Parish of Medjugorje is preparing for celebration of their patron saint St. James that will be solemnly celebrated on Friday, July 25. Every night prior to this Feast, along with the regular evening prayer programme, there is special event that takes place every night. On Monday, after the evening Holy Mass, the concert of the parish choir of the Queen of Peace was held in the Hall of John Paul II. The parish priest, Fr. Marinko Sakota, greeted everyone present at the beginning of this concert and thanked members of the choir, as well as their guests Jakov Colo and David Parkes. Prof. Katja Krolo Sarac accompanied them on piano, and all present had opportunity to hear various music pieces performed by this choir who has been serving in the life of this parish for the last 24 years.
Šimo and Nada Šarčević came to Međugorje from the parish of St. Joseph the Worker from Belišće to participate at the 15th International Seminar for Married Couples that was held from July 13-16. They are married 35 years now and this is their second seminar for married couples: “We can learn so much at these seminars, so much to share with our spouses especially how and what to share when it is not easy for us. We really had nice time, we learned so much about our marriage”. Nada said that she has been coming to Međugorje from the very beginning and was here more than 30 times:
On Friday, July 25, we will celebrate the Feast of St. James, the patron saint of parish of Medjugorje that was established in 1892, and since that time was consecrated to St. James, the patron saint of pilgrims. Holy Masses in the parish church will be at 7 and 8 a.m. and at 7 p.m. and the solemn Holy Mass will be celebrated in the Garden at 11 a.m. the representatives of the Franciscan Youth will carry the Statue of St. James from the church at 10.45 a.m. and procession will move from the church to the Garden following the main road.
The 15th International Seminar for married couples gathered 131 participants from 13 countries and was held from July 13 to July 16. The theme of the seminar was “The trust in marriage and in raising of the children”. Dr. Jozefina Skarica was the lecturer and all lectures were translated in seven languages. Apart from the lectures in the morning and in the evening, all participants also took part in the evening prayer programme as well as in prayer of the Rosary on Apparition Hill and of the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain. The seminar finished on Saturday, July 16 with the Holy Mass that was celebrated by Fr. Marinko, the coordinator of the seminar. (photos)
During the seminar for married couples, we had chance to meet two couples that came from distant countries. One of them is Edith Dantes – Castillo and Jose Dantes – Castillo from Florida – Miami, and other Elio David Alvarenga and Lourdes Alvarenga from Honduras. Jose told us that he is here for the second time since there are so many things to learn for his family. Lourdes and Elio have ten children. This is their ninth time in Medjugorje and the first time to be here at seminar. “When I invited my husband to come with me to Medjugorje, he told me that I lost my mind. But after so many trips, he is now the one who is in love with Medjugorje, just like Jose”, said Lourdes.
The 15th International Seminar for married couples will be held
in Medjugorje from July 13-16, 2014
„Trust in marriage and in raising children“
Sunday, July 13, 2014
3 pm Registration of the participants
5 pm Introduction to the seminar
6 pm Evening Prayer Programme in the church
10 pm Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
The 19th International Seminar for priests that gathered 306 priests and seminarians from 25 countries, 11 different language groups, ended with thanksgiving Holy Mass on Saturday, July 12, that Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, leader of this seminar and parish priest from Veljaci parish, had celebrated. The participants arrived from Ukraine, Korea, Lithuania, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France, Belgium, the United States, Ireland, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Spain and Poland. The theme of this international seminar was: “Behold your Mother” In Our Lady’s School.
A young priest, Mitja Bulic from Archdiocese Novo Mesto in Slovenia came to Medjugorje for the priest retreat for the first time. He told us that he was ordained a year ago and was in Medjugorje already for thirty times. “I gained many profound experiences at this seminar, and the theme of the seminar “Behold your mother” is very special to me, because I live with Mary all of my life, I think she is the one that guides me to Jesus. These days here in Medjugorje are such a big grace for me. These seminars help me so much in my life, and it is so necessary to have them. This is a place where I received my vocation, my prayer was awaken and I began to read the word of God. I came here for the first time when I was only six years old and already on that trip, I felt something powerful and special, something I cannot forget. This is where one feels peace and power of prayer. Regardless of where you are in Medjugorje, you feel that peace”, said a young priest from Slovenia.
The 19th International Seminar for priests is being held in Medjugorje and around 300 priests, deacons and seminarians from 25 countries have gathered here. Fr. Luka Zoric, member of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province is working in Slano and is here for the first time: “This is my first time here to participate in such spiritual retreat. One can indeed feel communion and all participants would like to experience something new, so they would be able to be more active in pastoral way. As a priest, I need to do spiritual retreat once a year, as every priest does; I do not even have to leave my house, since those retreats are held in my monastery, not just for priests but for lay people as well. But, I was never able to experience what I experienced here, this is where I really surrender to the prayer completely. Fr. Stanko Dodig, Franciscan capuchin, born in Medjugorje, is also participating. He told us that he feels everyone is so happy to be in Medjugorje and they will all return home fulfilled. “This is my third year to come for this seminar, and surely, if it wasn’t spiritually attractive for me, I would not be here again. All lectures are indeed full of spirituality. We would not be able to work without such seminars.”
Three hundred priests, deacons and seminarians from 25 countries are participating in the 19th International Seminar for priests. They come from Ukraine, Korea, Lithuania, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Ireland, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Spain and Poland. This seminar began on Monday, July 7, 2014 with the evening prayer programme that was celebrated by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, parish priest in Veljaci, at the White Dome of St. James’ church along with 234 priests who concelebrated at that opening Holy Mass. Fr. Ljubo is also lecturer at this seminar that will finish on Saturday, July 12, 2014. The theme of the seminar is “Behold, your Mother” (John 19, 27) "In Our Lady's School".
The 19th International Priests Seminar will be held in Međugorje
from July 7 to 12, 2014
“Behold, your Mother” (John 19, 27)
"In Our Lady's School"
July 7th 2014, Monday
15. 00 – 18. 00 Registration of participants (Hall of the Blessed John Paul II)
18.00 THE BEGINNING OF THE SEMINAR
(Prayer of the Rosary, Holy Mass, Prayer for healing of body and soul, Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary)
Number of Holy Communions: 211 000
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 4139 (137 per day)
In the last few days we had chance to speak to many pilgrims who shared their experience about Medjugorje. We had chance to meet and to talk to the group of 27 pilgrims from Uganda. They told us that they were really joyful to be here: “One can feel peace and Our Lady is indeed the Queen of Peace. That peace simply “attacks” you and one can find really a lot of time for prayer in Medjugorje”. Sanja Radic from Split came to Medjugorje to pray for herself and her health: “This is really beautiful experience, to be here and to spend time with dear persons, thinking about all loved ones who are not here.” Many pilgrims have also walked to Medjugorje, especially the young ones, so they would give their vows to the Queen of Peace and thank Her for all the graces. Jelena Filipovic walked from Mostar and says that Medjugorje is her strength and main foundation. Mateja Bandic from Rama said that she came to Medjugorje on this Anniversary because this is one special day for her.
Fr. Branimir Musa, parish priest from Tihaljina, celebrated the central Holy Mass for the 33rd Anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions along with 247 priests who concelebrated. Fr. Branimir said that anniversaries of some events are deeply rooted into the awareness of individuals and people, and they turn them into feasts and solemnities. In the same way, he said, we honour this day because 33 years ago, in this little Herzegovinian village, according to the testimony of six visionaries who were children then and are adults today, Our Lady appeared with baby Jesus in Her arms. “If the truth can be derived from the actions and deeds, not just from the abstract premises, than this is the work of God, for the new spiritual life is growing in Medjugorje. Medjugorje as the synonym of the apparitions is not opposition, but strength of one holy Catholic and apostolic Church. Christ is criteria and foundation to all of the truths. This is where we want to preach about Christ and the truth. Many are asking questions about how many pilgrims were here in the last thirty-three years. The numbers are not important. We do not count pilgrims but I know that only in the last year, two million Holy Communions were ministered here. That is the strength of the faith and of the Church, those are the miracles that feed fallen, sinful and weak. If someone is seeking for a miracle to be healed, he needs to know that miracle itself does not only bring health, but brings God as well, and with God, everything else will come: peace, joy and forgiveness. The miracle does not speak only about man but about God and miracle always helps men to recognise God. A miracle is a white host in which God dwells. Why did God chose this place?
The 33rd Anniversary of Our Lady’s Apparitions was solemnly celebrated in Medjugorje on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Along with many local pilgrims from Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Croatia, there were bigger groups from Italy, Hungary, Germany, France, Ireland, the United States, Romania, China, Vietnam, Puerto Rico, Slovenia, Poland, Belgium, Slovakia, Korea, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, Spain, Albania, Brazil, Hong-Kong, Mexico, Ukraine, Lebanon, Canada, Columbia, Lithuania, Latvia, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Uruguay and Uganda. Many of these pilgrims, especially young ones, walked to Medjugorje so they would fulfil their vows to the Queen of Peace and thank her for all the graces they received. There were 21 Holy Masses celebrated during the day and the central evening prayer programme began at 6 p.m. with Rosary and Holy Mass at 7 p.m. Fr. Branimir Musa, parish priest from Tihaljina, celebrated the solemn Holy Mass with 247 priests who concelebrated. The day before, on the Eve of the Anniversary, Fr. Miro Sego celebrated Holy Mass with 188 priests that concelebrated. The traditional 23rd Peace Walk took place on June 24 and it started in Humac, shrine of St. Anthony to the church of St. James in Medjugorje. (photos)