Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, the Secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, visited Medjugorje and spent some time in Herzegovina. In Mostar, he met the Provincial of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province, Fr. Miljenko Steko and visited novices of Herzegovinian Franciscan Province and talked to them about their religious vocation. In Medjugorje, he gave an interview for radio Mir Medjugorje to the chief editor Sanja Pehar and spoke about the election of Fr. Miljenko Steko as the President of the Union of Franciscan Minor of Europe.
''I would like to thank Fr. Miljenko and I am glad that Provincials of Europe had such a trust in him. I was once at the same role and this would be a huge grace for him and for the entire Europe, knowing that he has many good plans for the Franciscan Europe.
Franciscan Europe is not dead
I spoke to him and I did that before other Franciscan brothers in Mostar, I asked him to do something, to shout aloud that Franciscan Europe is not dead, that religious life in Europe is not dead. It is just enough to take a look at the Franciscan Provinces in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Thank God there are plenty of vocations. I had chance to meet the young novices in this Province, there are ten of them and this is a lot for one Province. I am certain that even though there are problems with vocations in Europe, there is much to be offered here. The religious life in Europe should be opened to the consecrated life of the whole world, as Europe needs to give and needs to be able to receive too. There are many missionaries, religious who serve in all continents. Fr. Miljenko and his team surely can expect many great things and successes. They need to open the Franciscan life to the entire world and enrich Europe that suffers with secularism, to be able to accept all good that comes from the other continents, since the evangelic values are not the values of the modern world and society, often we need to go against the stream, but we would come out purified and strengthened.''
Archbishop Carballo spent his second day in Medjugorje, where he came for the 6th time as the General of the Franciscan Order, and now as the Secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
It is good to be in Medjugorje
''Each time I come to Medjugorje, I feel as if I am at home, in the home of my Mother. You see, all of her children are welcome here and my Herzegovinian Franciscan brothers welcomed me on each occasion as if I was one of them. I really enjoy to be here and I need to thank our Pope Francis for having chosen Archbishop Hoser as the Apostolic Visitor here and for having permitted official pilgrimages to Medjugorje”, said Msgr. Carballo and he explained the reasons for his visit this time to Medjugorje.
''I came to meet with the various communities who are here in Medjugorje, 18 new communities. What is my point? The Church has a place for all! Just like Franciscans, once they decide to follow their community, the same is for all new communities and members of the consecrated life, all under one condition, that they follow the Church and place the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the center of their lives”, said Msgr. Carballo.
Archbishop Carballo invited all to live the logics of giving, as that is God’s logics. ''I invite you and me, let us live in that logics, for God and for the others. Let us live so we would die in what we have, as only in that way we could be born to the eternal life. We came here from different parts of the world, in this place where one can feel Our Lady’s presence and she is the one who completely lived that logics, gave herself to God and to the others.''
Let us look at the future with hope
''In each moment, Lord can invite any one of us, regardless of the conditions we live in. in the Old Testament we see the examples where God invited some to the temple, some to be in consecrated life and work. Medjugorje is one such place where the Lord can call us, since this is the place of prayer and place of conversion. This is Mary’s home! I know how much the Lord used this place to wake up calling for consecrated life in many hearts and we need to thank Lord for using this place in conversion of so many hearts, either in consecrated, religious life or in families. Msgr. Carballo invited all to look at the future with the hope, instead of regretting for the past that cannot and will not be back.
''My message to the youth is, together with John Paul II, open wide the doors to Jesus, and as Pope Francis said, do not allow anyone to steal your hope and joy! Those of you who are sick and old, you are not alone. The Lord still loves you, use your weakness to the strength of Jesus Christ is reflected in you more and more. Those who are adults, get to the work and work for the good of your children. It is good to be engaged that you ensure better future to your children, but do not forget that the greatest treasure you can live to your children and grandchildren is your love. The most important is to build the family, values of loving Jesus, Our Lady and all others, said Archbishop José Rodríguez Carballo, the Secretary for the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, who was the main celebrant on Saturday evening in the church of St. James.(PHOTO)