On Thursday April 27, 2023, the friars of the Province of St. Joseph in Slovenia and the Province of St. Jerome in Croatia conducted their annual meeting at the Sv. Antuna Padovanskoga Friary in Novi Marof, Croatia.
About forty friars took part in the meeting. The program began with introductory remarks from the Guardian, Friar Martin DRETVIĆ, and the Minister Provincial, Friar Miljenko HONTIĆ. Next, the friars recited Midday Prayer together.
Friar Ljudevit MARAČIĆ then gave a lecture on the life and work of Friar Ivon ĆUK. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Friar Ivon. He was a prominent writer, known not only to the Croatian public but also internationally. He was the founder and first editor of the magazine St. Anthony’s Messenger in Croatian, today known as Veritas. He contributed greatly to the promotion of the teachings of the Second Vatican Council in the Croatian Church.
Mass was celebrated with Friar Miljenko presiding. In his homily, he talked about the early Christians, persecution and insecurity. “Somehow it reminds me of today’s time and the state of society we live in, when interest in hearing the word of God is ever decreasing; when our churches are becoming increasingly deserted; when there are no more vocations in Europe and it seems that the Church, as such, is disappearing from society, etc. This is why it is good to ask ourselves: Is the Angel of the Lord not also calling us to proclaim His Word? What is important, then, is to give our full attention, body and soul, to the immeasurable treasure of the Eucharist which Jesus Christ gave us so that we might live. By welcoming this treasure, we can become bread for others.”
The Minister Provincial of Slovenia, Friar Milan KOS, thanked the friars from Croatia and announced that the next meeting will be held in Slovenia in 2024.
Friar Zlatko VLAHEK, Provincial Secretary