On Sunday, September 24, 2023, during the 9:30 a.m. Mass, the St. Francis Friary in Cres, Croatia, commemorated what would have been the 100th birthday of the late Archbishop of Gorizia, the Most Reverend Vitale Antonio BOMMARCO. The archbishop was born on September 21, 1923, in Cres, in what would later become present-day Croatia. He was a former Minister Provincial of the Province of Padua and a former Minister General of the Order.

On behalf of the Most Reverend Ivica PETANJAK, Bishop of Krk, Croatia, the Vicar General of the diocese, Father Franjo VELČIĆ, presided over the Mass. The Guardian, Friar Vitomir GLAVAŠ and a retired diocesan priest, Father Dinko, concelebrated. At the beginning of the celebration, Friar Vitomir greeted Father Franjo and the faithful present. During his homily, Father Franjo commented on the Gospel reading of the day and presented a brief biography of Archbishop BOMMARCO, highlighting his accomplishments.
After the Mass, Archbishop BOMMARCO was commemorated with a letter of thanksgiving, authored by Friar Ljudevit MARAČIĆ. The letter highlighted the archbishop’s activities and confirmed his connection with the Province of St. Jerome in Croatia, the St. Francis Friary, and the city of Cres.

Excerpt from the letter of thanksgiving;

Cres is unique in the annals of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual in that it is a town that has never had more than five thousand inhabitants throughout its long history, and yet, it has given the Order:

  • Four Ministers General: PETRIS, SOLDATIĆ, ORLICH, and BOMMARCO
  • Twenty Ministers Provincial: Anton Marcello PETRIS; Ivan PETRIS; Matej JURMANICH; Blaž POSARIĆ; Jakov DRASA; Ivan Matej SUSICH; Franjo SCHENDERIC; Jeronim DRASA; Ivan Jakov PETRIS; Ivan Anton PETRIS; Ivan Jakov FERMAPACE; Jeronim LEMESICH; Stefano PETRIS; Ljudevit BAJCICH; Petar Anton CASTELLANI; Bonaventura SOLDATIĆ; Celestin FATTUTA; Antonio CHIALINA; Alfonso ORLICH; and Vitale BOMMARCO
  • Three General Definitors: POSARIC, FATTUTA, and DOIMI
  • Two Secretaries General: POSARIC and DOIMI
  • In addition, it has produced several bishops: PETRIS, SOLDATIĆ, RADOSSI and BOMMARCO
  • One musician: Bernardin RIZZI
  • One future saint: Placido CORTESE.

We might say this is all too much for a town as small as Cres, but it gives us reason to feel pride and joy!

Zlatko VLAHEK, Provincial Secretary.