The Center for Peace-West in Portland, Oregon, a Medjugorje Information Center, opened in 1983 to spread the messages of Our Lady of Medjugorje. We do Medjugorje presentations, two pilgrimages a year and publish a monthly newsletter. For many years on June 25th, we have been celebrating the anniversary of Our Lady's apparitions in Medjugorje with a Mass for Peace.
Our evening began at 6 pm with Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, confession and Sister Mary Fidelis Kreutzer leading the rosary which was prayed in Croatian, Spanish, Vietnamese and English. The long lines for confession were certainly a reminder of Medjugorje. The hour concluded with Benediction.
At 7pm, Frank Dunn, the Director of the Center for Peace-West, welcomed the large number of people and read a greeting and words of encouragement that we had received from Fr. Ivan Sesar. Holy Mass followed. Bishop Kenneth Steiner was unable to celebrate with us this year. Fr. Scott Vandehey, the Spiritual Director for Center for Peace-West (and a 4 time Medjugorje pilgrim) was the main celebrant. Fr. Peter O'Brien, who just returned on June 10th from his second pilgrimage, was the homilist and Fr. George Nazareth also concelebrated. Deacons David Hammes and Chuck Amsberry assisted. The adult choir of St. Cecilia Church provided the most beautiful "heavenly" music. The Knights of Columbus honor guard added to this very special occasion.
A reception followed in the Parish Center and it was wonderful to see so many people who love Our Lady, visiting with fellow pilgrims and friends and sharing their joyful Medjugorje stories. It was truly a blessed evening.
Marie Gustafson, Center for Peace West, Portland, Oregon, USA