DAILY CATHOLIC Monday, February 2, 1998 volume 9, no. 23
GOLDEN CHALICE AWARD
to MEDJUGORJE WEB SITE
SIGNIFICANT SITE OF THE WEEK:
Medjugorje Web is fulfilling Our Lady's words to, "live my messages and relate them to whomever you meet."
It is only fitting on the feast of the PRESENTATION OF THE LORD that we feature a site where Jesus is presented daily throughout the mountain village community of Medjugorje where the Blessed Mother has been presenting her Divine Son to the visionaries and countless other "little children" for nearly seventeen full years. The repercussions have spread to all four corners of the world and the site we review today is helping perpetuate this. This site, of course is the Medjugorje Web site at http://www.medjugorje.org. Reviewing this site is long overdue, but no other Medjugorje site offers as much as this excellent web site. Operated by Steve and Ana Shawl they provide a scope and depth on Medjugorje that is unparalleled at any other site. You might consider this site "Everything you wanted to know about Medjugorje, but didn't know where to ask!" The Blessed Virgin Mary's words of August 16, 1984 echoed in the headline above are being fulfilled by this remarkable evangelistic site promoting Medjugorje, providing the who, what, where, when, why and how of this modern miracle that is unparalleled in apparition annals. From the Monthly Medjugorje Message available in 24 languages to Daily Meditations, which we have been carrying for two years as a link in our Daily Liturgy section, this site provides background, resolve, devotions, facts, up-to-date biographies on the visionaries and other principals of the Medjugorje phenomena to name just a few of the plethora of features available. Besides providing every major message from that first day in 1981 to January 25, 1998, this site includes Father Slavko Barbaric's monthly commentaries on the message as well as the most comprehensive article/letter on the exact situation of Medjugorje regarding pilgrims, Holy Mother Church, God's Will, etc. from a consortium of big name playing clerics from this region. They include Archbishop Frane Franic, former head of the Yugoslav Bishops' Commission on investigating Medjugorje and who we interviewed extensively along with visionary Ivan Dragicevic and Father Ljudevit Rupcic, OFM in 1992. Joining Archbishop Franic is one of the foremost proponents of Our Lady - Bishop Paolo Hnilica, S.J. along with such Medjugorje luminary Franciscans as Fathers Slavko Barbaric, Jozo Zovko, Tomislav Pervan, Leonard Orec, and Ivan Landeka. It is the most comprehensive explanation to date of the Medjugorje phenomena that has taken hold on all seven continents.
In addition to the above, the Medjugorje Web site offers a listing of all Marian Centers in the U.S. and an up-to-date schedule of 1998 Marian Conferences that list times, places, contact's name and phone number, theme, and most of the scheduled speakers. It has the most complete current biographies on all six visionaries who are no longer children but married adults (all but Vicka). The site brings to the browser countless testimonies and articles on Medjugorje from many different sources as well as an extensive photo gallery of all areas of interest in this Oasis of Peace. It even includes statistics that record over ten million Holy Communions distributed at St. James parish church since 1981. Communions are increasing again as travel to this Bosnian shrine becomes safer after the war years of the early nineties. The year 1990, the year we visited three times, still ranks as the all time high in pilgrims and Sacred Hosts distributed with 1993 the lowest during the turmoil. But 1997 saw a huge increase and 1998 promises even more. For those who have not been to Medjugorje but have thought about it, this site provides a virtual experience of taking a pilgrimage there with itinerary, prices and how to sign up with Mediatrix Tours, a very reputable pilgrimage tour company run by Bob and Candy Grove out of Plano, Texas who we can personally vouch for. There are so many aspects of this excellent site that we can't possibly list here but which browsers can discover at their hearts content. It emphasizes the importance of the message and vision of Saint John Bosco, without actually mentioning the saint by name, by placing emphasis on devotion to Our Lady - the Gospa as she is referred to in Bosnia - and Eucharistic adoration with special prayers and devotions to use while spending time with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
Almost every page loads quickly, despite the many photos and it is a joy to surf and discover new things which many did not realize about Medjugorje, including the Holy Father's remarks and positive leanings toward this special shrine. The Medjugorje Web is kept up-to-date by the Shawls, who also furnish a bi-weekly press bulletin from Medjugorje as well as direct e-mail of the Monthly Message and Fr. Slavko's moving commentaries to those who request this service. All in all there is not one negative anywhere on this vast site and because of it, we proudly bestow our prestigious
"Golden Chalice Award" to this site, conferring a perfect full decade of TEN Hail Mary's to this king of Medjugorje web sites honoring the Queen of Peace.
Text Visitors in 1998: February