2008 July

The Priests Retreat!
  The 13th International Retreat for Priests is held in Medjugorje from
June 30 through July 5, 2008.
  Locals were asked to house and to feed the visiting priests (not enough
priests to "go around" this year).  Nancy and Patrick opened their
"castle" as did some pension owners.  A group picture showing the
good hearts!

  Mary spotted a priest from the Ukraine, the country
tied to Mary’s heritage (and cooking skills).  We talked to Father
Roman and found that his parish was in need of clothes and items we had. 
We packed 5 of our suitcases and Ivan delivered them to Father’s pension
just in time for packing on the bus!

We "touched base" with Barry and Ann from Dublin. 
They are frequent pilgrims to Medjugorje and we look forward to visiting more
with them on their next trip.

July 7th and we stop at Father Jozo’s in Široki Brijeg.  Do you
recognize the Statue of Our Blessed Mother?

Bob insists on getting Mary in the picture!

Construction is still going on; a beautiful layout.

The auditorium; already in use by the  pilgrims.

A wonderful portrait of our Blessed Mother with her children.

The children live in the large three story buildings.

Johnnie from "Lord of the Rings"

Yeh!  We get a post card from Ellie and Hara in New Zealand. 

Ellie’s birthday present to Hara was a horse trek! Quite an adventure
it was! They had both forgotten that NZ horses are SO much bigger than
Bosnian ones! Still off they went! Ellie had a sweet horse called Miss
Piggy to ride and Hara got a monster with a mind of its own called
Johnnie. Johnnie starred in the movie "Lord of the Rings"!!

7/16:  OK, it is the third day at the Immigration
office in Mostar.  We are trying to assist one of the priests here to
obtain a 1 year visa.  Each day we are left waiting, told that this
or that is wrong and we need to jump through more hoops, drive across the
border again or get another document.  Rules are changed arbitrarily
day by day and we just have to bend and accept.

While we are in Mostar we go to the "East side Mega
Store".  We shop for an electric stove for a family we help in the
village of Vitini.  Another family needs a washer and we help with

  The store gives us a discount, a gift of a microwave oven
and almost free delivery to the two recipients! Thank you.

Remember Mary’s Oprah-Medjugorje house renovation

This is the Vitini family home; this is the kitchen. 
The kitchen needs a few things but now we have the electric stove. 
The bathroom is in and the kitchen area has been mostly tiled and painted! 
Bob takes measurements to see what we can do about cabinets and sink. 
They have only recently got the water to the house.  The family is
helping with this project.

We go looking at cabinets but do not buy anything now; we wish
we could.

You were thinking we have enough to do?  We look
after the building that we live in (we became discouraged after two years
of having one of the local families look after the building) so we kind of

Here we get a shot of a renter’s child climbing in and
out of a second story hall  window.  We talk to his parents.

7/17  12:30:  We motor to Citluk to pay the
electric bills and note a number of "day workers" still waiting to be
hired at the 4 corners.  We put together 10 food bags on our way back
and pass them out.  The first group is so thankful, praising God for
the gifts.  The second group includes one fellow who exclaims "so there
is a God; we are starving!"  We are thankful too.
  The picture to the left is a picture of some of the other   "day
workers" who we help.

Mary and I go to one of the  sanctuaries here in
Medjugorje to give the Mother Superior a "heads up" on how to proceed with
getting 5 of their resident nuns (who have over stayed their residence
here) a step or two further at the Immigration office.

We happen to sit next to two of the nuns at Holy Mass
two days later and they express their gratitude and add that "God sends
angels all the time".
Ah shucks.



We celebrate Father obtaining a visa extension and we
commiserate with Joseph who is now in kind of a never never land because
the ownership documents for his apartment have not been given to him by
his seller.  It has been more than a year. Kind of like buying a car but not getting the title.

So many foreigners are in this situation but do not realize it!

Nancy talked to us after the early Holy Mass to check on
the vegetable delivery we have arranged for the castle and to invite us (&
friends) to Marija’s Apparition.

We posted a copy of the sign to the right on each of the 3 entrances to the Sv. Toma

We feel so blessed.

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Nancy and Patrick have invited each of us to their
home (castle) for Marija’s apparition which will take place there this
evening (Thursday at 6:40).

There will be prayers beforehand so please come

 Mary and Bob will be leaving for their place
earlier because we have a vegetable delivery to see to.

           Mary and Bob  B08
              (036)  650-179

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We leave one or two in the field.

The Castle is dedicated to "Our Lady of the  Sacred
Heart"  and is an ongoing project.  The construction crew has
been living with this project for years.

Marija is arriving!  Yeh!

A wonderful duo playing great duets

Mary loves the view and the landscaping!

Hate to leave.  Beautiful and so much to see.

Apparition Hill is to the left of the Castle.