2011 April

Well, we did not make it back on March 1st from the States as we had planned.
It was decided that Bob should have cataract surgery’ it was kind of overdue and we had heard that it only takes 15 minutes or so!
We had overlooked that there would be recovery time and then, after that, new glasses had to be prescribed.
So we had to change our return date.
We are glad to be back home!

Meghan and Zaid are surrounded by the
De Wilde family who have motored in from Belgium. Can you pick out Tony and Dominque ..and Julie and Karel and Alies?

Jan 2: Aedan and Liam are here in Medjugorje from Ireland.

Jan. 8th: Father Wally is here. Allison (sp?), Mary and Colette are readers at today’s Holy Mass.

John Joe Larkin and Joseph are in ‘chat mode’. Both are in apartments here in the village.

Jan 11: We make a holiday visit to the “Merciful Fathers House” at Mothers Village. The cooks are happy to see us and to get the treats that we brought along. Local custom is … one never goes empty handed when visiting…

Jan. 12: Our journey to the States starts! We stay overnight near the airport at a hotel in Trogir, Croatia (only a few minutes from the Split airport).

A view from our window at the Hotel Trogir Palace.

Off season so there is little activity in the area; good for us.

But scarcely a place to eat.


Hey, we are in Baltimore; The Hotel has a courtyard and we have a ‘birds eye view’ to spot ‘Happy Hour” the minute it starts!

The “kids” come to greet us and to stay for a while! This is son Steve (the youngest) and wife, Donna.


And we are so glad also to see son, Bill, who has motored down from Owego, NY. It takes a real event to get Bill to come ‘out of his town”!


And son, Dan, who has picked us up at the airport and will be loaning us his auto! We will break it to him shortly.

Dan is on the left; the chick is Vivian.
(Both are single)!

One of the main reasons we arrived in Baltimore! Vivian is 90 on Feb 3rd and Mary has been “like a daughter” for many of those years.
We will celebrate with her.


Oh, oh. We wake up to a major snowfall! A noon doctor’s appointment; we gotta figure a strategy.

We are spending some time in between eye doctor visits in Virginia at Dan’s place. Delightful!

The oldest son, Mike, is in good spirits. Sometimes the weather is good, sometimes it is not. (it helps by our traveling down to Virginia)

Middle part of February.
Florida is calling! Mary’s brother (Gabriel) and his son (Ivan) are already in Florida having flown down from Toronto, Canada. We expected to be there to greet them but we are delayed.
They find a motel in Naples and rent bicycles from “Bikes by the Week”.
They manage beautifully!

We borrow Dan’s car and Mary is behind the wheel! We utilize the GPS and manage to find our way down to Father’s parish. Father Bernie has been transferred to Sarasota two years ago but is still unable to sell his condo in Naples.
Gabriel and Ivan will join us and we get to utilize the condo (and the County Club Restaurant)! Thank you Father.

Feb. 26: Bob is recuperating in the shade. The cataract surgery went well but not eligible yet for glasses!

Dinner at the Club! Sounds great. One evening we get turned away; Bob has worn his pretty sharp (?) cargo pants. Shorts are allowed but not ‘those! We were looking forward to a Subway sandwich anyway. Sure.

Maricia has joined us for lunch at the country club.

Bob has picked up a pair of pants from WalMart so we all hope they let us in.

They did.

Father B. and a visiting priest motor down from Sarasota and we meet at the Turtle Restaurant. Really neat.
Father has a gift card for a portion of the eats but we are told it has expired.
Mary goes to work on that task and it gets accepted.


We are on our way back to Maryland for the second optical appointment. Nephew Andrew is scheduled to be in Hollywood, Florida for a business conference. We think that is on the way. We spend a few delightful hours with him to learn all the latest news about his life and work.

3/13 After the Florida trip, we fly to Wichita to spend a week with Bob’s sister, Peggy, and 2 out of 4 of her kids.

Peggy’s family join in for a family photo.

A birthday party! We get invited because, after all, it is for Mary’s birthday!

Bob gets to try out nephew Joey’s recent Bugatti purchase.

And then back to Virginia, back to Baltimore, back to the airport and, yes, back to Bosnia & Hercegovina!

We get picked up at the Split airport by Ivan in his newly acquired car.

And I see that my camera is now having problems; I Google it and it apparently is caused by dust or grit on the ‘shaft tunnel’!

Advice is to shake it before using!

That does not help.


A swastika had been painted on the local school building in 2009! It has remained there for all this time.

It was brought to the attention of the local Franciscans in Nov. 2010 and we see now that it has finally been painted over! Thank you for whom ever prompted the removal.

It is the local Medjugorje state run public school; too bad there are no Catholic schools here.

April 6: We are in time!

Each year we have managed to attend the Mostar International Expo. We look for new products and new ideas. Part of the expo is devoted to literature.

Suzanne, in America has funded the purchase of these books (and food) for Gordon’s family here; we are happy to pass these on.

Time to start our seasonal food deliveries to help some needy families.

No one home at this stop. We leave the gifts at the door. Here at Gordon’s family we have spent the allotted funds on the books and not so much on the food. They have a good work ethic, goats, pigs and chickens.

Slavenka and the kids are happy to see us. We are off to the back yard to see the pregnant cow.

Joseph usually sponsors this family and helps to keep them going. Joseph is in the States right now so we pitch in.

Joseph has left funds.

Bob, Vince (an Australian pilgrim), Niki and Teresa line up for a photo shoot. It’s good to see Niki sitting up.

Niki can no longer walk, but gets around by crawling on the floor.

Visiting this family always gives us a lift in spirit; they are so very positive!

Janja always has a joke or two to share and makes us laugh.

We have made an appointment with Father Rajko in Stolac and so we stop in.

Vince is to meet with his brother next week in Dubrovnik and his brother enjoys “sweet wine”. We do not know what to recommend so we ask Father. Father has a bottle!!! Father presents it to Vince!!! Vince is thrilled!

Our ‘stop bys’ include the two sisters. Ivan usually tries to stay out of sight but he has to carry some of the food in. The girls, especially Jelka are always so very glad to see him (and us).

They want to know when are we coming to fix the roof?

April 19: Oh, oh. An Irish person who comes to Medjugorje quite regularly and who has bought a flat in a building in this area almost 5 years ago.
Papers in hand, the person goes to the Deeds Office in Citluk to pick up the ownership papers.
But…the maybe owner is informed at the Deeds Office that the “Ugovor” submitted refers only to the setting up of a corporation needed by foreigners.
The building permit has never been registered! They have only a vacant field at that site! Disappointing.

April 21: We get to go for a tour of the new Hospice of Divine Mercy. It is not yet completed; work is ongoing; but the Chapel stained glass windows are in and are certainly beautiful. We are so “in awe” of the work being done by Sister Muriel and Mary Walsh.

We snap a picture of what will be the welcoming/lobby area.

Another ‘work in progress’; replacing the Stations of the Cross situated around the Risen Christ Bronze has been completed!. They are beautiful!


We make a visit to the Holy Family Center and the Nazareth House in Mostar.
Greeted warmly by Sister Krunoslava, (operations manager), we hear that Nurse Smilja is in the hospital with surgery scheduled for today. We pray that everything will be OK.

Anne and Barry have given us a guitar to donate to the Nazareth House; we need to pick up other musical things and take a bunch there.

Sister had made out a list of needs for us to look over.

One of the much needed items is Dulcolax; we recognize that immediately.
We say something like “oh that, we can find that; that will be nothing hard”.
I am sure the two houses use boxes and boxes of that item.

As Sister Kata says “when it’s a gift of love, it is something”!

This is the Meds list; a list that will always need refilling!

We will go shopping; if you would like translation or more information then please email us at


Then there is a musical instrument list, a kitchen needs list and a bed equipment list!

Easter time means Easter eggs! The winner this year has to be this egg with the church and Medugorje in ‘gold’; thank you Sima and Vinka.


The really big egg painted by Croatian artists is on display at the front of the church.

Pictured with permission of Mike Stanton.

Easter time means more ‘good eggs”; the DeWilde family from Belgium. Their participation at the English Holy Mass as musicians, altar servers, readers and greeters is greatly appreciated!

May 1st: First Holy Communion Altar Cloth;

“I am the bread of life”


Our Blessed Mother has been joined by an old admirer, a picture of Blessed Pope John Paul II.

The shrubbery occluding the Chapel has been removed; it look much more visible.


THE ‘Yellow Building’ has been renamed and new signage has been added to point to the Hall!