Interview: Msgr. Leo Maasburg, national director of MISSIO Austria
Msgr. Leo Maasburg, National director of MISSIO Austria, was in Medjugorje in April 2009. During many years, he accompanied Mother Teresa on her journeys and at the occasion of the opening of new houses on different continents. He was preaching retreats for her sisters all over the world. When Mother Teresa opened her first houses in Moscow and in Armenia in 1988, Father Leo was spiritual counsellor of the sisters during several months, and thus the first „official” Catholic priest in the Soviet Union at that time. Afterwards, together with an Italian businessperson, he launched the largest Catholic Radio Family „Radio Maria”, which is present on all the continents today.
The Mother’s Day celebration took place on Friday, May 8, in St. Francis’ Garden in Mother’s Village. Children from the Elementary School Bijakovići and children from Mother’s Village with their teachers learned for that day several songs.
The parish Medjugorje is preparing for the 20th International Youth Prayer Meeting – Mladifest, with the theme, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2,5) (see: Program)
On Sunday, May 3, 78 children from the Medjugorje parish received the First Holy Communion. Holy Mass at 10 AM was presided by Fr. Miljenko Šteko, and during Mass sung the children choir “Little doves of peace” under direction of Sister Slavica Kožul. The church was filled with children, their parents and numerous pilgrims.
An exceptionally large number of pilgrims who came to Medjugorje for the weekend of May 1, springtime and 13 children choirs who sung during the evening Mass on May 1st, were the occasion to celebrate the evening prayer program at the outside altar earlier as usually.
Since May 1st, 2009, in the parish souvenir shop in Medjugorje you may find a new CD and a songbook “Ave Maria” with spiritual songs composed by maestro Djelo Jusic, and sung by three Medjugorje choirs: “Kraljica Mira“, “Magnificat“ and “Golubići mira“, directed by sister Slavica Kozul. Editor: Informativni centar „MIR“ Međugorje.
Holy Communions distributed: 116.000
Concelebrating priests: 2.323 (77/day)
The summer Prayer Programme schedule in Medjugorje begins on May 1st.
Praying of the Rosary in the Parish Church begins at 6.00 pm. Holy Mass is at 7.00 pm, followed by the Prayer Programme according to the day of the week. Eucharistic adoration on Wednesday and Saturday is at 10.00 pm. Both the Rosary on Apparition Hill and the Way of the Cross on Krizevac begin at 4.00 pm.
On Saturday, April 25, 2009, took place in Medjugorje a pilgrimage of bikers organised by the Christian Association KUP-KARMEL, the same that is organising the Peace Marathon. Robert Rukavina, president of the Association, imagined this pilgrimage as an event during which many bikers would discover new paths and visit a place where many wanted to go, but never did so.
On Saturday, April 25, took place in Medjugorje the pilgrimage of motorcyclists organized by the Christian association KUP-KARMEL. Among many others there were members of the club „Fjaka“ from Split. The club was founded in 2003, and counts 26 members. We asked Oliver Kolovrat about this pilgrimage:
The Croatian riding club “Konjanik” organized also this year a riding marathon to Medjugorje. Eight riders started at Kupres on Friday, April 24, in the morning, and on Saturday, April 25, four others joined them in Sovici. The goal in Medjugorje reached eight riders about 4 PM.
Valentin Inzko, the High Representative of the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina visited Medjugorje on Saturday, April 18, 2009. He already came about twenty times. On Saturday, he assisted the Evening Mass at 6 PM. We spoke with him during his visit.
Between Palm Sunday and Easter, pilgrims from all over the world gathered together in Medjugorje: from Croatia to North America, from Lebanon and Palestine (the city of Nazareth) to Denmark, Belgium and Luxemburg, from Korea to La Martinique, Guadeloupe and La Reunion, from Austria, Germany and Switzerland to Malta, Spain, Portugal, France and Italy, from Romania and Hungary to Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, from Ireland and England to Lithuania, Latvia and Russia. (foto)
The parish Medjugorje and the pilgrims empathize with the victims of the serious earthquake that stroke Italy. In all the Masses in Medjugorje, special prayers are offered these days for this intention.
Holy Thursday - April 9 - Day of the institution of the Eucharist and of Priesthood. On that day, there is only one Mass - in the evening. In the morning, there is neither Mass nor Confessions. The Eucharist is the most precious of all that Jesus left us, therefore on that day everyone should assist Holy Mass.