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New Branch of the Croatian Catholic Medical Society Established in Sisak

Sisak (IKA)

A new branch of the Croatian Catholic Medical Society was established in Sisak on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Friday, June 11, at the Pastoral Center of the Parish of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this occasion, the Bishop of Sisak, Msgr. Vlado Košić concelebrated Mass in the Church of St. Mary Queen of Peace, together with the ecclesiastical assistants of the CCMS.

The Mass was celebrated prior to the convening of the founding assembly.

In the homily, Bishop Košić said that the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Word of God inspires us to love. “Love of neighbor is at the very heart of a physician’s vocation and you, dear physicians, are constantly giving your knowledge and healing skill, but also fraternal Christian love, in the service of helping those in need. The devastating earthquake that struck our Diocese of Sisak prompted a great wave of kindness and love, in which you participated with your gifts, and I thank you once again on this occasion. The current pandemic has placed your vocation, the medical profession, which is more than just an occupation, at the forefront. Your hearts and humanism are woven into your vocation, and in us Christians it is guided by brotherly love, as our Lord commanded when he said to love our neighbor as ourselves, and to love God with all our soul, mind and strength.  The earthquake and pandemic, Two evils in a brief space of time, have mobilized the best forces among our people, especially you, dear physicians, nurses and other medical personnel. You have done and continue to do much good, saving many lives. I should point out that, together with your great knowledge and professionalism, I have been particularly struck by your compassion toward people,” said the bishop.

He went on to say that such compassion is not easy to cultivate and that over time one becomes impervious to the suffering of others, when one encounters it every day. “Indeed, it is not possible to cry with everyone. If someone were to do this, such as a priest who comforts the sorrowing when someone is sick and brings the patient the Sacrament of the Anointment of the Sick, and administers the Sacrament of Confession and Forgiveness and the body of Christ in Holy Communion, he could not carry out his mission.  Nevertheless, a patient can tell when someone treats him like an organism, measuring him according to scientific and technical standards, or like a person, asking him about his personal emotions, his loved ones, encouraging him to endure difficulties… A person senses this distinction, which is what all us Christians, and you, dear physicians and medical personnel, should represent in light of what is expected of us and of you by the Lord, who said: Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me (Mt 25:40). We are terribly shaken when we see how those who are close to us, our dear ones, those we love, suffer in severe pain. We are shaken—not only because of the earthquake—but even more so because of the Lord’s commandment to see in in those who suffer or are left without roofs over their heads, the Lord himself, who watches us, who is waiting for our attention, who needs our hands, our feet, our minds and our hearts,” said the bishop and invited those gathered on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to pray: “Jesus, meek and humble of Heart, make my heart like unto thine!”

“Gentleness toward every person means tenderness and goodness, as well as humility toward to God, in the awareness that we are tiny before him and that our whole life depends upon him, including the success of our drugs and therapies.  Therefore, we always pray when we go to meet patients, when we encounter those who are suffering, those who have been abandoned, those who are homeless, without families, who bear the sufferings of Christ in their wounds,” concluded Bishop Košić at the end of his sermon.

At the founding assembly, Tonka Jozić Novinc, M.D., was elected the president of the Sisak Branch; Valentin Ivančić, M.D., as the vice president; Dolores Pancirov, M.S., as the secretary, and Monika Pranjić, M.D., and Domagoj Mosler, M.D., as the members of the presidency. The assembly was also attended by Bishop Košić and the president of the CCMS, Assist. Prof. Rok Čivljak, M.D., Ph.D., with his associates; the national ecclesiastical assistant of the CCMS, Fr. Ivan Bodrožić; the ecclesiastical assistant of the Zagreb Branch, Fr.  Draženko Tomić; and the newly appointed ecclesiastical assistant of the Sisak Branch, Fr.  Ivan Grbešić.