Medjugorje, Year 2016
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2016 Messages: "Dear children, also today I am calling all of you to prayer." [1/25]
Once again in this time of grace our Mother Mary is calling us to prayer in the silence of our hearts to grow in a heart-felt experience of the love Jesus has for you personally in wanting to create you, to redeem you, and to sustain His gift of life in you today and always. "You cannot live without prayer, because prayer is a chain which brings you closer to God. You, little children, are free to in freedom decide for God or against Him – my Son Jesus who is the Way, the Truth and the Life." [1/25] Let us draw again from our Lady’s monthly messages to deepen God’s gift of prayer in us and our Mother’s call to daily conversion. "You are lost and do not know what your goal is. Take the cross, look at Jesus and follow Him. He gives Himself to you to the death on the cross, because He loves you. Return to prayer with the heart so as to find hope and the meaning of your existence, in prayer." [2/25] "You, little children, are poor in love and you still have not comprehended that my Son Jesus, out of love, gave His life to save you and to give you eternal life. Pray, little children, pray that in prayer you may comprehend God’s love." [3/25]
Our Blessed Mother, who is full of grace and always says "Yes" to God’s Will, continually calls us to ongoing conversion through prayer. "Dear children! My Immaculate Heart bleeds as I look at you in sin and sinful habits. I am calling you: return to God and to prayer that it may be good for you on earth. Little children, life is short; you, make good use of this time and do what is good." [4/25] "Satan is strong and wants to put disorder and unrest in your hearts and thoughts. Therefore, you, little children, pray so that the Holy Spirit may lead you on the real way of joy and peace." [5/25] Repeatedly our Mother calls us back to prayer, to listening whole-heartedly to God and live in His Holy Will. "Dear children! Give thanks to God with me for the gift of my being with you. Pray, little children, and live God's commandments that it may be good for you on earth." [6/25] "Dear children! I am looking at you and I see you lost; and you do not have prayer or joy in your heart. Return to prayer, little children, and put God in the first place and not man." [7/25]
Our Blessed Mother knowing what will give us hope, peace and joy encourages us to give ourselves to our God and His Holy Will for us. "You, little children, open the door of your heart so that hope, peace and love, which only God gives, may grow in your heart. Give over your future to Him so that, in Him, you may be joy and an example with your lives to others." [8/25] Jesus will become our friend and in prayerful moments throughout the day we can talk and listen to Him as an intimate friend who loves us. "May prayer be life to you. You will speak with Him as with someone whom you know and, little children, you will have a need to witness, because Jesus will be in your heart and you united in Him." [9/25] As we listen to Jesus within our hearts we become like Him, His disciples, and give a silent witness by our lives to others.
Mary calls us, "Pray for Peace. By living in peace, you will feel the need to witness, because you will discover God whom you now feel to be far away. Return to fasting and confession so as to overcome the evil in you and around you." [10/25] She leads us to holiness and a simple life "that in little things you discover God the Creator; that you fall in love with Him; and that your life be a thanksgiving to the Most High for everything He is giving you." [11/25]
Our Lady’s Christmas message this year completes the 30th year of her monthly messages to the world, 360 monthly messages to date! Pray that the Church and the World live the messages!
Medjugorje Ministry 2016:
My full time ministry in sharing Our Lady’s call to discipleship with her Son Jesus, principally through Parish Missions, Evenings of Prayer and talks, permeates everything in my life. Ivan praying on Apparition Hill received this message : "Dear children, today I invite you once again to persevere in prayer. Pray, dear children, and above all persevere in praying as a family. Today I pray with you for the family. I desire holiness in families, for there to be more holy families who pray and live the words of my Son, as well as the messages that I give you." [8/12/2016] Family prayer and especially family Rosary is so needed and vital today.
In March I gave a Medjugorje Parish Mission in New Jersey. On my way to NJ I had the graced opportunity go to Long Island NY to visit and pray with my cousin Sandra dying of cancer. I set up an altar at her bedside to celebrate Mass for her and her family. Then I anointed her and prayed the Divine Mercy Chaplet with her family. She died while I was giving the parish mission. I’ll never forget Sandra’s blissful smile and peace praying the Holy Mass next to her bedside.
Medjugorje Visionaries 2016:
Mirjana received the special mission of praying for unbelievers ("those who do not yet know the love of God"). She tells us, "If you only once saw the tears flowing from the eyes of the Gospa because of unbelievers, you would pray for them!"
Vicka told us that during the apparition on Good Friday 1982 the Madonna appeared with Jesus, not like at Christmas with the Infant Jesus. Gospa said, "Today I have come with my Son Jesus in his Passion so that you may see how much He suffered for you and how much He loves you." This past summer Vicka had to leave for Rome for renewed treatment for her spine which is already so damaged. Pray for Vicka, who has suffered so much throughout these years of the apparitions and offers her suffering to Jesus with such joy, so that we can live the messages. Over the years, Vicka has traveled 8 times to Israel privately with Italian families. Then Our Lady told her that the time had come for Vicka to convey her messages there. In August 2013 she made her 9th pilgrimage giving many talks. The fruits of her visit are outstanding and continue.
Medjugorje Happenings 2016:
In January, the Franciscans go from house to house and call down God's blessings upon the family. This gives the families the opportunity to be in personal contact with their priests and to talk about God. One of patron saints for the Year of Divine Mercy was Leopold Mandic, and in Medjugorje his statue stands right next to the confessionals: he is watching over the pilgrims so that they may make a good confession!
The first week of August the 27th annual Youth Festival was beautiful. With the World Youth Day being in Poland, they expected fewer young people, but were pleasantly surprised by their number. 70 countries were represented on the first day, and over 400 priests concelebrated the evening Masses. See the highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPscoGbo5Pk.
Father Jozo Zovko, the holy pastor of Medjugorje in 1981, is now with the Franciscans in Zagreb, Croatia. During the summer, his Community asked him to restore a former monastery in ruins on the island of Badija, the aim being to restore the monastery's former spiritual influence.
In September I was chaplain on a grace-filled pilgrimage to Rome for Mother Teresa’s canonization Mass and Mass of Thanksgiving the next day, then on to Assisi and to Manoppello to contemplate the miraculous veronica of the true face of Jesus. Scientific studies show it to be the same face as on the Shroud of Turin, but after His resurrection! Depending upon the lighting different aspects of Jesus’ face appear. Benedict XVI and Pope Francis went there.
I was chaplain of two cruises, in June to the Norwegian Fjords and the midnight sun from the northern most tip of Europe and in October from Alaska to Fort Lauderdale. These gave me many opportunities to share Our Lady’s apparitions and messages at Medjugorje with passengers at the daily Masses and around the ship. Sadly many knew nothing before about Medjugorje.
Personal & Thank You:
My maternal grandparents had ten children and 35 grandchildren. Two of my Shiebler cousins, John and Mary, hosted the first ever Shiebler First Cousins Reunion at their home in the open country hills of northern New York in September. It was great getting together with cousins and some of their children whom we had not seen for decades. I celebrated Mass with them, and realized again the gift of family and praying together as family.
Now as we begin a new year with Advent and Christmas I think of each one of you and all your extended families. You are always in my daily prayers and Masses. Thank you always for your prayers and support in my ministry. God bless you!
Love and Peace always in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2015
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2015 Messages: “Also today I call you: live your vocation in prayer.” [1/25]
Our Mother Mary throughout this year calls us to prayer and to live God’s love in the war against Satan. “In many hearts there is no joy because there is no God or prayer… I am calling you, little children, begin anew, with enthusiasm, the walk of holiness and love… with that immeasurable love of God to which God calls you.” [1/25] “In prayer seek the will of God and live it according to the commandments to which God calls you.” [2/25] “Many hearts have shut themselves to grace and have become deaf to my call. You, little children, pray and fight against temptation and all the evil plans which the devil offers you through modernism.” [3/25] “Pray to the Holy Spirit that He may transform you and fill you with His strength of faith and hope, so that you may be firm in this battle against evil.” [4/25]
God must be in the first place in our hearts and our lives. Our Lady continually encourages us to prayer, the means to live in intimate friendship with our Father. “Also today I am with you and with joy I call all of you: pray and believe in the power of prayer. Open your hearts, little children, so that God may fill you with His love and you will be a joy to others.” [5/25] “Not sorrow but joy and peace must begin to reign in the heart of every person – but without God you will never find peace. Therefore, little children, return to God and to prayer so that your heart may sing with joy.” [6/25] “Pray, pray, pray… Without God, little children, you do not have a future, you do not have hope or salvation; therefore leave evil and choose good.” [7/25] “The world is in a moment of trial, because it forgot and abandoned God. Therefore, little children, be those who seek and love God above all.” [8/25]
The Gospa needs our help in encouraging and witnessing to others. “I am praying to the Holy Spirit to fill your hearts with a strong faith. Prayer and faith will fill your heart with love and joy and you will be a sign for those who are far from God.” [9/25] “You are living in the days of grace and are not conscious of the gifts which God is giving to you through my presence… Rejoice in the love, little children, that in the eyes of God you are unrepeatable and irreplaceable, because you are God’s joy in this world. Witness peace, prayer and love.” [10/25] “Peace is in danger, therefore pray and be carriers of peace and hope in this restless world where Satan is attacking and tempting in every way.” [11/25] “I am giving you my Son Jesus’ peace and a longing for Heaven. I am praying with you for peace and am calling you to be peace. I am blessing all of you with my motherly blessing of peace.” [12/25, Christmas]
Medjugorje Happenings 2015:
On June 6 Pope Francis visited Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, with over 70,000 participants, in Bosnia, a mostly Moslem area. Medjugorje is in Herzegovina. His message concerned peace, a reality that is mostly absent in this country. He made it clear, “Jesus did not say ‘Blessed are those who talk about peace’, but ‘Blessed are the peacemakers!’” In the plane, on the way back to Rome, the Pope responded to a journalist who had asked about Medjugorje. Pope Francis stated that he had received the conclusions of the Vatican Commission on Medjugorje and that, “We are about to take some decisions and these will then be communicated.” [No decisions yet.]
Crippled and handicapped pilgrims, welcome! For 3 years in a row in Medjugorje, the people of the village of Medjugorje welcomed pilgrims with disabilities to their pansions at no cost! The initiative comes from the Franciscans as a beautiful sign of active and fraternal charity.
Medjugorje Visionaries 2015:
Vicka, Maria & Ivan continue receiving daily apparitions now into the 35th year. Mirjana on March 18, Ivanca on June 25, and Jakov on December 25 have annual apparitions as Our Lady has promised them for the rest of their lives.
Vicka is now back home after a serious back injury and surgery, but she has been too weak to receive pilgrims. She offers all her sufferings to Jesus for Our Lady's plans and for us, her children, because she knows the precious fruit of that offering. In 1983 Our Lady told her, “Very few people have understood the great value of suffering when it is offered to Jesus.” Vicka has an extraordinary smile, even in the midst of her worst illnesses. She attracts large groups of pilgrims and this year began praying over the group for up to an hour in silence.
Marija continues receiving Our Lady’s 25th-of-the-month messages for the world. She live near Milan with her husband and four sons, and comes regularly to Medjugorje in the summer.
Ivan prays and shares Mother Mary’s messages throughout the USA and Pacific-ring countries. Ivan’s family lives in Boston during the school year and in Medjugorje in the summer.
Mirjana has her 2nd-of-the-month apparitions monthly usually at the blue cross with many pilgrims, dewpending upon the season and weather, and receives messages for the world.
This year I was blessed with Guy Murphy of Totally Yours Pilgrimages inviting me as chaplain on two pilgrimages. On July 27–August 7, we returned to Ireland and then on to the Annual Youth Festival in Medjugorje. This was my third Youth Festival in Medjugorje and it has become a time of joyful retreat for me as for the youth (18-35 years). The spiritual retreat teachings to begin the day, conversion and witness talks, singing, etc. have been excellent. The youth love it and bring others with them each year so that the attendance increases every year and is now approaching 100,000! One young man told me that he has been to several World Youth Days and finds the Youth Festival so much better.
Then on December 3-9, we went to Guadalupe and Mexico. All of Mexico seems to turn out by the millions for the Feast Days Dec 8-9-12 of the Immaculate Conception, St Juan Diego, and Our Lady of Guadalupe. I celebrated two Masses in the Basilica for our group of 40.
Medjugorje Ministry 2015:
This was a uniquely special year for me as I was celebrating my 50th Golden Jubilee of Ordination. June 12 is my special anniversary of Birth (1934), Ordination (1965), and Solemn Profession in the Society of Jesus. The last thirty years of my priesthood I have been serving in the ministry of Our Lady of Medjugorje, Queen of Peace. These have been the happiest years of my life knowing that the choice was not mine but a gift from our Father and our Mother Mary’s calling me. In all my ministries I promote Mary’s call to return to her Son Jesus and live in God’s Will.
In May my Jesuit Ordination Jubilarians had a 4-day reunion here with me at Campion Center and in September we had the Province Jubilarians celebration at Boston College. My Parish Missions, “Discipleship with Jesus through Mary,” and Marian Evenings spread the urgent messages of Our Lady at Medjugorje. I was invited to give a Marian conference at Blessed Trinity in Ocala FL and spent a week there which included giving a teaching and celebrating a Mass for Inner Healing at each of the divisions of the Florida State Women’s Prison, as well as giving teachings and sharing supper with different prayer groups. Several cruise chaplaincies gave opportunities to share the call of Our Lady of Medjugorje to return to Jesus with Catholics who have never heard about Medjugorje. Mary is at war with Satan and he does not want us to follow her.
Thank You Again! It continues to be a great joy for me to remember every day at Mass everyone who has been a part of my life and ministry. Thank you for your friendship, prayers, generous donations and support in spreading word of my Marian Renewal Ministry with Our Lady and my availability to come to parishes, groups, and conferences worldwide. May God bless you and Mary keep you under her mantle of her love and protection.
Love and Peace always in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2014
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2014 Messages: "The Most High is giving me the grace that I can still be with you and to lead you in prayer towards the way of peace." [6/25, 33rd Anniversary]
In Our Lady’s monthly messages again this year she is constantly calling us to prayer of the heart. "Pray, pray, pray... Put the Sacred Scripture in a visible place in your families and read it, so that the words of peace may begin to flow in your hearts." [1/25] "In the hearts of many people there is no God... because they are far from prayer... You, little children, pray – live God's commandments." [2/25] In praying and living God’s Commandments our Mother Mary is showing us how to fight against sin and to be holy. "I am calling you anew: begin the battle against sin as in the first days, go to confession and decide for holiness. Therefore, turn your thoughts and heart to God and to prayer. Trust in His love. In God's spirit you are all called to be witnesses." [3/25] How are we witnesses? Our Lady tells us, "Be prayer and love for all those who are far from God and His love. I am with you." [4/25]
Our Blessed Mother greatly desires us to live fully in God’s love. "You are precious and I call you, little children, to holiness, to Eternal Life. Therefore, be aware that this life is passing." [5/25] "Your heart and soul thirst for peace and love, for God and His joy. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray and in prayer you will discover the wisdom of living." [6/25] "Return to God and to prayer, and may prayer begin to reign in your hearts, families and communities." [7/25] "Pray for my intentions, because Satan wants to destroy my plan which I have here and to steal your peace. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray that God can act through each of you. May your hearts be open to God's will." [8/25]
Our Mother Mary has three times called us to "pray, pray, pray" in her messages above. She is eager for us to be and radiate the love, joy and peace of her Son Jesus to others. "Little children, witness your faith and prayer in joy, in the joy of faith that is in your hearts; and pray for peace, which is a precious gift from God." [9/25] "Little children, be aware that your life is short and passing. Therefore, yearn for eternity and keep preparing your hearts in prayer." [10/25] "Little children, you will be everything and will achieve everything only if you pray and are open to God's will – to God who desires to lead you towards eternal life. I am with you and intercede for you before my Son Jesus." [11/25] "Pray to and adore my Son for His peace and joy to enter into your hearts. I am praying for you to be all the more open to prayer." [12/25] Our Mother Mary is with us always as she endearingly calls us little children and urges us to pray, pray, pray.
Medjugorje Happenings 2014:
The Vatican Commission on Medjugorje completed its investigation and gave their report to Pope Francis in February. All the visionaries have been called to Rome to speak with the Cardinals at various times and have been favorably received. All indications are that it is a very positive report. We also know that Pope Francis (as was Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI) personally approves and accepts Medjugorje since last October he invited the pastor 30 parishioners who were present in Medjugorje at the beginning of the apparitions to join all the formally approved Marian apparition sites to come to Rome for a special day in October 2013 and reserved seats for them right in front of the podium.
The 25th Annual Youth Festival was the largest ever with estimates well over 70,000. The new pastor, Fr Marinko, organized it more like a retreat this year, so it was very deep, prayerful, and joyful.
The Synod on the Family in Rome. Our Lady has told us, "Satan wants, as never before, to destroy your families." His second plan is to destroy priests and so the Church. She also has said, "Dear children, prayer in the family is THE remedy to heal today's world."
Medjugorje Visionaries 2014:
Ivan, Marija, and Vicka continue to receive daily apparitions into the 34th year. Ivan lives in Boston with his family. They are in Medjugorje during the summer vacation. Other times Ivan is in Medjugorje as for New Year’s. He prayed with pilgrims on Apparition Hill and Mary gave a message: "Dear children. Also today I desire that you live the messages that I have been giving you. Live my messages. Because only in this way can I give you other new messages. Pray in a special way for my plans that need to be realized. Plans for the world. Plans of peace."
Marija continues to receive Our Lady’s 25th-of-the-month messages to the entire world. She and her family live near Milan. She comes frequently to Medjugorje.
Vicka celebrated her 50th birthday on September 3rd! As always, Our Lady gave her a kiss, and Vicka was radiant with joy! Vicka is the oldest of the visionaries. Until now, when receiving the pilgrims, Vicka would pray silently for a full 20 minutes over the crowd. Recently, she prayed for a whole hour, which has never happened before! No one moved or spoke. This new initiative of Vicka's is a notable sign Our Lady is giving us to better understand the urgency of prayer today.
Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov live in Medjugorje with their families. They no longer have daily apparitions, but Our Lady is faithful to her promise to come to them each year on March 18, June 25, and December 25 respectively, for the rest of their lives.
Mirjana prays at the Blue Cross on the 2nd-of-each-month for all who do not know God’s love. Our Lady appears to her and gives her a message for all of us. Large crowds attend.
Sr Emmanuel in Medjugorje recently interviewed Jakov. About a year after the apparitions began Jakov’s mother died. He was devastated for she was his only family. The next day Our Lady told him that she was with her. When asked what was so special about her that she went immediately to heaven, he replied, "No, there was nothing special about my mother, she was just like everyone else, she did everything the Gospa told us!"
Since 2004 Guy Murphy, founder of Totally Yours Pilgrimages, has invited me to be chaplain of a different pilgrimage each year. This year I was privileged to be spiritual director on Guy’s 20-day Pilgrimage to Shrines of France, Spain, and Portugal in September-October. We began in Paris and circled France. Some of the highlights for me were St Joan of Arc, St Therese of Lisieux (my Vow Patroness), Cure de Ars, La Salette, and Lourdes. Then on to Spain to Loyola Castle where St Ignatius was born and years later converted. I privileged to celebrate Holy Mass in the family chapel at Loyola. We went on to Garabandal where Our Lady appeared many times to four 12-year-old girls and gave two most important messages; and then we went to the shrines of St Teresa in Avila. Our journey concluded in Fatima for the October 13th Anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun, and a side trip to the Bleeding Host of Santarem.
Medjugorje Ministry 2014:
I first heard of Medjugorje 30 years ago and felt Our Lady calling me to share her urgent messages in my retreats. Retreatants began asking me to give Medjugorje Evenings and Eucharistic Healing Evenings in their parishes. This developed into Parish Missions, "Called to Discipleship with Jesus through Mary." Word spread across the USA and internationally, taking me to date to 44 of the US states and 10 other English speaking countries. I have been invited also to speak at Marian and Eucharistic Conferences. My Marian Renewal Ministry has included preaching on Medjugorje and otherr Marian shrines as Spiritual Director on 75 pilgrimages and as Preist Chaplain at sea on 115 cruises over the years. I have also been called to be a Chaplain of prayer groups: for 21 years with "Road to Calvary Prayer Group" dedicated to Our Lady’s insistent call to pray for our priests, and now as a Chaplain with a "Marian Movement of Priests Prayer Group." Praise God!
It is a great joy remembering every day at Mass everyone who has been a part of my life and ministry. Thank you for your friendship, prayers, and generous support in spreading word of my Marian Renewal Ministry with Our Lady Queen of Peace and my availability to come to parishes, groups, and conferences worldwide. Our Lady has spread this ministry worldwide through many people who have been blessed through this ministry. May God bless all of you and Mary protect you always.
Love and Peace always in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2013
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2013 Messages: "Also today I call you to prayer."
OurOur Lady Queen of Peace has constantly called us to pray with our hearts. In her monthly messages this year the priority of prayer and its fruits have been insistent. "May your prayer be as strong as a living stone, until with your lives you become witnesses. Witness the beauty of your faith." [1/25] "Sin is pulling you towards worldly things and I have come to lead you towards holiness and the things of God. Therefore, little children, pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you and your life will become a simple walk towards God." [2/25] "He who is love gave Himself out of love to save each of you. Pray, pray, pray until love and peace begin to reign in your hearts." [3/25] "Pray, pray, keep praying until your heart opens in faith as a flower opens to the warm rays of the sun. I call you to personal conversion and to family prayer." [4/25]
Our Mother Mary urges us to be children of prayer to open the Heart of Jesus and our own hearts to love, conversion and holiness. "Today I call you to be strong and resolute in faith and prayer, until your prayers are so strong so as to open the Heart of my beloved Son Jesus." [5/25] "Open yourselves, little children, to prayer, open yourselves to my love. I am your mother and cannot leave you alone in wandering and sin. You are called, little children, to be my children, my beloved children, so I can present you all to my Son." [6/25, 32nd Anniversary] "Decide, little children, to be far from sin and temptation and may there be joy and love for holiness in your hearts." [7/25]
The Gospa tells us that prayer of the heart works miracles in our lives and we become signs to others. "Every day I am sowing and am calling you to conversion, that you may be prayer, peace, love. Therefore, little children, again, with enthusiasm say: ‘I want to be a sign to others.’" [8/25] "Prayer works miracles in you and through you, therefore, little children, may prayer be a joy for you. Then your relationship with life will be deeper and more open and you will comprehend that life is a gift for each of you." [9/25] "Prayer works miracles in you and through you. Therefore, little children, in the simplicity of heart seek of the Most High to give you the strength to be God’s children and for Satan not to shake you like the wind shakes the branches." [10/25] "Open the doors of your heart profoundly to prayer, little children, to prayer with the heart. Your faith will become firm so that you will be able to say with all your heart: ‘My God, my all.’" [11/25] "The fruit of prayer will be seen on the faces of the people who have decided for God and His Kingdom." [12/25] Mary is with us always. "I love you, little children, and accompany you with my intercession before the Most High. Thank you for having responded to my call." [7/25]
Medjugorje Happenings 2013:
Among the largest gatherings of pilgrims in Medjugorje are the Youth Festival (Aug 1-6) and the Yearly Anniversary of the Apparitions (Jun 24-25). The 24 Annual Youth Festival this year numbered up to 70,000+ attending, with over 500 priests. The Evening Mass was concelebrated by over 410 to 515 each day. Many priests were graced and joyful in hearing confessions filled with the Spirit of Christ. Testimonies, teachings, praying, singing and dancing – it was a joyful, spirit-filled and uplifting week.
For the Marian Days in Rome, October 12-13, Pope Francis invited representatives of the Marian shrines, officially recognized by the Church. The pastor at Medjugorje also received an invitation from Rome to attend these Marian Days with 30 parishioners from the beginning days of the apparitions. This was the only Marian shrine "not yet formally recognized" to be invited, and were given choice seats in St Peter’s Square near Pope Francis.
Medjugorje Visionaries 2013:
Ivan, Marija, and Vicka continue to receive daily apparitions into the 33rd year. Ivan in March was invited to Argentina. A few days before leaving for Rome to join the conclave, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio SJ gave his approval for Ivan to receive the apparition at Luna Park which was packed. According to Ivan, during the apparition the Blessed Mother prayed at length in Aramaic, her mother tongue, over each priest present and in her message urged us: "Dear children! Today I invite you to open yourself to prayer. You are living a time in which God gives you great blessings and you don’t know how to take advantage of it. You are preoccupied by lots of things except your soul and your spiritual life. Wake up from this tired world, awaken your soul from its slee p and say to God with all your strength, ‘Yes!’ Decide for holiness and conversion." Cardinal Bergoglio has followed events in Medjugorje for years and given them credit. He welcomed Fr Jozo Zovko and Fr Danko, Franciscans from Medjugorje, to Argentina, and now Ivan. Early September Ivan’s family left for Boston for the school year and his missions elsewhere.
Marija continues to receive the Mary’s messages to all her children on the 25th of each month. On July 3rd her nephew, Filip Pavlovic, was ordained a priest at the church of St James in Medjugorje. He received his priestly vocation at age 4, and never changed.
Vicka, who has offered much suffering joyfully over the years, in April was accidently pushed again by a pilgrim and sustained a spinal injury while giving her testimony to pilgrims in Medjugorje. She was taken to Rome for spinal exams, and then treated in Zagreb. Doctors do not plan on another operation, but she must undergo very delicate back therapy. So she was not able to continue her welcoming of pilgrims in Medjugorje for several months. She was well enough on August 19-26 to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Mary’s land. Thousands of people – Jews, Moslems, Christians and others – attended her apparitions. On September 9 Vicka reemerged as a witness in Medjugorje to a large group of pilgrims.
Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov no longer receive daily apparitions. Our Lady is faithful promised to come to them each year on March 18, June 25, and December 25 respectively, for the rest of their lives. Mirjana on the 2nd of each month continues to have her apparitions and receive a message at the Blue Cross with large crowds of pilgrims attending. Our Mother Mary urged us on June 2: "To be worthy of the Father, love and forgive because your Father is love and forgiveness. Pray and fast, because that is the way to your purification, it is the way of coming to know and becoming cognizant of the Heavenly Father. When you become cognizant of the Father, you will comprehend that He is all you need." Ivanka and Jakov now share with pilgrims giving witness at times in the Parish Hall.
A highlight for me this year was being invited by Totally Yours to be chaplain on their Ireland & Medjugorje Youth Festival Pilgrimage, Jul 27-Aug 7. We visited shrines of Ireland including Knock and participated in the Medjugorje Youth Festival which I first attended in 2007. Again the youth and young adults alive in their faith were most inspiring. This year I was also invited to be chaplain for two local pilgrimages, Shrines of Michigan in May and Shrines of New Orleans in December. We have many shrines in USA.
Medjugorje Ministry 2013:
In my Marian Renewal Ministry this year I was invited to be a speaker and celebrate Mass at Marian Conferences in Chicago IL and Springfield MO. Missouri became the 44th of the 50 US states to invite my ministry. While there for the conference I gave a Medjugorje Evening and Eucharistic Healing Evening in another parish.
Each morning I raise to God in my Morning Offering and again at Mass all of you who have become a part of my life and ministry. Thank you for your friendship and prayers, and the support of many in spreading word of my Marian Renewal Ministry with Our Lady and my availability to come to parishes, groups, and conferences worldwide to re-evangelize in parish seminars, retreats, days and evenings of prayer for the past 29 years.
Love and Peace always in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2012
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2012 Messages: “Only in God is your peace and hope, dear children.” [9/25]
Pondering on our Mother Mary’s monthly messages this year I am caught up in her great desire and insistence that we open ourselves to prayer and conversion for that is the only way to live in God’s grace for He is the hope, peace, and joy that we seek. “Open yourselves to prayer, until it becomes a joy for you. Little children, with your lives witness faith and pray that faith may grow day by day in your hearts.” [1/25] “At this time, in a special way I call you: ‘pray with the heart.’ Little children, you speak much and pray little. Read and meditate on Sacred Scripture, and may the words written in it be life for you.” [2/25] “May prayer become a need for you to grow more in holiness every day. Work more on your conversion because you are far away, little children.” [3/25] Our Mother is always teaching us how to pray with the heart. “Also today I am calling you to prayer, and may your heart, little children, open towards God as a flower opens towards the warmth of the sun.” [4/24] “God desires to give you joy and peace through prayer but you, little children, are still far away–attached to the earth and to earthly things. Therefore, I call you anew: open your heart and your sight towards God and the things of God.” [5/25]
On the 31st anniversary Our Lady told us: “If you pray, little children, you are with me and you are seeking the will of my Son and are living it.” [6/25] “You are God's children and carriers of His hope to this world that is without joy in the heart, and is without a future, because it does not have its heart open to God who is your salvation.” [7/25] “Give thanks to God's love that I can love and lead each of you through my Immaculate Heart also toward conversion. Open your hearts and decide for holiness, and hope will give birth to joy in your hearts.” [8/25] “Open your heart and pray with gratitude for all the good that you have and say: ‘I am here created for eternity’–and yearn for heavenly things.” [9/25]
To become holy requires prayer and fasting, so our Mother urges us, “Renew fasting and prayer because Satan is cunning and attracts many hearts to sin and perdition.” [10/25] Again Mary calls us: “Open yourselves to Holy Confession. I protect you from the ruin of sin, but you must open yourselves to the way of conversion and holiness, that your heart may burn out of love for God.” [11/25] Our Mother Mary graciously concludes each monthly message: “Thank you for having responded to my call.” On Christmas Day Our Lady did not give a message, but little Jesus in her arms spoke to the amazement of all, saying: “I am your peace, live my commandments.” [12/25]
Medjugorje Happenings 2012:
Snow rarely falls in Medjugorje. I was told once that about every ten years they have a light snow. Yet this year in early February a very heavy snow storm covered Medjugorje, and everything except the Church and its Prayer Program closed down for more than two weeks.
June 24-25 was the 31st Anniversary of the ongoing daily apparitions at Medjugorje, and throughout the world since the visionaries receive their apparitions wherever they are. There was a Novena of preparation worldwide on June 16-24, including Masses, Rosaries, Adoration, Fasting, Confession, etc.
The 23rd Annual Youth Festival was held the first week of August with tens of thousands coming as the crowds continue to increase exceeding the previous year. How Fr Slavko Barbaric who began the Youth Festivals in 1990 with about 800 young people must rejoice now in heaven. Many came to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the death of Fr Slavko on November 24, 2000, on Cross Mountain. In his eighteen years in Medjugorje he established the spiritual program of the shrine including the three hour Evening Program, Adoration Chapel, founded Mother’s Village for war orphans, aided the poor, etc., all in living a life of prayer and fasting. I sought out his spiritual counsel often in Medjugorje.
Medjugorje Visionaries 2012:
As the ongoing daily apparitions of Our Lady Queen of Peace continue into the 32nd year, Marija, Vicka, and Ivan continue to have daily apparitions. They are being invited by conferences and parishes throughout the world to bring the apparitions and messages of Mary to many. Among other places, on March 10th and 11th Marija was invited to the Beirut Forum at Karantina, where she prayed and gave her testimony in front of more than 60,000 people of all religions of Lebanon. It was an exceptional event for this territory so often stained by the blood of divisions between Christians and Muslims. Our Blessed Mother gave this message to the Lebanese people: “Do not forget that I am your Mother and that I love you!”
Mirjana, Ivanka and Jakov no longer receive a daily apparition. However, Our Lady has promised them an annual apparition for the rest of their lives. Our Mother Mary also continues her special apparitions on the 2nd-of-the-month to Mirjana. These are now taking place at the Blue Cross with thousands of pilgrims with her in prayer to receive Mary’s blessing and message. In all her monthly messages to Mirjana our Lady greatly desires that we pray for our priests for they are under Satan’s attack. She has said that her triumph will be through her priests. On February 2, in the large Naples Stadium, about 30,000 people were gathered to attend Mirjana’s monthly apparition. There was a very tangible anointing coming down from Heaven when the Blessed Mother appeared, resulting in many conversions. Afterwards many saw the miracle of the sun.
Once again this year I was spiritual director with Totally Yours Pilgrimages in late September and early October for 32 pilgrims to Rome and shrines of Italy and a week via ferry to/from Medjugorje. It was a great privilege and joy for me to celebrate Holy Mass for our group in shrines like the Mary Chapel in St John Lateran, at the altar used by St Padre Pio at Pietrelcina, at the House of Loreto, St Francis Basilica and St Mary of the Angels in Assisi. Blessed Pope John Paul II’s tomb is now in the main part of St Peter’s Basilica not far from the Pieta. Crossing over to Medjugorje we joined 49 others who made only the Medjugorje portion. We were housed in Mirjana’s pansion, with a few of us, myself included, being in the home of Marija’s brother who lived another ten years after his kidney transplant from Marija.
Medjugorje Ministry 2012:
In our day the Church is again being persecuted in the United States, as in Europe and earlier in Russia, and not unlike in the Roman Empire until the conversion of Emperor Constantine. Our God is with us always and now is sending our Mother Mary to lead us back to her Son Jesus daily at Medjugorje for over 31 years, as earlier at Guadalupe, Lourdes, Fatima and many other places. She needs our cooperation, priests and laity, in the triumph of her Immaculate Heart. Mary asks that the Pope with all the bishops together consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart and promises that the dogmatic definition of her role as Mother of the Church and all Peoples–Coredemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate–will bring about her triumph. She tells us that every one has an important role.
When Our Lady called me to her Medjugorje ministry by sharing her messages at Medjugorje in giving Ignatian retreats, my retreatants experienced a renewal of Faith and called me to their parishes to speak. My Marian Renewal Ministry grew rapidly through the laity and then priests and bishops spreading the word. Last year a man in Kentucky heard of this ministry and contacted me for information, which he shared with his parish priest. This February I gave a Medjugorje Parish Mission there and Kentucky became the 43rd US state to which Mary has lead me. The pastor in turn told a priest friend and I shared at another Kentucky parish. It’s our Father’s work through Mary in re-evangelizing His people. I am only a messenger dependant upon many others, laity and clergy, in preaching the Word of God’s love. This year I also was called to return to parishes to follow-up their mission, “Called to Discipleship with Jesus through Mary,” with a second mission on the Luminous Mysteries: “Called to Live in the Light of Jesus through Mary.” Jesus is the Truth, the Way, and the Life, our joy and peace.
Every day in my morning offering I lift up to God all those who have become a part of my life and ministry and remember you in celebrating Mass each day. I’m very grateful to all who live and promote our Mother Mary’s messages, and especially those who have helped in many ways my ministry to parishes to share our Mother’s call to peace. Let us pray for the Consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart and the final Marian Dogma leading to a time of World Peace. Praise God!
Love and Peace always in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2011
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2011 Messages: “Today I desire to give you hope and joy.” [11/25]:
This year as last year in her monthly messages Mary Queen of Peace has been focusing on our living in joy. She began this year telling us, “I am not losing hope that this world will change for the good and that peace will reign in the hearts of men. Joy will begin to reign in the world because you have opened yourselves to my call and to God's love.” [1/25] “Work on your conversion and you be those who witness with their life, so that your example may be a sign and an incentive for conversion to others.” [2/25] Our Blessed Mother has great desires for us. “May your life be a joyful living of God's will at every moment of your life.” [3/25] “I am with you and I unceasingly pray for you that your life may be a reflection of Heaven.” [4/25]
Mirjana tells us Our Lady’s tears are unbearable. In sorrow our Mother Mary said, “You knock on the door of my heart, but without hope and prayer, in sin, and without the Sacrament of Reconciliation with God. Leave sin and decide, little children, for holiness.” [5/25] On the 30th Anniversary Our Lady told us, “My heart is joyful watching the love and joy in the living of my messages. Many of you have responded, but I wait for, and seek, all the hearts that have fallen asleep to awaken from the sleep of unbelief.” [6/25] Our Blessed Mother is ever loving and hopeful. “Open your hearts to the Holy Spirit so that all the good that is in you may blossom and bear fruit one hundred fold.” [7/25]
Our Mother Mary is fighting against Satan. “Dear children, today I call you to pray and fast for my intentions, because Satan wants to destroy my plan.” [8/25] “You, who live in the love of God and have experienced His gifts, witness them with your words and life that they may be for the joy and encouragement to others in faith.” [9/25] “Today I desire to give you the joy of the Risen One, that He may lead you and embrace you with His love and tenderness.” [10/25] “I desire to lead you towards a time of grace, so that through this time you may be all the closer to my Son, that He can lead you towards His love and eternal life, for which every heart yearns.” [11/25] “Pray, little children, and witness so that in every heart, no human but God’s peace may prevail.” [12/25] Our Lady desires that we be with her Son.
Medjugorje Happenings 2011:
The big Medjugorje event of the year was the week-long 30th Anniversary celebration of the ongoing daily apparitions and messages to the world of our Mother Mary Queen of Peace. The parish and pilgrims prepared for this June 24-25th anniversary through prayer, fasting, sacramental reconciliation, and in general living and witnessing Our Lady’s messages. Mary, like Pope Benedict XVI, is calling us to live our faith in practice. The confessionals and area around the church were crowded with long lines before many priests hearing confessions. Many had forgotten this sacrament for decades and now returned to the Father’s love. During these days the Cross Mountain, Apparition Hill, and other areas of prayer were overcrowded day and night. It is difficult to confirm how many came, but there were estimates of over 100,000 from every continent of the world were there.
In 1992 a group of about 300, mainly German pilgrims, arrived at the Franciscan monastery about ten miles from Medjugorje, praying for peace in this war-torn land of former Communist Yugoslavia. Since then on June 24th an annual Walk for Peace has taken place from St Anthony Monastery to Medjugorje, but the 300 of 1992 are now several thousand pilgrims from the entire world.
The 21st Annual Youth Festival on the first six days of August was once again magnificent in the great quality of the celebrations, songs, teachings, testimonies, and joy that seized tens of thousands of young people representing over 60 different countries. Priests came in large numbers to help, listen, and hear confessions. In the daily evening prayer program there were over 500 priests concelebrating on August 4 at the Mass. The festival ended with a sunrise Mass on Cross Mountain on Aug 6, Feast of the Transfiguration. Thanks to MIR Centre of Medjugorje, thousands of people followed the Youth Festival "live". The parish continues to broadcast live on the Internet the 3-hour evening program (6pm-9pm in Summer, 5pm-8pm in winter, Medjugorje time. NB: Subtract 7 hours for Eastern Time.) at www.medjugorje.hr. Also check out Mary TV in Medjugorje at www.MaryTV.tv.
Medjugorje Visionaries 2011:
The status of the visionaries remains the same now in the 31st year of the ongoing daily apparitions. Ivanka, Mirjana, and Jakov on the last day of their daily apparitions were promised an annual apparition for the rest of their lives on June 25, March 18, and December 25 respectively. For many years now Mirjana has also had apparitions on the 2nd-of-the-month and been given messages for the world. Marija who receives the 25th-of-the-month messages for the world since January 1987, Ivan who lives with his family in Boston during the school year, and Vicka who continues to joyfully offer up much physical suffering, all continue to have the daily apparitions wherever they are.
This year I was privileged to serve as spiritual director on two pilgrimages, the first in the early fall to Medjugorje & Italy. Our Lady first called me to Medjugorje in November 1985 after I had already been preaching on her apparitions and messages in my Ignatian retreats for nearly a year and my retreatants were inviting me to their parishes. This was the start of my Marian Renewal Ministry which became full time worldwide in 1988. This trip was my 50th Medjugorje pilgrimage as spiritual director. It never ceases to amaze me each time I go that I find more large family pansions/hotels being built to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims coming from all over the world. I was at “home” again!
While in Italy I received an urgent email request to be co-chaplain and speaker for a conference pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Greece in the footsteps of Jesus and St Paul, which began two weeks after I returned from Medjugorje. I’ve been with groups six times before to the Holy Land, but it is always a blessed gift to walk where Jesus walked and celebrate His Mass where He lived and preached.
Medjugorje Ministry 2011:
My full time international Medjugorje ministry to which our Mother Mary has called me began in 1985 and has continued now for 27 years. After returning from preaching in eight parishes in South Africa at the end of last year, my ministry this year was mainly in the eastern U.S. from Illinois to Florida, preaching on Our Lady’s ongoing daily apparitions now in their 31st year and her 25 years of monthly messages given to Marija of Medjugorje. Parish missions, retreats, Marian Evenings and Eucharistic Healing Evenings to parishes remains the heart of my evangelizing ministry.
Besides being spiritual director of two pilgrimages this fall I was also the Priest Chaplain on cruises to Alaska and the southern Caribbean. These have provided a graced opportunity to share God’s love for us in sending our Mother Mary at Medjugorje and to preach on her call to discipleship with her Son Jesus. Although Medjugorje has the full support and acceptance of Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI, both of whom have interviewed Medjugorje visionaries in the Papal Palace, many Catholics have not heard of Our Lady’s apparitions or have gotten only negative reports. These negative reports have all been proven false by four separate teams of doctors who have scientifically examined the visionaries in depth during their apparitions. The conclusion of each team over the years has been that the visionaries are normal healthy young people (not liars, hallucinating, psychotic, etc.), and are responding to something in front of them which the doctors can not detect. The Vatican has now taken over the examination of Medjugorje and has given it to a Vatican commission of cardinals and experts.
This ministry continues thanks to many people telling parishes of their experience of my ministry with Our Lady Queen of Peace and of my availability to travel anywhere. I am grateful to all who have supported me in this ministry and all who share God’s gift of Our Lady coming daily to us, especially by witnessing her messages in their lives. You and your loved ones are remembered in my daily Masses and prayers as I implore God’s loving blessings and graces upon you.
Love and Peace always in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2010
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2010 Messages: “Dear children! May this time be a time of personal prayer for you.” [1/25]
Thus began the Gospa’s first monthly message this year. She continues to call us to a life of personal prayer of the heart, a true intimate friendship with her Son Jesus. This message continues, “so that the seed of faith may grow in your hearts; and may it grow into a joyful witness to others.” [1/25] Our Lady makes us aware that we are not focused on our loving Father and eternal life. “Open your hearts to God the Creator for Him to transform and mold you in His image, so that all the good which has fallen asleep in your hearts may awaken to a new life and a longing towards eternity.” [2/25] “Be strong in prayer and in the moments when trials attack you. Live your Christian vocation in joy and humility and witness to everyone.” [3/25] “Pray so that through your prayers I can help you to have hearts all the more opened to my messages. Pray for my intentions. I am with you and I intercede before my Son for you.” [4/25]
Faith has grown weak in our times and many live in sin without God. “Satan does not sleep and through modernism diverts you and leads you to his way. Therefore, little children, in the love for my Immaculate Heart, love God above everything and live His commandments.” [5/25] “I desire to lead you all only to my Son, and in Him you will find true peace and the joy of your heart.” [6/25] Eternal life is at stake. “You are not aware that without Him you do not have joy and peace, nor a future nor eternal life. Therefore, little children, make good use of this time of joyful prayer and surrender.” [7/25]
Our Mother Mary continued to call us to prayer throughout the day. “Pray, pray, pray. May this time be a time of personal prayer for you. During the day, find a place where you will pray joyfully in a recollected way.” [8/25] Prayer leads to conversion. “I urge you to live your life of faith even more, because you are still weak and are not humble. I urge you, little children, to speak less and to work more on your personal conversion so that your witness may be fruitful.” [9/25] “Therefore, pray and seek the intercession of all the saints. May they be for you an example, an incentive and a joy towards eternal life.” [10/25] “I look at you and I see in your heart death without hope, restlessness and hunger. There is no prayer or trust in God, that is why the Most High permits me to bring you hope and joy. Open yourselves. Open your hearts to God's mercy and He will give you everything you need and will fill your hearts with peace, because He is peace and your hope.” [11/25] “Dear children! Today, I and my Son desire to give you an abundance of joy and peace so that each of you may be a joyful carrier and witness of peace and joy in the places where you live.” [12/25] Our Mother Mary calls us to peace, joy and happiness living a life of true faith in God.
Medjugorje Happenings 2010:
Cardinal Schönborn of Vienna came on a private pilgrimage to Medjugorje at New Year's. This was a major event in the history of Medjugorje. He witnessed many beautiful conversions, physical and moral healings, and sincere and profound confessions. The Cardinal during the Holy Hour that he led in St. James church declared, “I came to Medjugorje to be near the Mother of the Lord.” On New Year’s evening many pilgrims gathered on Apparition Hill where the Gospa appeared to Marija, who reported, “The Gospa came today very happy, with legions of Angels!” “She looked at all of us and smiled at us saying, ‘You are my joy, you are my hope!’ Then she urged us to live the messages that she has given us.” Every one of us is important in carrying out her mission to mankind. Mirjana received her February 2nd-of-the-month apparition in Naples, Italy, with over 15,000 people gathered for the event, believers and unbelievers. “Dear children! With motherly love, today I call you to be a lighthouse to all souls who wander in the darkness of ignorance of God's love.”
Early in the year Pope Benedict named a Vatican commission of cardinals, bishops and experts lead by Cardinal Ruini in Rome, under the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, to study the appari-tions at Medjugorje, which has become the third largest pilgrimage site in Europe. The annual August Youth Festival with excellent speakers has grown to over 50,000 this year. One evening 550 priests from 80 countries concelebrated the Mass with many more priests hearing confessions. Back in 1982 our Lady said, “When there is sin, there is no peace.” “Monthly Confession shall be a remedy for the Church of the West.” Accounts of conversion confessions in Medjugorje truly abound. During the Youth Festival Dominik, a Slovakian of 16, who was in rebellion against the faith, went swimming and drowned. He was under water for over ten minutes before being rescued and after another 10-15 minutes was resuscitated, hospitalized in coma, and now gives testimony. His story brought many youth back to God at the Festival.
Crowds of Italians are now flocking to Medjugorje. Paolo Brozio who “lived merrily in sin” had a mother who relentlessly begged God to grant her the conversion of her son. A year and a half ago when God was Paolo's last concern, he visited Medjugorje. Our Mother Mary touch the heart of this well known journalist, a man of showbiz and a TV star! His conversion shook Italy. Since then, he has been using his personal gifts and the media to talk about God and his conversion with great conviction.
For nearly two years Vicka was unavailable to the pilgrims due to her poor health. Early in December Vicka, beaming with joy, was back in Medjugorje on the steps of her parents’ home speaking and praying with pilgrims. Vicka, Marija, and Ivan continue to have ongoing daily apparitions. Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov who no longer have daily apparitions continue to have an annual apparition–Mirjana on March 18, Ivanka on June 25, & Jakov on December 25–as Our Lady promised them for the rest of their lives. All are married with children. June 25, 2011, will be the 30th anniversary of these apparitions.
In September I was privileged to be co-chaplain of a pilgrimage to Germany and Medjugorje. This was very special for me as it was my 50th pilgrimage to Medjugorje and included the world-famous Oberammergau Passion Play, which is performed every ten years by over 2,000 villagers in fulfillment of a vow made for deliverance from the Black Plague in 1534. Being of German stock on both sides of my family I delighted in visiting many sites in Germany, including the Cathedrals of Munich and Cologne, the opening day of Munich’s famous Oktoberfest, Therese Neuman shrine in Konnersreuth, Regensburg on the Danube River with its Cathedral and Boys’ Choir, and the Marian Shrine at Altotting.
In Medjugorje we stayed at the home of the visionary Mirjana, always a privilege as she shares with our group. Medjugorje continues to grow with over a million pilgrims coming each year. We had 25 priests concelebrating the morning English Mass and being in full time Medjugorje ministry I was privileged to be the principle celebrant and homilist one day. We climbed Apparition Hill praying the Rosary and Cross Mountain praying the Way of the Cross. The landscape continues to change as new buildings go up to house the many pilgrims. I prayed at Fr Slavko’s tomb; November 24th was his 10th anniversary.
Medjugorje Ministry 2010:
All my ministry is centered on sharing with as many people as possible God’s love in sending Our Lady to us every day for thirty years with her call to prayer, fasting and conversion. I began the year in California as chaplain of two cruises to Mexico teaching many who knew nothing about Medjugorje, and then preaching two evenings in Dana Point while visiting friends from my first pilgrimage with Marriage Encounter in the Holy Year 1975. Five parish missions followed, one pre-Lent in Providence RI, followed by three Lenten missions in Florida, and a fifth in Saskatchewan followed by the Holy Week services in another parish there. April took me to Long Island NY for a parish mission and several evenings of prayer. June-July was relaxed, with opportunity to be with my Jesuit New England Province for our Assembly and Ordinations at Chestnut Hill MA and later for a special Province 8-day Retreat at Fairfield CT where I had my first teaching assignment back in 1959-62.
In August I returned to Long Island NY where I was born and had the occasion to visit some of my many cousins. I was invited to give the Filipino North American Youth Conference 2010 there with busloads of youth from encountered families coming from cities throughout the US and Canada. One of many signs of hope today of youth witnessing their Faith. In October I drove to Syracuse NY for two Medjugorje parish missions and four evenings of prayer. One of the highlights of my year was being invited to South Africa in November-December to bring the Medjugorje message to my tenth country outside the USA, giving four parish missions, evenings in four other parishes, and interviews on two radio stations. I spent a wonderful day at Little Eden, home for 290 infant to middle-aged severe-mentally handicapped children, founded 45 years ago by Domitilla Hyams and family. Just before I left Africa I got to spend a day at a game park with the wild life of Africa in their natural habitat (not zoos).
Future Ministry 2011:
June 25, 2011, will be the 30th Anniversary of the Gospa’s ongoing daily apparitions in Medjugorje and throughout the world wherever the six visionaries are. As long as my good health permits I will continue in this ministry. A lady who lived in South Africa for many years and returned to the US encouraged her parish in South Africa to invite me. Our Lady and I depend upon people like you telling others of her urgent call to live in God’s love. I’m most grateful for your prayers and telling parishes about my ministry and availability (please go to www.MarianRenewal.com). You are always in my daily Masses and prayers.
Love and Peace always in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2009
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2009 Messages: "I am with you to instruct you and to lead you towards eternity." [09/9]:
During 2009 our Mother Mary in her 25th-of-the-month messages has been deeply concerned that many are on the wrong path to eternity. Three times Our Lady has mentioned "eternity" as she continues to remain with us directing us on the only way to eternal happiness in God's love. "I desire, little children, for each of you to fall in love with eternal life which is your future, and for all worldly things to be a help for you to draw you closer to God the Creator. I am with you for this long because you are on the wrong path." [09/1] In Lent the Gospa called us to convert. "In this time of renunciation, prayer and penance, I call you anew: go and confess your sins so that grace may open your hearts, and permit it to change you. Convert, little children, open yourselves to God and to His plan for each of you." [09/2] "Awaken your souls with prayer so that the risen Jesus may draw you closer to His Heart so that you may become open to eternal life." [09/3] In Easter time our Queen of Peace called us "all to pray for peace and to witness it in your families so that peace may become the highest treasure on this peaceless earth." [09/4] "I call you all to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit so that the Holy Spirit may renew you all and lead you on the way of witnessing your faith." [09/5]
On the 28th Anniversary she reminded us of the reason God sends her to us. "Pray that, in your hearts, God may be in the center of your life and with your life witness, little children, so that every creature may feel God's love." [09/6] Then in the summer Our Lady urged us to "pray, pray, pray." "Dear children, may this time be a time of prayer for you." [09/7] "You are not holy enough and you do not radiate holiness to others, therefore pray, pray, pray and work on your personal conversion, so that you may be a sign of God's love to others." [09/8] How do we work on our conversion? "Offer all your joys and sorrows to my Immaculate Heart that I may lead you all to my most beloved Son, so that you may find joy in His Heart." [09/9]
The Gospa tells us that God sends her to show us the way to salvation. "Pray, fast and joyfully witness your faith, little children, and may your heart always be filled with prayer." [09/10] We begin with ourselves so that our lives witness God's love to our families and then to all. "In this time of grace I call you all to renew prayer in your families. Prepare yourselves with joy for the coming of Jesus. Little children, may your hearts be pure and pleasing, so that love and warmth may flow through you into every heart that is far from His love." [09/11] Every message concludes, "Thank you for having responded to my call." Thank you, Mother Mary.
Medjugorje Happenings 2009:
Three of the six visionaries continue to have daily apparitions. Ivan with his family lives in Boston during the school year. Upon returning to Medjugorje in May for the summer months he prayed with his prayer group at the Blue Cross. Our Lady again insisted that now as never before Satan wants to destroy the family. She invites us to pray in the family and for the family. Vicka has not been able to meet the pilgrims this year. She fell on the staircase in her home in February and badly hurt her back. She is suffering terribly, yet offers it joyfully as a gift to God calling it a great grace. She continues intensive therapy at the Zagreb Clinic and needs a lot of rest in order to recover. Marija was welcomed by Cardinal Schönborn to St Stephan Cathedral in Vienna, Austria, on September 15 at a five-hour evening of prayer. Cardinal Schönborn spoke of the importance and many graces of conversion, reconciliation, and healing at Medjugorje through Our Lady in his concluding testimony.
Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov have an annual apparition for the rest of their lives. Mirjana also has an apparition the 2nd-of-the-month at the Blue Cross at the foot of Apparition Hill to pray with Our Lady for those who do not know God's love. Many pilgrims gather to pray with her and receive Our Lady's message through her. Her annual apparition on March 18 was also at the Blue Cross, and in her message our Mother Mary asked us, "Today I call you to look into your hearts sincerely and for a long time. What will you see in them? Where is my Son in them and where is the desire to follow me to Him?" On May 2nd the Gospa addressed us, "My poor children." Have we welcomed her maternal Heart, and placed her Son Jesus in the first place? Many reject or ignore her, her messages and her blessings!
Fr Jozo Zovko OFM, the pastor of Medjugorje when the apparitions began, is on sabbatical this year for health reasons, in need of a good long rest. He has given us so much in retreat days with long teachings to pilgrims at the monastery in Siroki Brijeg. The pilgrims missed Fr Jozo this year.
The 19th annual Medjugorje Youth Festival was the biggest ever with over 50,000 youth accompanied by over 600 priests. It was reported that at one Mass 675 priests concelebrated. It was joyful and prayerful. Each year the Youth Festival on August 1-6 has increased beginning with 800 in 1991. The teachings and testimonies were outstanding [go to www.mladifest.com to listen to them].
While the crowds of pilgrims to Medjugorje increase from all over the world, the number of Americans has gone way down. I longed to return since my last pilgrimage was for the 2007 Youth Festival. By getting my own airline ticket I was able to join a small group of six as spiritual director in mid-October for my 49th Medjugorje pilgrimage. St James Church has been enhanced with a new large sacristy to accommodate the many concelebrating bishops and priests. It goes across the back of the church connecting it with the outside large rotunda altar used in the summer when the crowds are very large. The vast area in front of the outside altar, once vineyards, now has the walkways between large sections of benches newly paved with stone tiles, which is a great help for priests giving thousands of Communions. I was the main celebrant for the English Mass one morning and preached on praying and living the Mass. One of many priests from India serving in Saskatchewan met me in the sacristy and invited me to give a mission in Regina, which developed into four parishes this coming Lent. Construction of family guest houses and hotels continues to take care of this growing Marian shrine.
In December I was invited by Renaissance Pilgrimages to be spiritual director for a pilgrimage to Mexican shrines and Guadalupe for the December 12 feast day of Our Lady Queen of the Americas. I concelebrate the Mass of the Roses with 12 bishops and about 100 priests. The bishops and priests were given roses at the end of the Mass, and I brought mine to Our Lady at the Apparition Chapel on top of Tepeyac Hill. The next day before returning home we had Mass at the Jesuit Holy Family Church. This was the parish of Blessed Miguel Pro SJ, who was executed in 1927 during the persecution of the Catholic Church by the Mexican government from 1910 into the 1930s. He had the reputation of going among the people in various disguises to minister the Sacraments. Before the firing squad he extended his arms in the form of a cross and cried out, "Long live Christ the King!" His brother was executed after him, for having aided him in his ministry. Fr Miguel's remains are enshrined at Holy Family Church.
Medjugorje Ministry 2009:
My year started quietly at home in Weston. I am one of the regular chaplains for the "Road to Calvary Prayer Group" in Norwood MA since September 1993. They have been praying the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, and Mass every Wednesday evening for priests. In Lent I had a full schedule of six parish missions in western Massachusetts and Rhode Island. After Easter I was chaplain for the passengers and crew on Celebrity's ms Century for five weeks on cruises to the Western Caribbean, TransAtlantic, and Scandinavia & Russia.
Back home I made my own eight day retreat before heading down to Texas. There I was invited to give the 28th Medjugorje Anniversary Evening in Dallas on June 25th, and once word got out I was invited to come to seven other parishes in Fort Worth and Dallas, beginning with a week-long Rosary Congress in Fort Worth, three parish missions, Marian Evening & Eucharistic Healing Evening in three other parishes, and weekend Masses in another. This preaching tour was so well received that I was called back to Fort Wroth in November to give three more parish missions and evenings of prayer in a fourth parish. Further I will return again next year for a Lenten mission and a post-Easter mission. This ministry of Our Lady Queen of Peace is mainly supported by those who have been with me in a parish or on a pilgrimage and have taken word of my Marian Renewal Ministry to other parishes and friends who would be interested in my coming to their parishes.
Projected Ministry 2010:
Next year I'll begin with ten parish missions in RI, FL, TX, SK Canada, NY & TX. I've been asked to be the spiritual director of a Shrines of Italy & Medjugorje Pilgrimage [4/27-5/10] and Oberammergau Passion Play & Medjugorje [9/14-27]. Please call/write to me if interested in joining these pilgrimages.
It is so vitally important for us all in these troubled times to accept God's gift of our Mother Mary calling us to peace through prayer, fasting, and daily conversion to live her messages in God's love. Any assistance you can give in letting parishes know of my ministry with Mary is appreciated and vital to this ministry.
May each one experience God's love more and more each day. You are in my daily Masses and prayers. Blessed CHRISTmas and a Happy New Year!
Peace in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2008
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2008 Messages: "Be joyful carriers of peace and love in this peaceless world." [08/6]:
In her message on the 27th Anniversary of her ongoing daily apparitions at Medjugorje our Mother Mary calls us to witness peace and love in our world. In her 25th-of-the-month messages this year we again see the key facets of her call to peace which is God's gift. Yet God needs each of us to daily convert to His love to become His love, joy and peace for others. "Plant joy and the fruit of joy will grow in your hearts for your good, and others will see it and receive it through your life. Renounce sin and choose eternal life." [08/1] "In this time of grace, I call you anew to prayer and renunciation. May your day be interwoven with little ardent prayers for all those who have not come to know God's love." [08/2] Our Lady tells us: "You are still far from meeting with God in your heart. Therefore, spend all the more time in prayer and Adoration of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, for Him to change you and to put into your hearts a living faith and a desire for eternal life." [08/3] "Seek God's will and do good to those whom God has put on your way, and be light and joy." [08/4]
Five times this year she has said that this is a "time of grace". It is a time to listen to God in prayer and to do whatever He tells us. This takes a lot of effort. "Work on the salvation of the world in a special way while I am with you. God is merciful and gives special graces, therefore, seek them through prayer." [08/5] "With great joy in my heart, I call you to follow me and to listen to my messages. Be joyful carriers of peace and love in this peaceless world." [08/6] "Pray and work so that your heart yearns for God the Creator who is the true rest of your soul and your body." [08/7]
God's peace plan begins with each one of us. "You be those who will convert and, with your life, will witness, love, forgive, and bring the joy of the Risen One into this world, where my Son died and where people do not feel a need to seek Him and to discover Him in their lives." [08/8] "Be joyful carriers of peace and do not forget that you live in a time of grace, in which God gives you great graces through my presence." [08/9]
We are at war with the evil one and our weapons are to be one with God in prayer of the heart and doing His will as Mary did. "Pray for my intentions so that, through your prayers, you may stop Satan's plan over this world, which is further from God every day, and which puts itself in the place of God and is destroying everything that is beautiful and good in the souls of each of you." [08/10] "Therefore, little children, pray without ceasing for this turbulent world without hope, so that you may become witnesses of peace for all." [08/11] On Christmas Day our Mother Mary warned us, "Meditate on Jesus... without Him you have no future." [08/12] Mary's role in the Church is always to bring us to her Son Jesus.
Medjugorje Happenings 2008:
Vicka, Marija and Ivan continue to receive daily apparitions of Our Lady now for 28 years. Mirjana, Ivanka and Jakov no longer receive daily apparitions. However, our Mother Mary has promised them an annual apparition on March 18, June 25, and December 25 respectively. God's gift of Mary's Medjugorje apparitions will continue for many years.
Vicka due to serious illness was not able to give her usual witness talks to pilgrims most of last year. Asked about her being so joyful even in the great suffering she has had to bear over these years she said, "I know that everything God does is a blessing. I am in His hands in order to serve Him. He can do as He wishes and, whatever He does, it's His choice and I always thank Him." What a beautiful witness she is with her joyful smile and thankful heart to God even in the midst of her suffering.
Mirjana tells us that Our Lady has never addressed us as she did on March 18: "Dear children, today I extend my hands towards you. Do not be afraid to accept them. They desire to give you love and peace and to help you in salvation. ... Be persevering so that, at the end of the way, we can be all together, in joy and love." Let our Mother Mary into your heart and life for she brings us Jesus. Ivan's family lives in Boston during the school year. His wife Laureen just gave birth to their fourth child, their second son. Each visionary has 2 to 4 children.
As always, there were very large crowds in Medjugorje for the 27th Anniversary. In her message Our Lady said, "Listen to my messages!" "Listen" is a biblical word. The Hebrew word for "listen" means to hear, to understand, and to do. Mary calls us repeatedly to live and witness her messages, God's love, to the world.
Last year I was privileged to accompany two groups to Medjugorje; this year I missed going since the invitations for two groups did not have enough registrations. However, at the beginning of November I went to a Medjugorje weekend conference at the Marian Community in Medway MA. Fr Petar Ljubicic OFM and Sr Janja Boras OFM were the speakers. Fr Petar is the priest whom Mirjana chose to make public three days before they occur the ten secrets that Mary entrusted to her. In my early pilgrimages to Medjugorje in the mid 1980s Fr Petar and Sr Janja were stationed there. They were great. Ivan had his apparition and gave a talk on Saturday evening. I got to visit briefly with Ivan, Laureen and their children.
A few days later in November I was invited to be co-chaplain for a large group of 150 pilgrims to Egypt and the Holy Land, walking in the footsteps of Jesus. Some of the highlights for me included Zeitun, Egypt, St Mary Church of the Apparitions where in 1968-1969 Our Lady appeared to thousands of people standing or walking on the roof of the church. One of the first to see her was a man working across the street who thought it was a young lady about to commit suicide. He rushed to plead for her to come down. Do an Internet search for <Zeitun Egypt> and you can find a lot about these recent apparitions. In the Holy Land we stayed at a kibbutz in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee and then in Bethlehem. A unique moment for me was celebrating Mass at the site of Jesus' tomb within the small Tomb Chapel at the Church of the Resurrection. On our last day our group was part of a major celebration in Bethlehem for the one millionth pilgrim to come to stay in a hotel there this year.
Medjugorje Ministry 2008:
Our Lady took over my life in 1981 when she began to appear daily in Medjugorje. In 1984 I learned of her apparitions and began studying andteaching her messages through my Ignatian retreat ministry. I've now been with Our Lady in her ministry since early 1985 and full time going out to parishes, prayer groups, conferences, etc., since 1988. This year turned out to be mostly an international year of ministry. It was a full year with 217 nights on the road, many beyond the US boarders. There have been fewer requests for ministry within the States, which may reflect our country's drifting further from living God's love and commandments as the culture of death and unorthodox stances in the Church have increased.
I have been taking Our Lady's ministry abroad and to the high seas. As a member of the Apostleship of the Sea I have been chaplain to passengers and crew on several extended cruises, usually combining them with parish ministry. It gives me a wonderful opportunity in the daily Masses and Sunday Interdenominational Service to evangelize through Mary's message of peace with many people who have never heard of her apparitions at Medjugorje these past 28 years. I began the year began as chaplain on the Maasdam and then the Zuiderdam in the Caribbean followed by two weeks of Marian ministry in seven parishes in the Miami Archdiocese. In February I preached a weekend retreat on the Luminous Mysteries at My Father's House in Moodus CT and then flew out to give three parish missions and a Day of Prayer in parishes in Oregon City and Portland OR. March took me out to sea on the Summit for a month in the Caribbean and a transAtlantic crossing. This brought me to England and onto Jersey, Channel Islands, to cover three parishes for a priest on pilgrimage to Medjugorje and to give a Medjugorje triduum there. In May I was invited to give a Marian Novena in Monaghan, Ireland, and preach in three parishes there. Then I made my own annual eight day retreat before flying to Vancouver BC, Canada, to give a Eucharistic Novena. This brought me back to Vancouver in August and September for two parish missions and to be chaplain on the Volendam to the Alaskan glaciers between these missions.
At home I have been one of the chaplains for "The Road to Calvary Prayer Group" since 1993. They meet each Wednesday evening to pray for all priests and vocations to the priesthood. Two Secular Franciscan Fraternities invited me to celebrate Mass and give a Medjugorje teaching. I have also assisted in several local parishes, and covered my sister's parish in Stoughton in September and again October while the pastor was leading a pilgrimage to the California missions. While there I gave a triduum on Genealogy Healing of the Family Tree.
As I write this I have just returned from going out to sea again as chaplain on the Volendam in Australia and New Zealand. The priest who was assigned was ill. Holland America flew me to Sydney and back from Auckland to take his place, or I never would have been able to have done it. What a wonderful opportunity it was to visit some friends who supported my extended ministry in New Zealand for eight week in their fall and again in their spring of 2006. What a change coming from New Zealand's summer back to a New England northeaster snow storm on December 19th.
Thank You and God's Blessings:
Again I thank you all for your response to our Mother Mary's call to peace through prayer and fasting leading to conversion to living in God's love through obedience to His Commandments. I appreciate any assistance you can give in letting parishes know of my ministry and availability. Each day I remember you in thanksgiving in my Masses and prayers. As Mary desires may you experience God's love more deeply each day, for His love brings us life. Joyous CHRISTmas and a Blessed New Year!
Peace in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2007
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2007 Messages: “Little children, from the depth of my heart, I call you all to open yourselves to this great grace that God gives you through my presence here.” [07/6]:
On the 21st anniversary our Mother Mary was joyful and shared her heart in calling us to open our hearts to God’s love and grace. This year her 25th-of-the-month messages call us again to holiness, as at Fatima. “Dear children! Put Sacred Scripture in a visible place in your family and read it. In this way, you will come to know prayer with the heart and your thoughts will be on God.” [07/1] “Make good use of this time and through meeting with God in confession, leave sin and decide for holiness. Do not forget, little children: your freedom is your weakness, therefore follow my messages with seriousness.” [07/2] “I desire to inspire you to continue to live fasting with an open heart. By fasting and renunciation, little children, you will be stronger in faith. In God you will find true peace through daily prayer.” [07/3]
Taking a line from each message we can feel her presence with us leading us into the way of God’s love and holiness. “Also today I again call you to conversion. Open your hearts. This is a time of grace while I am with you, make good use of it.” [07/4] “And you, who are far from prayer, convert and, in the silence of your heart, seek salvation for your soul and nurture it with prayer.” [07/5] “Do not forget that you are all important in this great plan, which God leads through Medjugorje. God desires to convert the entire world and to call it to salvation and to the way towards Himself, who is the beginning and the end of every being.” [07/6] “I call you to imitate the lives of the Saints. May they be, for you, an example and encouragement to a life of holiness.” [07/7]
God creates and recreates us to be a reflection of His love. “May your life, little children, be a reflection of God’s goodness and not of hatred and unfaithfulness.” [07/8] “Also today I call all of you for your hearts to blaze with more ardent love for the Crucified, and do not forget that, out of love for you, He gave His life so that you may be saved.” [07/9] “Many of you opened your hearts and accepted my messages, but many have become lost on this way and have never come to know the God of love with the fullness of heart.” [07/10]
Again Our Lady insists on our deciding to give time to God in prayer of the heart to know His love and guidance to holiness and peace. “Little children, give time to God that He may transform you and fill you with His grace, so that you may be a grace for others. For you, little children, I am a gift of grace and love.” [07/11]
Medjugorje Pilgrimages 2007:
Twice this year I was invited to be spiritual director for pilgrimage groups to Medjugorje. The first was with Totally Yours Pilgrimages for Holy Week and Easter Week. Palm Sunday we flew to Rome and unexpectedly arrived in time to be at Pope Benedict’s Mass for the 2nd Anniversary of John Paul II’s death. The next two days we visited the four major basilicas and Pope Benedict XVI’s papal audience in St Peter’s Plaza. Then off to Monte Cassino, St Philomena Shrine, Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo where I celebrated Holy Thursday Mass. Overnighting at San Giovanni Rotondo we spent the next morning at the shrine and went on to the Church of the Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano to celebrate the Liturgy of Good Friday with the parish. By ferry and bus to Medjugorje we celebrated the Easter Vigil there to begin our five day prayerful pilgrimage. On Easter Monday I had the privilege of celebrating and preaching the English Mass. We visited the visionaries Vicka and Mirjana, and Fr Jozo at Siroki Brijeg. Returning on the overnight ferry and bus I celebrated Mass in the Holy House of Loreto. Our pilgrimage concluded with two days in Assisi. It was a blessed two weeks.
The 18th annual Medjugorje Youth Festival brought me back to Medjugorje as the spiritual director for a small private group. Fr Slavko Barbaric OFM, well known for his 18 years serving the pilgrims until his sudden death on Cross Mountain in 2000, began many of the spiritual programs there, such as the annual Youth Festival on August 1-6. It began with 800 in 1989, each year it grew geometrically to well over 30,000 with 500 priests this August. I feared the sweltering summer heat there, but we were blessed with a pleasant week. The opening ceremony was very touching with representatives from each country in an endless line giving their country’s greetings to all there. Every continent was represented with a multitude of countries. We gathered for prayer, singing, witness talks and teachings every day at the outdoor Rotunda Altar at 9-12 noon and 4-5:30 pm with the multitude spreading out into the fields and beyond. Each evening 6-11 pm there was Rosary, Confessions, Mass, healing prayers, and Adoration. The number of priests concelebrating the Evening Mass reached a high of 455 priests one evening.
Medjugorje Happenings 2007:
There were 600 priests in Medjugorje for the Priests Retreat in July. Many priests and bishops are coming to Medjugorje with pilgrimage groups and privately. Medjugorje continues to have the support of the Vatican, not accepting the private negative opinion of the local bishop. The Bishops Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which now has the authority to investigate the apparitions and messages, remains strongly positive. Medjugorje is one of the world’s major pilgrimage sites and construction of large family pansions continues for hosting the increasing number of pilgrims.
Mirjana continues to have her 2nd-of-the-month apparitions to pray for all who do not know God’s love. Hundreds join her at the Sr Elvira’s Cenacolo Community to pray. Mirjana was deeply pained at our Mother’s grief expressed on December 2: “Dear children! Today, while I am looking at your hearts, my heart is filled with pain and apprehension. My children, stop for a moment and look into your hearts. Is my Son, your God, truly in the first place? Are His commandments truly the measure of your life?”
Marian Renewal Ministry 2007:
This year I had a new experience in my ministry with Our Lady. Margaret Penicaud in Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts, contacted me. Our Lady of Medjugorje changed her life like so many others. She began “Little Children of Mary Prayer Group” in a nursing home on the Vineyard, meeting weekly to pray the Rosary. Twice this year I ferried over to the Vineyard for a few days, to join prayer group and give teachings on our Mother’s messages. Ten years ago Margaret joined by others, mainly summer residents on the Vineyard, began a ministry to the poor in Haiti working with a new Haitian congregation, Daughters of Mary Queen Immaculate. Working closing with the Sisters they make regular missionary pilgrimages to Haiti to assist them at their school in Lilavois in Port-au-Prince where they are building the school, this year adding a second level of class rooms. Lilavois goes from kindergarten to older girls learning cooking and sewing to prepare them for domestic employment. The unemployment in Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere, reaches 80%. Recently they have added a fish farm of tilapia fish on the property to add protein to the local people’s diet. I joined their pilgrimage in November as chaplain, celebrating daily Mass for the sisters and girls at the Motherhouse, Ste Marie College, where we were housed. Three ladies in the group taught quilting to a small group of girls. They purchased many paintings from local artists and other works of art to sell at a fair on the Vineyard to raise funds for their ministry in Haiti. While there we visited Mother Teresa’s Home for the Destitute Dying where I administered the Sacrament of the Sick to about 80 there. We also visited Mother Teresa’s Home for Children, 58 abandoned infants and toddlers and nearly 100 sick infants and youngsters, some abandoned. It was a profound experience.
My full time ministry with Our Lady of Medjugorje, Queen of Peace, proclaims her call to peace through witnessing our faith, prayer of the heart, fasting and penance, conversion through monthly Confession, and living the Mass. This year I was invited to give parish missions in parishes throughout the U.S., and preached on Mary’s Medjugorje messages at many Marian Evenings, Eucharistic Healing Evenings, prayer groups and parish Masses. “The Road to Calvary Prayer Group” meets locally every Wednesday evening for thirteen years now to pray for priests and vocations. I’ve been grace to pray the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, and celebrated Mass for them many times. For this gift of ministry I’m grateful.
My Marian Renewal Ministry has spread through word of mouth throughout the world. I welcome any contacts you can make to let parish priests and others, know of my ministry and availability. During the year when not in parishes, which are always my priority, I was chaplain twice on cruise ships, giving me another opportunity to tell many passengers and crew of God’s love for us through Mary at Medjugorje. I pray in thanksgiving to you for your prayers and support of Our Lady’s call to peace. Each day you are remembered in my Masses and prayers. I pray that we all may experience every day more deeply God’s tremendous love for us. Jesus and Mary bless you all always. Blessed and Joyful CHRISTmas!
Peace in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2006
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2006 Messages: “I am near you and thank all those who, through these years, have accepted my messages, have poured them into their life and decided for holiness and peace.” [06/6/25]:
Our Mother Mary spokes these words to us on the 25th Anniversary of her ongoing daily apparitions at Medjugorje. This has been the twentieth year of her monthly messages, as she leads us to holiness and peace. True to her Son she guides us in living the Gospel. “Be carriers of the Gospel in your families. Do not forget, little children, to read Sacred Scripture. Put it in a visible place and witness with your life that you believe and live the Word of God.” [06/1] “Do not be closed, but with prayer and renunciation say ‘yes’ to God and He will give to you in abundance.” [06/2] “Renounce sin and set out on the way of salvation, the way which my Son has chosen. Through each of your tribulations and sufferings God will find the way of joy for you.” [06/3]
Mary leads us to God and His gift of peace through prayer of the heart. “You do not see God, little children, but if you pray you will feel His nearness.” [06/4] “Decide for holiness, little children, and think of heaven. Only in this way, will you have peace in your heart that no one will be able to destroy. Peace is a gift, which God gives you in prayer.” [06/5] “God will reward you with great graces and you will earn eternal life.” [06/6] Our Lady draws us close to God in thanksgiving. “In silence may the Holy Spirit speak to you and permit Him to convert and change you.” [06/7] “Pray, pray, pray. Only in prayer will you be near to me and my Son and you will see how short this life is. In your words there will only be thanksgiving to God for having created you and the desire for holiness will become a reality for you.” [06/8]
Mary leads us on pilgrimage to eternal life. “Imitate the lives of saints and may they be an example for you; and I will inspire you as long as the Almighty permits me to be with you.” [06/9] “You are not conscious, little children, that God is giving you a great opportunity to convert and to live in peace and love. You are so blind and attached to earthly things and think of earthly life. God sent me to lead you toward eternal life.” [06/10] “Do not forget that you are travelers on the way toward eternity. Therefore, little children, permit God to lead you as a shepherd leads his flock.” [06/11] “Little children, no one can give you peace as He who is the King of Peace. Therefore, adore Him in your hearts, choose Him and you will have joy in Him.” As always, “Thank you for having responded to my call.”
Medjugorje 25th Anniversary:
Beginning on Christmas 1995 the Gospa has called these times a “time of grace” in thirty of her monthly messages. Indeed God our Father in His unfathomable love for us has allowed Mary to come to us every day for twenty-five years. This year I was invited to be spiritual director for an Italy and Medjugorje pilgrimage with “Totally Yours Pilgrimages” on June 15-29 and so was privileged to be at Medjugorje for the 25th Anniversary. In recent years the number of pilgrims including bishops and priests has exceeded the many who came before the war. During the anniversary week there was an estimated quarter of a million, with 4 bishops and 322 priests concelebrating the 25th Anniversary Mass at the Rotunda Altar behind the St James Church. Pilgrims overflowed fields behind the church and all around the church. There were simultaneous translations on June 23-25 for the evening Mass and homily, and during the week Mass was celebrated in up to 26 languages.
During the Joyful and Sorrowful Rosary before the Mass a multitude of priests with lines of penitents were hearing confessions. Preparing for the anniversary the visionaries Marija and Ivan lead the “Magnificat” for nine days at the end of the evening Mass. On the anniversary Marija, Ivan, Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jacov lead the “Magnificat.” Regretfully Vicka was ill and not able to be there. Following the Anniversary Mass these five visionaries lead the Glorious Rosary with the pilgrims and then joined with the adult and children choirs for a festivity of prayer and songs at the Rotunda Altar.
Mirjana and her husband Marco arranged the housing for our group. She gave a private interview to us in her home. This is special as she personally shares with her groups. We presented her with a bouquet of flowers to mark the 25th anniversary. For the first time in my 48 pilgrimages to Medjugorje I did not climb Krizevac, Cross Mountain, due to my March accident in New Zealand related below.
Medjugorje Visionaries 2006:
Marija, Ivan, and Vicka con-tinue to receive daily apparitions wherever they are. Marija with her husband and four sons live near Milan, Italy, where her husband Paulo has his business. They come to their Medjugorje home frequently, especially in the summer. On the 25th of each month Maria receives Our Lady’s messages to the world, which the Gospa has given now for twenty years. Ivan and his Boston wife, Laureen, and their three children have homes in Boston and Medjugorje. Ivan spends the summer in Medjugorje hosting pilgrims in his home and shares the Gospa’s messages throughout the U.S. and Pacific countries the rest of the year from his home in Boston. Vicka’s presence in Medjugorje and her radiant joy as she shares Our Lady’s messages and prays over pilgrims are sorely missed over the past several years. She and her husband Mario live near Medjugorje, caring for their two infant children. Mario is the manager of Fr Slavko’s “Mother’s Village” in Medjugorje.
Mirjana, Ivanka and Jakov no longer have daily apparitions and continue to receive an annual apparitions promised by Our Lady for the rest of their lives on March 18, June 25, and December 25 respectively. Mirjana also continues since August 2, 1987, to receive an apparition to pray with the Gospa for those who do not know God’s love. She related on March 18th that Our Lady told us, “Only with total interior renunciation will you recognize God’s love and the signs of the time in which you live.” On the June 25th anniversary Ivanka received the message, “Dear children, thank you for having responded to my call. Pray, pray, pray.” On Christmas Jakov related Mary’s call to family holiness: “Open your hearts today on this day of grace, decide for God and put Him in the first place in your family.”
Marian Renewal Ministry 2006:
This has been a most unusual and blessed year with many unexpected joys and sorrows. This year I spent 229 nights on the road with four months in New Zealand. From February 28 to April 25 I traveled to NZ for the third time invited to speak at the Wellington Eucharistic Convention on March 4-5 on “Mary, Mother of the Eucharist” and “The Eucharist and the Magnificat,” and at the Auckland Eucharistic Convention on April 21-23 on “Our Lady and the Cross” and “Our Cross, Our Gift.” Little did I know that I would have a personal cross to carry during Lent by which I would experienced the Auckland conference theme, “Accepting the Cross.” Between these two conventions 12 parishes invited me to give a Mission, Triduum, or Medjugorje Evenings and Eucharistic Healing Evenings. I journeyed to South Island of NZ for the first time as well as North Island where I had been twice before, the last time to speak at the Auckland Eucharistic Convention in 2004.
After speaking at the Wellington Convention I had well attended missions in Plimmerton and Wellington and spoke at five other parishes. Then I flew down to Christchurch for an intended week in South Island. Everything changed when I went over the mountains by train to Greymouth to give a Triduum. On March 24 while there I made a day trip with Fr John further south to visit NZ’s Franz Josef Glacier, a majestic inland glacier. Climbing over the rocks to take pictures I stepped on a loose shale, lost balance, passed out and fell head first off a six foot moraine onto boulders below. Unconsciously I must have extended my left hand and broke what could have been a fatal fall had I landed on my head. Was I hurting with two fractures to my left wrist, four to my pelvis on my right side and two to the ribs. I had to be airlifted to a first aid station and then by ambulance to Greymouth Hospital for three days and across country to Christchurch Hospital for another ten days. Fortunately Nancye Price who had organized my venues lived nearby in Rangiora and I spent the next two weeks healing further at the Price family home. On crutches I was able to fly back north to Auckland for the scheduled convention and shared on the gift of accepting our crosses. The next day I managed my scheduled return flights home.
We had to cancel seven parish venues due to my accident, which was reported in the diocesan newspaper. At the Auckland convention I announced that I’d return in September-October to reschedule those parishes and add others. And so I returned to NZ in our fall, the end of their winter, to give two missions, seven triduums, and evenings of prayer in three other parishes, going to four of the six dioceses in NZ. I even got to participate in the Episcopal ordination and first Mass of Bp Barry Jones who was the pastor at Greymouth when I had my accident. In November I went next to Hawaii to three parishes and a chaplaincy at sea. My 2006 ministry also took me to parishes in Florida, Maryland, and Massachusetts.
I have moved and now continue my Marian and Eucharistic ministry from Campion Center in Weston MA. I am indebted to everyone for your prayers and assistance in Our Lady’s call to living in peace by doing God’s will. Every day you are remembered in my Masses and prayers. I pray that we all may experience each day more deeply God’s tremendous love for us. Jesus and Mary bless you all.
Peace in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2005
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2005 Messages: “In this time of grace again I call you to prayer.” [1/05]:
In 2005, the 19th year of Our Lady’s messages on the 25th of each month to the world, she has again emphasized God’s central place in our lives and the fruits of prayer seen in our decision to live and witness God’s love and peace. “Pray, little children, for unity of Christians, that all may be one heart. Unity will really be among you inasmuch as you will pray and forgive.” [05/1] “You, little children, put God in the first place in your life. God will bless you and give you strength to witness Him, the God of love and peace.” [05/2] “At every moment, in joy and in sorrow, may love prevail and, in this way, love will begin to reign in your hearts.” [05/3] God created us in His image to be His holy people, and through the Holy Spirit to witness our faith within our families and to those far from Him. “By prayer and the reading of Sacred Scripture, may the Holy Spirit, who will renew you, enter into your families. In this way, you will become teachers of the faith in your family.” [05/4] “Anew I call you to live my messages in humility... Be a sign to those who are far from God and His love.” [05/5] “Be my apostles of peace and love in your families and in the world. Pray that the Holy Spirit may enlighten and lead you on the way of holiness.” [05/6]
Our Mother Mary reminds us that this is a special time of God’s graces and that it is through prayer, an intimate friendship with God, that we are open to His holiness. “When you pray, your heart is open and God loves you with a special love and gives you special graces. Therefore, make good use of this time of grace and devote it to God more than ever up to now.” [05/7] “Therefore, little children, make good use of every moment and pray, pray, pray.” [05/8] “Convert, even though you are far from my heart... I believe you can leave the way of sin and decide for holiness.” [05/9]
Our Mother and Queen of Peace loves us immeasurably and leads us to God’s gift of life to be witnesses of His peace in these times of peacelessness. “God permits me to be with you... Therefore, little children, in prayer and humility, open your hearts and be witnesses of my presence.” [05/10] “Pray, pray, pray until prayer becomes life for you... Only in faith will you discover the joy of the gift of life that God has given you. Your heart will be joyful thinking of eternity.” [05/11]
On Christmas Mary brings us Jesus. “Also today, in my arms I bring you little Jesus, the King of Peace, to bless you with His peace. Little children, in a special way today I call you to be my carriers of peace in this peaceless world. God will bless you. Little children, do not forget that I am your mother.” [05/12]
Marian Renewal Ministry 2005:
Please note my new address at the top of this letter. For financial needs the N.E. Jesuit Province just sold three of our five connected houses at 300 Newbury Street in Boston. We all had to move out and empty the entire premise because the remaining double building is 115 years old and in need of extensive renovations. I have been moved to Campion Center, which was our scholasticate where I studied theology in 1962-66 and was ordained in 1965. It is now our Jesuit Health Center on one side and Renewal Center for retreats on the other. If all goes as scheduled we will return to Boston around June 2006. I had been directing Marian Renewal Ministry from 300 Newbury St since 1988.
My Marian and Eucharistic ministry with Our Lady is my full time priority. This past year it has taken me back to parishes in Tulsa OK and central Louisiana, and to Venice FL, San Francisco CA, Lake Placid NY, Wichita KS, and eastern Massachusetts. Throughout Lent I was always on the road with parish missions and evenings of prayer. Then in early May I gave a retreat to Mercy Sisters on the Luminous Mysteries across from Olympic Stadium in Lake Placid NY. This ministry is indeed blessed.
When not called out to parishes I have a secondary ministry as chaplain at sea which has provided additional opportunities to share Our Lady’s call to holiness and peace with passengers and crew. This year I served as chaplain with the Carnival Legend in the Caribbean with ministry in Delray Beach FL, with the Carnival Miracle in the Caribbean with ministry in Sarasota FL, then in the summer with the HAL Rotterdam in the Baltic Sea and Carnival Liberty in the Mediterranean. At the end of the year I filled in for a priest who was sick and served with HAL Oosterdam along the Mexican Riviera.
For the 24th Anniversary of Medjugorje I was privileged to be spiritual director of a pilgrimage with “Fiat Voluntas Tua” housed by the visionary Mirjana from June 23 to July 4. Mirjana gave us private time. We stayed for her 2nd of month apparition on July 2 at Cenacolo, one of Sr Elvira’s 40 homes for recovering drug addicts begun in Italy. She has two houses in Medjugorje.
During the last 24 years, Our Lady's message of peace has spread all over the world through pilgrims and made Medjugorje one of the most visited places of pilgrimage, a powerful source of grace and of conversions. Over 100,000 from all five continents came to Medjugorje for the 24th anniversary. The Evening Mass on June 25 was concelebrated by 205 priests from 20 countries, with about 50,000 pilgrims. A new crown was blessed and the statue of Our Lady at St James was officially crowned after Mass. A gift of Spanish families it was crafted in Spain and hand delivered to Medjugorje by the designer who also designed the very large Magna Monstrance at Medjugorje for Eucharistic Adoration. During the last 24 years, Our Lady's message of peace has spread all over the world through pilgrims and made Medjugorje one of the most visited places of pilgrimage, a powerful source of grace and of conversions. Over 100,000 from all five continents came to Medjugorje for the 24th anniversary. The Evening Mass on June 25 was concelebrated by 205 priests from 20 countries, with about 50,000 pilgrims. A new crown was blessed and the statue of Our Lady at St James was officially crowned after Mass. A gift of Spanish families it was crafted in Spain and hand delivered to Medjugorje by the designer who also designed the very large Magna Monstrance at Medjugorje for Eucharistic Adoration.
Medjugorje Visionaries 2005:
Vicka, Marija and Ivan continue to have daily apparitions now for over 24 years. Marija continues to receive the monthly messages for the world. The other three have been promised an annual apparition for the rest of their lives. On March 18 several thousand gathered and prayed the Rosary at the Cenacolo Community for Mirjana’s annual apparition. Our Lady gave a message telling us “I come to you as the mother who, above all, loves her children... I pray that you will recognize my Son in each of your neighbors... Pray and fast for your heart to be open for this my intention.”
On June 25 Ivanka has her annual apparition and said that Our Lady was joyful and gave the message, “Dear children, love each other with the love of my Son. Peace, peace, peace.” On Christmas Jakov has his annual apparition and Mary reminded us that, “Many of your hearts remained closed. Little children, Jesus is peace, love and joy; therefore now decide for Jesus. Start to pray.”
Medjugorje Happenings 2005:
Medjugorje has become a major pilgrimage shrine visited by very many pilgrims. Pilgrimage groups register with the parish and in 2005 groups from over sixty countries were recorded, many countries having groups regularly throughout the year. With its 25 confessionals and many priests hearing confessions outside it is known as the world’s greatest confessional and for many conversions. The Franciscan priests and sisters are outstanding in caring for the parish and pilgrims.
Prayers were being offered for Pope John Paul II from the day before he died through his funeral on April 8th. He died on April 2nd during the 9-10 pm Hour of Adoration at Medjugorje, which was then extended to midnight. His Marian papal moto was "I am all yours and all I have is yours." John Paul told many bishops that he firmly believed in Mary’s apparitions at Medjugorje and he lived her messages.
Many seminars have become annual events. The 12th International Meeting for Leaders of Peace Centers and groups met with 120 participants from 15 countries on March 6-10, 2005, with the theme “The Guide and the Pilgrim.” The 10th International meeting for Priests took place on July 4-9, 2005, centered on “The Eucharist and Mary–Do whatever He tells you!,” with 294 priests from 27 countries. The 6th International Meeting for Married Couples, “Dialog in the Family–How to Educate Children?,” took place on October 26-29. The 16th International Youth Festival with the theme "We Come to Adore Him," met on August 1-6 with about 25,000 young people and 400 priests, requiring simultaneous translations into 15 languages. And on August 22-29 the Fourth encounter of painters was held.
Looking Ahead to 2006:
Our Lady has graced me with an invitation to spend March and April bringing her messages a third time to New Zealand. I spoke at the Auckland Convention in April 2004 followed by two parish missions. Before leaving I was asked to return in 2006 for both the Wellington and Auckland Conventions and to give missions, retreats, and evenings of prayer throughout New Zealand during the seven weeks between the conventions. More requests were made than could be scheduled. In January I will again serve on the Carnival Legend with ministry in Florida and in November on the NCL Norwegian Wind with ministry in Hawaii. I’m blessed to be invited to be a chaplain for a 25th Anniversary pilgrimage to Medjugorje in June and another to Medjugorje and Dubrovnik in October. Would you like to join me?
In my morning offering every day I lift up to God all who have become a part of my life and ministry. All of you are remembered in my daily Masses and prayers. While our Mother Mary called me to this ministry, it is your prayers, contacting parishes about this ministry and my availability to go anywhere, and the many ways that you assist and support me that has blessed this ministry now for 20 years. I thank you all. May the Prince of Peace and Queen of Peace keep you in their love.
ave become a part of my life and ministry. All of you are rememebered in my daily Masses and prayers. While our Mother Mary called me to this ministry, it is your prayers, contacting parishes about this ministry and my availability to go anywhere, and the many ways that you assist and support me that has blessed this ministry now for 20 years. I thank you all. May the Prince of Peace and Queen of Peace keep you in their love.
Peace in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2004
Praise be Jesus and Mary,
2004 Messages: “Be an example, little children, and an incentive for the good.” [04/3]
Since 1981 Our Mother Mary continues her daily apparitions to three of the visionaries of Medjugorje. This year in her messages on the 25th of each month she has called us to a deeper personal conversion and to witness peace and love to the world. “Pray, little children, in a special way for all those who have not come to know God's love. Pray that their hearts may open and draw closer to my heart and the Heart of my Son Jesus, so that we can transform them into people of peace and love.” [04/1] “Be those who draw souls to God and not those who distance them.” [04/2] This requires a personal life of prayer of the heart and ongoing conversion. “Especially now, in this time of grace, open your hearts, little children, and express your love to the Crucified. Only in this way, will you discover peace, and prayer will begin to flow from your heart into the world.” [04/3] “I call you to live my messages even more strongly in humility and love so that the Holy Spirit may fill you with His grace and strength. Only in this way will you be witnesses of peace and forgiveness.” [04/4] “Also today, I urge you to consecrate yourselves to my Heart and to the Heart of my Son Jesus. Only in this way will you be mine more each day and you will inspire each other all the more to holiness.” [04/5]
Our Mother depends upon each one of us to accomplish God’s plan in us and in the world. “I desire to thank you for making my plan realizable. Each of you is important, therefore, little children, pray and rejoice with me for every heart that has converted and become an instrument of peace in the world.” [04/6] “Especially I call you to pray for my intentions, so that I can present you to my Son Jesus for Him to transform and open your hearts to love. When you will have love in the heart, peace will rule in you.” [04/7] “I call you all to conversion of heart. Decide, as in the first days of my coming here, for a complete change of your life.” [04/8] Prayer of the heart, putting Jesus at the center of our lives and experiencing God’s love is central in Mary’s desires for us. “Pray, little children, and open your heart to God's love, but you cannot if you do not pray. Therefore, pray, pray, pray.” [04/9] “May Jesus be in the heart of your family... May every family become a witness of love in this world without prayer and peace.” [04/10] “Especially, little children, pray for those who have not yet come to know the love of God and do not seek God the Savior. You, little children, be my extended hands and by your example draw them closer to my Heart and the Heart of my Son. God will reward you with graces and every blessing.” [04/11] “Pray, little children, and be courageous witnesses of Good News in every situation.” [04/12] Always our Mother concludes, “Thank you for responding to my call.”
Medjugorje Visionaries 2004:
All six of the visionaries are married with two to four children. Maria, Vicka, and Ivan continue to receive the daily apparitions now into the 24th year. Mirjana, Ivanka, and Jakov, who no longer have the daily apparitions, have been promised an annual apparition for the rest of their lives. Mirjana’s is on March 18 and she also has an apparition on the second of each month to pray with Our Lady for those who have not experienced God’s love. On January 2nd Mary came for the first time other than Christmas holding the Baby Jesus: “Today I bring you my Son, your God. Open your hearts in order to know how to accept him and carry him with you. Welcome the happiness and peace that he offers you.” Ivanka had her apparition on the June 25th Anniversary privately with her family. Mary gave the message: “Dear children! Pray for those families who have not come to know the love of my Son. Receive my motherly blessing.” Jakov continues to receive his apparition on Christmas. All the visionaries have homes in Medjugorje. However, Marija lives with her family near Milan Italy and Ivan’s family lives half the year in Boston when he speaks throughout the US and Pacific region.
Marian Renewal Ministry 2004:
Pre-Lent and Lent are always a busy time. I had Parish Missions in five states–MD, TX, SC, NY, & FL. After Easter I was invited back to New Zealand to speak at the Auckland Eucharistic Convention on the Eucharist and Our Lady’s messages. My first visit to New Zealand was in 1993. As a follow-up to the convention I gave two Parish Missions in Auckland and a Medjugorje Evening north in Whangarei. Before leaving I was invited to return for March & April 2006 to speak at the Wellington and Auckland Conventions and give Parish Missions, etc., throughout all of NZ in between. There is much interest in my return.
June is my time for an annual retreat, celebrate with my fellow Jesuits in our Ordinations weekend, and go to Medjugorje for the anniversary. Oklahoma in July became the 42nd state to invite my ministry. I covered a parish in Tulsa for over two weeks, and while there reached out to five other parishes for Medjugorje Evenings and Eucharistic Healing Evenings. Five parishes invited me back for Missions and Evenings next February. September again took me west, returning to Colorado for a Retreat and Evenings of Prayer. And in November I had a Mission in Ocala FL with Evenings in four other parishes.
In May I was invited to co-chaplain a pilgrimage to Guadalupe, Mexico. It was a joy to return again to Our Lady’s shrine for the Americas where Pope John Paul beatified and canonized Juan Diego. May Mary deliver the US from abortion as she freed Mexico of human sacrifice.
Then in June I was invited to be chaplain with Totally Yours Pilgrimages to Medjugorje for the 23rd Anniversary. We were housed and cared for by the visionary Mirjana’s family. On June 24th 3,500 pilgrims made the 13th annual 8-mile Peace March from the Franciscan Monastery in Humac to Medjugorje. The anniversary is special. I joined 171 concelebrants for the 23rd Anniversary Mass with a gathering of about 40,000 faithful. Masses were celebrated on June 24-25, in 16 languages with 34,000 Communions distributed. We stayed until July 3 to be with Mirjana for her July 2nd apparition.
I also have a second ministry at sea as chaplain for cruise ships when not called out to parishes. This provides an opportunity to share Our Lady’s call to peace with many people through daily Mass and Sunday Services. This ministry took me to the Caribbean in January, eastern Canada in August, and Mexico in November.
Medjugorje Happenings 2004:
Beginning on Christmas 2003 Radio Mir Medjugorje began live broadcasts 12 hours a day via satellite, especially of the Evening Services to Europe, Middle East and Northern Africa. On the Feast of the Annunciation Radio Mir expanded to 24 hour a day broadcasting. Many programs continue to develop and grow at Medjugorje. In February 75 couples from 11 countries came to the 4th International Seminar for Married Couples, and 100 leaders and priests attended the 11th International Meeting for Guides and Leaders of Peace Centers and Groups.
On March 16 the parish celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the Cross with the Way of the Cross and Holy Mass on Mt Krizevac. The Cross was built in thanksgiving for the 1900th anniversary of the death of our Redeemer. At that time the hill called Sipovac was renamed Krizevac (Cross Mountain). In Medjugorje the vibrancy of the Catholic faith was celebrate with 87 children receiving their First Holy Communion on May 2nd and 76 candidates being confirmed on the Feast of Corpus Christi by Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar. The 9th International Meeting for Priests on July 5-10 gathered in retreat 371 priests from 36 countries.
On August 1-6 about 25,000 youth with 400 priests came for the 9th International Youth Festival Which has grown larger each year. The talks on the theme, “We Desire to See Jesus,” were translated into 17 languages. For the Exaltation of the Holy Cross with Mass celebrated on Krizevak about 50,000 pilgrims streamed into Medjugorje. Ninety couples attended the 5th International Seminar for Married Couples in November. Throughout the year “Prayer and Fasting” Seminars are held frequently at Domus Pacis.
Thank you for 2004:
Marian Renewal Ministry now has its own website. Thanks to Webmaster Karen in South Carolina who created and maintains it as a gift to Mary in thanksgiving for the graces she received in my Parish Mission there. Check it out at www.MarianRenewal.com. You’ll find information on my ministry and pilgrimages, including one to Greece in the footsteps of St Paul in November 2005, articles on Mary’s messages, my recent newsletters, etc. Go also to www.medjugorje.hr in the parish at Medjugorje. It is my joy to thank all who are responding to our Mother’s call to live her messages.
As I complete 20 years in Mary’s Medjugorje ministry I pray daily in thanksgiving to all who promote this ministry to which Our Lady calls me, by your prayers, help, and contacting parish priests and others to let them know of this ministry and my availability to come to parishes everywhere. Thank you and may Jesus and Mary in their love bless you always.
Peace in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2003
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2003 Messages: “Peace is a precious gift from God. Seek, pray and you will receive it.” [03/2]:
Our Lady Queen of Peace continues her daily apparitions at Medjugorje now into the 23rd year and this past year has been the 17th year of her monthly messages. The year began with a strong call to Jesus’ paschal peace. “Particularly now when peace is in crisis, you be those who pray and bear witness to peace. Little children, be peace in this peaceless world.” [03/1] “Also today I call you to pray and fast for peace. As I have already said and now repeat to you, little children, only with prayer and fasting can wars also be stopped.” [03/2]
Mary tells us that peace is a gift of God’s love and depends upon our listening to and deciding for God’s will. “I call you to the way of holiness. Pray, and in prayer you are open to God's will.” [03/3] “Little children, decide also today for God, that in you and through you He may change the hearts of people, and also your hearts.” [03/4] “If you convert, all those around you will also be renewed and prayer will be a joy for them.” [03/5]
We are never left alone, for Mary is always with us showing us the way to the Father’s love. “I am with you and I thank you for putting into life what I am saying to you.” [03/6] “Little children, pray until prayer becomes a joy for you. Only in this way each of you will discover peace in the heart and your soul will be content.” [03/7] “God wants to draw you closer to Himself and moves you to give Him glory and thanks.” [03/8]
Our Lady reveals her loving call to us even when we ignore or resist. “I desire, little children, to lead you to the heart of my Son Jesus; but you resist and do not desire to open your hearts to prayer.” [03/9] “I call you anew to consecrate yourselves to my heart and the heart of my Son Jesus. I desire, little children, to lead you all on the way of conversion and holiness.” [03/10] “In this time, little children, pray that Jesus be born in all hearts, especially in those who do not know Him. Be love, joy and peace in this peaceless world.” [03/11]
Medjugorje Message and Visionaries 2003:
Above is a summary of the 17th year of Our Lady’s messages on the 25th of each month which she began giving to the world through Marija on January 25, 1987, after nearly three years of weekly Thursday messages to the parish. Her messages are of peace that is a gift from God and depends upon our returning to live in His love. She is leading us to consecrate ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and her Immaculate Heart. This is a call to conversion and to live holy lives in their hearts. It is a call showing the way to love, joy and peace.
Three visionaries, Vicka, Marija and Ivan, still receive daily apparitions wherever they are, and so these apparitions have now occurred in many of the states of the U.S. and throughout the world where these visionaries have witnessed and shared Our Lady’s messages. Three others no longer have daily apparitions, but have been promised an annual apparition the rest of their lives: Marijana on March 18th which she told me would probably be an important date later, Ivanka on the June 25th anniversary, and Jakov on Christmas Day.
All the visionaries are well and are witnessing the Gospa’s messages through raising faith-filled families. On her annual apparition Mirjana received an important message for all: “Dear children!... God gave you free will to choose life or death. Listen to my messages with the heart that you may become cognizant of what you are to do and how you will find the way to life. My children, without God you can do nothing; do not forget this even for a single moment... Do not anger God, but follow me to life.”
Marian Renewal Ministry 2003:
My primary ministry and priority continues to be proclaiming to parishes throughout the world the Medjugorje story of our Mother Mary’s ongoing daily apparitions and her calling us to peace through prayer, fasting and conversion. This has taken me in 2003 to parishes in Tamarac, Jacksonville and Mcclenney Florida; Bismarck and Beulah North Dakota; Norwood and Leominster Massachusetts; Biddeford, Sumner, East Millinocket, and York Harbor Maine; San Juan Pueblo, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe New Mexico; Baltimore Maryland; and Green Valley and Tucson Arizona, which became the 41st state to which Our Lady has called me in her ministry. Internationally I was called to Quesnel BC Canada and to Chelmsford, Brentwood, Ilford, Westcliff-on-Sea, Kelvedon, Clacton-on-Sea, London and Northolt in England. This was my eleventh preaching tour in England. In many parishes I gave a Parish Mission or Triduum, a Medjugorje weekend retreat in a retreat center on a family farm, and Marian Evenings and Eucharistic Healing Evenings in other parishes.
Another way in which I have shared Mary’s Medjugorje call to discipleship with Jesus is in serving as chaplain at sea when I did not have commitments from parishes. During the year I was seven weeks at sea in the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska. After several interdenominational Sunday Services in which I used the Liturgy of the Word and spoke on Mary’s Medjugorje apparitions and call, I was pleased to hear ordained ministers in the congregation compliment me on the service and sermon. Mary is coming for all her children. People of all faiths come to Medjugorje.
Medjugorje Pilgrimages 2003:
This year I did not get to return to Medjugorje as a pilgrimage spiritual director until the fall. October 8-16 I took a small group to Medjugorje and then they went on to Assisi and Rome for Mother Teresa’s Beatification Mass. Regretfully I was unable to go on to Rome with my group since all flights to Rome at that time were sold out. However, I got back to Medjugorje a few weeks later, November 4-14 with a Gospa-Florida group for a longer stay and a day in the Catholic walled city of Dubrovnik. This was my coldest stay in Medjugorje and I was glad that I wore my warm winter jacket. The Bora north wind came early with its cold air. With the Mediterranean climate it can be short sleeve weather in winter, as it was for me one time in February. I’ve now made 43 pilgrimages to Medjugorje and every one of them had its blessings. Thanks to my full time Medjugorje ministry I’m able to celebrate and preach at one of the English Masses each time. Through this contact with priests and pilgrims throughout the English-speaking world my international ministry has grown to ten countries.
Medjugorje Happenings 2003:
There is now a long permanent building to the left of the church with 25 confessionals and a covered area in front of them, replacing the previous wooden confessional booths. While I was there they were pouring cement and laying marble slabs between the confessionals and the church. With the large crowds often attending the evening International Mass around the outside of the church from spring to fall, and at other times, there now will be no tracking of mud when it rains. Inside St James church attractive wooden railings now enclose Our Lady’s statue and the choir section off the sanctuary. I learned that the beautiful marble statue of Our Lady Queen of Peace marking the apparition site on Apparition Hill was given by Korean pilgrims, dedicated to the reunification of North and South Korea. Many foundations for new guest homes were also being dug, as the village continues to develop.
Worldwide Fruits of Medjugorje in 2003:
Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims continue to come to Medjugorje from all over the world. There is hardly a country not touched. Sometimes unique groups come to Medjugorje, such as several soccer clubs in January and February for their winter training there while entering fully into the spiritual programs of the parish. Bishops continue to come from around the world, drawn by their people’s witness, and return home supporting Medjugorje’s spiritual fruits. Thousands of prayer groups have been formed and an increasing number of parishes have Eucharistic Adoration. And thousands of tons of humanitarian aid, which is building peace and solidarity, have helped many in war-torn Baltic countries. Go to Medjugorje web page for more: www.medjugorje.hr.
Thank you for 2003:
Once again it is my privilege and joy to thank all of you for responding to our Mother Mary’s messages. No other way will our country and world be save from the destructive path the world has taken without the grassroots conversion of individuals and families returning to God-centered morality and lives of faith. Our Holy Father John Paul II calls us to witness our faith in our lives, families, work, recreation, and politically in voting according to our Christian pro-life faith. True Christianity and Catholicism is a way of life that cannot be compartmentalized.
I thank all of you who have promoted this ministry to which Our Lady calls me, by your help, prayers, and contacting parish priests and others to let them know of my ministry and availability. It continues now into its twentieth year through your support and witness to Our Lady’s message. Thank you and God bless you all.
Peace in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2002
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2002 Messages: "At this time while you are still looking back to the past year I call you, little children, to look deeply into your heart and to decide to be closer to God and to prayer." [02/1]:
These are Mary’s opening words at Medjugorje in January 2002. They are most appropriate today for our world at war, our Church in crisis, and our culture of material hedonism. Taking a key sentence from each of her monthly messages in 2002 we hear her heart crying out for us to come back to God’s love. "You cannot be converted, little children, if you do not abandon sins and do not decide for love towards God and neighbor." [02/1] "Pray for peace in your hearts and work for your personal conversion." [02/2]
Our Mother calls us to trust God’s providential love. "Open your heart to God and give Him everything that is in it: joys, sorrows and illnesses." [02/3] "Open yourselves to prayer and seek a conversion of your hearts from God; everything else He sees and provides." [02/4] "Today I call you to put prayer in the first place in your life." [02/5] Mary is God’s prophetic voice. "Live my messages and put into life every word that I am giving you. May they be precious to you because they come from heaven." [02/6]
Our conversion is also for others who need the witness of our lives. "I call you to be open to God’s will, so that in you and through you, faith may grow in the people you meet in your everyday life." [02/7] "Pray, pray, pray and only in faith and through prayer your soul will find peace and the world will find joy to be with God." [02/8] "You are called to live and witness peace – peace in your hearts and families – and, through you, peace will also begin to flow in the world." [02/9]
Our Lady is attentive to God’s action and teaches us to be grateful. "By looking at the fruits, your heart fills with joy and gratitude to God for everything He does in your life and, through you, also to others." [02/10] Turning from sin, welcome Jesus anew into our lives. "Open your heart to God, little children, through Holy Confession and prepare your soul so that little Jesus can be born anew in your heart." [02/11] "I desire to give you peace, and that you carry it in your hearts and give it to others until God’s peace begins to rule the world." [02/12]
Medjugorje Visionaries 2002:
Visionaries Vicka, Marija and Ivan continue into their 22nd year of daily apparitions. For 16 years Marija has been receiving Our Lady’s messages for the world on the 25th of each month. Vicka has not been unable to share with pilgrim groups at Medjugorje this year due to her difficult pregnancy. Ivan shares his ministry between Medjugorje and the States. Mirjana, Ivanka and Jakov no longer have daily apparitions, but as promised have an annual apparition. Mirjana also continues to have her special apparitions on the 2nd of each month to pray with Our Lady for all who do not know God’s love. Through her Mary tells us, "I will teach you to love Jesus and to belong to Him completely." Through Ivanka the Gospa encourages us, "Do not tire of prayer. Pray for peace."
Vicka Ivankovic, who for 21 years has been dedicated to giving Our Lady’s message to pilgrims, married Mario Mijatovic at St James Church on January 28th with well wishers overflowing the church. Their spiritual relationship grew out of their working together at Mother’s Village for war orphans, founded by Fr Slavko Barbaric with whom Mario collaborated. With the family in crisis today, they wanted to witness God’s love through family life. They are expecting their first child this January. The other visionaries now have 2 to 4 children each.
Jelena Vasilj, who was gifted with inner locutions, married Massimiliano Valente in Medjugorje on August 24th. Jelena finished her studies of Theology and Church History, first at Steubenville and then at the Angelicum in Rome, where she met and now lives with her husband.
Medjugorje Happenings 2002:
The Shrine of the Risen Christ, with its large bronze statue of Christ in the fields behind the church, was expanded for Easter as a quiet place for reflection and prayer. A Way of the Cross was constructed there for those unable to climb the Cross Mountain. In time for the 21st Anniversary the new bronze reliefs of the Five Glorious Mysteries, the work and gift of the Italian sculptor Carmelo Puzzolo, were erected on Apparition Hill from the Apparition Site down to the Blue Cross. The apparition site is now marked by a shrine with the life size statue of Mary Queen of Peace.
The 21st Anniversary at Medjugorje on June 24-25 had more than 100,000 pilgrims from all five continents. In Mother’s Village a life size bronze statue of Fr Slavko Barbaric now stands in tribute to its founder. The boys at St Elvira’s Cenacolo in grateful tribute to Fr Slavko for his loving guidance carried a one-ton stone monument up to the top of Cross Mountain to the spot where Father died.
International Meetings in Medjugorje 2002:
Medjugorje has become the site of many international meetings founded by Fr Slavko. The 9th International Meeting of Leaders of Medjugorje Centers and Prayer Groups met on February 17–21 with 170 leaders and priests from 15 countries. Their theme was "Pray, pray, pray" for unity, peace, and conversion. The 2nd International Seminar for Married Couples on February 28 to March 3 shared on the theme, "Awaken Love in Your Families," with 40 couples from 9 countries. The 7th International Meeting for Priests met July 1-6 on the theme, "Priest at the Service of Healing and Deliverance." The parishioners hosted the 483 priests gratis in their homes. The 13th International Youth Prayer Meeting was held from July 31to August 6 on the theme, "With Mary Witness Peace and Joy." About 15,000 young people with 250 priests came from over 30 countries.
Frequently one meets Bishops from around the world in Medjugorje. Among those coming this past year were bishops from Bac Ninh in Vietnam, Meru in Kenya, San Ramon in Peru, Oyem in Gabon, Valencia in Venezuela, Providence in US, and Toronto in Canada. They give strong, positive testimony in interviews with the parish priests, including the following. "When we go back to Vietnam, we will speak about Our Lady´s call to conversion, especially her call to adore the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, and to pray for peace." "Something is happening that goes beyond my reasoning. Our Lady challenges us here." "I have no doubt about the authenticity of Medjugorje. Certainly, the heart and soul of the Medjugorje message is the Eucharist and the Sacrament of the Reconciliation."
Pilgrimage to Medjugorje 2002:
I was blessed to be spiritual director for 3 pilgrimages to Medjugorje this year. At the end of May I journeyed with Matthew Beaufort’s group, Journeys for the Heart (Fairfield IA), on a cultural and spiritual pilgrimage to Dubrovnik and Medjugorje. Matthew, an art history teacher explained art along the way. Our group, mostly of other faiths, stayed at Martin’s near the church. In mid-September I lead a group for Lynn Hoffman of Fiat Voluntas Tua (Tracey CA), and had the privilege of staying in Mirjana’s home in Bijakovici. Then I returned in October with a group for Jimmy Hyland, ITS Tours (Metairie LA), staying a short distance from the church at Jerko’s on the road to Krizevac. Each time it was for me coming "home" to Medjugorje. October 2003 I will lead a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Assisi and Rome, for the Beatification of Mother Teresa. Call me for the brochure to join group.
Marian Renewal Ministry 2002:
My Marian Renewal Ministry had a full schedule of six missions in Lent (FL, OH, & MA); two preaching tours to Long Island NY including a Medjugorje Triduum, Holy Week Triduum, a weekend retreat and evenings of prayer; and a three week tour in England to eleven parishes. In the summer I gave Directed Retreats, a Novena, and celebrated my 50th Dedham High Class of 1952 Reunion and my Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit having entered for the Feast of St Ignatius on July 30, 1952. I find it difficult to grasp the grace of being 50 years a Jesuit, and now over 20 years responding to Our Lady’s call at Medjugorje. In the "off-times" after Christmas and Easter and in the summer I serve as cruise chaplain. There is a renewed response from passengers. Looking forward to 2003 I’ve been invited to give a number of parish missions, two in states where I have not been before, so that now I’ve taken Our Lady’s ministry to 42 out of 50 states. I’d welcome enquiries from your area.
Thank You for 2002:
Many have supported and assisted me in Our Lady’s ministry by contacting parishes for missions and evening as well as praying for my ministry and Our Lady’s intentions. You all come to my mind and heart each morning in my Morning Offering and are remembered at Holy Mass. Thank you, and may you know the experience God’s love and Mary’s protection.
Peace in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.
Medjugorje, Year 2001
Praise be Jesus and Mary!
2001 Messages: "Only through prayer and fasting also wars can be stopped – wars of your unbelief and fear for the future." [01/1]
In January 2001 Mary called us at Medjugorje again to prayer and fasting. The September 11th terrorists’ attack on the U.S. shocked the world and began yet another war. That morning I arrived in England on one of the last flights out of Boston. Since evil can not come from God Who is perfect love; it is the result of sin, our rejecting God’s love. Could our Father have allowed this as a clear "Wake-Up Call" to return to His love and build His kingdom by living the Lord’s Prayer? Does God and His loving Will, the ten commandments, come first in our lives or have we built our own kingdom upon financial (Twin Towers), military (Pentagon) and political (White House) power. Pope John Paul II calls us to turn from "the culture of death," which promotes grave sin worldwide (contraception, abortion, euthanasia, sexual immorality, cloning, etc.) destroying human life which God in love created in His own image. The world’s future depends upon our daily conversion.
Mary, our Mother and the Queen of Peace at Medjugorje, continues to appear daily and to call us in her monthly messages not only to put an end to war but also to bring about the Father’s kingdom through prayer, fasting and converting to His Divine Will as we pray in the Lord’s Prayer. Taking a key line from each of her monthly messages we continue to receive her ongoing call to God’s love. "This is a time of grace. That is why pray, pray, pray until you comprehend God's love for each of you." [01/2] "You are concerned about everything else, but the least for the soul and spiritual life." [01/3] "When you are tired and sick and you do not know the meaning of your life, take the Rosary and pray; pray until prayer becomes for you a joyful meeting with your Savior." [01/4] "Put God in the center of your being so that, in that way, you can witness in joy the beauty that God continually gives in your life." [01/5]
Our Blessed Mother is always with us guiding and protecting us. "Come closer to my heart so that I can lead you to my Son Jesus." [01/6] "In this time of grace, I call you to come even closer to God through your personal prayer." [01/7] "Be real with yourselves and do not bind yourselves to material things but to God. And do not forget, little children, that your life is as passing as a flower." [01/8] "I call you anew, little children: pray and fast that Godmay give you peace." [01/9] "Through you and your prayer, little children, peace will begin to flow through the world." [01/10] "That is why, you who live my messages be the light and extended hands to this faithless world that all may come to know the God of Love." [01/11] On Christmas Day Mary again called us, "Especially today I call you to unite with Jesus through prayer and to become a sign to this peaceless world." [01/12]
Medjugorje 20th Anniversary:
The celebration of the 20th anniversary of Mary’s ongoing daily apparitions at Medjugorje was unbelievably joyous. During the 6:40 pm apparition Marija shed big tears of joy at seeing Our Lady dressed in gold and radiant. Thousands gathered around the outside rotunda altar, stretching out into the fields and around the church for the 20th Anniversary Mass, concelebrated by nearly 300 priests. Inside the church many witnessed an awesome event. During the reading of the Gospel in many languages a pulsing white light came from behind Our Lady’s statue to the right of the sanctuary. Our Lady appeared in three dimensions behind and above her statue in a posture of attentive listening. She was very beautiful. This happened four or five times. Later that evening after the full Rosary and International Mass at St James Church there was barely space for the thousands who gathered on Apparition Hill for Ivan’s prayer group meeting and apparition. Ivan told us Our Lady came with three angels, and blessed all present. As the pilgrims were climbing down, a gorgeous fireworks display was performed to thank Our Lady, illuminating the whole valley, a truly remarkable happening for Medjugorje! Also the Post Office issued a new stamp to mark the 20th Medjugorje Anniversary!
Medjugorje Update 2001:
During the first week of July 273 priests made the Priests’ Retreat, many making this their annual retreat. The annual Youth Festival at the beginning of August was attended by more than 10,000 young people using 22 languages, along with 300 priests. August 4th they gathered on Apparition Hill with Ivan, and Our Lady appeared and gave them a message: "Today as never before I rejoice with you! Dear children, as a Mother I pray for peace in the family, and for the child." These six days were an intense experience of grace, culminating on the Feast of the Transfiguration, with a Mass at Sunrise on the top of Mt. Krizevac. On Mary’s nativity, September 8th, the new Carrara marble statue of the Queen of Peace placed at the original apparition site on the Hill of Apparition was blessed.
Many bishops have been coming to Medjugorje, at least one every month and at times three or four. They are giving wonderful testimony of their spiritual experience there, and bring it back to their dioceses. Three of the visionaries – Marija, Vicka and Ivan – continue to have daily apparitions, now into the 21st year. While Mirjana, Ivanka and Jakov no longer have daily apparitions, they look forward to their annual apparition which Mary has promised for the rest of their lives. Our Lady continues to come to Mirjana on the second of each month to pray for those who do not know God’s love. Pilgrims are invited to be with her in prayer. In Boston Ivan and Laureen gave birth to their third child, a son. A surprise to many, Vicka has announced her coming marriage on January 26, 2002, to Marijo Mijatovic. He was Fr Slavko's co-worker for the Mother's Village, and often worked with Vicka for the orphans.
Fr Slavko's Presence:
Fr Slavko Barbaric OFM died on Mt Krizevac on November 24, 2000, and the next day Our Lady told us, "I rejoice with you and I desire to tell you that your brother Slavko has been born into Heaven and intercedes for you." He remains today with parishioners and pilgrims in Medjugorje as many pray at his tomb and receive graces through his intercession. The spot near the 14th Station where Fr Slavko gave back his soul to God, is now marked by a huge white stone with a round bronze plaque of Fr Slavko's face, smiling. In the Mother's Village, which he founded, a beautiful bronze statue of Fr Slavko was blessed with all the orphans present on the first anniversary of his death. Of the many testimonies one of the most touching is that of a Spanish woman, Carmen. She has suffered many hurts and has been away from the Church a long time. Climbing Mt Krizevac she met a priest and was able to open her heart to him. Later she saw his picture and asked who he was – Fr Slavko.
Marian Renewal Ministry 2001:
This first year of the new Millennium has been marked with a noticeable change in my Medjugorje ministry. I have been called to direct many more Parish Missions of 3, 4 or 5 days, "Called to Discipleship with Jesus through Mary." For three weeks in January I was back in St Thomas VI at Holy Family Parish to give a Mission and assist for three weeks. In Lent I had Missions in Rochester and Island Park NY, Concord NH, Los Alamos NM, and then in Parkland FL. June took me back to my roots in Patchogue NY assisting in the parish where I was baptized. Returning to England in September to direct three Missions, with two other parishes inviting me back next fall for missions. In the fall I kept to the road with missions in Schriever and Larose LA, Fulton NY, and two in Bakersfield CA. An Advent Mission in Hamden CT completed the year. Scattered throughout the year were Medjugorje Evenings and Eucharistic Healing Evenings. Lent 2002 is fully booked with Missions.
Pilgrimage and Other Ministry:
A highlight of the year was a pilgrimage to Ireland with a group from California beginning with a day with visionary Christina Gallagher and a day at Knock Shrine where I celebrated Mass at the Apparition Chapel. Carnival Line has been seeking priests to serve on all their cruise ships. I was on board for two weeks after Easter in the Caribbean and later two weeks in Alaska in August, a ministry which I enjoy as a change of pace. An important ongoing ministry has been to pray and celebrate Mass monthly with the Road to Calvary Prayer Group in Norwood MA, praying for priests.
A Time for Thanksgiving:
All who have become a part of my life and ministry are daily brought to our Loving Father in my Morning Offering and celebration of Holy Mass. Thanking God for you, I pray that in this third millennium we may live in His Divine Will as our Mother Mary does, "Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done." There is the peace He alone can give. God bless you always.
Peace in Jesus and Mary,
Fr. Al Winshman, S.J.