The 12th International Meeting for Leaders of Medjugorje Peace Centers and Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups took place in Medjugorje from March 6 to 10, 2005. About 120 participants came from about 15 countries. The theme of this encounter was: “The guide and the pilgrim”.
This year’s speakers were Hubert Liebherr from Germany and Kevin Lacey from Ireland. During the meeting, there was also one day of fasting and intense prayer led by Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic. About the role of the guide spoke also Fr. Jozo Zovko. Fr. Ivan Landeka gave the report about the humanitarian activities linked to Medjugorje. During the encounter, the documentary “The Lights of Medjugorje” was shown to the participants. Masses during the meeting were presided by Dr. Fr. Tomislav Pervan, Fr. Ljubo Kurtovic, Fr. Svetozar Kraljevic and Fr. Mario Knezovic who – in his function of Director of the Information Center “Mir” Medjugorje - was also the coordinator of the meeting. The concluding Mass was presided by Fr. Branko Rados, pastor of Medjugorje. The participants were especially praying for the health of our Holy Father, the Pope John Paul II, and they sent him a letter signed by all. The participants made the following statement, which we publish entirely.
Statement from the 12th International Meeting for Leaders of Medjugorje Peace Centers and Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups
Gathered together under the protection of the Queen of Peace in Medjugorje, united with Christ and the Church, we took part in the 12th International Meeting for Leaders of Medjugorje Peace Centers and Prayer, Pilgrim and Charity groups. As we are related to Medjugorje for a number of years now, as pilgrims and as leaders of pilgrimages, we were reflecting on the theme, “The guide and the pilgrim”.
Aware of the fact that Medjugorje is attracting pilgrims from all over the world, open to the Holy Spirit, we were listening to the conferences about the role of the guide - as extended hands of God and of Our Lady - on the way of conversion of so many. We were thinking of the words of Jesus: “You have not chosen me but I have chosen you”. (John 15,16) To be a guide is a gift, but also a great responsibility, that can be carried out only in full collaboration with the Grace of God and in being attentive to Our Lady’s messages. “Therefore, dear little children, listen and live what I tell you, because it is important for you when I shall not be with you any longer, that you remember my words and all that I told you.” (Message of October 25, 1992) In this sense, we have decided to give a new attention to the role of the guide as a mediator, standing like a road sign on the pathway of God. In prayer, we received strength to continue tirelessly with the mission that we have inherited. We also exchanged experiences and opinions on how each leader and guide of payer groups should be personally evangelized in the Spirit, in freedom and in truth, in order to be able to play the role of mediator. “You need the Spirit of Truth to be able to convey the messages just the way they are, neither adding anything to them, nor taking anything whatsoever way from them, but just the way I said them.” (Message of June 9, 1984.)
From this meeting, we invite all those who organize pilgrimages to Medjugorje to put at the center of their journey the Prayer- and Liturgical Program proposed by the Parish Medjugorje, and to explain to the pilgrims the essential importance of the sacramental life of the Church, especially of Holy Mass and of Confession.
We also prayed for the health of our Holy Father, the Pope John Paul II, beseeching God to give him strength, and asking Our Lady to intercede for him and his service to Christ, to the Church and to all mankind.
Medjugorje, March 10, 2005.