The sixth anniversary of the death of Dr. Fr. Leonard Oreč, former parish priest of Medjugorje and founder of the “Medjugorje-Mir” religious-humanitarian organization, was commemorated on Monday the 21st of January, 2008. Holy Mass was celebrated for him in the parish church. The main celebrant was Fr. Ivan Landeka, another former parish priest of Medjugorje and current president of the “Medjugorje-Mir” organisation, in concelebration with the Franciscans currently serving in Medjugorje.
Fr. Leonard served in Medjugorje from 1998 to 1991, serving as Parish Priest for a little more than one of those years. Vigorously spreading Our Lady’s messages of peace and reconciliation during his three years of service, Fr. Leonard left a lasting impression as a wise and experienced priest. He was an imaginative man, full of creative ideas, many of which were realised in recent years. Because of the difficult situation of our people stricken by the war, and knowing many people all over the world, he founded the “Medjugorje-Mir” humanitarian association in Split, in 1992. Thanks to the friends of Medjugorje, this association distributed dozens of tons of humanitarian aid during the war, and its humanitarian work continues even today. Fr. Leonard also worked on the spiritual renewal of people wounded by the war, in accordance with Our Lady’s message of peace and reconciliation, which forged a link between many nations and religions.
Fr. Leonard served in the Franciscan General Curia in Rome from 1997 onwards. He remained in Rome until July 2001, when he became seriously ill. During that very period, he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination.