2008 June

A Sunday after Holy Mass impromptu meet! We “do brunch” at Zenofy and Sandra’s (our downstairs neighbors)!

Father Cairan McDonald is also here for a bit; he was here with Father Chisholm around 2001 as the alternate English speaking Priest

Father John Chisholm visits Medjugorje with a group of pilgrims from Dublin! We are so glad to see him here if only for a short while.

One of the American pilgrims who stays for quite some time has had a problem which required hospitalization in Mostar for a while. That included 4 or 5 days in Intensive Care! The hospital bill came to around $2400 and the patient was required to leave their passport at the hospital until payment was made.

Such a joy to meet with Patrick and Kay Doyle from England. Joseph is in the middle; they all are in the same apartment building here!

We go to find and to visit a local family.

June 9: motoring back from Llubiski we noted people walking on the road. Teenagers, families, older folks: they were walking to St. Anthony’s Church in Humac as part of their 9 day Novena in preparation for the feast day of St. Anthony! What faith we see!!

Michael Stanton is back! Yeh!

and Will and Les are here with Michael!

Please meet Will from the States

Two happy faces; Janet and Father Robert

We get to see more of Michael, Will and Les.

Mary is scheduled for Saturday (June 14) at Nancy and Patrick’s Castle to cook a Chinese dinner for 30!

Joseph & Smilea have brought us organic zucchini, broccoli and snow peas to “put into the pot”!

Tammy Dupuy from Louisiana and Mary from Medjugorje exchange greetings. Tammy is here leading a group of 40 young pilgrims!

Almost done! Paved spokes have been added to the grounds at the rear of the church.

This is the first year anniversary picture of the pilgrims from the Bus accident.


June 16 and we finally get to meet Virginia Cordova. Virginia is to be our neighbor for a bit.

Teresa, Niki and Janja are all in good spirits and certainly brighten our day with each of our visits.

We meet with Father Rajko in Stolac to re-assess one of the other families who we help. We all agreed that our energies should be aimed in a different direction.

Tuesday June 17: We accumulated enough shoes and sneakers to have a “SHOE DAY” along with our lunches for the “day workers” here. Very little work this year because of the continual rain.
We find that many of the men are now bringing their teen age sons and they are also looking for work. A little crying time because a couple of the fathers see their sons getting the desired sneakers and we all get so moved.

June 18: Joseph and we go to Llubuski to a recommended lab. They drew our blood and we go back this afternoon to pick up the results. Then, later, we take it to our doctor here to get his analysis. The cost at the lab is $60 for each of us.

OK, next Tuesday (6/24) is a Holy Day here (St. John) so we must do something special for the hungry fellows.
We will order 30 roasted chickens and have them cut in half; some side dishes and drinks and we will be all set.

Father Pat and Father Ruairi are visiting Medjugorje (again) from Ireland. Delightful!

There is a Peace March taking place on June 24. Thousands of mostly area pilgrims join the priests in walking from the village of Humac into Medjugorje. A 4 hour walk for most; it looks so inspiring!

But then we hear of one pilgrim who has walked from Zagreb to Medjugorje; his journey was 7 days! Darn!



The Priests Retreat!
The 13th International Retreat for Priests is held in Medjugorje from June 30 through July 5, 2008.
Last year there were over 600 Priests here for that retreat; this year only 209! Part of this slowdown is due to the economy, to the “no show” last year of the prime Vatican speaker (he was not granted permission by our local Bishop to come and teach). And there are other nice happenings throughout the world to go to!

I will bet that Bob is calling for help!

Help has arrived! Now what do I do?

We go again to visit Gordon and family with 7 children. Hard worker; he tells us that 6 of the local men have started a bread bakery and that his share for the last two months has been 150 KM ($120). We admire his spirit and will see what we can do to help. We pass on a little extra cash to help.

The roof is on; the family does all of the building; Croatia supplies some of the materials. Joseph has stripped a small shed on the property to obtain flooring for the new attic!

We will try harder to follow “live simply so that others may simply live”.

Bob’s niece is with us today. Melissa has just helped with our Tuesday lunches for the day workers. Now she is getting acquainted with this family. The baby’s name is Joseph. When we first starting visiting, Joseph was a new born stuck in the hospital with meningitis and the mother needed to stay with Joseph for over a month. We are so glad to see a strong and healthy Joseph!

This is the first time we get to see all the family together. The children in this area go to either morning or afternoon classes depending on the age. Mama and Tata bring out the school report cards from the glass case and proudly show what the children have accomplished. There is so much interest in this family for education.

Gordon and family are fascinated on hearing of Melissa’s schooling and ask many questions. They hunger for opportunities for their kids.

Melissa is on the far right; we have brought flour, oil etc. A couple of the children have told us that they really like to read so we have also brought 6 new children’s books. A little later we hear the kids in the house reading out loud from their new books.

The family has 3 pigs and a number of goats. We have never seen such a clean “pig sty”! One of the pigs (I did not get her name) is shyly using the bidet.
There is a shower fixture above for their added comfort!

And now Ivan wants us to visit the old Turkish village of Pocitelj. We have passed by it but have never really stopped and looked it over.

Melissa has just come from a climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro with her graduating class from Wharton (6 days to go up; 2 days to come down). She may not really be ready to start climbing again so soon but is thinking about it.

A lot of steps leading to a dead end; great for combat maybe but frustrating.

Great for the “pasha”; not so great for the feet.

Motoring to Sarajevo to see Melissa off to Israel! We find a charming (but primitive) cafe buried through an entrance way. Time to sit and enjoy an espresso.

We all had a grand time! Sretan put!

It is so good to meet up with Jeff and Anna; they do the “Mary’s Meals” charity back home in Wales.