Here is the official letter circulated on Father’s behalf by his assistant, Mrs. Vesna Curic:Siroki Brijeg, February 9, 2009 With this notice we desire to inform you that due to health reasons, the need for rest and recuperation, and due to the commencement of construction on Badija, Fr Jozo Zovko has asked his superiors for permission to reside outside of the Province. The Province Board approved this request. For this reason, we are canceling all programs planned for the ensuing year. We kindly ask all our co-ordinators and co-workers, organizers of pilgrimages to Medjugorje, organizers of prayer meetings and seminars, and all Medjugorje Centers and pilgrims to respect this and not to plan or ask for a meeting with Fr Jozo during this time. We thank you for your understanding, and united in prayer we remain yours truly in Christ.-Vesna Cuzic-on behalf of Fr JozoInternational God-Parenthood for the Herceg-Bosnian Child.
If Fr. Jozo’s absence is a painful pruning process for the pilgrims and for each one of us here, it would be good nevertheless for all of us to welcome the event with a positive attitude, not as a calamity, but rather as a gift from God Who will use it for a greater purpose. Just imagine, it is quite possible that this time of sabbatical may save Fr. Jozo’s life, and prevent him from collapsing from exhaustion without warning as Fr. Slavko did! Isn’t it also possible that a change in his life pattern may permit him to perceive other aspects of Mary’s plan for Medjugorje that he may reveal to us later on? The possibilities for why God chose this time to give Father Jozo a break are endless.
One thing we can be sure of is that if we welcome this time of trial with faith and even with gratitude, we will free the way for the Lord to harvest all its fruit, in our day and in Eternity. But if we mourn what was ours before and now seems lost, or even worse, if we attempted to blame someone for having robbed us of it, we certainly would be wasting our time and ruining God’s plan.
I’m sure that Fr. Jozo is expecting us to display an attitude of faith. Let’s make this our way to thank him for his 27 years of service to us! Let us also pray for him, and continue to study his teachings that are still available on CDs, DVDs and books at Siroki Brijeg.
Dearest Gospa, we dearly love you! In the midst of all the tribulations of this life, you are our resplendent star!
Sister Emmanuel +