0
0
0
s2smodern

It has been three months since the Slovenian deacons visited us in Croatia. During the Easter week, the Croatian scholastics visited them in Slovenia.

Our trip started after the morning mass on Easter Tuesday. The first destination was Ljubljana, where we were kindly greeted by fr. Marko Pavlič from the community of St. Joseph. Fr. Marko was our main contact in Slovenia and co-organizer of our trip. The superior of St. Joseph community, fr. Damjan Ristić, presented the life and work of his community and the work of the recently founded "Jezuitski kolegij v Ljubljani" (a Jesuit-led collegium/student dorm). Among other things, fr. Damjan informed us that the St. Joseph church was given back to the Society only after the fall of communism in Slovenia. During communism, the church was used as a film studio.

In the afternoon, we went to visit the Jesuit parish Dravlje on the outskirts of Ljubljana. Upon returning to the St. Joseph community we visited the "St. Stanislaus Institute". This institute is an elementary and a high school that was co-founded by the Jesuits and the diocese of Ljubljana. The Institute is now led only by the diocese.

Next day we visited the famous Postojna cave, the Predjama castle and the beautiful Lake Bled.

On the final day, we visited the community in Maribor. Our host there was fr. Marjan Kokalj, the spiritual director of the Magis collegium. Apart from the college, the Jesuits in Maribor are running a parish church. The Archbishop of Maribor msgr. Alojz Civkl is also a Jesuit. He was recently ordained a bishop, in the time the diocese went through a major financial crisis.

After the visit to Maribor, we went to see Stična, the only Cistercian abbey in this region. And to further deepen the experience, on our way back to Croatia we visited the only Carthusian abbey nearby, Pleterje.

All in all, we have perceived what are the joys and struggles that the Jesuit in Slovenia are facing. On one side, there are small numbers of believers, a lot of hostilities from the city authorities, university and the state towards the Church itself. Lest we forget the financial debts of the local Church. On the other side, all the Jesuits we met in Slovenia were so enthusiastic and positive that we went back to Croatia with a new courage and ideas that could be applied in our province.

We believe that this trip was one of the many things we as two neighboring provinces should do to improve our friendship and cooperation.

0
0
0
s2smodern