The 26th International Spiritual retreat for the organisers of the pilgrimages began last night with the registration of the participants and the evening prayer programme in St. James church. The theme of the retreat is: Follow me! (Mk 10, 21).
The spiritual retreat continues today on March 19, Solemnity of St. Joseph with the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and welcome words of Fr. Marinko Sakota, the parish priest of Medjugorje parish, who greeted all 360 participant from 28 countries by saying to them “welcome home!” Fr. Marinko also said that Archbishop Hoser celebrates today 14 years since his ordination as the bishop and then Archbishop Hoser spoke to them about the role of leaders in one pilgrimage as well as on history and the meaning of the pilgrimages.
Mons. Hoser said that we are immersed in the secular life, but the different world is awaiting for us at the end of the pilgrimages, the world belonging to God.
''We find what we lost and we lost that intensive contact with God, the Saviour. It is the discovery of what only man is capable of, this transcendent dimension, contact with God. Here we discover what often takes place in Medjugorje, that God is Love and He loves us. If we are in the contact with Him, then our relationship with people will improve too. We love others and we discover they all made in the image and likeness of God. The purpose of the pilgrimage for man to become more divine. We enter into God’s nature and become more like Him. This time and space would transform our interior and our heart. This is no longer going to be a heart of stone, but a heart of emotions and the process of change is called conversion”, said Mons. Hoser in his catechesis, saying that the phenomenon of Medjugorje is the conversion in the sacrament of confessions, something that many countries no longer have.
''Conversion in Međugorje is related to the sacrament of reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist. Here we also find the role of the Mother of God in salvation of the world”, said Mons. Hoser and congratulated all those who are named after St. Joseph this feast.
The President of Guide Association Mojca Carapina introduced this Association and Marijana Juričić introduced Office for Pilgrims within the Parish Office. Director of Information Centre Mir Medjugorje Vedran Vidović made a presentation of this Centre at the end. This retreat will finish on Friday and continues with the evening prayer programme in St. James church tonight. (photo)