2011 October

Father Graham and Mary have a chat

about good old Canada.

Oct. 2: Pilgrim friends (Mike & Peggy Mobley) are back and catching up with the news from their (and ours) friend, Janet.!Peggy & Janet went to school together!

Oct. 5: We snap a picture of Monsignor Steffen (USA) as he was chatting with one of the pilgrims.

Oh, oh. Father Dan has fallen on the mountain and now has a severe lower back injury. The Holy Mass on Sunday, Oct. 9 has been offered for Father Dan along with many, many prayers from locals and fellow pilgrims.

Oct. 7: Father Mike (orange shirt) talks with Mary and Steve through Sister Catherine, as the interpreter.

And later, in the afternoon, we go with Joseph to one of his favorite families. We stop at the grocery store and Joseph buys flour and oil etc., etc. The family is large & goes through a 55 pound (25 Kilo) bag of flour in 2 weeks. Joseph has been helping this family for quite some time. Slavica is at home with 5 of the children; tata is off working or off trying to find work.
Excitement greets us! “Marica, Marica!! we have a new brother”! And then a whisper;

and his name is Josip!!!

Meet the newest Croatian guy on the Bosnia & Herzegovina block!

He’s my brudder!

Oct. 12: Father Michael is here from Liverpool, England.
Oct. 13: Father Damien, a Carmelite, was principal celebrant today and gave a beautiful and thought provoking homily. Father dedicated the Holy Mass to ‘Mary’s Meals’; a Humanitarian org. His homily included references to his climb up Mt. Krizevac and how his group was the silent inspiration for him to ‘make it’!

Oct. 14: It’s that time of year! The local school (no, it is a State school; not a Catholic school) is having the annual baked goods sale as they celebrate Harvest Day!

Kata (far left) and class mates offer us home made goods.

Mario has arrived too late in the afternoon; he (and his mom) have missed the bake sale; Mario has missed looking over the potential brides. But so many friends and pilgrims have pitched in and this family is mobile again; the car has been repaired; the insurance purchased and all is looking good!

Oct. 15: Vinka & Sima have us over for home made goodies including 4 types of Rakija (moonshine).

Oct. 16: Plans are being made; it’s Alexandra taking notes from Father Joseph, (Denver, CO), a Vietnamese born priest, the main celebrant at the October 17th Holy Mass.

(Brother in law, Mr. Chau Tran, has emailed us some pictures; two are shown later).

Suzanne, sister of our friend, Christine (of Christine & Anthony ) is here for a bit and is volunteering at Nancy & Patrick’s.

Oct. 18: Penny was successful in bringing Steven, his nurse and a group of his police friends to celebrate Holy Mass on a sunny Oct. day.

Oct. 19: Ivan, a great tour guide! and now the “president” of the tour guides association here in Medjugorje!

Oct 22: Iva, our University student is home for the weekend.

It’s official!!

Iva has a university ID number!

Tom and his group have arrived; Tom is showing off the donated sweaters that his group brought (a lady in Canada had won these and decided to send them to us for two needy children here), but Mary is busy rejoicing about getting Tim Horton coffee.

Jimmy and friends carried there boots all over Europe and this was their last stop. Two lucky men will get these new steel toe boots. Size 47!

Oct. 23: Beautiful sunny day in Medjugorje; Father Mark is distributing Holy Communion on the outside.

Father Mark, Tom, Jim and more of the group discussing the organizing of the Mass readers.

Father Orbis, a Philippine Missionary priest stationed in Australia, is chatting with Mary and Ivana the tour guide (now if I can just get Mary to move to the left).

Father Orbis is having his picture taken with the pilgrims from Australia and the Philippines.

And after Holy Mass we go and spend some quality time in a restaurant with our friends, Joe and Smilja.

( We get invited to Thanksgiving dinner at their house )!

Oct. 24: Monsignor Edw. Weber (NYC area) is here and there is an ‘open’ day for Monsignor to celebrate Holy Mass. Whenever a Bishop or Monsignor (or higher) visits Medjugorje, the Church allows them to be the main celebrant at any day of their choosing!

Oct. 25: Monsignor Weber’s group is ready to go!

That’s Fr. Mark getting some feedback from a pilgrim.

Ilija, a Merciful Fathers graduate ( one of Father Svet’s missions ) is manning the Sacristy door and is wonderful at keeping order. Thank you Ilija.

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Oct. 25: Special Day! Today is when we hear the message from our Blessed Mother!

Today is the ‘town hall meeting’ for local Americans who live in Bosnia & Hercegovina, at the new American Embassy in Sarajevo!

Scheduled for 3:00 and Mary and I will be there!

Janet and Father Svet are driving up early about 9:00. Mary has to co-ordinate at the 10:00 Holy Mass so we will leave after that.

Boris, our friend and Department Head of the Immigration Office in Mostar has also been invited as a featured guest speaker!


Patrick S. Moon, U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia & Herzegovina will give us an update on the political situation.

Oct. 26: Father Benny (Ireland) told a good story in his homily this morning; “It happened in the old Yugoslavia, people were gathered in the church; the door opened and in came a crazy man carrying a shotgun. The man cried out; who wants to die for their faith today? Almost half of the congregation hurried out before the man could close and lock the doors. He then went up to the altar and laid his gun down; turned around to those still remaining and said; now that all the hypocrites have left we can continue with the Rosary”!Jim Brown is the group leader, but he has become ill and missed out on Fr. Benny’s Holy Mass. Jim, our prayers are with you.



Oct. 26: Tom Lamey and part of his pilgrim group bring wonderful gifts for the poor to our door (we will distribute).

We are astonished, tearful and grateful.

Thank you so very much for these and the other marvelous gifts. You are making a lot of poor people very happy.

The group is shopping for food to share with the poor.

The guys are going to carry the heavy stuff.

Then we head deeper into the hills!

The family: three of the daughters, Dragica, & Mile (Melay) enjoy having their picture taken with Jim.

Mile has been so thankful for the donation of the auto; it has gotten him to the hospital for his chemo treatments; he has one more to go; please keep him and his family in your prayers.

I (Bob) have somewhat bonded with Mile and I always try to slip any available funds to him as the head of the family. I think he likes that.

Mile listens to the Holy Mass on the radio so we say “here is some money for the collection” and he smiles. Mile is blind (diabetic, stroke, cancer).

The workers in the family; it is still such a great memory; our arriving 4 or so years ago to find all the women making cement to build the new house addition.

Silvia gets a Canadian sweat shirt for a Birthday present. Every one is happy for her!

Daughter Antonia has made some money and so arranged a trip for her mother to a blessed site in the north of Bosnia. While there Dragica purchased a blue hanky and had it blessed. Her intention was that it be a gift to Mary and Bob who she credits with doing God’s work in helping her family. She presented it and was thanked. Later Mary passed on the blue hanky to one of the pilgrim ladies inasmuch as the pilgrims help us so very much with our mission.

Then a stop is made at Jagoda’s to chat a little, to drop off some soft food and to share some prayers.

Jagoda’s water supply is nearly gone; we see the reflection of the tree in the bottom of the barrel. We will need to return sooner than we thought.

A happier visit at the next house; pictures are passed around of the daughter’s (Danjela) baby; the family is proud.

Carmel, Catherine, Mary, and Linda are expressing their congratulations!

Mario has found himself a new hat; a new image; a new friend.

You go, cowboy!

The 4th food drop off is at the two sisters; Ankica and Jelka. Jimmy asked to swap Rosary with Jelka. Jelka had rosaries wrapped around the chair arm and picked the largest and perhaps the one she likes the best; “that one is from Medjugorje and has been blessed by my priest”. She told Jimmy to keep his Rosary or to give it to someone else; that she has plenty. Jimmy told Jelka that now he knows that when she dies he will have a Saint praying for him in Heaven. Jelka told Jimmy; ” God made all of us Saints but we have fallen by the way we live our lives”. Tearful.

(Pretty good from a lady who never had a day of school).


But Jelka does have her eye on a watch that is hanging from Jim’s belt; maybe she could have that; they do not have anything to tell time with! Jim presents it; Mary notes that Jelka has it upside down and cautions her that the numbers are too small; that they will have trouble seeing the numbers. Jelka agrees and gives it back. Jim later leaves funds with Mary to buy a clock for the ladies….we will.


Jelka has made another friend; how beautiful!

Jelka has a good memory and will be asking about these pilgrims when ever we return.

Time for reflection; time to depart.

Jelka will be asking us; “where do all these wonderful people come from”?

In Canada, Linda had ‘checked out’ our website, printed a picture of these two sisters and brought gifts for each …. and then some!


The new ‘clothes line’ is being used! The clothes pins are still in the house and that probably needs a little more explanation as to what they are for.

Catherine and Sabah come join us at our apartment; we are so grateful for the repeated acts of charity.

Oct. 28: Father Fred Harvey is here with a group of pilgrims from ND, USA.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina — A man opened fire with an automatic weapon outside the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia on Friday, and authorities said he was targeting the building in a terrorist attack.The man injured at least one police officer guarding the embassy before police surrounded him. After a 30-minute standoff, the sound of a single shot echoed and the shooter slumped to the ground.

Police arrested the wounded man.



Mary and Sister Vitalia get a photo op. Sister is now part of the Sacristy team.

That’s Slavenka (tour guide) in the background.

Teresa (a good Irish friend) is here for a very short while. Teresa has been working in Canada but now is returning for a bit to Ireland.

Mary is still doing the announcements. Only about two more weeks and Father Kevin will be returning and he will take over.


(Photo courtesy of Mr. Chau Tran)

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A classic picture; I love it!

A group in the choir box; they could be looking at the Miracle of the Son!

Oh, they’re singing the hymn depicted on the screen.

(Photo courtesy of Mr. Chau Tran)

We are looking forward to November for, among other happenings, our good friend, Mike Stanton, will be here. We are hoping to spend some good time with Mike.

Mike Stanton has just started his own web site and it is well worth checking out and favortizing!