Nancy Latta had arrived and sat next to Padre Jozo at a desk in the front of the room. As Padre Jozo spoke in Croatian, Nancy would interpret in English for us. At this, our first conference, he asked each of us to stand, tell how many times we had been to Medjugorje, what we hoped to get from the retreat, and something about ourselves. As one by one, we spoke, Nancy would interpret for us. Padre Jozo sometimes would question us. Many were wondering why they were there.
As I rose, I spoke about being at Notre Dame two years before with my daughter Emily. I shared that I was hesitant to approach the area where he was blessing people. That his hand was on my head for what seemed a long time. I looked at him and asked,"And I wondered, can he see my soul?" He only looked at me, with a small smile, and did not respond. He asked me what I wanted, and I said discernment.
As each of us spoke, Padre Jozo took notes in a hardbound book. I always wondered what he wrote about each of us. As we all spoke and listened to each other, we learned that there were many here with deep wounds. It took two hours for all 50 of us to have a moment with Padre Jozo.
Padre Jozo then asked us to practice silence to make this a more intense retreat. He told us to only speak if necessary, even at the dinner table, saying we would get more out of the retreat if we could do this. He also said we were not here to take notes, or talk, but to come closer to God.
He gave us a schedule to follow: We were to be in the chapel at 7:00 a.m. for rosary and adoration; breakfast at 8:00 a.m.; lecture in the conference room at 9:00 a.m.; rosary in the chapel at 11:30 a.m.; lunch at 12:30 p.m.; free time until the 4:00 p.m. lecture in the conference room; rosary and Mass at 6:00 p.m. in the chapel; dinner at 8:00 p.m.; and to the conference room again for the last lecture of the day at 9:00 p.m. that usually lasted until around midnight.
This was Feb, 25th, the day of Our Lady's monthly message to the world. Nancy had brought it with her. It was:
"Dear children! This is a time of grace. That is why pray, pray, pray until you comprehend God's love for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."
Nancy said we are all receiving graces to understand our part in God's plan. Padre Jozo said this was directed to each of us in a very special way! Our Lady is so present here. As Padre Jozo prayed, I cried again feeling the grace of God descend upon us all.
We were then dismissed and silently went to our rooms to absorb all that had occurred. We were to be in the chapel at 7:00 a.m. sharp for rosary......
(End of Part 7)