Joining the many gathered faithful at the mass held at the Franciscan church of Mary’s Annunciation in Ljubljana was Croatian Ambassador to Slovenia Svjetlan Berković with his associates and Croatian Heritage Foundation director Marin Knezović.
The Croatian Catholic Mission in Ljubljana staged the 25th Christmas Days of Croatian Catholics in Ljubljana and Slovenia from the 4th Sunday of Advent to the second Sunday of the New Year. The event focuses on two fundamental themes. In the sacrament of Christmas and its festivities it aims to celebrate the glory of God in the best possible way in the wealth of Croatian spiritual and cultural heritage. It aims to pass on to the younger generation, for the most part born in Slovenia, the preserved elements of this heritage and to enrich the Church in the milieu into which they have settled. The constant yearly content of the Christmas days are the Christmas confession, the midnight mass, the Emigrant’s Day associated with the feast day of the Holy Family, the blessing of children and the blessing of families. These events are concluded with the holy mass held on the second Sunday of the New Year, customarily led by one of the Croatian or Slovenian bishops or the Apostolic Nuncio.
This year the Christmas Days were concluded with a mass celebrated on 13 January at the Franciscan church of Mary’s Annunciation in Ljubljana led by the president of the council of the Croatian Conference of Bishops and of the Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina for the faithful abroad, Vrhbosnian Assistant Bishop Pero Sudar. Joining in concelebration were the envoy of the Archbishop of Ljubljana Anton Stres—the General Vicar of the archdiocese of Ljubljana prelate Anton Markelj, the provincial of the Slovenian Franciscan province of the Holy Cross Fra’ Stane Zore, the envoy of the provincial of the Franciscan province of the Most Holy Saviour Fra’ Joško Kodžoman, the guardian of St Gabriel’s monastery in Munich Fra’ Ante Babić, the head of the Croatian Catholic Mission in Ljubljana Fra’ Marko Prpa and ten fellow priests.
At the closing of the mass and as a souvenir of the visit to the Croatian Catholic Mission in Ljubljana the faithful presented the bishop with the first copy of a replica of the chasuble made of the royal mantle of Stjepan Tomašević, the last of the seven kings of Bosnia. Joining the many gathered faithful at the mass was Croatian Ambassador to Slovenia Svjetlan Berković with his associates, Croatian Heritage Foundation director Marin Knezović and the head of the CHF department for Croatian minorities Marija Hećimović.
Singing at the mass was the Izvor youth choir of St Joseph’s parish in Zagreb led by Ivana Jelinčić. At the close of the mass the choir staged a concert of their adaptations of Christmas carols and other Christmas songs. (IKA – Photo: Tomislav Vuković)