Joining the lecturers and participants of this meeting of Croatian pastoral workers from Western Europe in Tuheljske Toplice were Croatian Heritage Foundation director Marin Knezović and the head of the Croatian Office for Croatians Abroad Daria Krstičević.



The annual pastoral gathering of Croatian pastoral workers in Western Europe, pooling over eighty participants, on the topic of The Right To Work And Unemployment In Contemporary Societies kicked off this Tuesday, October 9 at the Mihanović palace in Tuheljske Toplice. The event is organised by the Croatian Pastoral Office in Frankfurt. A prayer at the opening of the gathering was led by the president of the council of the Croatian Conference of Bishops and the Bishop’s Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina for the faithful abroad, Sarajevo Assistant Bishop Monsignor Pero Sudar. The gathered were then greeted on behalf of the organiser by delegate for the Croatian faithful in Germany The Reverend Ivica Komadina, who also declared the event open.
Krapina-Zagorje County Prefect Sonja Borovčak expressed her happiness to see the event held in her county. Croatian Heritage Foundation director Marin Knezović noted that the issue of work and unemployment has hit our country and the country from which the participants of the gathering had come. The head of the Croatian Office for Croatians Abroad Daria Krstičević noted that the Croatian Pastoral Office in Frankfurt had in selecting the topic of this year’s meeting placed the focus on a burning issue for the common man—and the problems of the common man are in fact the problems of society as a whole—once again demonstrating that the homeland Church, priests and pastoral associates are taking an active role in events shaping society, that they are considering the issues and challenges faced by their members and are working uncompromisingly in the spirit of God’s teachings for the rights of those most threatened. An introductory speech was given by Dr Adolf Polegubić. This was followed by a lecture on the right to work given by professor Dr Josip Grbac from the Theological Faculty in Rijeka.
Dr Jerko Valković will speak on volunteer work as an aspect of a coming new model of society. Dr Gordan Črpić will hold a lecture on the value of work in Croatia and Europe. Dr Vladimir Dugalić will speak of work in the context of the current crisis of the social state, while Dr Zoran Šućur will discuss poverty and the social exclusion of the unemployed.
A spiritual-study trip is planned for Wednesday, 10 October to the Hrvatsko Zagorje region. Monsignor Sudar will lead a mass at Mihanović palace, with the event concluding its work on Thursday, 11 October.
This evening there will be a presentation of the (13th consecutive) collection of papers from last year’s gathering held in Bad Honnef near Bonn on the topic of The Media and Contemporary Evangelisation. The collection will be presented by Dr Jerko Valković and Dr Vine Mihaljević.

Text and photos by: Adolf Polegubić