Bos. Grahovo

The 78th Anniversary of the killing of parish priest Juraj Gospodnetić and the Croats of Grahovo

In the parish church of St. Elijah in Bos. Grahovo on August 3rd, the 78th anniversary of the death of the Grahovo’s parish priest rev. Juraj Gospodnetić and more than 200 local Croat Catholics (from the settlements Obljaj, Ugarci, Luka, Korita, Grahovo, Crni Lug and Mračaj) who were killed in II World War, was marked.

The Holy Mass on this occasion was celebrated and led by the Bishop of Banja Luka, Msgr. Franjo Komarica with the concelebration of rev. Davor Klečina, parish priest of Drvar and Grahovo. In addition to the local believers, the commemoration was attended by those from Drvar, Livno, Knin and Siverić, and also a group of Italian volunteers from the area of Treviso who were staying in Grahovo at a work camp were present.

At the beginning of the Holy Mass, rev. Klečina emphasized that - apart from the diocesan commemoration for all the victims and martyrs of the 20th century wars in the Diocese of Banjaluka, which takes place every year in Drvar on July 27th, two Saturdays after, are also individual commemorations for the killed priests and believers , first in Bos. Grahovo and then in Krnjeuša.

He stressed the importance of believers gathering prayerfully for the anniversary of the martyrdom of their martyrs at the site of their martyrdom, especially in light of the beatification process that the Diocese of Banja Luka is about to initiate for its four priests killed at the beginning of World War II: parish priest of Drvar Waldemar Maximilian Nestor, parish priest of Grahovo rev. Juraj Gospodnetić, parish priest of Krnjeuša Krešimir Barišić and parish priest of Gumjer Anto Dujlović.

He also noted that the martyrdom of “Maccabean Mother”, Anica Barač, who was killed by Chetniks, along with her nine minor children, in the parish house in late July of 1941., should not be forgotten. The parish priest thanked the local believers of Grahovo who, through their Association for the Preservation of Cultural and Historical Heritage Don Juraj Gospodnetić, commemorate not only their martyr parish priest, but also the suffering of their ancestors.

After the Holy Communion, Bishop Komarica, with his parish priest and the assistants, made his way to the memorial plaques at the bottom of the church, that are bearing the names of 193 victims of the Grahovo parish in World War II (unfortunately, that list is incomplete). Priest Klečina read the name and surname of each victim, and then Bishop Komarica asked for a prayer of forgiveness for the pastor of Gospodnetić and his killed believers.

At the end of the Holy Mass, rev. Klečina presented as a gift to Bishop Komarica the recently published book of the nun Celina Šarić, born in Grahovo (for many years serving in Rome), who as a girl witnessed directly the suffering of the priest Gospodnetić, mother Barać with children and other parishioners of Grahovo. Sister Celina woven all her memories into a book entitled Samo dan sjećanja, published by the Matica Hrvatska (Branch in Čitluk), and Bishop Komarica was invited to attend Grahovo's presentation of this book in the fall.

After the Holy Mass, the bishop went with the representatives of the local believers to the place where the old parish house was where mother Barać was beastly slaughtered with her children and rev. Gospodnetić was taken from and killed. Msgr. Komarica accepted their idea to excavate and conserve the foundations of the old parish house and to erect a memorial for the suffering of the Barać family, as well as to build a new memorial for the parish victims of World War II in the courtyard behind the parish church, as well as for all killed Croatian soldiers killed in the Homeland in the Grahovo area.