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A Journey Home - An Unassuming Catholic Blog
Medjugorje Blog - From this world to the next. He said to the woman: Your faith has saved you; go in peace. ~ Luke 7:50
By: Peace Pilgrim

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Tuesday, 19-Jul-2011 04:40 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Update on July 19, 2011

I no longer post here due to the difficulty of eliminating spamming in the comments section. Today, I came across this YT video that may help someone who is on the fence about Medjugorje and knew I had to come back to this site and post it here:

This is the time of grace. If you have been called, I hope you will go. For this reason, I have kept my chronicle of my conversion online with hopes that it will provide encouragement. Our Lord's mother is there and she will point and lead you to a closer relationship with Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We have received a non-stop shower of graces ever since our visit there. The deep peace and inner joy continue to this day, years later, with an ever-increasing trust in God.

Wednesday, 29-Sep-2010 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Welcome! 'Tis the Opening Page: NEWEST entry follows this one...

Out of the blue, her eyes of mercy in the clouds, keeping watch.
Hearing her call, two prodigals accepted her invitation: "Come!"
At dawn, she led us to the top of a mtn in Bosnia-Hercegovina.
View all 6 photos...
Please SCROLL DOWN to the next entry to get to the most recent entry.

Whoever and wherever you are, down the street, across the country or at the ends of the world, know that you are warmly welcomed.

Although not raised in the bosom of any church, I believed in God. I studied world religions and searched for God in many churches, but did not find Him. I was "spiritual, but not religious." Nevertheless, a providential God had His Eye on me, a contemplative soul in the midst of an aggressively secular world, just as He has on you, seeing that you are here, reading this.

One night, corny as it sounds, I wrote God a letter, seeking a closer walk with Him. Long story, short: Within days, through a series of "coincidences," He sent his mother to me with her earthly spouse, St. Joseph, and
St. Patrick, as intermediaries. All three were unlikely emissaries, considering I only thought of Mary and Joseph fleetingly, if that, at Christmas and of St. Paddy (and green beer) on the secular version of his March 17 holiday.

Via inner promptings, she invited me to go on a pilgrimage, half way around the world. "Come, come quickly. You are my 11th hour convert." The invite, more an interior whisper than a call, was nonetheless clear and powerful. A few days later, and even more unexpectedly, my dear husband, a cradle Buddhist, was extended an invitation as well. Seized by this mysterious and fascinating call, we knew that we had to go. We took the plunge and made arrangements to go there at the first opportunity.

Our preparation was to teach ourselves to pray the Rosary, memorize its prayers and learn the mysteries of the full Rosary, no small task for latecomers in the autumn of their lives. Landing right into the arms of the Blessed Virgin, we were being directed to pay attention to her Son and through the Rosary, through her eyes, we learned, vicariously experienced and contemplated the entirety of Christ's earthly life for the first time. We began feeling a new presence of the Holy Family in our hearts and souls that ignited a desire for holiness and perfectionism in Christianity.

    "A perceived supernatural religious phenomenon has become a reality for millions throughout the world. Those who believe in this phenomenon see it as the singular most important event of our times.

    For more than 23 years, the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared daily in apparition at the quiet, rural village of Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina. This unprecedented series of apparitions to six youths, and later by inner locution to two more young girls, began in June 1981. It continues to the present, with one overriding objective: To bring the world back to God. They are elevated in drama and urgency as she reveals that these will be her final apparitions on earth, because, as she adds, "It will no longer be necessary."

    In the history of the Roman Catholic Church, the Blessed Virgin Mary has appeared in apparition many times throughout the ages, the most recognizable names being Guadalupe (Mexico), La Sallette, and Lourdes (France), Knock (Ireland) and Fatima (Portugal). But never in recorded Marian history has she appeared daily for so long a period of time, to so many chosen visionaries, with such profound global results."
    ~Wayne Weible, author of Miracle of Medjugorje

On a mountain in that distant land called Medjugorje, she lovingly took our hands and brought us to her Son. Embraced and immersed in an otherworldly, tremendous peace, we were converted. A mystical veil was rended and we gained a view into eternity. We replied, each in our own way, unhesitatingly: "Yes, Lord, here I am, come to do Your Will." Within a year, in 2005, we received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, and Reconciliation, and were sacramentally married in the Catholic Church, perhaps the least likely choice before our Medjugorje experience, as we were ignorant, plain and simple.

Our misperceptions and misconceptions, based on anti-Catholic teachings as well as distorted misinformation of Church teachings, were the scales that obscured our pre-conversion spiritual eyes. I would be the first to admit that I was one of the millions that Archbishop Fulton Sheen spoke about when he said, "There are not one hundred people in this world who dislike Catholicism, but there are millions who dislike what they mistakenly believe Catholicism to be."

We have since immersed ourselves in a diligent, in-depth study of Church teachings by going back to the source, poring over Sacred Scripture, perusing the writings of the early church fathers (what an intellectual heritage!) and reading books and transcripts by convert Dr. Scott Hahn, a former vehemently anti-Catholic Protestant minister.

    "You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; and then the Father will give you anything in my name."~ Jesus Christ, John 15.

Surprise, surprise, we did not do the choosing; it was God's Doing. An unheard Voice called. We responded to it, followed the call and He brought us home to His Church. "God works in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform." Yes, indeed!

I, Peace Pilgrim, thank you, Gentle Reader, for being here as I take my baby steps to holiness. I pray that I will believe as children believe, to love as children love with undivided hearts, to give myself up to God as children give themselves up... and to pray with simplicity and humility, as children do.
~ Art credit: Jean Keaton

This "fotoblog", a chronicle of a new child's journey toward holiness, is also an expression of thanksgiving for God's graces, all totally gratis, unearnable gifts. (Did you know that we are ALL called to be saints?) I am a neophyte -- a Catholic newbie -- who has embraced the Blessed Trinity, Eucharist, Holy Family, angels and the communion of saints, and Heaven on earth which is The Holy Mass. I am captivated by the Church's goodness, richness, fullness of the Faith, and beauty, as well as its logical and immutable truth.

The Second Vatican Council taught that all the baptized are called to follow Jesus Christ, by living according to the Gospel and making it known to others. This blog is my little way of making it known to others and extending Our Lady's reach as she asks pilgrims to do, while living a life in imitation of Christ's and Our Lady's and sanctifying my every day work, in the middle of the ordinary circumstances of my life.

I invite you to browse, linger, catch glimpses of a journey of faith with its highlights and lowlights, joys and woes, beauty and ugliness, good and bad, sacred and mundaneness, twists and turns, and points betwixt and between. Perhaps along the way there's a smile, groan, lesson, or a shared experience for you. Just read along or feel free to teach me by using the comments section.

Gentle Reader,

"For wherever two or more are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them," said Our Lord Jesus Christ. My husband and I pray the Rosary daily; we pray for God's Will; for each other; our family, friends and enemies; our students and patients; the sick, unbelievers, youth, priests and Pope and his intentions; Our Lady's intentions; and for peace. We will pray for you; you are our brother or sister. If you wish, you may post your prayer intentions below. You need not identify yourself; God knows who you are and why you are here. Feel free to join us: Common Prayers.

May God continue to draw near to you and those you love. May your mind, body, heart and soul be happy, healthy and One with God. May you be blessed with all things good...

Peace be with you!

In God's Light,

Peace Pilgrim
"If you knew how much I love you, you'd cry with joy." ~ Our Lady, Queen of Peace

+ + +

If you wish to go directly to the pages of our Medjugorje trip, here are the links:

The Calling ~ The Journey Begins ~ Day 1 ~ Day 2 ~ Day 3 ~ Day 4 ~ Day 5 ~ Day 6 ~ Day 7 ~ Day 8 ~ Day 9 ~ We Return

This photojournal is arranged in reverse chronology. Ignore the date of this entry; it is pre-dated to keep it at the top as an introductory page. If you prefer to read the entries in chronological order, click here to get to the ARCHIVE page and start from the bottom up.

Attention: This web space is provided for free by the web host, Fotopages. Until they begin charging for their services (I hope to be their first paying customer), I cannot opt out of the advertising banners that appear above and to the left of the pages. Please know that I am NOT responsible whatsoever for, nor do I necessarily agree with, the content of the banners. No money or fees are being received by me for these banners. Thank you for your understanding. ~ Peace Pilgrim

California Time ~ Hawaii Time ~ Medjugorje Time
The time of the apparitions in Medjugorje is 5:40 pm in winter and 6:40 in summer; which is in California corresponds with 8:40 am in winter and 9:40 am in summer and in Hawai'i, 6:40 am in winter and 7:40 am in summer.

Multimedia: Children of Medjugorje: In Honor of Our Mother

Monday, 13-Oct-2008 03:51 Email | Share | | Bookmark
VIDEO: A Journey of Faith - Producer, Dennis Woytek

Video: A Journey of Faith
25th Anniversary - Medjugorje June, 2006
I came across a website with info on a DVD called “A Journey of Faith.” This DVD captures the travels of a group of pilgrims from Pittsburgh as they visit Medjugorje in the 25th year of the apparitions of Our Lady in 2006.

We were there with this group at the same time. Viewing the segment made me homesick in a happy way. As Cathy Howe says, "It feels like home."

Segments of this DVD can be viewed in this five minute newscast:

“WTAE Segment”

Sunday, 12-Oct-2008 03:24 Email | Share | | Bookmark
An Oasis of Peace - Fr Luigi Ferrari & Marcel Stoessel

Marcel Stoessel
When I have spare moments, I will google Medjugorje to see what others are blogging about this sacred place. Tonight, in three blogs, I came across these words penned by a Father Luigi Ferrari.

His words sum up my own experience there with eloquence and exquisite precision:


• There are some places and some people in life that ‘mark’ you forever. Once you have come in contact with them, they revive in you everything that seemed buried within your heart forever. Then you recapture a life full of joy, serenity, and purpose.

You understand the reason you are living, where you have come from, and where you are going. You take your life back into your hands with vigour. You rediscover a design of love in your life that trials and difficulties have buried. Then you feel like a new person, and even others are aware that something has changed your life.

• The place that has ‘marked’ me and millions of other people is called Medjugorje. It is different from other places because there is a ‘Presence’ there that you do not see but whose effects and benefits you gather. It is a Presence that speaks to our hearts and manifests itself in a personal manner for each one of us. This presence is Mary the Mother of God.

In Medjugorje we discover that this mother, the Queen of Peace, wants to enter our lives. That is the reason she says to us: “Dear Children, accept me in your lives, because I desire to bestow my love upon you.”

~ Fr Luigi Ferrari


I also came across the following account by a person who, like my husband and I, went to Medjugorje as non-Catholics. Marcel Stoessel, a Swiss journalist and observer for the United Nations, is Protestant; he writes:

I am living to its fullest
This one wild and mysterious life.
And I am
All I can be
To others and to me.

He was in Medjugorje in 1999 while war was waging all about that little village. He too experienced the peace that is there and refers to Medjugorje as "an oasis of peace." Indeed, that it was then, and still is now.

>> Medjugorje: An Oasis of Peace by Marcel Stoessel

I also like Marcel's traveling tips; they contain lots of common-sense and much wisdom:

Friday, 10-Oct-2008 03:11 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Medjugorje & Fr John McLaughlin, Vocations Director To the World

Father John McLaughlin
The peace of Medjugorje is ineffable and beyond any peace the world can offer. It remains with me. I close my eyes, think of Medjugorje and the peace returns. Such a lasting peace!

I thought I was going to Medjugorje to pray for the healing of two people, C and D, who worked alongside me doing God's work. For almost ten years, we were co-workers who first became friends, then like family. I prayed for their well-being -- physical, mental and spiritual -- first on Mary's Hill (Apparition Hill), then at Cross Mountain. God had further plans, as ultimately, it was the peace of prayer for them that propelled me into the faith.

Tonight, I read an article on Father John McLaughlin, military chaplain, who became the first vocations director for the Archdiocese for the US Military Services. He accompanied someone he cared about on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Ultimately, it was the peace from prayer in Medjugorje that propelled him into the priesthood.

From the article on Fr. John McLaughlin in the NC Register by Tim Drake

What led to your own vocation?

I was in real estate and owned my own properties and coached high school wrestling for about 10 years. One night in 1986, a car accident killed two of my wrestlers on the last day of the season. My captain was left a quadriplegic, and another young man was left in a coma. Both of them came from very religious families. John Turner came out of his coma and is doing well. I baptized two of his children.

I accompanied the other young man, Tim Donovan, on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in 1988. Tim was in a wheelchair. I thought I was taking him on the pilgrimage, but in the end, it was he who was taking me. That experience brought me back to my faith.

What was it about the pilgrimage that moved you?

There’s a great peace you get there. A lot of people look for that peace. I was working, doing what I was supposed to do, trying to make more money. That didn’t give me the same peace that I got from the prayer that was going on over there. That propelled me toward the priesthood.

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