2009 June


*As of June 22 at the site of the old Columbo’s: the kitchen is in and operating, the tables and chairs are set up and “GARDEN II (?)” is open for business.

We hear initial comments of “expensive”. We are anxious to check it out.

June 3: Ivan offers us a free ride to Metkovic in Croatia, we say yes! The town is in Croatia and has an excellent drug store.

We had also been introduced to a food store called LIDL and that store has some neat things. But the store is closed for the day to take inventory.

Ivan has left us for an hour to shop, so we go next door and find Hotel Metkovic with a really beautiful restaurant. We order wiener schnitzel and bring enough home for the next day.

Mary is happy we found this one.

June 5: Remember that taxi load of medical supplies we picked up from the American humanitarian organization, “His Work in Progress”, run by Walter Miller – well here is a part of it!.

We have sorted through the boxes, kept stuff pertinent to what we do here and share the rest with the Maltese Clinic at the back of St. James church.

The clinic is referred to as the “Donum Dei” Dispensary; medical services of the Order of Malta in Medjugorje. Open 9:00 am to 9:00 pm May to Oct. There is a jar for a free will offering for medical services.

Bob is carrying one of the boxes and tries to make it look as though it is really heavy.

To our amazement, the Clinic has a defibrillator! Wow! Shocking! And we are told there is another one in the ambulance!

Blessings just seemed to follow us and Father Dennis around. We were in email contact with his brother, Tom, and found that Fathers Dennis and Maurice were arriving on Friday night to the Split Airport, too late to catch a Medjugorje bus.
We discussed the problem the next morning after Holy Mass and Janet tells us of another group coming in from Rome on the same plane! We email Mike and Sandy (group leaders) and also Father Rick (with the group) to alert them to two more priests.
We get an email through to Father Dennis to look for the group! They connected and everyone got to Medjugorje! Yeh!

Father Dennis and Father Maurice have arrived!! We ask Father Dennis for ID and he pulls out a can of “Tim Horton” coffee that his brother Tom Lamey, has gifted to us from Canada!
Thanks Tom.

Friday June 5:
Tammy Dupuy (from New Orleans) has arrived with a large group, mostly in College or College ready. The 40 or so in the group were asked to bring underwear or socks for men in our “Lunch Program”.

Tammy is a steady pilgrim to Medjugorje and we so enjoy the visits.

Friday June 5:

and in another wonderful group!

(R-L) Karen, Mary, Anne and Bob

Fr. Jerry did a beautiful Holy Mass one day and Dave took charge of the music for the day.

Some of the group

Anne is in front with Karen behind her and Mike behind her. Sandy is looking great in red.

Fr. Rick is wearing the same cassock that he wore on the day of the bus accident 2 years ago. A neat souvenir. It had been badly damaged during the accident. Later that week a lady from England volunteered to take it and repair it.

Months later Father received a box with the repaired cassock! Wow!

We have been brought clothes and shoes and dolls to pass on to the men and children in need. These 5 guys to the left all come with their own back pack; a wonderful “little nest” to stick medals and prayers to the Blessed Mother!

Fr. Svet, Bishop Ratko and Fr. Petar ( the pastor. on the right) get ready for the annual confirmation.

Kristian (confirmed) and his “Kum” (sponsor who came in from Germany) are looking awesome.

Bob with Ivan’s family and relatives on the day of Confirmation.

Fr. Zoran celebrates 70 years as a priest. Fr. Vjekoslav assisting.>>>>>

Father Zoran lives in the rectory here and has come to celebrate Holy Mass and give his special blessing!

Karen, Fr. Kevin and Anne enjoying life in Medjugorje in front of the confessionals.

and Pat looks like she is having a great time.

Anne displays the 2 pieces of glass just removed from her elbow stemming from the bus accident of 2 years ago. She wears it in a pendulum around her neck. The glass came to light just months ago.

More of the group (plus Bob)

A professional group shot!


We have been brought such great goodies from the States. We open one of the suitcases and we have row after row of caps; the day workers (and others) are really going to love these.

Assembling in the choir area and almost ready to sing it out! Thanks David and company.

Monday, June 8: Father Dennis is on the altar as one of the con celebrants.

Fr. Jerry is the main celebrant with Fr. Maurice in the left back.

The young men and women in Tammy’s group get to do the reading and the petitions.

We thank them so much as they had been prompted to each bring a pair of men’s socks and / or underwear for the day workers we serve lunch to on Tuesdays and on Holy Days.

Tammy is rightly proud of the group and of their singing (and of their gifting). We received a whole suitcase of items we really need to pass on.

Thanks everyone!

Father Dennis, Father Maurice and Father Rick; now all fellow traveler’s!

And Father Rick! While saying a prayer at the statue of the Blessed Mother, Father recognizes a lady who he had seen 2 years ago. Father spends time with her and gives a blessing.

Tuesday, June 9 and we are celebrating 6:30 am Holy Mass in the Chapel, Father Dennis is the Celebrant!

Sr. Matilda got Father ready and helped dress Father in his new hand made vestments which were made by the Franciscan nuns.

6:30 in the morning, in the chapel so Mary and I were able to get front row seats!

Only three others in the pews so we got to sing our favorite hymns!

A couple more shots. How often does this happen?

Anne and Karen go with us to check out Stolac!

Mary and I have now been given almost 50 T-shirts; we figure we will need 40 or so more so that each of the expected 92 fellows will receive one.

In Stolac we spot a little clothes shop and figure we will check that out; the store might have more of the favored GREEN shirts because we are in the Muslim area.

We exchange greetings with the store owner; he has a rack of shirts; some $18, some $14 and some $8.00. We take all 9 of the $8 ones and Mary chats as to why we are buying them. When the owner catches on who they are for then he tells us “take as many of the $14 ones as we want and he will charge us $8!>>

We are delighted and get a total of 34 of them! We get introduced to his wife and child, get treated to a bottle of cologne for a guy and one for a gal and big, big smiles all around.

Once in Stolac, Fr. Rajko and Sr. Slava treat us royally!

We have dug into our “mother lode” of goodies which the group has brought from the States and have brought along 30 or so of children’s running shoes. They will go to Sister Aloysius here in Stolac who will know just what poor kids need them. We see the bag being spirited away by Sister and later we get a big smile and thanks from her.

we are going to school!

Gordon and Drazena with the kids. They are building and finishing their house so beautifully.

Suzanne has sent a suitcase of clothes and things, most of which is being passed today to this needy family.

Thursday, June 11: Corpus Christi Holy Day

These boxes each contain 15 or so cabbages and probably weigh in excess of 50 pounds. Our provider tells us that all their 4000 cabbages are now sold and everyone rejoices in that. We usually pay 15 km ($11.00) per box and thought we were getting such a bargain.

Jelka tells us that they have taken most of the cabbage to the farmers market where top price they can get is 5 or 6 km; sometimes as little as 2 km (for the crate) and that Jelka pays a little over 1 km for the empty crate. Not a great plan but they have to have cash.

We are glad to help and look at that family as one of our success stories.

Food, T-shirts, socks or underwear, a few shoes. We are ready!

The evening procession of the Blessed Sacrament through Medjugorje (from our balcony).

Saturday, June 13:

Mary is off into the hills with Mary Walsh of St. Joseph the Worker.

Sometimes it’s a rough life, sometimes it’s smooth.


Mary and Mary, good friends.

This is the rough part; how can we make this lady’s life smoother?

This lady has been foraging in the woods to find some wild greens to make a salad, no stove, no electric, no water, does not know how to cook and tells Mary that she is hungry.


St. Joseph the Worker has been bringing the lady food; Mary is using the dullest knife (the only one) to cut off a little cheese and then a little salami for the lady.

“Did you bring bread”?

That was a last question. About 3 miles down the road Mary Walsh pulls into a mini market and Mary R. goes for bread (and some extras). Mary has shopped for soft food as the lady has only 2 teeth, one on the top and one on the bottom.

All are so excited as bread and milk and bananas and tomatoes and a chocolate bar and a St. Anthony Day special, a filled powdered jelly donut!!! Half of it is in the mouth in one swoop! The lady is looking good and happy with her new milk and powdered sugar mustache!


Thursday and off in a different direction. Here St. Joseph the Worker has brought groceries to two older sisters. The electricity has been turned off in their small home. The son and his family live next door in quite a nice place so we ask the lady “can not your son get the electric turned on?’ “no, he has no money, and has spent out his credit”.

Perhaps a mother in law problem.

Others just “wait by the door”; at 95 years maybe ready to go.

June 20: Cynthia has brought some medical supplies and we taxi over to pick them up.

The two share a “Nurse’s” moment over a special nurse t-shirt!

Mary W. and Cynthia Benson (from the States) share an umbrella as they help the lady back to the house on a cool and rainy day.

Cynthia helped with food deliveries and visits while she was here. She brought us medical supplies and then the Benson family left clothes and shoes as they were leaving!

Thank you so much!

Thursday the 25th: Eric and parents (Oscar and Anita) are here just for a day.

We enjoy their periodic visits but all their other visits were much longer; they squeezed this visit in as an extra.

June 25, the 28th Anniversary of the Blessed Mother’s appearance in Medjugorje. Such a special day!

Evening services were held outside; a huge crowd; we are so lucky and blessed to be here.

Father Rajko has given us a couple of cardboard “cut outs”. This is to hang in our home and to glance at it if we are tempted to curse. Croatia, along with this area, is an area of heavy cursing and this emblem is the church’s attempt to cut down on such words.


June 24: This is the day of the “Queen of Peace March”! The locals (and pilgrims too) walk from Humac (a village about 10 miles out) to Medjugorje. The trek starts at 6:00 am and they arrive around 10:00! Lots and lots of teenagers and older with really sore feet! Limping! Inspirational!Our friend, Joseph W. made the walk! Congratulations to all.

Wednesday June 24: Well yesterday (Tuesday) we had 42 fellows (and a women) at the lunch program; today we had 44. We had expected from 60 to 80 on both days and had prepared for that. Some fellows must have returned home to Zenica et. al. realizing that there would not be much work because of the Holy day and celebrations this week and because of the rain.


Mary was passing out a few “clothes bags” before the food was distributed. We had bright spots and dark spots there. Mary held up a man’s belt (always popular) and our “47 wide shoe” fellow yelled for it; “baba, baba, pass it here”! The other fellows gave him a look (baba means grandmother). The fellow puts the belt around his waist and cries “it is too short”! Mary responds with “God is punishing you because you called me baba”. The fellows were tickled by the exchange.

For the “clothes bags” we have the person write their name and needs (children’s ages and gender); as we obtain the clothes we bag and tag them. Two of the fellows were not there on Tuesday but friends stepped up to take the bags to them.

One fellow showed up on Wed. asking about his clothes bag; his friend had given the bag to him but it contained only a couple of small toys; no clothes! We explained that we had packed it with clothes for his 3 kids and a pair of size 46 sandals for him. He said his friend had a pair that he had offered to sell to him.

How sad. We will have to give directly.