The 25th Anniversary of the Association of Guides for Pilgirms in Medjugorje Parish was solemnly celebrated on Monday, November 7. The celebration of this great anniversary began with the evening prayer programme in St. James church. Fr. Karlo Lovric led the prayer of the Rosary, while Fr. Miljenko Steko, the provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province celebrated Holy Mass with Fr. Marinko Sakota, parish priest and 16 other priests. The choir of the Queen of Peace, conducted by Sr. Irena Azinovic, made this celebration more special.
Parish priest Fr. Marinko, congratulated all guides at the end of Holy Mass on this occasion and thanked them for all they have been doing. After Holy Mass, the programme of celebration was continued in the Hall of John Paul II. Short movie about this Association and its members was played at the beginning. The calling of a guide, as well as this beautiful celebration inspired Fr. Karlo Lovric, Franciscan known for his poetry, to write a poem.
Fr. Jozo Zovko, who used to be a parish priest in this parish, initiated this project long ago. Fr. Jozo wrote a letter for this occasion and Marija Dugandzic, the first president of the Association, read this letter. Jela Odak, current president, thanked all who have in these 25 years contributed to the work od this Association in many different ways: those who have established the Association, spiritual assistants, Franciscan nuns, Franciscans who served in this parish, as well as all associates. “Today, we are celebrating an important jubilee and it is important to us that you see our work and appreciate all we do with pilgrims”, said the current president.
Medjugorje parish priest, Fr. Marinko Sakota, Fr. Ivan Landeka, parish priest in Posuski Gradac, one of the founders of this Association, as well as Fr. Miljenko Mica Stojic, Head of the project of beatification “Fr. Leo Petrovic and 65 brothers”, Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, parish priest of parish of St. Anthony in Humac, and Fr. Danko Perutina, guardian of monastery of St. Peter and Paul in Mostar, were priests who gave short talks during the celebration. The evening was more beautiful thanks to the singing of vocal group Friends from Citluk and Mr. David Parkes.
In the last 35 years many pilgrims arrived here and it was through Mary that many of them found their way to God. All guides for pilgrims do play an important role in that process. It is highly important to have a person who is very enthusiastic not just about the knowledge of this place, but who also has strong personal faith. The most important role of this Association is to be at disposal to all faithful who come here so they would all get to know true values of this place, all gifts and graces that God has bestowed here through Gospa. Their role is to serve to pilgrims by following and living the messages of Our Lady, by guiding all towards sacramental life and personal religious experience. (photos)