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Bosnia and Herzegovina: Mgr. Hoser, Apostolic Visitor to Medjugorje “a parish at the service of pilgrims”

“The mission entrusted to me is aimed at the practical implementation of the pastoral solutions that would allow the Church to better meet the needs of the 2.5 million pilgrims who visit Medjugorje every year”, Mgr. Henryk Hoser told SIR new agency. The prelate has just been appointed by Pope Francis as “special apostolic visitor to the parish of Medjugorje, indefinitely and ad nutum Sanctae Sedis”. The prelate stresses in particular the urgent need to coordinate and streamline ecclesial activities, which have hitherto been managed independently, both from a financial and administrative perspective. Furthermore, according to Mgr. Hoser, considering the number of penitents who decide to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation in Medjugorje, “there is an urgent need to increase the number of confessors capable of administering the Sacrament of Penance in different languages, especially those most widely spoken in Europe”. The prelate notes that the small parish in Medjugorje is unsuitable for the reception of pilgrims, and the square of the small church does not have any canopy structure to shelter the faithful in case of adverse weather. In the past, the 75-year-old prelate has been Apostolic Visitor to Benin, Togo, and Rwanda; from 1996 to 2003, he has been superior of the Pallottine Province of France and a member of the Missionary Council of the Conference of Major Superiors in the country. In 2004, he became rector of the Pallottine Mission Procura in Brussels, and was then involved in pastoral care in the framework of the European Union. From 2008 to December 2017, he has served as Archbishop of Warsaw-Prague, the part of the Polish capital located on the east bank of the Vistula.

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