Croatia – Rector Major presides over celebration of 100 years of Salesian presence and Province's 50 years

18 October 2022

(ANS – Zagreb) – The Rector Major, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, celebrated 100 years of Salesian presence in Zagreb and the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Croatian Salesian Province of St. John Bosco with the Salesians, the Salesian Family, and the Salesian youth.

On Saturday morning, the Rector Major met with the Salesians. Fr. Tihomir Sutalo, provincial of the Croatian Salesian Province, briefly presented the current state of the province. Fr. Á.F. Artime spoke to the Salesians about the Society in the World and answered their questions.

The Salesian Youth Movement gathered on the same day in the afternoon in Zagreb. They were greeted by Mons. Ivan Šaško, Auxiliary Bishop of Zagreb. Young people took a walk to the church of St. Martin, where the Salesians began operating in the Croatian capital in 1922. Short speeches and prayers ended the program at St. Martin church from where the young people went to the shrine of the Holy Mother of Freedom. On arrival, a meeting of the Salesian Youth with the Rector Major began. In a talk show-type program, Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime spoke and answered questions from the young participant. During the evening, artist Eva Vukina painted a painting, the gift for Rector Major. After the Good Night words, the evening ended with Adoration.

On Sunday morning, the Salesian family, which has five groups in the Croatian Salesian Province (SDB, FMA, SSCC, ADMA, and EX.DB), met the Rector Major in a casual fraternal setting. Listening to words from the Rector Major and being close to him was an important moment for all the members of the Salesian Family who wanted to greet and thank him individually at the end.

The highlight of the two-day program was a mass celebration at the shrine of the Holy Mother of Freedom led by Fr. Tihomir Sutalo, Provincial. The Rector Major offered the homily wherein he emphasized the following: "This is a strong and beautiful opportunity to thank the Lord for all He has given us in this centenary presence in this city. It is important to thank God for all those persons who preceded us and allowed us to be here today."

"Prayer always makes sense, it always benefits us. Praying is important because it is a way to give God what we carry in our hearts. If those of us who are believers do not convey hope, what can we brag about? I am convinced that we carry great hope in our hearts," said Fr. Ángel Fernández Artime, referring to the Sunday Gospel.

At the end of the mass celebration, the Rector Major was presented with a painting painted by the artist Eva Vukina the night before during the youth program. The painting depicts blessed Aloysius Stepinac handing Don Bosco the cornerstone from which the Salesian churches in Zagreb are drawn. This is symbolic of the Salesian beginnings in Zagreb, where cardinal Stepinac gave them strong support.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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