Our Lady’s Message October 25, 2013
“Dear children! Today I call you to open yourselves to prayer. Prayer works miracles in you and through you. Therefore, little children, in the simplicity of heart seek of the Most High to give you the strength to be God’s children and for Satan not to shake you like the wind shakes the branches. Little children, decide for God anew and seek only His will – and then you will find joy and peace in Him. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
(Excerpts from the Information Center “Mir” Medjugorje, www.medjugorje.hr)
++ 9/ 23.09.2013. Numerous pilgrims have said how they were mostly impressed by the devotion of the Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. From October 1, 2013, this devotion will be held on Tuesdays from 9 to 10 p.m., not on Wednesdays as it was the case up to now. All parishioners and pilgrims will be able to participate in the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 to 10 p.m. and on Thursdays immediately after the evening Holy Mass.
++ 9/1/13 Christina Georgotas from New Jersey told us how Gospa completely changed her life from the moment when she heard about Medjugorje in 2008. “I have never heard about Medjugorje and I did not know anything about the apparitions because I did not believe. My mom played a YouTube video from Mirjana’s apparitions and something happened in me in that particular moment. I wanted to come here and I came in June 2010 for the first time. This is where I feel peace and love. It is impossible to come here and remain untouched with all those stories of conversion, love and Gospa’s invitations.”
++ 8/31/13 Fr. Charles Colazzi comes from New Jersey and this is his ninth time in Medjugorje. He spoke about his life, priesthood vocation and experience of Medjugorje. He came here with a group of young people when he was sixteen and it was the time when he truly experienced the beauty of this place. “As a young man, I went to the church but did not particularly like the faith. During my visit to Medjugorje I had strong experience of prayer that completely changed me. After I returned home, I started loving prayer, I spent time Adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and I prayed Rosary every single day.” Four years afterwards, he went to the seminary and became a priest during his next visit to Medjugorje. “That is all really beautiful experience. I would say that I fell in love with Our Lady, with Jesus. Everyone experiences something different, weather it is inner healing, feeling of love and intimacy, or perhaps miracles because we all feel something different. Confessions in Medjugorje are very significant; people are really different when they return home. Usually people who confess here feel something, very often their life changes completely and they feel strength of good confessions that happen after twenty or thirty years of wandering around. For me as a priest that is a highlight here in Medjugorje because that is so beautiful and useful”, said Fr. Charles.
Year of Faith: Oct. 11, 2012- Nov. 24, 2013
“ I invite people to pray the Rosary individually, in the family and in the community, placing themselves in the school of Mary who leads us to Christ, the living center of our faith”. .”—Pope Benedict XVI, for the Indiction of the Year of Faith.
August 8, 1985 “Dear children! Today I call you especially now to advance against Satan by means of prayer. Satan wants to work still more now that you know he is at work. Dear children, put on the armor for battle and with the Rosary in your hand defeat him! Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Saints for the Year of Faith
November: Venerable Fulton Sheen
A college education, a TV show and a passionate devotion to the call of the priesthood all combined in one very witty man-proof that sainthood is not only challenging and holy, but fun. Peter “Fulton” John Sheen was born in El Paso, Illinois in 1895. As a young man, he turned down a sizable scholarship to pursue his true desire, the holy priesthood of the Catholic Church.
At his ordination, he made a promise that he would spend one hour a day in Eucharist Adoration-a promise he kept faithfully for the rest of his life. In 1951, the newly-appointed Bishop Sheen began a TV series entitled “Life is Worth Living.” In 1952, he won an Emmy award for the “Most Outstanding Television Personality.” He was named an Archbishop in 1969, and ten years later, on October 3rd of 1979, just months before his death, Archbishop Sheen was embraced by Pope John Paul II and told, “You have written and spoken well of the Lord Jesus. You are a loyal son of the Church!”
At the start of his priestly life in Peoria, Ven. Fulton Sheen went door to door evangelizing “a dying parish,” powered by his continual prayer life.
“He always believed that the miracle of bringing more people to Christ came from the time spent on his knees before the Blessed Sacrament,” the bishop said.
“Perhaps most importantly, he was a man of holiness, of intense daily prayer,” he said. “That is an example that I believe the Church needs to imitate in these days.”
Msgr. Deptula said Sheen’s example can give Christians guidance on how to better engage the world by “using every tool at our disposal to bring the eternal and perennial Good News of Jesus Christ to our brothers and sisters today.”
Ven. Fulton Sheen also dedicated the profits from his books into foreign missions
On June 28 Pope Benedict XVI authorized a decree that recognized the heroic virtues of the beloved host of the “Catholic Hour” radio show and the ABC television show “Life is Worth Living.” Ven. Fulton Sheen authored many books and headed the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. He served as an auxiliary bishop of New York and as Bishop of Rochester.
His cause for sainthood was opened in 2002. An authenticated miracle is now needed for Ven. Fulton Sheen to be beatified, the last step before canonization.Msgr. Deptula said that three “fully documented alleged miracles” attributed to Archbishop Sheen’s intercession have been collected. However, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Saints asked those presenting his cause, known as “postulators,” to submit only one case.
The postulators chose to submit the case of James Fulton Engstrom, a boy born apparently stillborn in September 2010 to Bonnie and Travis Engstrom of the Peoria-area town of Goodfield. The child’s mother and her husband prayed to Archbishop Sheen to heal their son. Although the baby showed no pulse for an hour after his birth, his heart started beating and he escaped serious medical problems.
“If all goes well, that miracle will be presented to the Holy Father for his authentication,” Msgr. Deptula explained. “Only God works a miracle, but only the Church can authenticate a miracle.” He was declared Venerable by Pope Benedict XVI on June 28, 2012.
Words from Fr. Slavko Barbaric
Listen to Our Lady’s messages and quote her. On the one hand she is patient: she keeps speaking, goes on walking with us, gives thanks to all those who respond, keeps calling everybody to do something for their brothers who are far away, who do not convert. But we have to avoid painting everything black and white about Medjugorje; we must not give an impression to those from outside or to the adversaries of Medjugorje as if everything were good and perfect here, and nothing else. One thing is sure: through Our Lady’s messages many people in the Church have rediscovered prayer and fasting and decided for them. Let me tell you the experience of a pilgrim priest. He said to me: “I have realized here that in 30 years of preaching I have never talked to people about fasting, for example to explain to them why, how, when to fast or what risks and advantages it brings. I would mention fasting sometimes, of course, at least during Lent. Now when I read the Bible, I wonder how it was possible for me to overlook this message when it appears on almost every page. Jesus used to fast, spoke about fasting, said that His people would also fast. How was it possible, I never cease wondering, and I am afraid that there are still many messages waiting for my conversion to be discovered by me.” In his encyclical of March 25, 1995, the Pope called everybody to fast and pray, courageously and humbly. I cannot say there are no changes, but I wish I saw more of them, both in every individual and in the official Church. Fr. Slavko OFM died on top of Cross Mt. 11/24/00
Called To Personal Conversion
Father Danko Perutina Medjugorje
August 25, 2008
“Dear children! Also today I call you to personal conversion. You be those who will convert and with your life, will witness, love, forgive and bring the joy of the Risen One into this world, where my Son died and where people do not feel a need to seek Him and to discover Him in their lives. You adore Him, and may your hope be hope to those hearts who do not have Jesus. Thank you for having responded to my call.”
At the beginning of her message, Our Lady calls us to conversion by saying: “You be those who will convert and with your life, will witness, love, forgive and bring the joy of the Risen One into this world.” Everybody needs conversion. It is a life-long process. A true encounter. Encounters with people often remain superficial, while an encounter with God takes place in the depths of man’s heart and soul leaving a mark on the man as a whole. Every time when a man does not love he needs conversion. Every time when a man is not faithful to the words of Jesus, he needs conversion.
Any conversion is a two-step process. The first step is that at least once in our life we must kneel before Jesus and tell him from the depth of our heart and soul: Jesus I choose you. I want to leave my old life behind. I want to be free from all my sins and go with you purified. This is the fundamental decision for God. The second step is to question oneself over and over again every night. Have I obeyed God’s commandments to the fullest, what can I do better when meeting people, how can I love Church more. Only by taking these two steps may we walk up the path of our spiritual life in the right way. Our Lady has called us to conversion so many times. She calls us to be witnesses. It seems as if we are turning a blind eye and remain deaf when thinking that Our Lady calls only those who do not go to Church, those for whom we think that they are not good. Our Lady has them in mind too, but she primarily has in mind those who act like Pharisees, who judge others, pretend to be good and rarely forgive. Those are the people who need a radical conversion.
Our Lady provides us with means, too. She has called us to prayer so many times and, yet again, in her last message she calls us worship Jesus. God wants those who will worship Him in their spirit and in the truth, which means through their actions and life, not just by words because God does not need our words. What He needs is our heart. If we are fully devoted, we can represent hope for those hearts that do not have Jesus.
There are thousands of definitions of what man is, and one of them is the following: “Man is a creature of hope!” to us, who are travelers here through this world, hope gives us strength to bravely walk the earthly paths towards our future and not to stand still. Our hope is found only in Jesus’ name. Hope is always turned towards the future. Love is the reality that should be unfolding now and faith helps us to reach it.
Many might think that the world does not change at all, so we might be wondering what the use of conversion is. To others, the world does change, but for the worse. Today we are more capable of completely destroying our world than people used to be so many years before us. We may say to others: It does not mean that it is an encounter we may have with other people when for example, we meet our mother, brothers, sisters or good friends in the street. Surely we would all like to have such close, personal, profound encounters with God, but, generally speaking, our encounters with God are of a different nature. We must also ask ourselves today whether we believe that the Kingdom of God is near. It was one of the ways the encounter with God in flesh may be depicted. Today only a few people feel that God is present. More and more people are becoming atheists or Gnostics. The life here and now is all they have. Be we, Christians who follow Jesus’ teachings, believe in His words. He tells us that there is life after death. He tells us that there is God with whom we may talk through prayer. He tells us that the path leading to a new life after death is love of our neighbors that we show in this life. Our spirituality often raises the fundamental question: do I believe in Jesus Christ? if I do, then my view of this life is different and I try to make decisions that correspond to my beliefs. Jesus tells us that we meet God every time we serve others. Conversion is therefore necessary and important every time when I am not faithful to Jesus’ words and His calling to live with Him. Conversion is necessary when we experience the loss of love.
CENTER FOR PEACE – WEST
Father Scott Vandehey
The September Medjugorje pilgrimage had an exceptional group of pilgrims. After just a few days we felt like we had known each other for years. We had many spiritual blessings, perfect weather and lots of fun.
Fr. Scott was the main celebrant at one of the English language Masses assisted by Deacon David Hammes. Other members of the pilgrimage helped in the choir, as readers, door monitors, with the collection, composed and read the intentions. Father Scott gave a very heartwarming homily. On one of Father’s earlier pilgrimages he wrote a song “Do whatever He tells you” and after Communion Father’s brother Monte and nephew Alec sang the song during meditation time. It was beautiful and all in church were all deeply touched. The choir director Steven Shawl sang it again the following day he liked it so much!
We prayed on Apparition Hill, Cross Mt., at the Risen Christ statue including the Stations of the Cross, Blue Cross, Fr. Slavko’s grave and the rosary at the Luminous mysteries. We also had a private Mass in the chapel at Mother’s Village followed by a walk through the orphanage, Mercifical Fathers, and St. Francis Gardens.
After several months of absence, Vicka is again talking to pilgrims. We were able to go to Sister Kornelija’s orphanage outside of Medjugorje to hear her testimony. We waited an hour while people gathered, Vicka came out of a side door where two of our pilgrims (newlyweds) happened to be waiting and Vicka gave them each a joyful smile and a big hug!
We visited Vicka’s family home to see the room where Vicka has had her apparitions for years. The night before our visit the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes started glowing. Vicka said neither she or Our Lady mentioned it during her daily apparition. Vicka said she feels the light is another message from Our Lady for us to turn to the light, peace, joy and prayer. Our souls are filled with darkness and the world is immersed in darkness.
THANK YOU Blessed Mother for a very special pilgrimage!
PRAY PRAY PRAY
Volume 31 Issue 11 November 2013