2010 September

*Wed., Sept 1st: We get company! It is Anna and Maja; cousins. Each will be going into the 7th grade! Anna and brother Mate are here with their father, Simun from Germany.

Yeah! Bob has Simun for company so gets to bring out the ‘Sour Cherry Rakija’ (moonshine) which Gordon contributed on our recent visit.


We’ll have another.

While we are partying and eating and drinking we take a glance out the window at the school yard. It’s Joseph (I can’t take it any more) picking up the trash in the school yard.

That activity will get around Medjugorje quickly.. a ‘stranac (foreigner)’ is picking up after ‘our kids’ in the school area.

Joseph is not trying to send a message; just does not feel it is right to send kids to a dirty school!

Yeah, daily living here is not all that easy. We go for a 45 minute ride to Metkovic (Croatia). Joseph needs to get the Croatian currency (kunas) out of the ATM. The ATM chokes and keeps the card.
Nema Problema. Mary goes to the bank on the second floor of the shopping center & reports the problem.
Nema Problema. The manager reports that is another division of the company, that division will be here in the morning and your card will then be available. Mary replies that we are from Medjugorje and that is a long ride.


Ah. No one else can use the ATM! The ATM is jammed. Mary goes back to the manager on the second floor and reports that others cannot use the ATM.
Problem. The manager will call and see if he can get service. We say that we do not want to leave the area of the ATM because the card may come out and fall on the ground.
Nema Problema. Never happen says the manager; there is a bin inside the machine which collects the lost cards.
We leave for an hour, come back, a sign is on the ATM display “Out of Order”; Joseph’s card is on the ground.
Problema Solved.

Later we all celebrate with bubbly water.

Joseph and Bob are worried now that the bubbly water is gone and we still do not have soup in our bowls!

Mary points out the beauty of our surroundings and we do have to agree.

And we are right across the way from our favorite Metkovic store, Lidl based in Germany. Sliced white & brown bread, hot dog and hamburger buns, ‘After Eight’ dinner mints; we will stock up.

The Village is packed!

Sept 5th: It has quieted a bit;

We were so pleased to see Father Chisholm celebrating Holy Mass this morning. He gave the homily, of course, and it was beautiful. Instructive, strong, to the point. Father was the main priest here for 6 years (just before Father Kevin). We wish we were here at that time but we only over lapped a little.

Father Donal from Ireland is here again for a bit. Father must be so very busy here with the Europa House project

Slavenka is ready to meet your group and to be your Medjugorje Tour Guide!

Something different about her today so we snap a picture.

Wow! What a reunion! The three are our Medjugorje Music people. Pictured are Michael, Dawn Hagerty and Alexandra!
Sister Cecilia of Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate & Mary “run into” one another. Sister is originally from Brazil;

Mary asks “Do you remember me?”

Sister asks:

“was your uncle Cristofer a priest in my Brazil?”

Yes, Sister.



Sister asks:

“Did you have an uncle, Father Paul, in Rome?”

Yes, Sister.


Sister asks:

“Are you that little girl, Marusa, from 48 years ago who lived at our House in Rome?”

Yes, Sister.

Time is spent reminiscing about the childhood days.


That same evening: Ben joins us. We slip the Internet Access cable through the window so Ben can enjoy comfort, privacy and the outdoors.

But Ben figures it is a ‘take-out’ window and just keeps ordering one item after another!

He really didn’t do that; he is one of the nicest guys.

Monday, Labor Day Celebration at Janet’s! We all gather for a steak feast.

Tuesday, Sept. 7: we pack for 40 but only 16 for lunch today. Most have returned to their home villages to celebrate the Muslim Feast Days and the end of Ramadan. Orthodox Muslims observe their fast during their holy month of Ramadan. They do not eat or drink from dawn till dusk.

Wed.: Today is the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin and Holy Mass is at noon. Afterwards we rush to the 4 corners to serve lunch again. We pack some food extras into the food bags so that they will have enough for the next day.

We have placed blue papers into each bag and numbered them. After passing out the food we call out the numbers (20 have shown up); if we have running shoes they get that; else if we have their sizes in jeans they get that. For backup we have shorts.

Tomorrow is kind of like their Christmas!

Some fellows ask if we will come back tomorrow. No, we packed extra today.

Thu.: Then comes the holiday of Bairam, the Feast of Sacrifice, a major Muslim holiday, the reaffirmation of their commitment to Islam.This is the Muslim holiday of Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.

The dates of religious holidays are given on the Muslim lunar calendar. During these holidays stores, their banks, museums and institutions are closed for three days.

Our TV viewing is now down to one local station (for a number of reasons) and that channel is from Sarajevo. We need to call the TV serviceman. Periodically we see a TV display listing of the major villages and towns here and at what exact time each area celebrates the end of the fast.







Inquiries continue to be made as to whether we have a copy of the Homily given by Father Dennis in July of this year. His testimony has made such a wonderful impact on us and on others.

Sunday, Sept. 12: “Exultation of the Holy Cross” today. Croatian 11:00 Holy Mass on Mt. Krizevac this morning. No English Holy Mass at noon; that will be International.

Richard, son of our neighbor, Ted. We join the two of them for a trip to ńĆaplina and lunch at the Villa Rustica.

After a delicious meal we tour a little of the ruins.


John and Deidre are our ‘temporary neighbors’ here in Medjugorje.

Usually we can show the Medjugorje movie in the ‘prayer room’ in the garage area. Today we move the show into the garage.First arrivals get the benches. Overflow seating in the collapsible stools! We were filled (and thrilled)! Over 50 pilgrims enjoyed (we hope) the movie of “My Sweet Angels”

Sweet family. Sweet pictures.

Three generations here in Medjugorje!

SEPT. 14th, 2010: Catholic Spirit Daily has a liner today titled “Here’s a Priest!”

It turned out to be a write-up about one of our favorite priests and family; Father Mike Lightner!

Packed lunch for 45; 48 arrived (but we had brought backup).

Ivan divvied out tomatoes; Joseph the cucumbers, figs, peppers & grapes! We added to the pass out cheese, T-shirts & socks. One fellow asked, since we did not have shoes for him, could he have 50 KM to buy a pair!

Sept. 16: Eric has come to Medjugorje for a short trip; while here he caught a little lizard who had made his way to the 4th floor and into our living room!

And, naturally, the guys did not want to harm the little fellow.

Sept. 17th: We go to Janet’s storage area and do a pre sort.

Kathy & Mary join the pre-sorting club.

And Alma (Janet’s friend and translator) pitches in also.

The miracle at the waterfalls?

Well, no.

It didn’t quite happen the way the information was first made public.

Sister Emmanuel’s did a report.

Sept. 21, Tuesday 60 people today for lunch. Nurse, eye glasses, teeth, whatever they can get!

This fellow desperately needs new prescription glasses; we write down the information.

Friday we meet up with Teresa, Enda and Sister Muriel.


Friday is just starting. We are off to Mostar with Janet and Joseph and the two of us.

Here is Janet with the social worker student (new PR fellow) at the Holy Family Center in Mostar.

Bishop Ratko in Mostar is the head of the local branch of the Caritas Charity. This is similar to the Red Cross in the States and Caritas has been helping in Europe for decades. We see the Caritas trucks in the different areas where we have traveled.

This center is sponsored by Bishop Ratko and Caritas.

There are two great houses close by in this compound; one is for the treatment and housing of long term handicapped clients; the other is a psychiatric a day care center.

One of the nurses, one of the patients. Mary asks whether we can take a picture. The patient replies “yes you can”.

A neat hammock. Which of us will be the first to try it?

Mary; “crazy as a loon” or is that “crazy for this loom”?

We get “vidi mo se” (see you later) from the manager, Blazenko and two of the welcoming staff. High on their want list are nurses gloves, bandage wraps.

We will start collecting.

Dear Santa,

Please bring Medjugorje a trolley train like this one in Mostar. It should have the engine and 3 trailers. Mary has made cookies for you and I have put out a glass of sour cherry rakija (moonshine).

Bob and Mary

We ( Joseph, Mary and I )have a Saturday date with Vinka and Sima. That means home made rakija (moonshine), homemade wine (red and white), fresh figs, pastry wrapped cheese and meat items….

The ladies have a copy of Father Jakov’s newly published book honoring his father.

Sept. 28: Tuesday 58 for lunch today. Jerry and Mike (Wisconsin) helped distribute. Ben and Simona (from Lithuania) and Jerry and Mike helped pack.

Even bigger smiles after tasting Mary’s Ukrainian Plum cake!

We put a DVD in the TV and we all watched ‘My Sweet Angels’.The group shared really wonderful gifts and clothes for us to pass on to the needy here.

We had pictures of a couple of the families we deliver food and stuff to.

One of the families is to get a nice special gift; it is one of Joseph’s families who particularly touched the heart. We passed that gift on to Joseph to utilize during his next visit to them (we usually tag along for that family).

Do you recognize Slavenka with her new ‘hair style’. Slavenka was looking really neat and spiffy.

Her group were looking so very very happy!

And more pictures of the same happy group. We shall have to find out just why there are so many beautiful smiles!