2013 September


Last part of August. We have been searching for a car for this Serbian family. Tanja, by assisting at the summer school has saved some funds; can we find a car for that; they will be looking also.We all have been looking for weeks.

No, an adequate car can not be found for that amount; we shall have to add more.

In the evening we are heading for evening confession and we run into Teresa and Christine Georgotas, the producer of the DVD, “QUEEN OF PEACE”!We are reminded that Christine is a friend of Ben who introduced her to us two or so years ago. Ben was helping us to make sandwiches and put food bags together for the day workers just outside of Medjugorje.

Christine had offered to help and we could always use another person at the deli.

So we chat.Christine would like to follow us around for a day to see what we are doing this week.


Christine will bring along a couple extra ‘video guys’.

Oh, OK.

We arrive at the camp in Capljina to find a new group has moved in; will they stay? We do not know but they are hungry also. We have food in the car which was going to go to multiple destinations but it looks as though these families have need of it.
Mary gets right into the discussions of hopes and wants and needs; or as Pope Francis puts it “listen to needs, desires and disappointments, despair and hope”.


We see the kids are shoeless here and we have brought some shoes that we are sure will fit some. The shoes are new and include Spiderman shoes! Delightful!
We find a few people who are tucked away in the back; this fellow is crippled and finds it difficult to speak.
And a brother and sister; one has epilepsy, both are nearly blind.
Can you get me some of this?

(Tegretol, Equetro) is an anticonvulsant and mood-stabilizing drug used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and bipolar disorder, as well as trigeminal neuralgia.


We explain that we have to check whether and where the person who needs this med is registered. We may be able to get a medical card which might lower the cost of this very drastically.
Oh, oh, someone has said “Hello Robert”. We have met Svetlana before and her brother is also named Robert!
This young girl, Olga, stands out; we inquire and find that Olga is the daughter of Darija who lives in the camp on the ground of the psych hospital. Olga goes to grade 4 in the Caplina area.
That is our next stop, the grounds of the psych hospital. We finally meet Grandmother who also lives there.
Yes, Darija says, “Olga is my daughter. Can’t you see the resemblance”.We can.
We have stopped at the local market and restocked the trunks of the cars. The kids each grab two apples; Ana may or may not share.
and then to the camp at Stolac.
Christine’s enthusiasm for the group shines through!
Pasionka has had her third child; delivered to the world in the deep ravine next to the camp. Zorica has been the main midwife.The ambulance had been called but it takes some time to arrive; the baby arrived first.
Pasionka and Safet are happy to show the bundled up child ‘not yet named’ and we all share the parents’ happiness.
Such love between the mother and child. Beautiful. The entire group gathers to find a name for the child.and we later find that the name may be AZI.
We exit the home; Mary takes Bob’s hand as they do the navigation. Ezel watches so that no on gets hurt.
And Mary, in turn, is helped by Adla.
Amela and Adla want a ‘private talk’ with Mary so they head away from the group.
Behara questions “am I going to school or not”?Mama had gotten an OK from Mary for the 30 KM a month fee for pre school.

On our return visit after coming back from the States we find that Behara is not in school; that the fee changed to 100 KM a month and mama thought that too much; food and firewood could be bought for the whole family for that kind of money.

Sanel, Joseph and Christine. A few of us go into Stolac to meet with Sanel and to thank him for his help with the local group. Sanel channels our donations to ensure that the kids going to school will have lunches.
Sept. 27, 2013 Yeh, we are back home in Medjugorje!Anything happen while we were away?
While,,,yeh.We hear that our pastor, Father Marinko and his provincial, Father Miljenko have been invited to the Vatican for a meeting this October 10th. The meeting will be with Pope Francis.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this leads to the declaration of St. James Church in Medjugorje to be a shrine?

Ezra 4:11 Our Bishop in Mostar makes a monthly report to the Vatican concerning the parishes in his care; surely the Medjugorje situation with the Franciscans must be referred to. Now there is a rumor out there that that monthly report is to go to one of the Franciscans stationed here in Medjugorje.Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this would open a meaningful dialogue?
And at the old house of Vicka (visionary) a statue of our Blessed Mother has mostly turned luminous. This house has been open to pilgrims before this latest event and this same statue has been there for 30 or so years. Suddenly it has started lighting up that room.

Our Blessed Mother had promised a sign “after the harvest”; maybe that has occurred as the grapes are mostly picked and processed.


The statue shines again last night! Ten thousand people gathered in front of the house!
Devil throwing fiery dart at man behind shieldThis sign has attracted many (thousands) of both pilgrims and locals (including many of the young locals).

A local lady commented how good it was that the neighborhood has gathered to pray just like 32 years ago.

We were told by a lady pilgrim who we know that she and two others have gone to see the statue. She and one other saw the light. Then they prodded the third person to go to confession; go to Holy Mass and receive Communion and go to Adoration. They returned to the statue that evening and all three saw the light! But on Sept 29th we hear that a Franciscan priest has taken the statue away and will be forwarding it to the Vatican or have specialists come to check it out; maybe it is a sign from God; maybe not.

Kind of odd because only the robe glows.

We hear that Vicka has said recently that she saw a beautiful angel on the path in Medjugorje but that when she got closer she could see the eyes were pools of flame. Vicka blessed herself and the vision disappeared.

And a Muslim fellow, Salko Balavac, 80 years of age, reported from the hospital in Mostar that he has seen a vision of a beautiful lady (he has named her Barbie) suspended in air between the twin towers of the Medjugorje church (he had seen the church on TV); that she stayed there for a while and then moved slowly away saying “I am going to save people” and later saying “the barricades are down”.He credits that vision with a recovery of his eyesight, appetite and his memory.

Salko reports that his life has changed.

We will try and visit with Salko when we are in Stolac.


UPDATE: This one did not work out as good; the fellow’s family is kind of upset and is commenting that this did not really happen and so we shall just do a wait and see on this.

salko balavac muslim sees virgin mary our lady mostar hospital


And we have seen a report about Kiera, a girl of probably 14 years now who has been coming to Medjugorje with family.We am thinking that it was two years ago in the winter that Kiera altar served at Mass in the chapel.

Terminal cancer; might be but Kiera was fighting and willing for it to go either way. “Worse that could happen? she will be with Jesus sooner”!


Now we hear that Kiera has had a miraculous healing! We have been including Kiera in our prayer through Saint Peregrine on a daily basis. Many, many others have been praying for Kiera also; Father Kevin has been mentioning her courage in his homilies.Diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in the winter of 2010; Kiera and family came to Medjugorje and have returned again.

Kiera at age 11 was favored with the vision of the sun here in Medjugorje as have many others. She video’d that experience and it is posted on the internet at


This is such a good video of what we do experience here.

Marge, Marian, Bob, Pat and Dorothy get their picture taken by Mary.It’s a surprise (to us) visit by this group from Canada (there are at least 4 Canadian groups right now in Medjugorje).

Welcome Manitoba!

Chuck and June are here from the Philly area and we interact with them a bit; we wish for more interaction; maybe they will be back.
Linda and Tom are both from Canada; such a joy to be in either of their company.Welcome Nova Scotia and others from New Brunswick!
We spot Norma, Ann and Cynthia outside of the church and rush over to say hello.Norma and Cynthia are from Ontario, welcome!
Fra Marinko Sakota

St. James pastor

Fra Viktor Kosir
Fra Karlo Lovric Fra Ivan Dugandzic

Fra Mladen Herceg Fra Dragan Ruzic
Fra Ivan Landeka Fra Stanko Cosic
Brother Josip Marija Katalinic These 9 images were taken from the current issue of the Medjugorje magazine, GLASNIK MIRA
Darek and Bob have a snort of ‘Irish Mist’, a most delicate drink (that’s the whiskey talking).

We are surprised to find it at our little neighborhood store; last time we saw it; it seemed to originate in Serbia.

This time it seems genuine; either one was fine.

The lady pilgrim shared a beautiful white sweater with our needy; Maureen always shares during her frequent visits; Joseph can always be counted on.
Julie was so happy to find our eager hands outstretched for her wonderful gifts.
Bob and Patrick. Patrick and spouse Jane are frequent visitors to Medjugorje. Patrick amazes us by his frequent, frequent hikes up the two mountains!
Friday is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi; what shall we do special?We head for the farmers market in Capljina.

We fill the trunk.

We go shopping at the local store. We buy bananas & apples & peanuts & candy & chocolate cake bar & good pate spread & bread (& plastic knives) & milk & cheese.

Joseph and we two bag the food items (Joseph actually picks up the bread around 6 AM).

Tom Lamey (a favorite pilgrim), Joseph, Mary and Rashim (a hard working Muslim fellow who we have known and helped for years).
We load up two cars and are at the distribution area before 7 AM!Here Joseph and Anne are starting to move into high speed.
Tom has the food trunk opened and is ready for the rush; a bit over 50 fellows.We are at the 4 corners area just outside Medjugorje; the area where the mostly Muslim day workers line up hoping to get hired for the day (or a half day or for an hour).

Many fellows greet us as their friends as we did this food pass out for 5 years; it is nice to get re acquainted.

Tom is very welcoming and out going; I will bet his buddy is thinking “hey, Tom is about my size”.One of the cars has all shoes (and socks and hats). Bob handles the size listings and is busily pointing to Mary and repeating “ne znam” (I don’t know).
Bob & Mary hunt for an asked for shoe size; it is mostly “pass that bag” and hope they get the type of shoe they wish for.
This fellow is showing Tom his Rosary; many of the Muslims revere the Blessed Mother and were frequently pilgrims on Apparition Hill before the war here.
We snap Barry (supruga (husband)) of Ann) busting away from the crowd for a minute.
Mary & Bob are kind of hemmed in; a wonderful time.
Not enough shoes for everyone so we note names and mobile phone numbers and shoe size.We will call as we receive those sizes.

The sizes most sought after are from 8 (42) through 11 (46); the type is running shoes. Nobody minds if they have been used.

It is getting colder; do we have jackets or pants?

We have a few and will schedule those gifts.

We have been friends for almost 8 years.Our eyes sometimes tear up whenever we ride past these fellows on the corner; they wave; they nod; they remember us so fondly.
The ‘little flower’ is surrounded (happily).
This fellow is a big fellow; we have brought shoes to fit him and he wants a picture with Mary and his new shoes! He reminds us he has the picture we took years ago when Tom especially found his size shoes in Canada and surprised all when he brought them.

Now this fellow also wants a suit with a tie; do we have anything like that?

He has to go to a wedding; “no, Mary, it is not my wedding”.

We have found a second bag of socks and Mary heads with the bag across the road to a group who received shoes but no socks.
Son and his father. ” We are a team”.The son, however, has a few problems. He had fathered a girl who is now 4 and 1/2 Years old (we knew about this and had helped early on). His daughter is living with his mother and she needs clothes (and probably much more).

He looks kind of rough but is a good guy; we anticipate helping with the teeth at some point.

We are back at the church in time for the 8 am Holy Mass.The statue of St. Francis had been brought to the front of the altar three days before to remind us of that short Novena.
We had bought food and prepared bags for 80 to 100 fellows so we do have some items left over.

Some of the food and milk is taken to the Home for Unwed Mothers; this used to be connected to Mothers Village but now and for the last 5 years we hear that they are on their own. A couple of the mothers ask Mary for a special milk for their baby; we go shopping and find some.

Not only Catholic babies but Muslim and Serbian babies also.

This is John at 3 months and he is probably looking forward to a good stiff drink.


The home is “MAJKA KRISPINA” and the house features some very unique handmade items, so different from the usual items offered by the stores in Medjugorje.
The sales help keep the home viable; items are mostly made by the mothers.
Joseph has zeroed in on a particular stone slab.