In the branch memorial church, dedicated to St. Peter and Paul in the village of Briševo in the parish of Stara Rijeka, between Prijedor and Sanski Most, on July 25th, with the liturgical celebration, traditionally was marked the pogrom of the 68 Catholics of this village. This time it was the 25th anniversary.
Several hundred survivors of Briševo and their descendants, as well as the descendants of the killed on 24th and 25th July 1992, as well as other parishioners and friends, gathered at the prayer commemoration.
Concelebrated Mass celebration was led by Bishop of Banjaluka Msgr. Franjo Komarica. With him, besides the local parish priest and rev Dražen Mirčić, the pre war parish priest of Stara Rijeka, and the present-day parish priest of Lištani and the Dean of Livno venerable Adolf Viašaticki, another five priests concelebrated.
Before the Mass, representatives of domestic associations of displaced persons, some political parties and Prijedor’s municipalities laid wreaths and lit candles in front of the memorial plaques with the names of the killed Briševo Catholics.
In his homily during the Mass, the bishop warned of “the constant existence of the struggle between good and evil in our living environment”. He reminded of the sad and worrying fact and in this particular case of violent, and with no means asked for persecution of the peaceful people of this village and of the persistent silence of the state institutions of this assault and of avoiding thoroughly rectifying its consequences.
Also, among others, he explained that “without a true, objective view of the events that happened around us in the recent past, without the willingness to sincerely and truly elaborate and work on that past we have experienced, which is – in the spirit of international law – burdened by the longstanding grave sins and the danger of eternal punishment and misery, we will not be able to achieve much needed calm and secure future for ourselves or for the people of our time and homeland, nor for the generations that come after us. ”
In the end he called for prayer for all the killed people of Briševo and Stara Rijeka as well as for the conversion and salvation of the souls of their torturers.
After the Holy Mass, a presentation was made of just published book Briševački mučenici by the author Frane Piplović and coauthor Ivo Atlija, about which you can read more here
The Bishop also, with the company of the priests and relatives of the victims of Briševo who were buried in nearby Raljaš cemetery, visited the graves of the victims and led common prayer for thenm, for those who were buried at Grošica Cemetery in Stara Rijeka and those who were transferred to the territory of the Republic of Croatia.
The refreshment in the courtyard of the church, was taken care by, together with the parish priest Mirčić, an association of exiled Briševo people from Zagreb.
Also, on July 24th, in the Banja Luka Cathedral, a concelebrated sacred mass for the victims of the village of Briševo was celebrated and led by Bishop Komarica.
Presentation of the book
On the occasion of marking the 25th anniversary of the massacre of Croats-Catholics of the village of Briševo in the parish of Stara Rijeka in the municipality of Ljubija, at the European Academy of Banja Luka diocese, on July 24th a book Briševački mučenici of the author Frane Piplović and co-author Ivo Atlija was presented.
About the book was spoken by and presented to the public by Dr. Franjo Komarica, Bishop of Banja Luka, doc. Dr. Miljenko Aničić, Director of the European Academy of the Banja Luka Diocese; Academic prof. Dr. Zlatko Kramarić, Croatian general Consul in Banja Luka; mr. Srđan Šušnica, a culturologist from Banja Luka and authors of the book Frano Piplović, head of the European Academy of Banja Luka diocese and Ivo Atlija, a man from Briševo, witness of tragic events and witness of the ICTY in cases of Stakić, Karadžić, Milošević, Mladić, Talić, Brđanin and others.