In the ancient but devastated branch of Volar in the parish Šurkovac, on June 13th, Banjaluka Bishop Franjo Komarica, blessed a newly built church dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua.

At the blessing of the branch church and at the celebration of the patron saint of Volar St. Anthony, more than 200 of mostly exiled locals gathered who now live in Croatia and other European countries.

There was also a group of Orthodox believers, worshipers of st. Anthony and workers that were rebuilding the church.

At the beginning of the Mass, parish priest dr. fr. Ivo Pavić expressed “great joy and gratitude to God and to st. Anthony for the remarkably successful work of Christian love and solidarity”.

In his sermon, the Bishop encouraged the attendants to be credible Christ’s followers and associates as St. Anthony was. He encouraged believers who wish to return to their ruined land, not to quench from the quest for worldly rulers to respect their human dignity and fundamental human rights, including the right to a safe life in their homeland.

Members of the Association of The Friends of Volar, who were with the parish priest Fr. Ivo, were the main organizers of the celebration, and after the mass they had a gathering together with food and drinks.

The beautiful and functional church was built by the exiled villagers of Volar with the great support of the parish priest Fr. Ivo and numerous pilgrims of Šurkovac and other friends around the world.