On Friday, December 2, 2022, three friars from the Province of St. Jerome in Croatia, namely, Friars Ljudevit MARAČIĆ, Bernardin FILINIĆ and Damjan GLAVAŠ, celebrated their 60th anniversary of priestly ordination. The event took place at the St. Anthony of Padua Church in Zagreb, Croatia.
Friar Bernardin presided over the Mass with Friars Ljudevit and Damjan concelebrating. Numerous other priests also concelebrated, including the Minister Provincial of Croatia, Friar Miljenko HONTIĆ, who gave the homily; the Assistant General for the Centralis Europae Foederatio (CEF) Friar Igor SALMIČ; the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Joseph in Slovenia, Friar Milan KOS; and the Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature to Croatia, Father Alfred Ryan D’SOUZA. The local parish choir “Tomislav Talan” provided liturgical music.
Friar Bernardin is the oldest of the three and is still active as a priest at his residence for the elderly. He also helps at the parish in Pula and others in the area. Friar Damjan resides at the friary in Spalato and regularly celebrates Mass, preaches and hears confessions. Until recently, Friar Ljudevit had served as the Provincial Secretary, a Definitor, the Provincial Archivist and Librarian, and as a member of the editorial staff for the Veritas magazine. Today he works in the archive in the friary in Cres and is the Spiritual Assistant to the Secular Franciscan Order at the local and regional level.
In his homily, Friar Miljenko mentioned that all three friars were ordained sixty years ago, in the same St. Anthony of Padua Church in Zagreb. “And here they are again, together with us, to praise God for these sixty uninterrupted years of service in Christ, as priests of Holy Mother Church.” Friar Miljenko continued, “This is an opportunity for them, and also for all of us, to thank God for all the good that he has given them in these last sixty years, so that they were able to persevere in their holy vocation. We must also give thanks for all the good things that God did for them in the various locations where they served as pastors and apostles of Christ.” The Minister Provincial spoke, saying that the life of the three friars “also inspires us in our vocation, in the circumstances of our lives, so that we might have the courage to follow the Lord with such devotion, firmly believing that He can give us what we need, that He can equip us for what our vocation needs.” At the end of the Mass, Friar Ljudevit gave thanks on behalf of himself and the celebrants. He thanked God, the superiors and formators, the friars, parents and family members, the friends and all the good people who supported them spiritually and materially on their journey. “Our priestly ordination took place at the end of the first session of the Second Vatican Council. We were probably the first conciliar priestly vocations in the Church in Croatia, and I think we can be very proud of that,” said Friar Ljudevit, “and all of you gathered here around us, thank the Lord with us and praise His name because He is good, because His love is eternal!”
Friar Zlatko VLAHEK, Provincial Secretary