On Sunday, October 8th, with the Eucharistic Celebration, led by the Bishop of Banja Luka, msgr. Franjo Komarica, and with the formal event, 125th anniversary of the founding of the Krnjeuša parish near Bosanski Petrovac was officially marked.
The organizers of the celebration were the Diocese of Banja Luka and the parish of Drvar – Bosanski Petrovac, whose parish priest, rev. Davor Klečina is also the parish manager of Krnjeuša.
Firstly, at 11am, the prayer for the dead, for the murdered Krnjeuša parish priest rev. Krešimir Barišić was prayed at the place of his martyr death – a place where once stood a parish church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the center of Krnjeuša, that was burnt down and collapsed in August 1941.
After that, at noon, on the only visible trace of the existence of this parish – the cemetery “Kod križa”, a solemn holy mass was celebrated, at which, together with Bishop Komarica, rev. Klečina and secretary of the bishop, rev. Zlatko Matić concelebrated, in the presence of about 50 believers and Orthodox priest, father Nemanja.
During the homily, Msgr. Franjo recalled the appropriate reading that was chosen for this anniversary, and placed a strong emphasis on winning of the love above hatred that is witnessed by this event – in spite of the hatred and destruction it carries with it. Has also invited for strong commitment to Christ in life and work.
Bishop Komarica blessed the newly built stone altar during the Mass, that is set in front of previously erected memorial cross, and at the end of the Mass, he blessed a memorial plaque with the names and surnames of more than 240 killed Croats in August 1941. This plaque was placed here in 2001., for the 60th anniversary of the massacre in Krnjeuša, by members of the Homeland Association of Croats of Krnjeuša from Zagreb.
The mass celebration was beautified by the parish choir from Jajce – birth parish of parish priest Barišić.
In the afternoon hours, a formal event was held at the Cultural Center in Bosanski Petrovac, for the occasion of the 125th anniversary of the Krnjeuša parish.
First, the parish priest, rev. Davor, told history of this parish, that was founded in 1892., when the parish church of the Assumption of BDM was built. Pre II. World War time, almost 1 500 Catholics lived there. At the beginning of the war, on the 9th and 10th of August 1941, the Četnik-Partizan uprisings carried out a terrible massacre of the Croats of Krnjeuša, killing more than 240 civilians, mostly women, children and the elderly, among them Krešimir Barišić, Parish priest together with three seminary boys.
Because all Croatian houses were burnt, the survivors of Krnjeuša were spread all over Croatia and the world, and after the war the communist government prevented them from returning to their homes. The majority of the properties of Krnjeuša Croats has been nationalized and handed to the new owners.
The only visible sign of the existence of the parish is the parish cemetery “Kod križa” that was devastated and overgrown, where only one tombstone and one stone cross was preserved. Since 2015, at this cemetery, after 74 years, once again masses and commemorations are held for the victims. On the occasion of this important anniversary, this cemetery was thoroughly cleansed and fenced during the summer months.
After the address of rev. Klečina, the secretary, rev. Zlatko read the text that was prepared for this occasion by Msgr. Anto Orlovac about the parish priest of Krnjeuša for whom the beatification process was initiated.
In the end, thank you notes were given to all who participated in any way and contributed to the organization of the celebration of this anniversary, after which refreshments and snacks were given.