Dear brothers and sisters here in the church and on the squares in front of the church, and in the yellow hall... We are all conscious of the fact that it is a big privilege to not have to celebrate the New Year with champagne. (laughter) Maybe later. (laughter and applause)
But now we are allowed to celebrate the beginning of the New Year with Mary and Joseph and with the child that is lying in the manger and with the shepherds. These days, we have all come to Medjugorje to be especially close to the Mother of the Lord. To be more exact, we have to say that we have come here because we know that the Mother of the Lord wants to be close to us. With her, we want to begin the New Year. And the first thing that moves me when I think about the manger and the shepherds is that there were no angels present. Here there is an angel at the nativity set (points), but in the gospel there are no angels there. They were on the hills with the shepherds. An entire host of angels. But Mary and Joseph only heard about it. The shepherds told them. We also didn't see the Gospa. But there are people here who told about it. And we trust that the Mother of God really is close to us.
Kardinal dr. Christoph Schonborn - Medjugorje, 31. December 2009
This year as well as in previous years, more than ten thousand young people came to Medjugorje for New Year’s Eve from all over the world. Holy Mass of Thanksgiving for previous year took place at 6 p.m. and Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic was the main celebrant. Live Nativity scene followed and members of Cenacolo community recited parts from Gospel, sang and performed the events from Bethlehem. Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament followed from 10 to 11 p.m. and was led by Fr. Miljenko Steko.
Holy Mass began at 11.15 p.m. in Latin language and Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Dr. Christopher Schonborn was the main celebrant, while Fr. Ivan Sesar, Provincial of Herzegovinan Franciscan Province, concelebrated along with 120 priests. International Choir and Orchestra accompanied the whole programme with their music and singing.
Kardinal dr. Christoph Schonborn - Medjugorje, 31. December 2009
Number of Holy Communions: 62700
Number of priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses: 1271 (41 per day)
In the previous 2009 there have been 1 378 600 Holy Communions given in the church, and total of 33 302 priests that concelebrated at Holy Masses.
Numerous pilgrims, especially young ones, have arrived to Medjugorje in the last couple of days to be here tonight, for the traditional evening prayer programme in the church of St. James. Evening prayer programme begins with Rosary at 5 p.m, and at 6 p.m. Holy Mass of Thanksgiving for the previous year. Just before Vigil prayer, boys and girls from Cenacolo community will have live Nativity performance at the area in front of the Church. Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament begins at 10 p.m. and Holy Mass will begin at 11.15 p.m. that Cardinal Dr. Christopher Schoenborn will celebrate in Latin language. Cardinal Schoenborn has arrived to Medjugorje on Monday, December 28 on his private visit, and so far has led Adoration in the Church and had given lecture yesterday in the church of St. James. Prayer programme tonight will be held in the church and will be transmitted to Yellow Hall, green tent and area around the church. Whole programme is simultaneously translated in many world languages, and radio station “Mir” Medjugorje will have live broadcasting of whole programme. International choir and orchestra will follow whole programme, and they meet especially for this occasion as they do every year.
Annual meeting of members of Association “Fra Slavko Barbaric” was held in Medjugorje on December 30, 2009. The President of the Association, Dr. Fr. Miljenko Steko, opened the meeting at 2 p.m. with prayer and greeting of all the students, thanking all of the members on their cooperation and joint work. President has also thanked numerous benefactors, who despite many difficulties and problems in this year of recession, were prepared to help out and contribute to the work of Association. In this academic year 265 students have signed up for scholarship, out of those 228 fulfilled prerequisites for receiving scholarship. Also, in this year Association received many requests for short term help.
Vienna Cardinal dr. Christoph Schonborn arrived to Medjugorje on his private visit on Monday, December 28, and he will stay here for couple of days. Cardinal, amongst other things, wants to visit Cenacolo, the community of former drug addicts and their house in Medjugorje, since one of their houses exists in Austria as well. He emphasised that he, above other things wants to be person who prays in this famous place of prayer. Cardinal Schonborn (1945) from 1975 to 1991 is professor of Dogmatic Theology and Theology of Christian East in Freiburg, Switzerland, and from 1987 to 1992 he was selected to serve as the Editing Secretary for the pontifical commission charged with drafting the new Catechism of the Catholic Church. In 1991 Schönborn was appointed as the Auxiliary Bishop of Vienna, and from 1995 he is the Archbishop of Vienna. In 1998 he was appointed as Cardinal and elected as president of Austrian Bishop’s Conference. Today, Cardinal Schonborn is one of the most eminent experts for theology of Christian East, and member of Vatican Congregation on the Doctrine of Faith.
Kardinal dr. Christoph Schonborn - Medjugorje - 31.12.2009.
And indeed, from His fullness we have received grace to grace, for He is our peace!
With desire that God’s peace reigns in all of the hearts, all of the families, all of the countries and in the whole world, united in prayer with all of the friends of Medjugorje throughout the world:
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May this Christmas be for you day of joy and peace. May Jesus visit you in your families and may he be born in the hidden place of your heart!
Parish Office of Medjugorje
Information Centre “Mir” Medjugorje
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 2:35 pm and lasted 12 minutes.
On 4th Sunday of Advent, December 20, Medjugorje Children Choir “Doves of peace” had their traditional Christmas concert in the church of St. James, under guidance of Sr. Slavica Kozul. Their guests were members of High School Choir “Fr. Andrija Kacic Miosic” from Ploce. As in every previous year, Maestro Delo Jusic, famous musician and composer from Dubrovnik, conducted the concert. At the beginning of concert, parish priest Fr. Petar Vlasic greeted children, their parents and everybody present, and amongst other said the following: “Dear children, you with your singing in this Christmas time are announcing quick coming and birthday of Jesus Christ. Christmas is a feast of love, joy and our little doves are saying that to us in their songs. We prepare for Christmas with prayer, fasting, song. Let us sing to one another, let us rejoice to one another.” (photo)
New parameters begin with December 15, 2009.
Name of the satellite: HOT BIRD 6
Position: 13° E (degrees east)
Transponder No. 157
Reception frequency: 11 642 MHz
Polarization: H (horizontal)
Symbol rate: 27 500 Msymb/s
FEC (Forward Error Correction): 3/4
Covering: Europe, Near East and North Africa
Medjugorje parish is preparing for Christmas in this year, as in previous, with Novena that began on December 15. Early Holy Masses in packed church of St. James are celebrated at 6 a.m. every day except on Sundays, and Franciscan Youth Frama are singing and making celebration even more beautiful. Parishoners and pilgrims are climbing the Hill of Apparitions every day at 2 p.m. to pray the Rosary, while evening prayer programme begins at 5 p.m. every day with prayer of Rosary.
On Tuesday, December 8th Parish of Medjugorje solemnly celebrated the Feast of Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary. Along with many pilgrims from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, there was surprisingly large number of pilgrims for this time of the year from Italy, Austria, United States, Spain, Mexico, France, Germany and other.
Holy Communions distributed: 47.300
Concelebrating priests: 1.118 (37/day)
We celebrated ninth anniversary of late Fr.Slavko's death who died on November 24, 2000 at 3.30 on the top of the Cross Mountain after having completed the Way of the Cross. Numerous parishoners and pilgrims climbed the Cross Mountian praying the Way of the Cross at 2 p.m. that was led by Fr. Vjekoslav Milicevic. At 6 p.m. Fr. Danko Perutina celebrated Holy Mass in the parish church along with 18 other priests that concelebrated.
Christian Association Kup Karmel has organised on November 17th and 18th pilgrimage of about hundred poor and homeless people from Zagreb and few other towns from Croatia to Medjugorje and to the Queen of Peace. During their time in Medjugorj they visited Apparition Hill, they were present at the prayer and liturgical programme in the parish church of St. James, and they visited Mother’s Village.