Celebrated St. Joseph the Worker at the Peace Cemetery in Bile

Holy Mass was traditionally celebrated in the church of St. Joseph the Worker at the Cemetery of Peace in Bili in the parish of Goranci near Mostar, on May 1st with a smaller number of believers who followed the prescribed distance measures due to the pandemic.

The Eucharist was led by OFM Miljenko Stojić, Vice-postulator of Vice-postulatory Fra Leo Petrović, and 65 co-brothers, and concelebrated by rev. Ljubo Planinić. Representatives of the Peace International Association, the WWII Section of the Croatian National Assembly, as well as representatives of the Municipal Commissions for Census of Victims of World War II and the Defeat, as well as the Central Croatian World Congress for the Investigation of the Consequences of Totalitarianism in BiH, were present as well as other believers.

In his sermon, OFM Miljenko spoke about the past and the future, with an emphasis on “the work we need modelled by St. Joseph”.

“Seven years ago, this place was just a mountain plateau. Then, with God’s help, we came together and gave it a new soul, the soul of our slain brothers and sisters. They endured martyrdom so that we would be free today. We have the honour to have the opportunity to pay tribute to them, to preserve their memory, and to spread it among the younger generations. Of course, all of this is approved by St. Joseph, whose feast today we celebrate. We do not do this superficially as various totalitarians, but with faith in our hearts and on our lips. With it we testify our harmony and work for the benefit of the whole Croatian people”, said OFM Miljenko, among other things, adding, “for this reason, let us now cleanse our hearts and our minds.”

Reflecting on the Holy Mass readings, he emphasized that “we should be proud of this work here”. “At the beginning, we had nothing but a good idea, that is, except God on our side. However, we believed that it could be achieved. And it was. Like the city on the mountain this memorial area, this place of prayer and remembrance arose. It is still not shaped as we want and as it should be. No wonder. There is a lot of work in all this. But we do not give up. We rolled up our sleeves and boldly go forward. God will bless our work. Today’s reading says so clearly. God is always with those that work, with the one who wants to stand on the side of good. Such people, cannot be destroyed by the opposing forces, which by their evil actions emphasize its beauty and strength. It was the same with the killed because who we gathered here. They thought that they were done with them when they took their lives. And in fact, they only extended their lives. They made them into martyrs whose glory does not fade until the end of the world”, said the preacher, adding that with the Holy Mass is “opened the season of events at the Peace Cemetery, of course with respecting all the regulations regarding coronavirus”.

The church of St. Joseph the Worker was blessed in 2016. by the Bishop of Mostar-Duvno and Apostolic Warden of Trebinje-Mrkan Msgr. Ratko Perić