90th anniversary of Caritas of the Vrhbosna Archdiocese

Caritas is one of the pillars of pastoral care

On the feast of Christ the King, November 21st, in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Sarajevo, 90th anniversary of the founding of Caritas of the Vrhbosna Archdiocese was celebrated.

The Eucharist was led by the Archbishop of Vrhbosna, cardinal Vinko Puljić, concelebrating with him were director of Caritas of Vrhbosna Archdiocese (VN), rev. Mirko Šimić and several other priests.

Introducing to the Holy Mass, the cardinal called on the faithful to ask themselves the question “who reigns in our hearts” on Christ the King Sunday. He added that this holiday marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of Caritas, an important institution of the Vrhbosna Archdiocese established by Archbishop Ivan Ev. Šarić. He greeted Director Šimić and the staff who came in large numbers to this Holy Mass. Mentioning that the Church on November 22nd celebrates the memorial of St. Cecilia, he greeted the members of the cathedral mixed choir Josip Stadler under the direction of rev. Marko Stanušić.

In his mosaic sermon, cardinal Puljić first recalled a visit to a parish where he met with the youth before their receiving of the sacrament of Confirmation. When asked how they envision paradise, one girl replied that it was similar to when her mother embraced her because Jesus would embrace her in paradise. When he pointed to the crucified Jesus, bloodied and tormented, the girl replied that it was the Savior. “I admired this answer. Jesus is our Savior precisely through these wounds and through his bloody, spattered and wounded face. Today we celebrate him as King”, said cardinal Vinko mentioning that in the Gospel, Jesus is mentioned only twice as king: the first time in Bethlehem when the wise men came from the east, and the second time in conversation with Pilat.

Noting that people throughout history, as well as today, are a little burdened by the word “king” because they think of a person who cares not about people but benefit, the Archbishop of Vrhbosna said: “He who is the real King, he is the King of truth, love, forgiveness, mercy and peace.” He stressed the need for this King to reign in the hearts of those who follow him.

Referring to the anniversary of the founding of Caritas of the Vrhbosna Archdiocese, he called, especially Caritas employees, to work out of love and with love. “And there is no love without sacrifice. Jesus did not show us love with a soft life, but he was all bloody, spit on and wounded”, said the president of Caritas Vrhbosna, encouraging the “caritas” not to be surprised if some people sometimes return their expressed gratitude. He added that Caritas is one of the pillars of pastoral care and explained that it is necessary for a man not only to preach, but also to feed: “You are an extended hand of Jesus in love for people.”

Addressing the members of the cathedral mixed choir on the occasion of the commemoration of the patron saint of church music, St. Cecilia, the Archbishop of Vrhbosna, mentioned a church choir competition in which the judging panel awarded a prize to a choir for which it judged that their song was a prayer, not just an artistic performance.

“If a song is not a prayer, it is not a liturgy. That is why I encourage you, dear singers, because with your singing you are an integral part of the liturgy and you pray and move the whole community to prayer”, said the cardinal, noting that beautiful singing needs a lot of rehearsals and a lot of patience during which, as in everyday life, people sometimes act like hedgehogs insulting each other.

“I take this opportunity to thank everyone in Caritas, and you singers for everything you do for this local Church. Do not get tired of doing good for God’s glory and for the good of the people”, the archbishop concluded.

After the Eucharist, the cardinal visited the headquarters of Caritas of the Vrhbosna Archdiocese in the Sarajevo settlement of Stup near Our Lady’s Shrine, where the staff prepared a joint meal for the staff and members of the cathedral mixed choir.