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Already pilgrims are arriving for the Five Days of Prayer, March 19-23, and have come to add their much needed hands to help with the overwhelming work load that the community has been bent under for these past months.

 



All the world stopped to watch and listen to the news unfold of the terrifying events that overtook Japan only a week ago. Yet another world event in which from one moment to the next, thousands perished, thousands are missing, and untold numbers are misplaced and suffering terribly. The day the tragedy took place, a friend from Guam called Caritas’ founder at 2:00 a.m. in the morning Alabama time relaying the story of the earthquake and the further threat to many lives through possible tsunamis, pleading for the prayers of the community for all those in harm’s way. Soon pictures began to be released of the devastation and the suffering, while fear and panic spread because of yet another tragedy that has shaken not only Japan, but because of the world’s interconnectedness, the entire world. New concerns are emerging knowing that Japan’s tragedy is putting further pressure on the world’s economic systems, all of which are already in a very critically weakened state.

 

The Caritas Community did not stop in these days, to listen to the sound bites…..we had our own crisis we were dealing with…one in which we could not stop to take a break, outside of 30- minute bread breaks for our meals, and the few hours of sleep we allow ourselves each night. However, the events of Japan put in our hearts an extra motivation to offer all our labor and sacrifices for Our Lady’s plans from Medjugorje for the salvation of the whole world. The purpose of this “gathering,” March 19-23, 2011, is as Our Lady said just two weeks ago:

 

March 2, 2011

“…I am gathering you, who are ready to open your heart to me, you who are ready to be apostles of love, to help me…”
 


For Japan’s sake, and every nation around the world who is in need of Our Lady and Her messages from Medjugorje so She can lead them back to Her Son, we want to be “ready,” to be among Her apostles, to help Her. This is the whole reason for The Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages and why we earnestly wish to consecrate this mission to Our Lady of Medjugorje in this new level She has opened to us.

 

The work on Our Lady’s Tabernacle has continued on, so much so that we have been unable to keep a daily update going on our website, Medjugorje.com. Already pilgrims are arriving for the Five Days of Prayer, March 19-23, and have come to add their much needed hands to help with the overwhelming work load that the community has been bent under for these past months. Even still, we continue to rise at 5:00 a.m. every morning, and don’t see our beds again until the following morning at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 a.m. or later. Yet, we are always amazed at the end of our 20-plus hour days, how much has been achieved and we know Our Lady has answered your and our prayers to send us assistance from the angels. Every 24 hours the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages is transformed by the amount of work that is done. We also know that we could not keep this schedule up for so long without Our Lady giving us a grace to do so. As we see the great changes in the mission everyday unfold before our eyes, we are moved in our hearts to know Our Lady will soon be with us—the object of all our work, our long arduous hours, our love, and our hope for the world. We are grateful to be a part of Her plan from Medjugorje.
 


What follows are photographs from the past two weeks of the work of the Caritas Community. We greatly appreciate the prayers you have been offering to help us accomplish so much in so little time, as well as the donations to help us continue to pay the construction expenses. There is much more we could have included in these photos, and those of you who will be attending the March 19-23 apparitions will see firsthand the transformation that has taken place, through the Grace of God and Our Lady’s loving attention.

Despite all the work, late hours and sacrifices, we knew the day would come quickly when Our Lady would be here—and now that day is upon us. For those of you who are still undecided about coming, but have the possibility to make the decision to be here, don’t pass up an opportunity that you will sorely regret later. As thousands have told us or written us over the years of their experiences at Caritas during the days when Our Lady is appearing here, it is a life changing experience that never fades away from their lives.
 


For those of you who cannot make it, stay close to the events through the daily updates and pictures on Medjugorje.com. Send us your petitions and we will place them in Our Lady’s presence in the Bedroom of Apparitions and in the Field. We will be remembering you in our prayers to Our Lady.



If you feel the Caritas mission is worthy of your support, please click here to donate.

 

 

Medjugorje.com
Caritas of Birmingham
Operated by the Community of Caritas

 

Community of Caritas Working

Cleaning the bookbinder before community members begin training to operate this mammoth machine that can bind up to 500,000 books on Medjugorje every week.

Community of Caritas Working

Community of Caritas Working

The continuous demand for It Ain’t Gonna Happen, Words from Heaven, the 54-Day Rosary Novena and a multitude of other material from A Friend of Medjugorje has kept us processing the mail and sending out the orders amidst the construction and retooling of the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages. Here the community prays over the mail, as we do each day, praying for God’s blessing upon it and upon all those around the world who will receive these envelopes and packages containing the messages of Medjugorje.

Community of Caritas Working

Community of Caritas Working

With so many projects going on all over the building, when the community meets to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3:00 p.m. it is always with the intent of hitting a larger project where many hands are needed. Here the Caritas community work together to organize the Medjugorje materials that are going to be going on the shipping racks.

Community of Caritas Working

Community of Caritas Working

The community began tackling the clean-up in the shipping department once the painting of the floors and walls was complete. Several days were spent in re-assembling all the racks, organizing and stocking up on Caritas Medjugorje materials, and setting up offices. It was a big joy to finally, after more than a month, to roll back the black plastic off the floor and begin mopping it clean.

Community of Caritas Working

Fourteen beautiful pine tables built with lumber cut down from our property, processed on our saw mills, and handcrafted in our own St. Joseph’s carpentry shop by community members are getting a last sanding job before being brought to the shipping department of Our Lady’s Tabernacle. These tables, along with everything in Our Lady’s Tabernacle will be consecrated to Our Lady of Medjugorje during the March 19-23 apparitions, to be used for the purpose of furthering Her plans on earth.

Community of Caritas Working

Always ready for an adventure, our little community girls hitch a ride on our tractor trailer to Our Lady’s Tabernacle to help deliver the tables across the street.

Community of Caritas Working

The completed tables are carried into Our Lady’s Tabernacle. Through Our Lady’s Medjugorje messages, the community has learned to trust in God’s Providence for our needs. These tables, if bought in a furniture store would easily cost thousands of dollars. For us, we made them with love and our only cost was the stain.

Community of Caritas Working

One more step before the tables are complete—members of the community put a final coat of stain on the tables that will find their permanent home in the shipping department. The expansion of the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages is bringing greater order and efficiency to every area of the mission.

Community of Caritas Working

The small chapel located right at the door of the print shop was the first room to be completed in Our Lady’s Tabernacle. St. Anne’s Chapel is so named because hanging within it is a relic of St. Anne, a small bone fragment that was given to the mission during the building of the original Tabernacle. Though we do not have Jesus in the Tabernacle in this chapel, a few from the community pause to enjoy the fresh beauty of this simple room where much peace is felt through the prayers said, through the intercession of Mary’s Mother, St. Anne.

Community of Caritas Working

Cleaning up Our Lady’s statue in the Field. The rock pedestal upon which Our Lady’s statue rests in the Field is taken apart, dried leaves and cobwebs are blown off, any mud that has accumulated on the stones is wiped off and the stones are then replaced. This is always a task the community fulfills with joy, as it usually doesn’t take place until the last week before Our Lady comes in the apparitions. This site is one of the main sites Our Lady has appeared to Medjugorje visionary Marija over the years at Caritas.

Community of Caritas Working

Being surrounded by adults who love to work, the little children of the Caritas community begin to experience the joy of work even at their very young ages. As they grow older, this joy stays with them in their youth and as they approach adulthood, no matter what the job may be. It is a quality in today’s families that is sadly lacking in teaching children that lasting joy does not come from things that entertain us, but rather from contentment in our work. The first message Our Lady of Medjugorje gave when She came in 1988 was:

November 20, 1988
“…May your work be offered as a prayer…”

Community of Caritas Working

Community of Caritas Working

Community of Caritas Working

A very intricate and elaborate dust collection system is being installed outside of Our Lady’s Tabernacle building. In fact, a separate building is being built to house the filtering system also for the purpose of noise control. Being able to have our own equipment and the skills that are required to put the system together has literally saved the mission tens of thousands of dollars on just this one job alone. Through the years, Caritas has shaved off millions of dollars in costs by having our own equipment and skills. This whole dust collection system is being put into place for the sole need of the book binder, which helps to give a visual of just how much paper, ie. books, pamphlets, booklets, etc., will go through this bookbinding machine.

Community of Caritas Working

A large tree right in front of Our Lady’s Tabernacle was struck by lightning this past year and needed to come down. So as not to endanger the Tabernacle, we took the tree down section by section. The community came together to get rid of the debris later that afternoon.

Community of Caritas Working

Community of Caritas Working

With most of the construction of the Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages finally behind us, almost all our efforts have been in cleaning up. Here a very large and gangly air conditioning unit had to be removed from the print shop. The call was sent out for all the community in the vicinity to gather around and lift. One step at a time (no doubt through the assistance of the angels), we carried the unit out of the print shop, experiencing the old adage once more: Many hands make light work.

Community of Caritas Working

With the print shop floor finally cleared, the plastic and paper all rolled up, and for the most part, the dust of the construction cleaned up, the final placement of the print shop equipment was decided upon and attention turned to each piece of equipment for its own detailed cleaning. It was at this point when we began seeing the light at the end of the tunnel in regards to seeing Our Lady’s Tabernacle in its final preparations before pilgrims begin arriving for Our Lady’s apparitions.

Community of Caritas Working

If you feel the Caritas mission is worthy of your support, please click here to donate.

 

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