Foto: Župa Krašić // Proslava 25. obljetnice beatifikacije kardinala Stepinca u Krašiću
On Sunday, October 2, in commemoration of the twenty-fifty anniversary of the beatification of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, a presentation was held in the Parish of the Most Holy Trinity, Krašić, of a book by Bojan Ivešić, M.S., and Mass was celebrated by the Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Croatia, Archbishop Giorgio Lingua.
At the beginning of the commemoration, those present were welcomed by the pastor of the Parish of the most Holy Trinity, Fr. Ivan Vučak. A book by Bojan Ivešić, M.S., The Origin and Use of the Vatican Version of a Letter Allegedly Written by Stepinac in 1943, with References and Documents, was presented by the Postulator for the Cause of the Canonization of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, Msgr. Juraj Batelja, the historian, Prof. Josip Jurčević, Ph.D., and the author, Bojan Ivešić.
Mass was then celebrated by Nuncio Lingua, together with the concelebrants Bishop Emeritus Josip Mrzljak of Varaždin and eight priests.
At the beginning of the Mass, Pastor Vučak welcomed all the assembled, those watching the live broadcast of the celebration, the priests and the apostolic nuncio.
Msgr. Batelja spoke in his homily, among other things, about Pope John Paul II’s attitude toward Cardinal Stepinac. “St John Paul II included Cardinal Stepinac among the Canon of the Martyrs of the Catholic Church, allowing us to call him Blessed. Moreover, he wanted to declare Stepinac’s beatification on Saint Peter’s Square in Rome and present him as a portal through which humanity could enter the third millennium. However, the Pope said: ‘The bishops in your country have sought to have the beatification of Alojzije Stepinac take place right here, in the Shrine of Our Lady of Bistrica.’ He granted this request from his beloved Croatia,” emphasized the homilist.
At the conclusion of the celebration of the Eucharist, those assembled prayed for the canonization of Cardinal Stepinac. Pastor Vučak said to the faithful that he hoped that the celebration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the beatification would help them in their own striving to follow the gospel. “May we look up to the figure of the Blessed Alojzije Stepinac and, like him, respond courageously to God’s call and carry out God’s will in our lives,” he emphasized.
First of all, he gave thanks to God and then to all those who had helped in the organization of the commemoration. He said that the Mass was supposed to have been celebrated by Bishop Vlado Košić of Sisak, but he was unable to attend due to illness. As a memento and expression of gratitude, they presented Nuncio Lingua with a bust of Saint John Paul II.
Pastor Vučak also thanked Msgr. Batelja for everything he is doing for Blessed Alojzije Stepinac and the Handmaids of the Child who serve in the parish. He then announced that Bishop Mrzljak will bless the renovated residence of the nuns in Krašić on October 22.
Nuncio Lingua thanked the pastor of Krašić and Msgr. Batelja, mentioning that he believes that the invitation he received from Pastor Vučak was an invitation from Blessed Alojzije. He noted that the Spiritual Exercises for the Episcopal Synod have begun, adding that perhaps everyone has not understood the importance of the Synod. “I came here to pray to the Blessed Alojzije for everyone to understand the meaning of communion in the Church, especially communion with the Successor of Saint Peter,” he emphasized.
The liturgical singing and singing during the book presentation were led by the vocal ensemble Antiphonus.