The Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto was the main celebrant of the evening Holy Mass on July 24, when five Franciscans from Herzegovina Franciscan Province, Fr. Ivan Dugandžić, Fr. Tomislav Pervan, Fr. Ante Kutleša, serving in Međugorje, and Fr. Vitomir Musa serving in Široki Brijeg and Fr. Ante Leko in Posušje, celebrated their golden jubilee of priesthood.
Fr. Marinko Šakota, parish priest from Medjugorje, greeted and welcomed all the beginning and said it is a great joy in Medjugorje when such occasion is celebrated at the eve of St. James feast, patron of Medjugorje, when we remember also 85 years since the cross on Cross Mountain was built and 50 years since the parish church was completed. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of these five honourable priests who have done so much for the Church and for us! Thank you, dear brothers, for your exemplary lives and fruitful work, said Fr. Marinko.
Mons. Liugi Pezzuto said that the prayer of the Christian community is very important for the priests in the Church, and along with the prayer emotional support, solidarity for those who gave their lives for the others is important too. In his homily he spoke about the issue of the mother of the sons of Zebedee, when she asked for the privileges for her sons in the kingdom that Jesus proclaimed to them. We know now that among us, who follow Jesus, there cannot be any room for the dominance, authority, ambitions and lust for powers. All these are destroying the social and ecclesial communion, exactly as it happened to be when a mother of the sons of Zebedee spoke to Jesus, asking a favour for her sons.
The Provincial of Herzegovina Franciscan Province, Fr. Miljenko Steko spoke at the end to celebrants of the golden jubilee and congratulated them: Fifty years ago, the Almighty God made you his priests and gave you the inerasable seal of the priesthood, entrusted you with His holy sacraments and has put His word into your mouth and sent you to the world to invite all to conversion and salvation, in all possible ways, from the rooftops, in the convenient and less convenient time.
I thank the Lord for the gift of your life, your calling and serving and I thank each one of you for your devoted work and life. You were touched by all the events that took place in our Province in the last half of the century and you had much partaking in that, both in joys, but in sorrows and in tears too.
At the end, on behalf of the priests celebrating the jubilee, Fr. Ivan Dugandžić thanked all in charge for the organisation and those who made this celebration more special. He also remembered three priests who died prior to this jubilee, Fr. Jozo Vasilj, Fr. Ljubo Vlašić and Fr. Dragan Škrobo. Mons. Luigi Pezzuto, presented them with the gifts from the Pope Francis and along with Archbishop Hoser and Bishop of Ascoli, Mons. Giovannija D'Ercole, there were 137 priests concelebrating at this special and solemn Holy Mass. (PHOTO)