The feast of St. James, patron saint of Medjugorje parish, was solemnly celebrated on Thursday, July 25, 2013. Holy Masses in Croatian language were celebrated in the parish church at 7, 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. and main Holy Mass was celebrated in the garden close to Medjugorje church by Fr. Ivan Sevo, Deputy Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province.
Councilours of local communities carried the statue of St. James from Medjugorje church and the procession started at 10.45 with singing of litanies. Choir of Medjugorje parish led by Sr. Irena Azinovic made this celebration even more beautiful. Finally, parish priest Fr. Marinko Sakota, welcomed all who came for this feast and invited all to stay at the end for traditional music and dancing that was performed by folklore groups from parish of Medjugorje. (photos)
Family Cindric from Cakovec in Croatia, members of music group “Children of Love” came to Medjugorje this July. They spoke about their family and music activities. Father of the family, Darko told us that he heard about Medjugorje in the first days of the apparitions and already next year he came on pilgrimage with a group from Slavonski Brod. “We’ve been following events in Medjugorje and we like to come here to the embrace of our Mother. So many times we were witnesses of Her love for all those we carry in our hearts. This is our second home”, said family Cindric who came here with prayer group Totus Tuus.
The Meeting of the Spiritual Vocations from Brotnjo Deanery is traditionally held in the various parishes of Brotnjo Deanery. This year, the Meeting was held in Medjugorje on Monday, July 22 with 50 participants. Fr. Marinko Sakota, parish priest from Medjugorje, spoke about the parish of Medjugorje and the pastoral work in this parish. Dean of Brotnjo Deanery, Fr. Mate Dragicevic greeted all present together with Mayor of Citluk municipality, Ivo Jerkic.
Holy Mass was important part of this Meeting as well. Deanery of Brotnjo has 116 vocations, and among those are nuns who are members of various communities, priests, seminarians and novitiates.
Three Holy Masses were celebrated in less than three weeks in the parish of Medjugorje: Fr. Filip Pavlovic on July 3, Fr. Mario Ostojic on July 7, and Fr. Josip Serdjo Cavar on July 21, 2013. Fr. Josip Serdjo’s motto for the First Holy Mass was a verse from St. Paul’s letter to Ephesians: “What a joy in His invitation!”
Fr. Marinko Sakota greeted and welcomed everyone at the beginning of the Holy Mass and congratulated the newly ordained priest. The homily was given by Fr. Danko Perutina who thanked God for the new vocations that arose at the base of Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain. He emphasised the message from the Gospel, how Fr. Josip Serdjo needs to be both Mary and Marta, he needs to pray and to work. The Provincial of Herzegovina Province, Dr. Fr. Miljenko Steko, congratulated the newly ordained priest and his family. At the end, Fr. Serdjo thanked his family, all of the priests, seminarians, nuns, professors and all who were present there. Fr. Josip Serdjo was born on December 15, 1986. He was ordained as a priest on June 29, 2013 in the church of Sts. Peter and Paul in Mostar.
Journalists of radio station “Mir” Medjugorje spoke to many pilgrims in the last days and we would like to bring one interview with pilgrim from Mexico. They spoke to Theresa, who came to Medjugorje for the first time two years ago. She came out of curiosity, after she received statue of Our Lady of Medjugorje. “Everything was amazing; I had time for confession, Holy Communion, prayer, adoration and Holy Mass. During one Holy Mass I felt Our Lady touching my heart and She was inviting me to conversion. After I returned home, I read a lot about Medjugorje and I felt that was what I needed to do. Here I am again, I came to our Mother.” Theresa also said that Our Lady’s messages helped her understand Medjugorje. “I like being here because this is a special place where one can spend time with the Lord in silence, leave all burdens and just listen to God without saying anything to Him.”
The Symposium on Life and Work of Fr. Stanko Vasilj (1920-1993), will be held in Medjugorje on Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Participants are: Fr. Tomislav Pervan, Fr. Ivan Dugandzic, Fr. Robert Jolic, Ivica Sarac, Josip Muselimovic, Snjezana Vrbanec, Kreso Sego, Fr. Marinko Sakota. The Symposium will be held in the Hall of Bl. John Paul II at 4 p.m. Rosary will begin at 6 p.m., and Holy Mass is at 7 p.m. when Fr. Stanko’s songs are going to be performed. The solemn Academy will take place after the evening Holy Mass.
Khaled Abu Sini, 25-years old young man from Nazareth came to Medjugorje for the first time and he was very grateful that his great wish was finally fulfilled. He told us: “Many people in Israel know about Medjugorje and messages of Our Lady. Every year, a pilgrimage from my parish is organised to Lourdes and to Medjugorje. Upon my arrival back home, I will tell all people I know to come to Medjugorje that is extended Nazareth, home of Holy Family. I feel that something moved me from inside. Joseph, Mary and Jesus lived in Nazareth many years ago and that is so important for us. Now, in this time, Mary is appearing here, She has been coming for so many years, She is alive. That is not just any story. I can feel Mary, She gives me strength, touches me from within, nurtures my faith that will always be strong regardless of whether I came to Medjugorje or not. I cannot describe that feeling in words, it is like an energy, an inner feeling”, said this radiating young pilgrim from Nazareth.
Fr. Stanko Ćosić celebrated his First Holy Mass on Sunday, July 14, 2013 in the parish church of the Most Holy Trinity in Buhovo. The solemn celebration began with Procession at 11 a.m., and before the beginning of the Holy Mass, his parents gave him blessing and four young people gave appropriate recital. Parish priest from Buhovo, Fr. Pavo Filipovic greeted all present faithful, welcomed them and said how the whole parish rejoices because it is now 27 years since Fr. Petar Topić celebrated his first Holy Mass in their parish. Fr. Mario and Fr. Josip Serdjo, the newly ordained priests were concelebrating together with Provincial Fr. Miljenko, parish priest Fr. Pavo and thirty more priests. Fr. Nikica Devcic, priest from Province in Zadar, gave a homily. He wished for Fr. Stanko to be merciful Samaritan who would help people today, so he would heal the wounds to all, regardless of whether he knew them or not.
The group of twenty four pilgrims came from Padua in Italy to Medjugorje on their bicycles. Gian Carlo was leader of this pilgrimage and he told us that they were inspired to do this pilgrimage by desire to get to know the messages of the Queen of Peace in the better way. “All of the pilgrims were united in their desire to come to Our Lady by bicycle, to come to understand Her messages and to receive Her invitation. We began our journey in Padua because St. Anthony loved Our Lady so much. This pilgrimage was a bit difficult, especially due to the bad weather, but our prayer helped us to prevail all of the difficulties we encountered. Every morning we were not certain whether we would continue our journey, but with prayer and help of Our Lady we were able to come to Medjugorje where one can really feel peace.” Gian thanked all people who helped them on their journey and said: “On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to thank for all good deeds done to us during our journey. We were led by St. Anthony and our Mother who leads us from day to day into the new experiences.”
The 18th International Seminar for priests in Medjugorje, that gathered 297 participants from 23 countries was concluded on Saturday, July 13, 2013. The Seminar began on Monday, July 8, 2013, with the evening prayer programme and Dr.Fr. Miljenko Steko, the Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province, celebrated the opening Holy Mass together with 180 priests.
The theme of this seminar was “Mary’s Faith” and Fr. Marinko Sakota, parish priest from Medjugorje, was coordinator of this seminar. Apart from the lectures, all participants took part in the regular evening prayer programme of Medjugorje parish. On Thursday morning they prayed the Rosary on Apparition Hill, and early on Friday morning they prayed the Way of the Cross on Cross Mountain.
On Sunday, July 7, 2013, the newly ordained priest Fr. Mario Ostojic, celebrated his first Holy Mass in the parish church of St. James in Medjugorje. Holy Mass began at 11 a.m. and his family, friends and many pilgrims were present at this special event for the whole parish. Fr. Boze Milic gave a homily and emphasised that Medjugorje inspired many people to start looking at their lives in different way and to start noticing the importance of God in their lives.
The 18th International Priests Seminar will be held in Međugorje
from July 8 to 13, 2013
„THE FAITH OF MARY“
The 14th International Seminar for married couples, that gathered more than 150 participants, was held in Medjugorje from July 3-6, 2013.
The theme of the seminar was: “Marriage as a place and instrument of the spiritual growth of husband and wife”. Lecturers were Dr.Fr. Mirko Matausic and Vesna Gracner, psychologist. All of the participants took part in the prayer programme held in Medjugorje church and they also climbed Apparition Hill and Cross Mountain.
Seminar was concluded on Saturday, July 6 with Holy Mass held at 11 a.m. Let us be reminded that this important event was initiated by late Fr. Slavko Barbaric.
The coordinator of this seminar was Fr. Danko Perutina.
On Wednesday, July 3, 2013, all of the parishioners in Medjugorje parish were united in prayer and celebration of First Holy Mass of Fr. Filip Pavlovic from Bijakovici.
Holy Mass began in the parish church of St. James at 11 a.m. and his family, friends and many pilgrims were present, all wanting to participate in this beautiful event for Medjugorje parish.
Parish priest in Medjugorje, Fr. Marinko Sakota, congratulated the newly ordained priest at the beginning of Holy Mass, and homily was given by Fr. Andjelko Katanec. Fr. Andjelko explained how Fr. Filip came to his goal and that is something precious, unique and holy.
Fr. Filip was born on December 26, 1983 in Mostar. He was ordained as Deacon on September 29, 2012 in Zagreb, and as Deacon he served in the parish of Bl. Alojzije Stepinac Bestovje – Novaki – Rakitje close to Zagreb. He was solemnly ordained as a priest on June 15, 2013 in Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Zagreb by his Eminence Cardinal Josip Bozanic. (photo)
Number of Holy Communions: 211 900
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 3920 (130 per day)