Zagreb, (IKA) – On March 9, at a press conference held in the headquarters of the Croatian Conferences of Bishops, it was announced that Msgr. Dr. Petar Palić had been appointed as the new bishop of the Diocese of Hvar-Brač-Vis. This formal announcement was attended by the President of the Croatian Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Želimir Puljić of Zadar; the Apostolic Nuncio in the Republic of Croatia, Msgr. Giuseppe Pinto; Military Ordinary Bishop Jure Bogdan, the First Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciate, Msgr. Janusz Stanislaw Blachowiak; and the heads of the councils, offices and committees of the Croatian Conference of Bishops.
Archbishop Puljić welcomed those present: “I would like to say that at precisely this moment, the bells of Dubrovnik are ringing and echoing in Hvar, but they will not only ring in the city of Hvar but throughout the entire Diocese of Hvar. As the Hvar-Brač-Vis family has gathered together in joy, thus shall we gather here as one family of our honorable institution of the Croatian Conference of Bishops,” said Archbishop Puljić. Msgr. Pinto read Pope Francis’ decree in the Italian language on the appointment of Msgr. Petar Palić as the new Bishop of Hvar. Then Secretary Blachowiak read the decree in the Croatian language and presented a brief biography of the new bishop.
The newly appointed Bishop Petar Palić of Hvar addressed those present: “Aware of the responsibilities and demands of this office, in profound humility before God and the Church, I have accepted the appointment as the Bishop of Hvar.” Dr. Palić expressed his gratitude to God for the gift of life and the graces of baptismal and ministerial priesthood. He thanked his parents and whole family, his teachers and all who had been connected with him in any way, for their support on his priestly journey. He expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis for his confidence and appointment, promising him filial devotion and respect. He also expressed his gratitude to the President of the Croatian Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Želimir Puljić of Zadar, who had ordained him to the priesthood; Bishop Mate Uzinić of Dubrovnik, who had appointed him as his vicar general; and Bishop Slobodan Štambuk of Hvar, whom he will succeed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Hvar.
“In profound gratitude and prayer, today I am joined to Janjevo, Dubrovnik and Zagreb. My ancestors came from Janjevo in Kosovo, the oldest Croatian-Dubrovnik diaspora. My life as a priest is connected with Dubrovnik, my family and part of my pastoral engagement are connected with the Parish of St. Pope John XXIII in Dubrava—Zagreb, and I have served this past year as the Secretary General of the Secretariat of the Croatian Conference of Bishops,” said Msgr. Palić.
The newly appointed Bishop of Hvar greeted all the priests, religious, lay faithful and people of good will of the Diocese of Hvar, on all three of its islands: Hvar, Brač and Vis, and said: “I pray to the Lord to strengthen our steps and grant us strength in building the Kingdom of God and proclaiming God’s love and mercy.”
Dr. Palić said that these days he had experienced a profound spiritual bond with the martyrs Blessed Friar Serafin Glasnović Kodić and Blessed Anton Muzić, as well as the Servant of God Friar Alojzije Palić. “I also feel a spiritual bond with Msgr. Fulgencije Carev, who was the Archbishop of Skopje (1879‒1888), the archdiocese of my birth, and later became the Bishop of Hvar (1888‒1901), as well as Friar Antun Maroević, born in Starigrad on the island of Hvar, whose martyred earthly remains lie in the shadow of Our Lady’s Shrine in Letnica, and who, with no little suffering, courageously proclaimed the gospel of Christ and championed the human rights and dignity of the Catholics in Kosovo,” said Dr. Palić.
He entrusted his service to the intercession and aid of the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose intercession he prayed for as a child before the image of Our Lady of Letnica; St. Nicholas the Bishop, St. Blaise, St. Stephen, the popes, St. Prosper, St. George and all the holy saints who were pleasing to God.