By Nancy Wilstach, The Birmingham News, Birmingham, Alabama, 12/28/04
Former residents and parents of residents accuse the Shelby County, Alabama, Caritas of Birmingham community, led by Terry Colafrancesco, of fraud, misrepresentation, undue influence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and false imprisonment. They say Colafrancesco lures devout Catholics to Caritas and then takes all their money. A judge has ordered principals in the three-year-old suit to submit to mediation.
Colafrancesco created Caritas following the 1988 vision of a woman from Bossnia-Herzegovina who reported experiencing visitations from the Virgin Mary while standing in Colafrancesco’s pasture. She continues to have visions during her periodic returns to the US, and her most recent visit drew thousands of pilgrims. The community draws its membership from such people, who give up their property when they move into Caritas. The community also receives donations from the devout around the world. Caritas, which the Roman Catholic Church does not recognize, operates a school, sawmill, gift shop, and farm.
VATICAN CITY, 13 APR 2010 (VIS) - Press Office of the Holy See
The International Investigative Commission on Medjugorje met for its first session on 26 March 2010.
The Commission, presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, His Holiness' vicar general emeritus for the diocese of Rome, is composed of the following members:
This Telly Award winning DVD recreates the beloved contemporary melody of The Divine Mercy Chaplet in Song, made popular on EWTN. Hear the voices of hundreds of children, teens, parents and grandparents as they pray for the poor, for the dying, and the unborn. Crossing all denominational lines and spanning all generations, Christians unite to tell the world about God's mercy. Available at http://www.generationsuniteinprayer.com
Annie Karto is a Catholic singer/songwriter from Treasure Island, Florida. Annie hopes to stir the flame in the Catholic Church through the power of God's great gift of music. The HEALING MERCY OF GOD is the heart of her music ministry, along with singing of the beautiful sacraments of the Catholic Church, and honoring the Blessed Mother Mary.
Donna Cori Gibson sings Divine Mercy Chaplet.
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy in Chant is a version that is prayed at Medjugorje. Father spent time in the Croatian Custody in 1986 and served in Medjugorje as confessor and pilgrim assistant from 1987-2000.
It was definitely a call by Our Lady, and it was through a small article precisely in the Echo of Mary which said there wasn't an Italian priest in Medjugorje to look after the Italian pilgrims. I took this as a personal call, and I asked Our Lady to provide a ticket to get there and a place to stay as a sign that it really was for me. Not long after this, whilst having dinner with friends, one of them said he had an extra ticket to go to Medjugorje and that he wanted to give it to someone. Then, at Medjugorje I asked Fr. Slavko about it and he confirmed that Our Lady had called me to stay there so I could better comprehend God's plans.
By Stephen K. Ryan
Who is the man behind the mask known as the "Friend of Medjugorje"? The founder and operator of Medjugorje.com/ Caritas of Birmingham insists on calling himself "A friend of Medjugorje" rather than by his own name. Maybe it is just us but this curious business of referring to oneself in the third person, as the "Friend of Medjugorje" does throughout his web site, is beginning to creep us out. From the onset the third person references on his web site create an aura of obfuscation and an unsettling lack of transparency.
The "Friend of Medjugorje" as it turns out is named Terry Colafrancesco. He may refer to himself as a friend of Medjugorje but the more we peel away the layers we are beginning to discover that many people who are devoted to the Medjugorje movement think he is anything but a friend.
By Daniel Jackson, Birmingham Post-Herald
Patrick J. Flynn said the founder of a Shelby County religious compound no longer has any control over him, but other people should be warned.
Last week Flynn was sitting 3 feet away from Terry Colafrancesco, founder of the Caritas Community, during depositions in a lawsuit filed by some of his former followers.
Colafrancesco had his deposition and bank records sealed in the lawsuit.
Flynn, one of the original 12 inhabitants of the Caritas Community, questioned Shelby County Circuit Judge J. Michael Joiner's confidentiality order, which bars discussion of the details in the three-year-old suit.
A group of former Caritas residents and parents of residents have accused Colafrancesco of operating a cult that preys on devout Catholics and drains them of their assets. Parties in the case will begin court-ordered mediation on March 30.