Since my first post on Medjugorje, I've been pondering something....
There are many reasons why some people go to Medjugorje. I can't judge them, and won't as it is not my job. But, because I know so many supporters who are devout, with strong appreciation for the Eucharist and mother Mary, I wonder if is less about what is there, in Medjugorje, as opposed to what they aren't finding much of these days in general. It is hard to find a parish where one can engage in adoration, for example. I'm lucky to be in a parish that provides the opporutnity 6 days out of the week, from 9:00am to 6:30pm.
While some stand to loose financially if it is fully disengaged, for the vast majority, the issue is one of spirituality. A loss of Medjugorje, could seem like a loss of the very things they seek there. Yet, I wonder, why aren't they finding it closer to home? I believe that most of these folks, are simply looking for a way to practice the faith, that has been missing.
For all those new people visiting this blog, I will share why I think most people go to Medjugorje, while at the same time providing links to posts and photos of life at my parish, Assumption Grotto Parish in Detroit. The photos you see of the Mass with the priest facing the high wall altar, are truly the Mass of Paul VI, better known as the Novus Ordo or New Mass. It is not a Tridentine (pre-Vatican 2). Priests here just celebrate it ad orientem, or facing the east, something I have found for me, removes the person of the priest, as he puts on Christ enabling me to focus fully on God in the Mass. [EDIT Feb 2008: Newer photos now include pictures of the "Tridentine" which has been celebrated regularly since Pope Benedict released his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum allowing all pastors this option]
Medjugorje is not discussed at my parish and the bookstore does not permit the sale of anything relating to "apparitions" or similar, which are not fully approved. I am aware of parishioners who follow it personally and they are very devout people. The parish, focuses heavily on Fatima and Lourdes, with Fatima Devotions the 13th of each month out in our Grotto during the Months of original apparitions.
I give you these photo links in tribute to the hard-working, dedicated priests working in, and thru, Assumption Grotto in Detroit, who bring us these things with fervor and devotion, very generously. It is my list of reasons why people are attached to Medjugorje - in no certain order.
2)Adoration & Holy Hours
4)Devotion - in particular to the Rosary.
5)Other traditional prayers & devotions
6)Sacrament of Penance - frequent
7)Strong homilies, in fullness of the faith
8)Mortification & self-sacrifice (fasting)
10)Seminars, retreats, days of recollection
There is one last category, but it is a positive fruit of communities which value that which is above - once more, also evidenced by Medjugorje: Vocations!
Click through the posts in my sidebar under Vocation Talk to see vocations blooming in traditional-based orders. Getting back to basics works! I see it in my parish, and I see it in nearby parishes like Ss Cyril & Methodius.
What more could I ask for in a Catholic community? If you are in metro-Detroit, stop in some time. If you come for the 9:30am Latin Novus Ordo, be sure to pick up a booklet in the back so you can read along.
Thank you dear Fathers for the way you represent the priesthood and in creating a culture that is distinctly Catholic!