2014 November


Someday there may be a sign board in Medjugorje to honor the “pilgrims of the month”.Maggie and Allison would certainly get our vote!
11/7:Shopping at the four corners Konzum; one of the ‘day workers is spotted and a food bag is brought.

Here he is explaining how really nice it was to receive a head of cabbage in the bags when we visited this group the last time.

We were told just how he fixed this and just how many meals it made.

Surprising, Sweet.

11/8:Yesterday was shopping day; today is delivery day.

Joseph is ready to go!

A pilgrim group mostly from the Pennsylvania area will be joining us.We are delighted to share our day with as many volunteers as we can get!

First job; load up the van with the food.

Anita helps with the giving and the packing.
First stop; the abandoned building at Domanovici.Marko and relatives live here.


Dijana’s 2 bigger kids: daughter Zeljana and son Ivan meet us.
Marijano is introduced; we are hoping he may have completed some sketches to show the pilgrims. Karen explains a holy card she has brought.
Father Bill blesses each of the family members as Mary explains.
Tila holds tight for her blessing onto Mary’s jacket.
Later Tila asks if she could have a Croatian Bible.
When the family lived in Germany a fellow from Jehovah’s Witnesses had given her one; that is long gone.
Ana wants to show us the newest litter of kittens.
The pilgrims have brought PIZZA! Marijano studies his piece intently.
Kiera and Tila meet each other for the first time.
Nancy is interacting with Alexander; he is so very hard to get a smile from.
Rabija, the grandmother, stands in front of a sketch which Marijano had drawn.Marijano impulsively takes the sketch off the wall and presents it to Karen.


We head on to the camp at Stolac; few need introductions here; the kids and the adults are excited; hands are extended.
Zorica, Malena and some of the kids line up!
Blessings by Father Bill have already started; Kemo, for the first time, asks if he can receive a blessing.
The kids: “don’t forget us!”
Allison and Maggie have made and brought Playdough! It is even edible but not recommended.The table and benches are brought forward! We soon have a cluster of anxious artists!
“It’s a bracelet but I sure am not going to wear it to school!”
Everyone else is playing. Father Bill is still giving blessings. Fadila (grandmama) welcomes hers and then asks for a blessing for Safet and family who are somewhere in Italy.Father obliges.
Jackets and sweaters and socks and underwear have been brought for both camps!Who will fit into this one?
Try the jacket on and see if it does make you look cool!
Sevkija (Zorica’s husband) has arrived & it does look as though he had a successful run.The back of the car is loaded with scrap; more is tied to the car roof.
Amela is fitted with a beautiful jacket!Outstanding!
Father Bill gives a blessing to Dean. Dean is having a bad week; he goes to the Muslim side of the school and now the “not quite Catholic” kids in the camp are giving him a hard time.

We will need to have “private conversations”.

How spiffy can you get?
A few of the pilgrims take a peek at a trailer or two. The owners are so proud of these and seem to look upon them as their “front room”.They are so beautifully decorated.
Biggest smile that we have ever seen on Gabriela!

We could not resist.

Click to get enlarged version and then ‘back arrow to return.


A group picture is called for.Lovely!

Click to get enlarged version and then ‘back arrow to return.

Time to say goodbye.
Hey Zeljana; look what is here from the States!
How many 16 year olds start crying when they see their gift of a stethoscope?
Bob will just kind of hold on to this car door and hope no one notices any eye moisture.
Joseph has a number of hobbies and interests; right now his apartment is full of home grown poinsettias. A joyous loving task to keep moving these from the darkened room to the sunshine of the balcony and then back again in order for the leaves to redden.
11/9, Sunday:Father JR gave a beautiful homily this morning when he celebrated Holy Mass here at Medjugorje.

Thank you, Father, for the extra blessing after Mass.

Barry & Ann accompanied the Holy Mass with voice and lyre (actually Barry’s guitar)!
Sunday evening, 11/9:We are part of a group invited to the apparition this evening at the chapel of Ivan, the visionary.
Just outside the chapel is a replica of the Pieta.Beautiful.
Monday, Nov. 10:Father Bill and group journeyed to Mostar to visit the Holy Family House.

The pilgrims have brought a much much needed wheelchair and support cushions for Slavko (photo from 2013), a long term resident. (He is doing really great at school (getting 5’s (=100’s))).

Then there is the third group: the “simple people”, who praise God for the healing of the blind man. “How often do we find these simple people, so many old ladies who walk and go” even at great personal sacrifice “to pray at a shrine of the Virgin”. “They do not ask for privileges, they ask for grace alone.” It is the “faithful people”, the people “who know how to follow the Lord, without asking for any privileges in return” who are able “to spend time with the Lord” and above all never forget the “

We read the above and think of Anica who is suffering in prayerful silence.

Tuesday, Nov. 11

We head for Stolac this morning.


Dijana has been called by a local nurse to come help with Anica.

The Social Center has sent a fellow to take Anica’s picture for a medical ID card.

Perhaps help will come.

A local nurse decides that we (Bob and Mary) will be “paying for a nursing home for Anica; tell Bob and Mary”.
Marko phones:

The Bosnian Government has sent Marko a “Rijesenje” letter that they will be getting 1100 KM monthly; please send 350 KM for health and retirement charges for the employees”.

Marko has no money. We all worry that some group in the government is dragging this out; the grant may be exhausted by the “overhead” and that department may be wishing that Marko withdraws.
If that happens then Marko is subject to charges by the health and by the retirement departments!
So we stop by Domanovici; the kids all have been given a haircut!

Good job, Marko.

We mentioned how Tila has surprised us by asking for a Bible in Croatian; she had had one in Germany which had been given to her by a fellow from Jehovah’s Witness

A pilgrim who had come with us was struck by the request, the next day bought a Bible locally and asked us to take it to her.


We have printed out a picture of the pilgrim donor and included that with the Bible.


On to Stolac and a meeting with our ‘always available to help friend, Sanel.

We meet at the lunch room where we leave funds for the school lunches for the kids.

We hear that some of the kids have been skipping the sandwich purchase and only buying expensive sweet sodas!

We add limits.

Mike Stanton (one of our favorite pilgrims) has come with us; the goal is to bring funds to Don (Father) Rajko for the Christmas Food Program.

We also give a bit.

Joseph also gives a bit.

A good cause.

Mike points out the donors who rounded out his envelope.
Father will celebrate Holy Masses as per the requests.


Nov. 11:

Dijana had taken Ilka over to the parish cemetery on All Souls Day (Nov. 2nd) to check out the accommodations; “will it be ready for Anica?”

This is the back side; the door does not look large enough to pass a casket through. The cement blocks have never been finished off and the wooden cross has long been deteriorating.

We ask for pricing; the price has been obtained and work will start shortly.

Mary promises Ilka that the tomb will be made ready.
The marker is chosen.

Remember the Youth Festival?

Remember the dancers up there on the stage?

Kata and Maja were two of the dancers!


The ‘Dance Team’ has been invited to come to Poland to help those locals for the International Youth Festival in Poland!

We have suitcases for the travelers, Kata and Maja will be leaving shortly!

Sretan Put!

Mary got one of the neat sweatshirts from America!
“Keep calm and Pray the Rosary”.And the fellow from the cemetery calls to tell us that the work has been completed and to bring the cash.
Dijana goes to check the work;the work has not been completed.


We stay calm.

Nov. 12, 2014: Anica has passed away overnight. Mary and Dijana were there again yesterday afternoon and saw that Anica was finally silent and incapable of taking the food.

Pilgrims along with we three are paying for repairs to the gravesite and a stone is coming with the family name and the pertinent names.

God bless.

The afternoon of Nov. 12:Dragica and daughters Kata and Sylvia arrive at the cemetery for Anica’s funeral.


We are so grateful for Dijana (and daughter Zeljana). Dijana was very involved with the two elderly sisters that the neighborhood must think that she is probably inheriting the estate!

It seems that on each visit which the local nurse makes there; she needs to call Dijana for physical help and for guidance. The doctor as well as the social center calls Dijana. Ilka walked to the neighbor this morning to tell them that Anica died and the neighbor calls another lady who she hoped had Dijana’s number so that Dijana could call the doctor and the Social Center etc. Dijana has to explain continually that she is in a different parish and that she has no relationship other than she was helping another human and the pilgrims from Medjugorje.


Early yesterday Dijana and Mary were at the Bingo store (our Walmart here) to pick up some linens for Anica.

Dijana has called twice this morning to keep us up dated with what’s happening.

God bless all. In this photo, Father Lljubo has asked those gathered for the funeral to come and make a donation for the 33 Masses to be said for the holy soul of Anica.

Nov. 14:We are blessed with stuff contributed by pilgrims from the States.


Everything will find a home.
Bob is in charge of ‘shoes; he still wants to have cards imprinted with our phone and the slogan:“So, Shoe Me”
Nov. 15:Helpers have arrived!
Zeljana has taken a picture of the grave marker and displays it for us on her camera.
Smiles are also shared.
Nov. 16:Barry (and Ann) are here giving Steven a well deserved break from the music box.

Steven got a beautiful write-up (with pictures) in the Glasnik Mir magazine here in Medjugorje!

Frank & Sheila, Barry & Ann, pilgrims and friends.
We certainly are blessed to have Father Kevin here; sometimes he is the sole celebrant; other times there may be 40 or 50 priests con-celebrating and vying for the job as the main celebrant of the day.
Joseph is so multi talented; whether it is local or other religious history or gardening or charitable actions; his list of ‘doing is endless.
Nov. 19Oh, oh

Mary accompanies a religious to the Citluk Dom Zdravlja (clinic); the ambulance may be low tech but appreciated;, the nurse appears with the older type glass thermometer; it is applied under the armpit.

Few resources but good results.

The religious person is approved to travel on to the hospital in Mostar.

Nov. 24:Oh, oh, a pork happening!

Ivan has raised a few pigs and one of them is for our needy families!

We were invited for the ‘processing but Bob still remembers the squealing of the pigs from childhood so not too curious.

A couple of the needy families helped and went home with their portions.

Thank you, Edgar, for your help with this.

These little pigs went to the market.
10/22/1981: Our Lady said:

“All of these signs are designed to strengthen your faith until I leave you the visible and permanent sign.”
The third of the Medjugorje secrets involves a visible and permanent sign that is described as beautiful and indestructible and not of this world, which will be left on Apparition Hill, the site of her first appearance.Mirjana: “The third secret will be a visible sign at Medjugorje – permanent, indestructible, and beautiful.”
The visionaries reported that there is to be a permanent sign on Mount Podbrdo (Apparition Hill) and that no one will be able to affect it!What could it be?

Someone has suggested that it wouldn’t be nice to have a cloud appear over that area in the daytime and a non consuming fire in the night?

Nov. 27:Mary takes a picture after Mass of Miki, Joseph, Bob, Frances and two of Frances’s friends (we forgot to get names).

Frances is the Godmother of Matthew.

Ing is a wonderful pilgrim from Singapore who comes to Medjugorje quite often and stays for a bit.Ing tells us that she has brought gifties for us to pass out to the kids.!


Nov. 30:Jakov (visionary) has opened a humanitarian office in one of the buildings next to the church.

Jakov is asking for donations; we hear that help will be given to the needy families.


Jakov is usually in the office in the mornings.We do not know yet whether there will be restrictions as to location or as to nationality or as to religion.

We will ask.

Dec. 2:Cenacola fellows have arrived and are starting to erect The ‘New Bethlehem.

Lots of action!

Lots of barricades to go around!
Matthew is in town; we take advantage of Matthew and car by stopping by Sister Emmanuel’s place and picking up clothes which are given directly to the needy poor.
Thank you “Gabby and Sister for sharing.

Two more days to the Feast of Saint Nicholas (Sat., Dec. 6); the time here of gift giving in order to have Christmas (Dec. 25) especially devoted to the birth of Christ.
A wonderful custom in this country!