The celebration was arranged by the parishioners of the parish of St. Elijah the Prophet in Liskovica close to Mrkonjić Grad, on Saturday July 22nd when the solemn Eucharist – the first in a re-built parish church for St. Elijah’s day, was led by the Bishop of Banja Luka, Msgr. Franjo Komarica.
Along with the bishop, the parish priest of the parish of Liskovica and parish priest of Mrkonjić Grad rev. Darko Anušić, parish priest and dean from Jajce OFM Anto Šimunović, three other priests also concelebrated during the Mass celebration.
Dozens of returnees were joined by hundreds of exiled parishioners living in Croatia and other European countries, and there were also parishioners of surrounding parishes: Mrkonjić Grad, Jajce, Podmilačje and Dobretići.
The Mass, which began at 11 o’clock, was preceded by a prayer walk around a newly built church that could only take in about half of the people that came. Both the parish priest and the bishop at the beginning of the Mass expressed joy, which could be seen on the faces of present believers, because of the rebuilding of their, firstly burned in the war, and then destroyed to the ground, parish church.
Msgr. Komarica in his Sermon encouraged everyone to remain faithful to the Trinity of God and thanked everyone who helped to build the church with their gifts – especially members of the Croatian Catholic Mission in Austria.
Exactly a year ago, Bishop Franjo blessed the foundation stone and the site of the new church, which was built at the same place as the previous parish church, burned down in the Second World War.
The parishioners of Liskovica were among the first exiled Catholics in the Banja Luka diocese area, in the spring of 1992. For years after the end of the war, the bishop persistently advocated the entity and municipal authorities for the sustainable return of the exiled of Liskovica. With the help of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, several dozens houses for returnees were built, and finally, the electricity came into the village. There are also indications that municipal authorities are willing to repair the neglected road through the villages of Donja and Gornja Liskovica, which, along with Vlasinje, make this parish.
KT/TABB, Translation: Ksenija Ninić