The Catholic holy mass was followed by a concert featuring the Libertas mixed choir from Dubrovnik conducted by Viktor Lenert and accompanied by pianist Ivana Jelača. On hand to welcome the gathered and thank the hosts for their hospitality were Duška Madunić, the president of the Croatian Community of the Veneto region, and Maja Mozara, the head of the Dubrovnik branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation.

Padua’s shrine of St Leopold Bogdan Mandić was the venue on the 19th of May for the opening of a two-day celebration of the saint’s feast day and the start of the 12th meeting of Italian Croatians. The event was organised by the Croatian Community of the Veneto region in neighbouring Italy and the Dubrovnik branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation.
Many gathered for the meeting, both from among the Croatian communities in Italy and from among the pilgrims making the trip from Croatia and Slovenia to join in the rich and diverse event programme, packed with spiritual, educational and culture content.
Representing the Croatian national administration at the event were the extraordinary and plenipotentiary Croatian ambassador to the Holy See Neven Pelicarić, the Croatian general consul in the northern Italian port city of Trieste Nevenka Grdinić, the Croatian general consul in Milan Iva Pavić and, representing the State Office for Croats Abroad, advisor Draženka Arar and department heads Dubravka Severinski and Alen Matanić.
The programme kicked off in the afternoon with members of the Roman Catholic Church expressing their adoration at the Most Holy Altar of the Sacrament, followed by a lecture given by the friar Don Rosario ‘Rozo’ Palić on the subject of Fatherhood and Motherhood – A Reflection of God’s Love.
The lecture was followed by the celebration of the Catholic Eucharist, led by Don Rozo Palić and concelebrated with Don Miljenko Babaić, the dean of the Ston deanery of the diocese of Dubrovnik.
The Catholic holy mass was followed by a concert featuring the Libertas mixed choir from Dubrovnik conducted by Viktor Lenert and accompanied by pianist Ivana Jelača. Also from Dubrovnik, Ms Jelača was worked with the Libertas choir for the past year and a half. On hand to welcome the gathered and thank the hosts for their hospitality were Duška Madunić, the president of the Croatian Community of the Veneto region, and Maja Mozara, the head of the Dubrovnik branch office of the Croatian Heritage Foundation.
Presenting the Libertas choir Ms Mozara noted that it has a special connection with the legacy of St Leopold as they had the opportunity to take part in a programme that saw the relics of the body of St Leopold transferred from his native land. Their performance was very well received.

See the photo gallery at: dubrovacki.slobodnadalmacija.hr

Text and photography by: Željko Tutnjević