20 years of Catholic school centre in Travnik

Within the celebration of 20th anniversary of Catholic educational institution in Travnik on April 20th, two decades of existence of Catholic school centre Petar Barbarić was also marked.

Translated by: Ksenija Ninić

The Eucharistic celebration in the seminary church of St. Aloysius Gonzaga was led by the Archbishop of Vrhbosna, Vinko cardinal Puljić, concelebrating with the bishop of Banja Luka Msgr. Franjo Komarica, Apostolic nuncio in BiH Msgr. Luigi Pezzuto and about 15 more priests.

Firstly, the audience was welcomed by the director of the Catholic school centre and the rector of the Seminary rev. Željko Marić. Pointing to the importance of this educational institution, he noted that its opening two decades ago, was „the pledge of return and survival of the Croat Catholics of the Travnik region“.

In the introductory part of the Mass, the Cardinal praised the youth by saying: „When I see you so young, it's easier for me to live.“

The appropriate homily was filled with the thoughts about the servant of God, Petar Barbarić, putting him to the pupils' model. He also recalled the beginning of the renewal of this institution by mentioning the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Travnik seminary during the fall of communism. Among other things, he recalled the work of venerable Pero Pranjić, the first rector of the Seminary who was pioneering the return of this building to the Catholic Church.

Speaking of the servant of God by which this institution was named, he noted that he „loved God, Our Lady, the Church, but also loved to learn“. „The secret of success is love“, the Archbishop said: „Who really loves, truly lives“.

Then, on the basis of the scriptural readings, he spoke of the character of the apostle Paul, who, when he „saw with the heart“ became a witness of Jesus Christ, and with much greater zeal than when he was a persecutor, began to preach the gospel.

„There are different types of blindness. Today particularly there is 'the screening' capturing by television, the Internet, and the cell phone. When we are captured by them we become incapable of looking with the eyes of the heart and seeing the wonderful things God offers“, he said and pointed out that God has a plan for everyone, referring to the case of St. Paul, who was not afraid of the sacrifices when finally he „saw“. „ They are heroes! Dear young people, by the example of such great people you too be brave to the challenges of the sacrifice. Allow God to change the world for the better through you. Raise your heart to be noble“, the archbishop said finally pointing out the joy and the greatness of the Eucharistic sacrifice that Jesus nourishes a man to become more similar to His Saviour.

At the end of the Mass, after the principal thanksgiving, the Apostolic Nuncio in BiH Msgr. Pezzuto addressed the present, speaking about youthfulness as a very important period in human life.

„What you will be tomorrow depends on what you are building here today. But tomorrow is not just yours. It belongs to your homeland too. Love this beautiful country so that you can build this country on your formation. This anniversary is also an occasion for the renewal of faithfulness to this country“, said the Nuncio congratulating everyone who is part of this institution.

After the Mass, a special academy followed where the students of the Travnik catholic school centre performed. Following the sung hymn of the Catholic School System for Europe, in the full aula of the school the young members of the rhythmic section of the classroom presented themselves and performed the song Otkako je stari Travnik nastao. Then, the Drama section of the Primary School conducted a stage play based on the motifs of the Mexican folk tale called the Game. Pupil Marija Šimić sang the song Krivi ljudi, and the drama section of the Gymnasium presented the performance Begov oproštaj. At the end, the choir performed the song Da sam ja netko and Joshua.

Among others, this event was attended by: Croatian Ambassador in BiH Ivan del Vechio, chairwoman of the House of Peoples of the PFBH Lidija Bradara, Minister of Education of Central Bosnia Canton Katica Čerkez, President of HKD Napredak Msgr. Dr. Franjo Topić, and the directors of Catholic school centers from Zenica, Tuzla, Žepče and Banja Luka, as well as former educators in the Travnik Seminary.

Before the end, prizes were awarded to the most successful students in the competition for the best literary work on the topic of Petar Barbarić and for the best art work.

Gymnasium awarded the Prize for dedicated work to the Croatian Language professor Ivona Rajković and Professor of Croatian Language and Literature Marina Heraković. Primary school awarded Marija Matić, English language teacher and class teacher Ankica Jukanović.

Petra Franjić was also awarded for hard work and exemplary behaviour.

At the end the Cardinal greeted the audience and congratulated the anniversary. „This society will be renewed by the nobility of the woman and her heart. Live your dignity by building a better future through school and formation“, the Archbishop said.

Guests and hosts continued to hang out around the family table in the Centre’s premises.