The 14th issue of Christmas magazine Most – The Bridge – the yearly magazine of the Croatian Chaplaincy in London, has just been published (Christmas 2020)
The magazine was established in 2008 to contribute to the growth of the Croatian Catholic community in the United Kingdom and to connect Croatian and British culture. The articles range from ecclesial, pastoral, cultural and historical topics to contemporary events of the Croatian community gathered around the Croatian Chaplaincy. Items are published in both the Croatian and English language.
Over twenty authors contributed to this year’s 136-page publication. Most starts with the review of last year’s golden jubilee of the Croatian Chaplaincy in London. Along with the jubilee report and the welcoming introduction of the Croatian Chaplain in London Fr Ljubomir Šimunović, we can find a homily of the President of the Croatian Bishop Conference, Archbishop of Zadar Želimir Puljić, and greetings from the Provincial of Franciscan province of the Holy Redeemer from Split, Dr Fr Marko Mrše, and the national director for Pastoral Care for Croats Abroad Dr Rev Tomislav Markić.
Christopher Howse, associate editor of The Daily Telegraph and columnist for The Tablet, writes about saints who were helping Catholics during outbreaks of deadly diseases. He points out that, “St John Henry Newman and St John Southworth became saints because they exercised God’s charity in sickness or in health.”
“The Church in the Time of Corona” is the title of Rev Ivica Žižić’s text, which says that the “worship service is absolutely indispensable to the Church: it is the purest form of existence of both faith and the Church”.
Anđelko Mihanović writes about Christmas in the works of Croatian artists, emphasising that “Croatian artists and the faithful have a rich tradition of creating nativity scenes with different techniques”.
There is a talk with Dominican Srećko Koralija titled “Discipline and Hardship as an Existential Contemplation.”
In memory of Krsto Cviić (Chris Cviić), on the 10th anniversary of his death, Vladimir Pavlinić points out that Cviić “followed the truth of the faith and was broadcasting the truth about Croatia to the World”.
Renowned Croatian commentator Božo Skoko emphasised in his talk with Vladimir Goss that “all of us are changing and there is no doubt that Croatia will look entirely different after Corona. I sincerely hope that it emerges better and more organised, with more value placed on humanity and social unity, more reliance on our own land, more innovation and better functionality”.
Jakov Mlinarević provides information on Croatia’s cultural and historical heritage, pointing out that, “Croats are a very old nation of rich history and cultural heritage, but that history has, in its largest part, been turbulent and unfavourable.”
Brian Gallagher presents to English-speaking readers the first archbishop of Vrhbosna, Josip Stadler, pointing out that he is a person, “who should be more widely known about by anyone with an interest in Bosnia-Herzegovina.”
Linda Rabuzin presents the Croatian Language School, with details of the school’s activities, including immersion trips to Croatia.
Flora Turner-Vučetić writes about an acquisition of a book from 1512 containing a speech that Archbishop of Split Bernard Zane gave at the beginning of the Fifth Council of the Lateran. On behalf of the Split Archdiocese she successfully bid at an auction in London and Fr Ljubomir Šimunović, the Croatian chaplain in the United Kingdom, presented this valuable book to the Split-Makarska Archbishop Marin Barišić. The book is now exhibited in the Split Cathedral Museum.
Jadranka Beresford-Peirse reports on the activities of the International Trust for Croatian Monuments of which she is one of the founding members. As the Trust prepares to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its existence she emphasises how the longevity of the Trust would not have been possible without the generosity of its benefactors, one of whom is HRH Prince of Wales.
Croatian Tourist Board London director Ivona Grgan points out that. “the focus of the Croatian Tourist Board and its London office was to maintain high profile presence of Croatia’s tourist potentials in these challenging and uncertain times.”
The Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to the United Kingdom, Igor Pokaz, looks back on the previous year pointing out that, “Croatia has approached the process of negotiations on the UK’s orderly exit from the EU constructively and with great emphasis on guaranteeing the rights of both Croatian citizens in the UK and British citizens in the Republic of Croatia.”
Peter Elborn reports on activities of the British-Croatian Society, which has helped with the restoration of an 18th-century clock from the Museum for Art and Craft in Zagreb that was badly damaged during the March 2020 earthquake.
Ivana Fletcher testifies about family spirituality during the first national lockdown, emphasising that, “family unity and love are stronger than fear”.
Croatian national football team member and Chelsea first-team member Mateo Kovačić explains why coming to Holy Mass in the Croatian language is a great joy for him. He reveals that he always prays before a match to stay alive and healthy and for a match to go down well and that he carries with him a statue of Our Lady and holy water.
There is an extract from an article in the Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija by the academic Gojko Bežovan profiling Most. Bežovan says Most contains, “comprehensive and eventful articles, in Croatian and English.”
Most also reviews 2020’s important events in the life of the Croatian Chaplaincy in London and its community.
The founder and chief editor of Most is Fr Ljubomir Šimunović, OFM, Chaplain of the Croatian Chaplaincy in London. Croatian Chaplaincy in London has an active Facebook page here, but it can also be followed via its web page here.
The Croatian version of this article can be found here.