holy Father kept eating his soup and responded: "Medjugorje? Medjugorje? Medjugorje? Only good things are happening at Medjugorje. People are praying there. People are going to Confession. People are adoring the Eucharist, and people are turning to God. And, only good things seem to be happening at Medjugorje."
That seemed to have ended the discussion and we went on to another topic. But, I will long remember the very skillfully cautious response of our Holy Father.
The fourteenth International Meeting for Leaders of Peace Centres and Medjugorje Prayer and Charity groups will be held in Medjugorje from the 4th to the 8th of March 2007.
The theme of the gathering is: „By your perseverance you shall be saved“. (Luke 21,19) (Program and registration)