On a recent trip to Medugorje, I was lucky enough to go with a small group of Irish people to visit and attend Mass at the Home of St Joseph for the Elderly, a fifteen minute drive away. This is a residential home for fifty-one residents and has waiting list.
By Mark Greaves
Mark Greaves meets Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow, founder of a charity that provides free meals to half a million children each day
Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow’s first experience of delivering aid was to drive a Land Rover crammed with food, clothing and medicine from the Highlands of Scotland down to Bosnia. At the time he was a salmon farmer: he had taken just a week’s holiday to do it. When he got back, his family shed was bulging with aid that had poured in from friends and friends of friends. He quit his job, sold his house, and learned to drive articulated lorries. Now, about 20 years later, his charity Mary’s Meals feeds half a million children every day.
But that is not the start of the story. At least, not how Magnus tells it. The real beginning was 10 years earlier, when he was 14, and he went on a pilgrimage to a small village called Medjugorje.
Argyll, Scotland (CNN) -- Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow was enjoying a pint at his local pub in the Scottish Highlands when he got an idea that would change his life -- and the lives of thousands of others.
It was 1992, and MacFarlane-Barrow and his brother Fergus had just seen a news report about refugee camps in Bosnia. The images of people suffering in the war-torn country shocked the two salmon farmers, who'd visited there as teenagers and remembered the warmth of the Bosnian people.
"We began saying 'Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just do one small thing to help?' " MacFarlane-Barrow says.
STANDING tall and broad, occasionally kilted and with the rosiness of cheek sported by those who thrive outdoors, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow wouldn’t look out of place on the front of a packet of porridge oats, swinging a caber.
If you can’t feed one hundred people, then feed just one” (Mother Teresa)
The Humanitarian Organization “Scottish International Relief” organized in Medjugorje the first international Mary’s Meals conference from June 11 to 15, 2007.
When I was this September on a pilgrimage in Medjugorje, I visited some of the places, where pilgrims usually go and where I was already during my previous visits. I visited e.g. the St. James Church, Statue of the Risen Saviour, Apparition Hill, Oasis of Peace, Cenacolo community and other places. On this pilgrimage, I noticed another interesting place, which I will also gladly visit again on my next pilgrimages to Medjugorje.
It is very helpful to be members of a praying community. The family life is under a lot of pressure. Children are bombarded all the time by messages from the media that are contrary to what our faith is teaching us. I see more and more the importance of living in a community with likeminded people. Perhaps especially at the time when children don’t want to listen to their parents, they are able to get the same message form the people that they respect within the community. Prayer is the key.
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