ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE VATICAN
On the 31st May 2018 the Holy Father appointed HE Mons. Henryk Hoser, SAC, Archbishop-Bishop Emeritus of Warszawa-Prague (Poland), Apostolic Visitor of a special nature for the parish of Medjugorje, for an undetermined time and ad nutum Sanctae Sedis .
This is an exclusively pastoral task, in continuity with the mission of the Special Envoy of the Holy See for the parish of Medjugorje, entrusted to Mons. Hoser on 11 February 2017 and concluded by him in recent months.
The mission of the Apostolic Visitor is to ensure a stable and continuous accompaniment of the parish community of Medjugorje and of the faithful who go there on pilgrimage, whose needs require particular attention.
MESSAGE FROM FRA. ŠAKOTA
After Holy Mass, Parish Priest Fra. Marinko Šakota, read out the message from the Vatican an said;
‘‘With all our heart we want to thank Pope Francis for such wonderful news. We want to say thank you. We thank the Lord; we thank the Queen of Peace.
Dear friends of Medjugorje and Queen of Peace, I know that your hearts are rejoicing, filled with joy. With great joy and respect, with faithfulness and loyalty we are awaiting now the arrival of the Apostolic Visitor with special authority and jurisdiction, Archbishop Hoser. We await him with joy.
With all the more enthusiasm in our hearts, dear brothers and sisters, let us try to live that what Our Mother has been telling us. Let us be Her extended hands of Peace in the world. May the Peace and Love of God dwell in our hearts, may we become the carriers of that Peace and Love throughout the world.’’
SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MEDJUGORJE?
The key words in Pope Francis’ announcement are exclusively pastoral and in continuity. As we are aware, Archbishop Emeritus Henryk Hoser travelled to Medjugorje on the 29th March 2017 tasked with the mission of examining the pastoral situation. This pastoral mission is to continue now with Archbishop Hoser residing in Medjugorje, where he can implement changes. It is not a recognition of the apparitions but rather fulfilling Medjugorje’s pastoral needs.
WHAT ARCHBISHOP HOSER SAID
Speaking about the tasks waiting for him, Archbishop Hoser pointed to the necessity of introducing solutions that would cause pilgrims coming to Medjugorje to have good experience, both from the pastors who are permanently working there, as well as those who come with pilgrims. There is also need to improve the infrastructure and increase the number of ministers serving the place.
The phenomenon of Medjugorje is the Mass, profound Confessions that are very often associated with conversion. There are currently 50 confessionals, which often turn out to be insufficient. Thank God the pilgrims come with their chaplains who accompany them and who are involved in the service of the sacrament of penance and reconciliation. The challenge is to have priests who hear confessions in various languages, especially the main ones spoken by young Europeans. He added that liturgical issues are also a great challenge.
In summer, the parish church, which is not one of the largest, cannot accommodate all those who come from all over the world. On the other hand, the adjacent [Dome] area does not have the right roof, which makes it inconvenient in the summer and winter.
It is necessary to establish certain organizational rules for various works existing on the site – not only of a spiritual or pastoral nature, but also a charitable one.
He admitted that the range of tasks that await him are extremely wide ranging and requires a lot of commitment, but he counts on the support of the Mother of God, worshiped in this place as the Queen of Peace and the prayer of the faithful.
With humbled hearts we implore the loving protection of our dear Blessed Mother, Queen of Peace on Archbishop Emeritus Henryk Hoser as he returns to Medjugorje to continue the mission entrusted to him by Pope Francis. We ask God’s blessing upon him as he begins to implement changes in attending to and fulfilling the pastoral needs of the parishioners ad pilgrims. AMEN