Announcing: For years this has been requested….
“…I call you to be my apostles of holiness so that, through you, the Good News
may illuminate all those whom you meet…”
May 19-31, 2010
A Friend of Medjugorje will again accept speaking invitations!! A friend in Guam has repeatedly invited him to come, as well as many others over the years, but with so much growth in the mission and community it was rarely possible for him to accept. Members of the Caritas Community, however, have felt for several years that it is important that their founder personally bring Our Lady’s messages to those desiring to understand Medjugorje better and that it was time to begin accepting more invitations. So, with the pressure from the Community ˜º, he has agreed to begin accepting some of these requests. A Friend of Medjugorje will be in Guam for a week speaking in several churches on the island from May 19-23, 2010. During his time there he will be visiting other places, sharing Our Lady’s messages with various groups. The talks are free to anyone wanting to attend, no registration is required. The schedule for the week follows:
Wed. May 19 6:00 PM – Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral
Thurs. May 20 6:00 PM – Our Lady of the Assumption Church
Fri. May 21 7:00 PM – Santa Barbara Catholic Church
Sat. May 22 5:00 PM – Saint Anthony Church
Sun. May 23 6:00 PM – Our Lady Lourdes Church
A Friend of Medjugorje will be leaving Guam and flying to Manila the following week. The schedule has not been completed for Manila. Please check back from time to time to be updated about this event. The event coordinator is Coralee Benson. She can be reached at through the information below:
With the demands placed upon A Friend of Medjugorje from both the Mission and the Community of Caritas and his already full schedule that includes many traveling days that takes him away from family and home throughout the year, A Friend of Medjugorje has rarely accepted speaking invitations outside of events that Caritas hosts on their own home grounds. However, because of the urgent times we find ourselves in which is having the good effect of opening the hearts of people to Our Lady and the messages of Medjugorje as in the beginning days of the apparitions, A Friend of Medjugorje is accepting a limited amount of speaking invitations. If you would be interested in hosting A Friend of Medjugorje in your area of the world, we ask you to fill out the form below with the information requested. Filling out the information does not commit you in any way to hosting an event. That will come only after speaking with one of the members of the Caritas Community. Though the community will consider every request, not all requests can be accepted. Also, they will be taking into account the number of people who potentially will be able to attend as they want the greatest possible number of people to hear about Our Lady’s messages and Her plans in the world today. To submit a request about A Friend of Medjugorje speaking in your area visit this page.
What benefit is it to hear what A Friend of Medjugorje has to share? This perhaps is better answered by a couple who have been greatly impacted by the “witness” of A Friend of Medjugorje and the Community he was asked to begin at the direct request of Our Lady. The following letter came from friends who visited Caritas recently. After leaving, they had a 16 hour drive before reaching their home in Iowa. That long drive gave birth to this letter:
Dear Caritas Community, February 24, 2010
Sixteen hours driving time allows a lot of time to ponder all that unfolds during a stay at Caritas. It appears to me that the pine tree in the Field keeps growing more and more branches. We come from all corners to be nourished, gain love, work, rest, play, receive and learn…and we take all this back with us to our own corners of the world—to feed all those others who also are hungry and in need of nourishment. And so the circle of Caritas becomes wider, and the tree grows another branch.
How blessed we feel to have found our own little gold nugget along life’s journey. Isn’t it so that we all collect things we value? Often times things that are of no value, things that will only bring us more emptiness, but Caritas is a different kind of gold nugget to be collected, valued, and treasured. Certainly then, some of the gold collected from Caritas will rub off on us. Caritas, it is your example that keeps the rest of us trudging towards that goal to become gold.
As our children left home and moved away, it always concerned me that they would be too far from us for them to see the continuing example we wanted to show them. A good and holy priest once told me that a parent’s good example shines through the miles. Caritas, you are a portrait of a good parent to the world, a portrait of the Blessed Mother and even though we may be miles from you, your example shines through the miles. Caritas, it is because of you that we love deeper and speak sweeter—each season bringing more change.
It’s difficult to grasp how a person should give thanks for such a great gift as you are to the world and all that you continue to give. I’m reminded here, of the saying that it’s easier to give than to receive. To be on the receiving end of such love and grace leaves our humble thank you seem very inadequate.
Caritas, your very nature is love. The nature of love is to open the way, and you keep finding more and more ways to do that. We follow the messages through Words of the Harvesters, mej.com, and Radio Wave because we recognize just how much we need these things in our lives. It is like good medicine, the remedy for our sick hearts and souls, and we see as you spoon feed us how much this helps us lead fuller, healthier lives. Challenges…yes, there are those, but meeting those challenges produces the change we need. Those challenges bring opportunities for change. Change brings growth and involves risks, sometimes stepping from the known into the unknown, and that is the gift of blind faith, in which we walk by faith and not by sight. If you look at the word CHALLENGE and omit the middle three letters LLE, you have the word change. So, there is change amidst challenge.
One of those challenges that we have incorporated into our lives is that of keeping the Sabbath. We lived it partially, by not working on Sundays, but reading Look What Happened While You Were Sleeping further convicted us of how we weren’t living it completely. Since the time that we have been living it completely, the gift of grace has fallen on us. As we left Caritas this last time, we had planned our route home, keeping from traveling on Sunday, knowing in our hearts we would be blessed. The next day on the trek home, I randomly opened the Bible and my eyes fell on the following words: “If you hold back your foot on the Sabbath from following our own pursuits on my holy day; if you call the Sabbath a delight, and the Lord’s holy day honorable; if you honor it by not following your ways, seeking your own interests, or speaking with malice—then you shall delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will nourish you with the heritage of Jacob, your father, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 58:13-14 There is the challenge for change. Growth means change and change involves risk. This is one risk you will be glad you took.
Each stay at Caritas never makes it any easier to leave. We find the words to the song, “One More Day” echoing in our hearts:
One more day, one more time
One more sunset, maybe I’ll be satisfied
But then again, I know what it would do
We’d be wishin’ still for one more day with you.
We may not be gold nuggets yet, but pearls are a precious stone too, made by pain and suffering and our goodbyes bring a twinge of pain to our hearts. We consider you at Caritas, family; our branch is being grafted into the pine tree, and so the following statement seems fitting:
“You can kiss your family and friends goodbye and put miles between you, but at the same time you carry them with you in your heart, your mind, your stomach, because you do not live in a world but a world live in you.” Frederick Buechner
As we prayed the Rosary with your community Sunday morning, February 14, Valentine’s Day, the little children were devouring pieces of chocolate. I was reminded of last July 1-5 when Marija was present. She told us in her talk that Our Lady gives us little pieces of chocolates. Every time we come to Caritas we devour the chocolates too and we walk away experiencing a sugar high. Until next time we hold you close and say “a billion ‘I love you’s.” Caritas, like Mary, you give us joys that never end.
Our Love and Prayers,
Sherry and Mike
A Friend of Medjugorje has traveled to Medjugorje on more than 170 occasions over the past 25 years. On October 6, 1986, he received his first message from Our Lady, through the visionary Marija, while in Medjugorje. He was given permission to present a question to Our Lady. His question? Is it possible that the same conversion that is taking place in Medjugorje be allowed to take place in his own home area, and be divinely spread throughout the region? He purposely used the word “region” because he didn’t want to limit Our Lady to a small area, such as Birmingham, or Alabama, or even just throughout the United States. It was a bold question, and he was cautioned not to expect Our Lady even to acknowledge it. So, it was a great surprise when She not only acknowledged the question, but She responded to it in a personal message to him telling him how he could accomplish his request. She said through Medjugorje visionary Marija:
October 6, 1986
What this message taught A Friend of Medjugorje, along with the experiences Our Lady led him through, is that words do not have the power to convict or convert anyone, if there is not life behind the words. Though he would be the first to tell you he’s a sinner, living the messages with the heart, before God, in one’s life is what puts power behind the words spoken to others. It’s “not with words” but rather “by your life witness” that you will “attain what your desire is.” What was his desire? Conversion of hearts—the same conversion that is taking place in Medjugorje.
Two years after this message was given, A Friend of Medjugorje was in Medjugorje for the anniversary of the apparitions, June 25, 1988. He and his wife were invited to attend visionary Ivanka’s annual apparition and they were kneeling right beside Ivanka when the apparition began. After going into ecstasy, amazingly, Ivanka turned to all those gathered and said, “Our Lady wishes for all present to kneel down.” There was a crowd of 20-30 people present. Later, after the apparition had ended, Ivanka relayed that when everyone had knelt down, Our Lady gave them a Special Blessing and said:
Five months later, visionary Marija left Medjugorje for almost three months to live with A Friend of Medjugorje, his wife and young children. This visit solidified an already strong friendship between Marija and he and his family, a friendship that has become more than family over the years, with also Marija’s husband, Paolo, and their four children. During this three month period, Our Lady appeared everyday in their Bedroom, giving messages every day, and drawing thousands of people to the apparitions from across the United States.
A Friend of Medjugorje had founded Caritas of Birmingham two years earlier, and had begun writing about Medjugorje and Our Lady’s messages. He also founded the Community of Caritas after an apparition in the Bedroom of his home in which Our Lady through Marija requested of him to begin a community that would be based in living Her messages. A Friend of Medjugorje formed BVM/Caritas of Birmingham to help build the infrastructure that made Medjugorje accessible to pilgrims from the United States to travel there, as well as initiated many projects and programs over the years that have been highly successful in leading souls to conversion, although it is his writings, above all that have led countless people to conversion—because as Our Lady said above, it is “witness” and not “words” that open hearts to conversion. Today, through the monthly Caritas newsletters and publications Caritas produces, that first began in 1987 and has continued up until the present time, A Friend of Medjugorje has written more on Our Lady’s Medjugorje messages than anyone in the world. The Caritas Community, made up of families and single consecrated men and women, continues to thrive and grow under his direction after being together for more than 20 years. The younger generations of the families are grown and some have married and are having children—a whole new generation in the Caritas Community being raised in the way of Our Lady’s messages. The founder, a Friend of Medjugorje, understood from Our Lady that the Caritas Community is prophetic in that it lives today what many will live in the future.
Many believe Our Lady’s messages are simplistic, that She just repeats the same thing over and over again, and that Her messages are just about learning how to pray. For that reason many people grow bored with the messages. A Friend of Medjugorje, however, has a unique perspective on Our Lady’s messages, believing that Our Lady has something to say on every subject known to man, but it is only through reading and praying with the messages everyday that these mysteries are revealed. For this reason his writings are so sought after, because he sheds light on many of the problems we face in the world today, using Our Lady’s words. From what is going on in the world of politics, to the economic situation, to divorce in the family, to educating our children, to global warming, etc., he sheds light on every situation through the light of Our Lady’s messages.
When A Friend of Medjugorje speaks, he brings with him 25 years of walking closely with Our Lady through Her apparitions in Medjugorje, through his close friendship with visionary Marija Lunetti, and through the grace of being present in hundreds of apparitions over so many years. He brings with him the experience of a family man, married for 35 years with six children, and five grandchildren as a committed husband and father. He brings with him the experience of establishing and directing a community of families and single consecrated men and women, living together the messages of Our Lady in every aspect of life. Running the largest Medjugorje center in the world devoted solely to Medjugorje and Our Lady’s plans, he brings with him more than 25 years of being involved in a thriving mission, having experienced years of great persecution, great obstacles, but also great success in spreading Our Lady’s messages. And with all that, at the very heart of it all, he brings with him all these years of living Our Lady’s messages in every kind of situation that has helped hundreds of thousands of people understand how to accept and live Our Lady’s messages in their own lives. What has his witness meant to so many? Go back and read the Hittle’s letter at the beginning of this writing to understand. Our number one download of all the materials on Medjugorje.com was a talk given by A Friend of Medjugorje on July 1, 2009. Twelve thousand downloads in 24 hours were sought by the people. It spread so quickly we were all amazed.
To read the announcement in regards to the unreleased scientific findings of latest testing on the Medjugorje visionaries, visit this page: Medjugorje Visions Proven Not A Deception