Friday, February 7, 2014
Change of pace pastorally at Medjugorje
“Some of the Commission’s members have highlighted the need for a change of pace in the provision of pastoral care to millions of faithful who come to Medjugorje from all over the world. The Commission and Cardinal Ruini himself, thanks to visits by people close to him, have noticed that people really are converting to the faith or returning to the sacraments – what the Church refers to as spiritual fruits – in a significant way.” Andrea Tornielli, Vatican Insider, January 19, 2014.
So what exactly does a change of pace in the provision of pastoral care mean – and does this infer that the provision of pastoral care by the relevant authority, the Mostar-Duvno Diocese, is currently unable to provide the necessary means to do this, for whatever reason – be it down financial resources or human resources, or both?
Does this need of a change of pace signal that the Medjugorje parish may in some way stand independent of the Mostar-Duvno Diocese in the future, to focus on the ever increasing number of visiting pilgrims and not be a drain on resources of the diocese?
Where will these resources come from? Who will provide them, and in what way? Are more permanent pastors required, more help from visiting priests, less restrictions placed on priests wishing to make pilgrimage to Medjugorje… more help financially, more confessionals, more cover for pilgrims during the long hot summer, a bigger church, perhaps?
One thing for certain is that Medjugorje is growing, the town is expanding – so is the population – and the number of pilgrims visiting this world-renowned ‘place of prayer and reconciliation’ is continuing to rise, increasing the demand and need for the Sacraments of the Church.
It is anticipated that the Holy See will not find against the claim of apparitions, especially as they continue. A source close to the Vatcian, journalist Andrea Tornielli, has revealed the Medjugorje Commission which recently completed it investigation into the Medjugorje phenomenon found no evidence of any hoax or scam relating to the apparitions, but considerable evidence as to the good fruits and conversions at Medjugorje.
For thirty two years the tree has slowly mushroomed, and now a small seed has blossomed into a sanctuary for millions. The woman’s yeast is being leavened throughout the world and there are men, women and children coming from east and west to feast in the kingdom of God (Luke 13 : 18-21, 29).
The catch is so great that the few Franciscan pastors at Medjugorje are unable to haul in the net. Other disciples are needed to assist, to help tow the net and bring the catch ashore. A “change of pace in the provision of pastoral care” is necessary so that the net remains intact, unbroken, to harvest the catch. (John 21 : 4-8)
Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing. The other disciples replied, “We’ll come with you.” (John 21 : 3)
The Holy See will ensure that in the light of day the sheep who hunger at Medjugorje will be fed and nourished. (John 21 : 4, 15-17)
Sunday, June 3, 2018
Cardinal Camillo Ruini chaired the Medjugorje Commission
Medjugorje: a prophetic place of prayer for world peace
On Thursday, May 31, Pope Francis appointed the Archbishop of the Diocese of Warsaw-Praga, Henryk Hoser, a special Apostolic Visitator at the parish in Medjugorje. As the Vatican informed, it is a continuation of the mission entrusted to Archbishop Hoser on February 11, 2017 and completed by him in recent months.
As Archbishop Hoser explained, this is the second stage of his mission in Medjugorje. In the first stage, his task was to “find out about the pastoral situation of this place”.
“Pilgrims from all over the world come to Medjugorje every year, about 2.5 million people each year, and now my task will be to help local priests in all improvements and changes that will help pilgrims to live spiritually in Medjugorje in better conditions” he stressed. He admitted that this is a big challenge for him, but “counts on the fact that the Poles will support him with their prayers”.
“I am asking for prayer because it is the choice of a Pole who will have a mission in the universal Church in such an important place, and we have very strong Marian devotion in Poland – Our Lady is the Queen of Poland. This Polish piety can also be strengthened in Medjugorje,” he stressed.
According to Archbishop Hoser, Medjugorje is becoming one of the most important pilgrimage places in the world.
“Our Lady is venerated there, dedicated to Our Lady Queen of Peace, and we know how much peace is threatened in the world today. We remember the war in the Balkans, how terrible war crimes happened there, and yet we have no guarantee that the war will not come back. There are a lot of local conflicts, everyone's armed, it's a very dangerous phenomenon, because these reinforcements can eventually lead to a war. So Medjugorje is a prophetic and charismatic place of prayer for peace in the world,” said the archbishop.
As the most important pastoral need of Medjugorje, Archbishop Hoser mentioned an increase in the number of confessors, especially foreign-language ones. “Medjugorje is a phenomenon of mass confession – there are 50 confessionals, and still not enough, and above all, there are too few confessors” he stressed.
He explained that the problem is also the modest infrastructure, which needs to be expanded. “It is necessary to ensure that the liturgical space is larger. There is a small parish church, nothing more, there is no bigger place of worship.”
He added: “There is also a need to expand the pilgrims' accommodation for the night, there are small hotels run by people who live there, but all this is inadequate.”
Archbishop Hoser reported that his mission would start in July. At the same time, he admitted that he did not know how long he would stay in Medjugorje. “This is an indefinite mission” he said, “the situation and the Holy See will decide.”
He also explained that the scope of his mission does not include the assessment of the truthfulness of the apparitions.