|May 28 (Wed.):
Aggie and Allison are shopping for grocery items at the Konzum store for this afternoon’s passing out of food bags for the “day workers” (mostly Muslim) at the four corners area.
Bob has asked the group to ‘be on the look out’ for this fellow; one of the day workers has really fallen on hard times; coping by drinking a bit when he has a couple of bits.He is at a favorite spot and we know he is hoping. A trip is made back into the store to buy a sandwich and a yogurt drink.
He is told to be sure and ‘line up’ at 5:00 in the afternoon because food bags are to be passed out!
|A stop is made at the Kay Center. This home for unwed mothers asks for baby clothes; shortly an assortment is gathered together and delivered along with pre-natal vitamins, bananas etc.While there Allison and Aggie do some shopping in the Gift Store.
|Still time to make a trip to the Stolac Roma camp to say ‘Hi” to the kids and their families!|
|Sanel has agreed to meet the group and to handle any translations.First task is to visit the newest trailer; did it work out? Was it presentable?
Mirisad and Malena are not at home so Gabriela does the escorting.
|Martha Stewart must have stopped by and helped with the decorating!|
|Such a wonderful gift for this family; thank you Sarah R.|
|The bags have been ‘assembled’ in the basement garage; shavers, soap and a few other items have been added; the line up is to begin at 5!|
|Well it is not that big a car; it would never, never hold seven of those big guys, would it?It would!|
|And our problem child is in the line up; he is happy; we all are happy.|
|Kristijen is here for the bag and first thing is that he wants to know whether he has missed Tom?Well, yea, but it is agreed that it is wonderful that he has work!|
|May 29th:Dennis, Allison, Aggie and Jelka pose for a shot.
Jelka has come for the Medjugorje Mass; tells Mary that her (Jelka’s) heart has been so very heavy; that she just had to come to find out why.
|5/30:More sorting; more gathering; more planning.
It is Friday so the AATEAM (and Joseph) will coordinate with Dijana to meet at Jelka’s and then the two sisters.
First stop is at Dragica and daughters. Funds are sent to pay two of the daughters for their weekly trip to the two sisters, Anica and Ilka.
Dragica offers a tour, especially the greenhouse; it should be a bountiful year.
|Some of the crop is shared each week with the two sisters.|
|Jelka and Aggie share a bench and maybe struggle with sharing thoughts.|
|Joseph must have brought a hose; this has been on the ‘wish list’!|
|Anica is concerned and maybe wondering “who are all these people?”.|
|Jelka and Aggie share laughter; Mario joins in although it may very well be that the ladies are trying to ‘fix him up”.|
|Ilka has baked bread this morning; she has now taken it out of the oven; it is safe on the floor; now to tip it over, wait and enjoy.|
|Tea Time! Dijana is here; is peeling a banana and has set the table (chair) very properly.|
|Excitement!What could be in the bag?|
|The sisters ask all the guests to excuse them while they enjoy the food. Friday so the sisters will put away the meat until tomorrow (or maybe save it for the Sunday meal).|
|5/31 Saturday: Lucian Sobanski is here now along with Mom and Dad; we are going to accomplish a lot of tasks which we tend to put off.|
|John F. is here this week; John is involved with an organization called MGA (Mass Goers Association) and shared some information on it with us! We have shared the information with others here.|
The kids are leaving the nest again! We bid good day to Aggie and Allison; they have packed the boxes; wish we could go.
We marvel at the delightful picture frames which will be passed out today along with ‘on the scene’ portraits; the printer plugs into the car cigarette lighter!
|The kids!Angels of the day.
Angels of the week.
Angels of the Month!They will be ‘making memories’ today for the children at the Stolac Romani camp!
It may be a pleasant day that all of the kids, big and little, will treasure for the rest of their lives!
|The Painter is in!|
|What do you mean?
Isn’t that make-up?
Did Mary say it is OK?Well, all right.
|Look! Up in the sky!Stand back!
I will take care of him!
|I’ll go for it even if Mary did not say it is OK.|
|Ok. It brought a big smile to my face and I do feel kind of suave.|
|Could you make me dashing and more irresistible?|
|Did you all notice all of our new clothes that Aggie and Allison, our very best friends, have brought for us?|
|Well, it could be Spiderboy!|
|I do feel very special.|
|I do hope they are right when they say that alligators do not bite little boys.|
|You can make me even more glamorous?|
|You did it!|
|Now that Aunt Mediha has found and married her fellow, I might be the style setter here from now on.|
|I do prefer this low key approach; who could resist it?|
|Zorica & Sevki and their 6 children pose for a before!|
|The children plus Dean plus Allison plus Dijana get together for an ‘after’ picture. The pictures have been printed and framed!Maybe there will be a ‘show and tell’ afternoon at the school?|
|The children take turns learning English and having their homework checked by Aggie.|
|Dijana gets to work one on one with Dean.|
|A full day for Aggie and Joseph and it is not over yet!|
she chops the wood;
she brings in an income of sorts.
|Bisera is also looking happy and healthy.|
|Zeljana and mama Dijana are here at the camp every Saturday morning to be “Mother’s helpers” with the school work.|
|Aggie and Allison have made sandwiches; some peanut butter and jelly; some meat and cheese.Yummy!|
|The little black dog has had some babies. Now they are old enough to come out from hiding and to be really appreciated by Joseph and others.|
|June 1st, Sunday: Today we get to celebrate Sandra’s birthday (she has one every year).
It will be at Sandra and Zenofy’s and we will all help to make and bring the food.
|Joseph has brought flowers for the birthday girl; very thoughtful; very Joseph.|
|We get to sing ‘Happy Birthday’!|
|Even better; we get to eat!|
|It was a good meal.It was a good afternoon!|
|June 2: The Humanitarian Concert is to be held tonight at 8:30! This is for the benefit of the flooded victims in the northern part of this country.David Parkes will be singing; Jakov Colo (visionary) will be singing; Melinda Dumitrescu will be dazzling us with her violin playing; there will be the Queen of Peace and the Friend’s choirs and surprise guests.
|This was going to be in the yellow hall but there is a lot of interest and the weather is beautiful so it is outside!|
Mary snaps a picture of one of the priests taking a picture of some of the other priests! Father Joseph T. from Denver (center) is celebrating his 10th year in the priesthood!
|59 Years as a Priest!We are so blessed to have Father Johnston (retired & assigned to St. Michaels Church) as the main celebrant this morning!
June 4, 2014 is the 59th year!
Thank you Father for this spiritual gift and sharing it with Medjugorje!
|Sandy, Allison (top), Aggie and Gene Steratore will be helping us this week with visits to some of the families we serve.|
The concert goers enjoyed a full evening; we enjoyed listening from our balcony! We thought donations might amount to as much as 5000 Euros; the concert goal was for 10,000 Euros.The ‘count’ last night was 35,000 Euros ($49,000)!
A special thanks to all English speaking pilgrims for your generosity!
St. James Church will use these funds to help the flooded victims in the north of the country.
|June 4: And this morning there are more wonderful priests on the St. James altar.
The main celebrant is from South Africa and is assisted by his two companion priests.
|Wed., June 4:
Aggie has brought us an envelope from America; Gene S. has given us an envelope!
We have enough to ask Aggie, Allison, Sandy and Joseph to go out & shop for a wood burning stove for the family in Stolac (Janja, Teresa and Niki).
They go from village to village and finally end in Mostar at the MegaMkt. There, an 800 KM stove (with a right hand piping outlet) has been offered to the group for 600 KM with free delivery!
|June 5:Hay there!
We look down from our balcony; the grass has been cut; laid out to dry; turned over and now heading for the barn.
|Pat T. has arrived! So good to see her again.Thanks to you, Pat, and your friends for your gifts to our local poor and needy.|
|Today the ‘group’s’ mission is to go to Domanovici and interact with the three families there! First stop will be at the grocery store; a shopping list has been figured.|
|Sketch pads in different sizes are delivered along with other stuff to the 2nd floor family;
Tila and her brother, Marijan, will be sketching samples of Medjugorje landmarks; maybe that could lead to a commercial use.
|Aisa and family have moved their home from the Capljina village dumping area to the third floor in the building.|
|Mama Rabija shares a time with Sandy and Aggie.|
|Marko has some papers and some receipts to show Joseph; Joseph will share them with Bob and Mary (and anyone else who wants to check it out).Both of us dreamed last night that we should do a hefty funding for Marko’s projects; it could lead to create a limited income for 10 of the adults perhaps enabling them to establish health and retirement benefits.
So the group is bringing an envelope for Marko.
|‘Chairing against the red van is Joseph, Sandy and Gene.Working is Allison; the unfinished ‘canvas’ is Ajlana.|
|Ajlana is transformed!|
|Ana may or may not be anxiously waiting for her turn ‘under the brush!|
|What do you think? Lets take a vote!|
|Gene has voted YES!Is that Alaxander and has he voted?|
|Snjezana gives it a ‘big toe UP!|
|And then… more challenges! The picture frames are to be decorated and then the printed photos of each of the ‘subjects are inserted!YEH!|
|We sum all the votes up and we find it has been a success; a day to remember for the rest of our lives.|
|Mama puts in a request for a ‘family portrait’.DONE.|
|June 7:Father Mike Snyder is here and it is good to see another happy face….|
|…along with Carol (the group leader) and Dragan (a great local tour guide).|
|Later in the day but with the memories of the happy people; a visit is made to Stolac and Niki is sitting on the floor but also with a happy face. Is it contagious?|
|Oh boy! Summer is coming! The stream will be so cooling!
Niki gets a new life vest for the water.
Seki, a Muslim family friend will be around to take Niki into his arms; place him in the front seat of the truck and bring him to the “old swimming hole”!Niki is really looking forwards to that.Thanks Tom and friends from Nova Scotia!
Lucian and Aggie do a show and tell of the new wood burning stove; a more elegant stove than this family would ever dream of!Teresa is so very proud of their new stove.
|And then on to the Stolac camp; maybe a contest to see who can hug Allison the bestest!|
|Mama Fadila gets some attention also.|
|Malena and Mirisad’s camper is looking more beautiful and homey each time we visit.|
|Some of the campers came with external awnings; they are being put to good use.|
|Under the awning, Aggie is showing Lucian and others how to create wearable art!Bead art is being introduced from the States; everyone is invited to show off their artistic leanings.|
|Dijana and daughter Zeljana also get into the manufacturing process.|
|Behara, Behara! Are you really the big winner?|
|More memory making!Blackboard paint has been brought; a flat surface has been painted!
A fascinating and memorable project!
|Time to rest; to gather our thoughts; to reflect on God’s gifts, good friends and good times.|
|Dean and Rafajel have to show us the finished art creation!Did we win?
|We may never know the winners because the group is off to the camp in Domanovici!Ajlana greets us and models her new outfit!|
|Ana gives a big smile also.|
|June 9:Lucian gets to ask a couple of questions of two of the pilgrim priests; Father Chuck and Father Eric.|
|Mary spots Anna and Marie; just have to take a picture of two happy happy ladies from Canada.|
|Back at the Brotnjo in Citluk for yet another get together!We live too good.|
|Well, we saw Sandra in the group photo but we did not catch a glimpse of Zenofy; we did not worry where he had gone; we just hoped he was out there in the main room paying for the lunch!Sure enough and he is still smiling!|
|Brenda, another of our favorite pilgrims is back in Medjugorje again!|
|and Bob; he thinks he takes a better picture when he is the delectable filling in the sandwich!|
|June 11: Father Eric is the main celebrant today in Medjugorje!|
|Father Garcia (6 years a priest) chats with Father Eric (almost a year as a priest)!|
|Anne, Pat and Deanna continue to amaze us with their generosity towards the needy.Way to go, Canada!|
|Father Bill is here with the rest of his group (Aggie and Allison had come earlier).|
|June 13:Father Garcia takes his turn as the main celebrant!
|Assisting at the entrance to the Sacristy we see Wjesek; he is good at the doors and at assisting; one reason is that he is able to converse in the different languages used here.A good fellow to help.|
|A visit is made right after Mass to Ivan and Marina’s new garden. The old grape vines have been excavated and disposed of; the ground has been cultivated over and over and over; finally planting has been done and now; new life!|
|The proud farmers!|
|St. Anthony Feast Day (we are reminded by early morning phone calls from some of the Muslim day workers)|
|OK, OK.We will meet at the Konzum parking lot at the 4 corners area at 3:00 PM.|
|The food is bought; the distribution line is set up; pilgrims volunteer to help; 32 food bags are given out.Success!|
|One of the volunteers is home grown! Kristjen (in the red shirt by the fence) has set his food bag aside and helps in the distribution!Tom, are you looking?
(Tom is a pilgrim from Canada; he and his group enjoy (we pray) bringing goods and helping with this population; Kristjen is, roughly, the same size as Tom so always looks forward to their arrival).
|June 14:We welcome Mary Jane to our apartment. An ‘envelope’ has been brought from her sister, Loretta, to pass on to the needy.
Thanks be to God and to Loretta!
And did we mention that Mary Jane passed us a bag of rosaries?
These really come to us at a good time because we had passed our ‘rosary stockpile’ to needy people in the Ukraine.
|“It’s been a tough two weeks, but I did it!”|
|Yeh, another volunteer! Sandy has been helping and we are so very grateful.|
|Well, Bob has experienced a couple of TIA’s (mini strokes); this one involves swirling of the room when rising too quickly from a prone position; is it possible to be buried in an upright position?Father Bill comes to give his blessing to Mary and Bob.|
|still June 14:Meanwhile Ray (upper left) has accompanied Joseph on a food delivery to one of Joseph’s favorite families.|
|Monday, June 16:Aggie helps out with the prayers of the faithful.|
|Father Bill is the main celebrant today.|
|Tuesday, June 17: “Hi, my name is Abel; welcome to my ‘hood”.
Yesterday ‘our’ group had shopped at the grocery store and stocked up Joseph’s car trunk for a run to the Stolac camp.
Today some of the group travel by the “Gogo” van, some with Joseph; Mary and Bob travel with Ivan (finally, Bob gets ‘out of the apartment!).
We figure we are late but we get there first!
|No Mary, it is not “to my right are the confessionals”; that is Bob over to the right.The group must have stopped and stocked up on soccer balls and hand balls and badminton sets and candy!|
|The families are excited at so many visitors; the children (and the adults) all want to shake hands in welcome!|
|We spot Malena holding her son, Sales, reaching out to greet Kevin, one of the pilgrim visitors.|
|Amela pushes Janell and Allison down to her level!|
|What better gift of love than a candy!Bob’s favorite (red licorice twist)!|
|Mary is open to answering questions about today’s happenings.|
|Hello everyone; my name is Gabriela; welcome to my home; I will be your guide; Mary will assist me!Gabriela did not really say that but I will bet that she could and in English; we will work on it.|
|Behara is rather shy about talking, and Janell has taken a liking to her; Behara’s mother, Malena, is starting to be concerned and has recently asked for advice.|
|How in the world can Bob just sit and meditate when he gets surrounded with love by Amel and Amela?|
|“I have the ball; Corey wants it; shall I negotiate or just tell him to get his own ball?”|
|Meanwhile, Aggie and Sandy and Joseph along with other helpers are distributing the food to happy mothers!|
|Mirisad and Malena and their three children have kind of waited patiently for months for their camper; it will be a refuge from the heavy rain storms.|
|Bob shows a little leg and manages to attract a little more attention!He is probably hoping too that Mary Jane will pass some of those licorice twists.|
|Mirisad (and wife, Malena) ask Mary for a ‘private conversation.“The engine died this last week; we are stuck.”
We know that this is their livelihood; that without this there is just very little or no income.
|Nathan and Corey are here with their mom, Bonnie.Here we have Gabriel fast stepping the soccer ball away from the big guys!
Kidding; it was truly wonderful to see the interactions.
|A local lady has donated a beautiful dress for one of the children; right now it will be used as part of the decor.It needs a little sewing.|
|Father Bill visited with us and blessed the group last year.“Will we be having another blessing this year?”|
|We join in silent prayer asking God to help these families. We give thanks that they have been allowed to ‘squat’ on this government property for now.We give thanks that the children are allowed in the local school.
We give thanks that the neighbors and most towns people are mostly supportive.
We pray that the local government will allow them their promised home sites and that the Church be more accepting.
|Malena and son, Sales, are in line to be next.Some pilgrim/s has brought diapers for the camp—a big help for the moms!|
|Will bet that Malena is praying for a motor for their van.|
|Zlatan may be giving thanks for his new soccer ball.|
|Bisera and Dejan welcome the blessing. Dejan gets to go to the Muslim side of the school and does get invited to participate in the youth activities of the local mosque.|
|Fadila comes to Mary; “can the priest bless my son, Safet, and his wife, Pasionka, and their three children?; they are still in Italy; I wish they had never gone; they are all in the hospital; they have been sick; they have been beaten; they need the help of God.”|
|Father Bill asks for a surrogate; to accept the blessing on behalf of the absent family.Immediately Lisa volunteers.|
|Behara and her new found teacher friend, Janell, get a Blessing together.|
|Abel gives a more personal greeting to John.|
|“I am going to be a doctor when I grow up; I will now check your carotid artery”.|
|Zorica and Sevki ask whether they and family can be blessed along with a house blessing. This is the family that asks to be baptized!|
|Father first blesses Amela and Gabriela.|
|Father is so very generous with his love.|
|Zorica and Sevki take their turn.|
|Amela, Father and Dejan all agree that it has been a good afternoon.|
|Look, look, Bob has decided to stand up! Bob is sure he could do this by himself but it is good to have these kind of bookends.|
|We’re late; we’re late; for a very important date; how did they get here to the Domanovici camp ahead of us?|
|Our group is invited into the building; the 2nd floor is home to mama Rabija; sons Zelembak and Marijano and daughter Tila.Tila and Marijano are the artistic ones.
Some regular copy paper and had been passed to them a week or so ago and they have been busy sketching.
|Some in the group are interested. How much for the drawing?A shrug is returned; “I don’t know”.|
|One of my favorites!|
|Tila likes to work with color; splendid.|
|This, Marijano tells us, is a sketch of Christ falling down.|
|Marko asks Father Bill to bless his children and his home.|
|Lang has ordered 4 drawings from Marijano and gets Bob to over see the financials!Bob is OK with that.|
The mother of this fellow, we hear, was Hannah Smith; a Romanichel; the father belonged to the Romany Smith family. Charles is reputed to have been born in a Gypsy caravan in West Midlands. The Vatican Post Office is now issuing commemorative stamps to acknowledge his artistic portrayals but certainly not his personal life.“The V.P.O. has decided to celebrate 125 years since the birth of Charlie Chaplin with a collection of stamps dedicated to Chaplin’s most famous character, Charlot, the Little Tramp.”
|If this pic was on T-shirts offered to the Romani kids can you suggest a one liner to go with it?
|Thursday, June 19, 2014 in Medjugorje we celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi, Feast of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Jesus.After evening Holy Mass by Fr. Ivan Landeka Jr., with 38 priests that concelebrated, there was the traditional Procession with the Most Blessed Sacrament in the streets of Medjugorje.
(Photo is from the procession of June 2009).
|The ’round about at the 4 corners area is almost completed; next will be a ’round about near the main post office.|
|June 22: Father ‘Drew and helpers. Some of his pilgrim group really took an active part in assisting at the Holy Masses.Thank you!|
|Helen Sarcevic’s Mir Peace Tour group from Clarks Summit has arrived for this 33rd Anniversary.|
|Tuesday, June 24: Feast of St. John the Baptist.Bishop Laurence Pius, Auxiliary Bishop of Madras-Mylapore has suddenly appeared and needs to be given precedent rather than the priest who was to celebrate.
And Father Kevin is back!!!
|The Walkers!Sore feet, aching hips, lovely souls!
It is the 23rd annual “Peace Walk” from the village of Humac to the village of Medjugorje.
|Father David Rider celebrated Holy Mass on the 33rd anniversary here in Medjugorje.Special day!
Special celebrant; ordained on May 24, 2014 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NYC!
How blessed we are!
|Fathers David & Andrew teach and learn from each other.|
|The 26th of June; Mary is out of her volunteer job; now we can do ‘catch-ups’ by delivering food packages.|
|Mrs. Beljo is certainly glad to welcome us with a big smile and a ‘come look & see’; the bread has just come out of the oven!“It is for you!”|
|and I am going into the garden and get stuff!|
|Jagoda, almost blind, living alone, surrounded by bags of bags; gives as big of a smile as possible!The bread is warm on her lap; Jagoda’s favorite food.
|We travel further up the lane.Mama Jelka keeps bringing bags of homegrown veggies to the trunk of the car!
And the next morning, as we come out of the 7:30 Mass there is Mrs. Beljo with two heavy heavy bags of veggies for us to pass on to the poor.
|Bob and Mario are doing whatever they are doing in preparation for the Olympic ‘try-outs’; we think.|
|Muslims have two major religious observances each year; Ramadan and Hajj.
Each year, Muslims spend a month in daytime fasting, during the 9th month of the Islamic calendar called Ramadan.Here it begins on Sunday , the 29th of June.
At the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate “The Festival of Fast-Breaking.”That time is know as EID.Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family may give a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food — rice, barley, dates, flour, etc. — to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration.
As if Pat and Anne (and Deanna) have not ‘done enough’; we are invited on their ‘going home day’ to pick up extra gifts of stuff (food, clothes, shoes, meds, toiletries).Delightful!Hvala Boga!
|Of now to the camp at Stolac; the children run (maybe ‘limp is a better word) to show us their ‘battle scars.We need to show concern and sorrow for each bruise or cut.|
|Mama Fadila is looking ‘spring like with the new head scarf.Mirisad is leaning against the main source of income for the camp; but the truck needs a part for the drive shaft.
|Bob passes over an ‘envelope to Mirisad for a rebuilt engine for his van.Hvala Bogu.
Thanks to all who have helped with this; there have been no running vehicles in the camp for a while.
|Shopping has been done; the table is set up; distribution of the food and stuff takes place.Mediha and ‘husband, Johnny, are not here; they are in Mostar for the day; we miss them.
Mediha phones us.
We need to make a stop at the Stolac mini market; the kids go here to pick up a sandwich and a drink during their school lunch break; it has been a couple of months since we paid the bill;oh, oh; it is 236 KM! more than we expected but it is valid; we pay gladly and thank the staff for doing this.
|We had heard that there was an ‘evangelical church in Capljina; we expected a little ‘store front.We are so surprised to see a beautiful church, beautiful grounds, beautiful action.
This is the church where the three kids from the Domanovici house have been attending Saturday morning pre-school!
|The Catholic church in Capljina is very similar to the church in Medjugorje; twin spires and everything.We are surprised to hear that there is another Catholic church building in Capljina and that it is the oldest Catholic church in Bosnia & Herzegovina!
We shall go look.
|Food is carried into the building at Domanovici.|
|Marijan and Tila (brother and sister of Marko) have been busy sketching; pilgrims are interested and have ordered some.|
|Snjezana has adopted a hand made doll baby brought to us by Pat T. and made by a lady in her church.Wonderful and we have more for some of the other kids!
Ana is determined to squeeze into these beautiful shoes we are passing on.
text from Marytv
|WOW!!www.marytv.tv has so much to offer; they have installed video cameras to view Our Lady’s statue on Apparition Hill and the Holy Cross on Cross Mountain; you could check and see whether your buddies actually did make it up to the top!
|www.marytv.tv videos the Holy Mass each day here in Medjugorje.
Now marytv is archiving each day so that you can re-enjoy that special Mass that you attended while you were here!
Go to their website and at the very top of their home screen you will see:
Medjugorje English Mass & Homily Archive
|The complete Mass is archived starting at April 24, 2014!Homily videos go back to April 1, 2014!
God bless Denis & Cathy Nolan.
Thank you Denis & Cathy Nolan.