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Medjugorje News & Articles by month March, 2010

Added March 6, 2010 /  Category: Reflections / Author: Sr. Stefania Consoli

God created woman in His own image, just as He did with man. It was a single image, though there is a clear distinction. “Male and female he created them,” says the book of Genesis. In the woman God put those parts of Himself which he drew from the deepest layers of His divine being: sensitivity, intuition, tenderness, the capacity to donate self in an unconditioned way without seeking advantage, fortitude and the wonder of a body able to lovingly receive and give life.

Added March 13, 2010 /  Category: Interviews

The smile of his mother as she was dying (she was run over by a train) helped this man (a sculptor) regain his faith and now inspires his works.

An atheist in front of this crucifix said, "For as long as I stood in front of it, I felt the desire to embrace it."

Peppino Sacchi, sculptor from Bolzano, was interviewed by Fr. Slavko in October 1990.

Added March 20, 2010 /  Category: Testimonies

Ruth came from an atheistic background, and at the age of 28 knew nothing about God. Two years ago God revealed Himself to her and she had a profound conversion. She was baptized during the Easter Vigil of this Great Jubilee year, after 18 months of catechesis in which Our Lady's school of Medjugorje played a decisive role.

Added March 17, 2010 , 8:12 PM , Last update March 20, 2010 /  Category: Medjugorje News, Medjugorje and Vatican

Vatican City, Mar 17, 2010 / 09:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A statement was released by the Holy See on Wednesday confirming the formation of a commission to investigate the “phenomenon” of Medjugorje.

Added March 22, 2010 , Last update March 25, 2010 /  Category: Medjugorje News, Medjugorje and Vatican

Archbishop Allessandro D’Errico, Apostolic Nuncio to Bosnia and Herzegovina, gave statement about Medjugorje on March 18th at the end of 48th Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the statement broadcasted by Radio Mir Medjugorje, he amongst other things said: “Whenever I would meet Holy Father, he was always very much interested in Medjugorje. He was involved in everything, starting with the time when he was Head of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He is aware that this is the issue of special importance, and he, as supreme authority of the Church, needs to give his precise statement about that matter. Holy Father is very much familiar with Medjugorje phenomenon; he even mentioned that to me personally. He knows about great deeds which are done in this territory by the priests, religious, franciscans, lay people. On the other side he asks himself how come there are such opposed information about that phenomenon.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

Dear brothers and sisters,

Here in Medjugorje, in the name of the priests who are working in the parish with pilgrims who are coming from all over the world, I express my deep concern for the organization called CARITAS from Birmingham, Alabama.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

Dear Ed,

Your letter arrived today. The news you shared with me is distressing. I can barely imagine what Patsy, Tori and you are experiencing.

I have reviewed the requests for recognition as a lay organization with Pontifical approval and found nothing for Caritas in our files. Nor has the priest any knowledge of this group who is responsible in the Pontifical Council for the process of such recognition.

Pontifical recognition can only be given with the recommendations of the local bishop. Groups seeking such recognition also must be international in extent and have letters of support from each bishop in whose diocese they are found. From what you have told me, Bishop Foley not only doesn't support Caritas but has many preoccupations about it. That would stop any formal process for approval at zero.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

By Adrian J. Reimers, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame for St. James Parish, Medjugorje

Dear Fr. Svetozar,

Here at last are my observations and analysis of the book you sent me, How to Change Your Husband: Owner’s Manual for the Family, by “a Friend of Medjugorje”. The author, as I can recognize from his earlier writings, is Terry Colafrancesco of Caritas of Birmingham. You may feel free to share this letter with Fr. Ivan Sesar, OFM, or with any other person you desire.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

November 25, 2000

Terry Colafrancesco
Caritas of Birmingham
100 Our Lady Queen of Peace Drive
Sterrett, Alabama 35147

Dear Terry,

It has been brought to my attention that in response to questions coming to Caritas about Fr. Svetozar's recent fax expressing the concerns of the Franciscans of St. James in Medjugorje about your community, people are being told:

1. Sr. Emmanuel has been asked to leave Medjugorje.
2. The priests of the parish are trying to stop the messages from going out.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

Despite its proximity, whenever anyone asked Mother Angelica about Caritas she never encouraged anyone to visit it.

As for Caritas of Birmingham, the recent bishops of the Birmingham diocese (Boland and Foley) have done nothing to favor this site, and have forbid the celebration of Mass there (though not confessions).

The position of Mother Angelica has always been to discourage people from going there. That is also EWTN's position.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

By Covenant Community Blog

"I am very familiar with covenant communities, however, have had some inquiries regarding Caritas located in Birmingham, Alabama. This group seems to have some similarities to abusive covenant communities."

"What I know is that the group is governed by a former KKK member who believes that his purpose is to have the folks in his group live according to the "teachings" of Mary - related to apparitions in Medjugorje. While most folks whom I know who are involved in Medjugorje prayer groups have a healthy relationship with one another and the Church, Caritas seems over the top."

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

By Jason Deegan, Ann Arbor News Staff Reporter

The Flynns say they are focused on moving on with their new lives, but they feel obligated to talk about their experiences to warn others. Their terrifying tale started in 1991, when the family sold everything, moving from Jacksonville, Fla., to Birmingham, Ala., to join Caritas, a group the family thought was a religious mission.

Caritas, founded in 1988 by Terry Colafrancesco, claims to be a spiritual community dedicated to promoting the apparitions of the Virgin Mary, which six youths say they witnessed in Medjugorje, Bosnia, in 1981.

Flynn said the family lived in a trailer inside a compound where roughly 50 people of Roman Catholic faith live. The Flynns stayed with Caritas for nine years, despite living under the control of its leaders.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

"Considering the above, it can be concluded that if someone supports Caritas of Birmingham, they are supporting a strange, religious sect and this potentially, which may cause serious damage in an individual's personal and family life.

If you are Roman Catholic perhaps you should first seek spiritual direction from the recognized and historic Catholic Church, before becoming involved with Caritas of Birmingham and/or the Community of Caritas."

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

By Jay Reeves, Montgomery Advertiser

Sterrett -- A multimillion-dollar organization that promotes visions of the Virgin Mary is fighting charges of being a destructive cult as religious pilgrims from across the nation arrive at its Alabama compound seeking spiritual renewal.

Five former residents of Caritas of Birmingham have filed suit in state court seeking an unspecified amount of money from the group and its founder, Terry Colafrancesco.

The suit claims Colafrancesco lures people into Caritas with promises of spiritual enrichment and then drains them of money. Families are made to live in nasty trailers at the group's compound, and Colafrancesco controls their lives almost totally, the suit claims.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

By Associated Press

A multimillion dollar religious mission in rural Shelby County is under fire from critics and former residents who accuse the leader of brainwashing and financial mismanagement.

Longtime members have left Caritas of Birmingham after becoming disenchanted with the operation, and the organization is named in a federal lawsuit over its work to promote visions of the Virgin Mary.

The disputes center around Terry Colafrancesco, the founder and leader of Caritas, which has a publishing house and operates a travel service to Europe.

Complaints about the organization were revealed Monday in a story by the Birmingham Post-Herald, which said Colafrancesco did not respond to repeated interview requests.

An attorney who has done legal work for Caritas said Colafrancesco and his followers are good people with a "positive mission."

"Terry has always had the philosophy that he doesn't respond to people who say bad things about him," said lawyer Joseph Ritchey.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

By Andy Treinen, Fox News 19

Faith is defined as a complete acceptance of a truth which cannot be proved by the process of logical thought. All of us have faith in something, but sometimes our faith is betrayed. That's exactly what happened to a local man who after nine years, came to the realization that he was in a cult.

Tom O'Neill, a Xavier graduate and former teacher at LaSalle High School, was also in the FBI for 20 years. But none of his past work prevented him from making one of the biggest mistakes of his life. Now, his daughter is the one at risk.

"What is happening at Caritas is exactly the same as Waco, Texas," claimed O'Neill.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

By Sara Foss, Birmingham Post-Herald

When the Flynn and the Littiken families moved to Caritas of Birmingham, they did it for their children.

The idea of a wholesome farming community, where devout Roman Catholics worshipped together and worked side by side, appealed to them.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

By Sara Foss, Birmingham Post-Herald

In 1986, a man with a great enthusiasm for Medjugorje began visiting Jack Sacco in his office at the Eternal Word Television Network, a Roman Catholic television network based in Irondale.

At that time, Sacco was organizing one of the first trips from Alabama to Medjugorje, a rural village in Bosnia-Herzegovina where six youths had reported receiving messages from the Virgin Mary in 1981.

"I convinced two friends to go with me," said Sacco, a Birmingham native who now runs Michelangelo Films, a film production company based in Marina del Rey, Calif. "Before we left, this guy Terry is showing up in my office every day, all enthusiastic. He would talk about Medjugorje."

Sacco was referring to Terry Colafrancesco, then a landscaper who ran his business out of his home in Sterrett in Shelby County.

Today Colafrancesco is the president and founder of Caritas of Birmingham, a religious organization in Sterrett dedicated to promoting devotion to the visions of Medjugorje.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Caritas of Birmingham and "A Friend of Medjugorje" Terry Colafrancesco, Sterrett (AL), Alabama

By Sara Foss, Birmingham Post-Herald

Accusations of brainwashing and money laundering plague an area religious group as some unhappy members leave

Terry Colafrancesco started Caritas in Shelby County in 1987 to promote the experience of Medjugorje, the Eastern European village where six youngsters reported seeing the Virgin Mary.

Today, Caritas has grown into a multimillion-dollar enterprise, complete with families who live there year-round, a travel agency that offers trips to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a publishing arm and even a farm. Caritas' mission of educating people about Medjugorje remains unchanged.

But recently the organization has come under fire by longtime residents who have left the community and others interested in Medjugorje. A lawsuit filed in California accuses Colafrancesco, the president of Caritas, of brainwashing residents and using funds raised from donors to purchase heavy equipment for himself.

Added March 27, 2010 /  Category: Testimonies

My name is Candace Evans. I am 43 years old and live in New Hampshire (USA) with my husband and nine year old son. My parents, both deceased, were Jewish. My mother was an atheist. We never spoke of religion in our home so I never had any spiritual teaching or guidance as a child, nor later as an adult.

 


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