It was two years since our last visit in 1993 and on this return journey for the fourteenth Anniversary in 1995 it was like coming home. I turned to my husband, Erle, and made some such remark. He replied that he had the same feeling. Medjugorje and its people are like that. They steal into your heart, be you there for a week or a year. The Church, the shops and the cafes were as we remembered and as the bus continued along the dusty road to our host’s house our excitement grew. Members of the Jerkovic and Cubela families were there to greet us and the two years fell away.
Unlike our first visit in 1993 there were no longer water and electricity restrictions; but apart from this and the absence of far distant gunfire it was as though nothing had changed. Being familiar with our surroundings had an advantage. Without the urgent need to photograph everything one saw, it freed us to feel more deeply the spirituality of the place and to talk more freely with its people.
We were fortunate to hear the visionaries speak more frequently and also had the added bonus that Father Peter Mary Rookey O.S.M., the well-known American healer was visiting at the same time. If unable to share a healing session with Father Rookey, I advise the purchase of his tapes and books. The ‘Cantical of Love’ tape, in which he leads The Dolours Rosary and The Miracle Prayer is one I recommend. If the tape is unavailable in Australia it may be available by writing to Father Peter Rookey, O.S.M. International Compassion Ministry, 20180 Governors highway, Room 309 Olympia Fields, Illinois 60461 1067. Also the book, ‘Father Peter Rookey, Man of Miracles’, by Heather Parsons, published by Robert Andrew Press, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, Ireland 1994 is well worth reading.
Gerry Donnelly from Ireland was assisting him on this visit and Gerry would also appear to have a special calling. He introduced us to praying for ‘the family tree’ when having Masses said for our dearly departed. That is to include both the living and the dead in our prayers. In fact, without ever having met us before, or been introduced, he was able to name a deeply loved family member who had died and whom he thought may still be needing our prayers. He called the man by his Christian name and asked my husband if anybody from his family, by that name, had died recently. At the time we were at a healing session and had approached Gerry with the hope of gaining a private audience with Father Rookey, about a very different problem we needed prayers for. Our problem was with the living so Gerry’s question had a pronounced effect upon us. When having masses said for the deceased I now always include 'The Family Tree Mass'.