Members of the Section of Pharmacists and Medical Biochemists of the HKLD celebrated their heavenly patrons with a solemn concelebrated Holy Mass on September 26, 2023 in the parish church of St. Peter. Cosmas and Damian in Kuzminac, where members of the HKLD have been gathering on this day since 2016, at the invitation of the then Bishop of Varaždin, Mons. Josip Mrzljak.

This year’s procession and Eucharistic celebration were presided over by Mons. Mijo Gorski, auxiliary bishop of Zagreb, in communion with the preč. Josip Golubić, pastor of Sv. Petra in Zagreb and over. Ivan Žmegač, dean of the Dean of Ludbreg. Concelebrated by: Fr. Draženko Tomić, spiritual director of the HKLD Branch “Branimir Richter” in Zagreb, Rev. Marko Štefanec, pastor of the Croatian parish of Sv. Nikola Tavelić in Winnipeg, Canada, Rev. Petrar Mlakar, parish priest and solidum in Ludbreg, Rev. Mihael Čavlek, pastor of Oštrica, Rev. Mark Rac, parish priest in Pribislavac and priest of the Diocese of Dubrovnik, Don Mišo Pecotić, parish vicar of Blato parish on the island of Korčula, and host Rev. Igor Radašić, pastor of Kuzminečki.

In addition to the local faithful and those gathered from neighboring parishes, doctors, pharmacists, biochemists and other health professionals, members of the Croatian Medical Association from Zagreb, Varaždin and Koprivnica, led by the president of hkld, prof. dr. sc. prime. With the name of The Chihuahua, with dr. sc. Petar Bilić, Vice President of the Society, Dr. Dražen Sačer, Member of the Supervisory Board, and members of the Management Board of HKLD: prof. dr. sc. Dawn Zakanj and prim. Dr. Ivan Barišić. The most numerous were members of the Section of Pharmacists and Medical Biochemists of the Croatian Medical Society: Andrea Koščec, Secretary of the Society, Renata Glavina and Mirjana Vrsalović, members of the Court of Honour, and Vera Pean and Jelena Sikirica Ćavar. Dr. Lovro Mlakar, President of the Branch Office, Dr. Veronika Jaković, Secretary of the Branch and Dr. Ivančica and Dr. Stanislav Mlakar participated from the HKLD Branch in Varaždin. The liturgical singing was led by the members of the Choir of Nurses Lucerne from the hospital in Koprivnica.

At the beginning of the Eucharistic celebration, Bishop Mijo Gorski addressed words of greeting to everyone, and congratulated parishioners and members of the HKLD on the day of their intercessors and patrons. In his homily, he referred to the Gospel that tells us about the beauty of God’s Word, about the power that enters into us who listen and that has the power to change us. “We are grateful to God that in a series of saints there were also two martyrs Saints Cuzma and Damian, patrons of this parish and doctors and pharmacists, generous and incorruptible doctors of human bodies,” said Bishop Mijo. The worst thing is when a man thinks he is perfect, and lives in his own delusion. Based on these insights, brothers and sisters, we build our lives, we make decisions. And it’s fateful, both for us personally and for those we meet. It is therefore crucial what is our response of faith to contemporary challenges in the family, in marriage, in giving birth, in raising children; what is the response of our faith in a culture that is increasingly moving away from the focal points of the Gospel… We see that technological progress allows us to encroach on the very beginnings of human life. Anthropology changes, the question arises again: “What is man today?”, and “What will man be in ten years?”. In fact, the rejection of all ethical principles and norms leaves people free to do everything they can do. Technology tells us that we can do all sorts of things. Ethics tells us that we must not do everything we can. Because by rejecting ethics, man himself suffers the most in this business.”

Then the bishop continued: “This society, not only Croatian, but also European, is just an escape from life. Fear of responsibility, marital, parental. Lack of accountability for the public word, for the public deed. A seductive desire for the benefits of a life without hard work. Escape from facing suffering, your suffering, but also your own end of life. And some unbridled desire, as if we all always have to be completely healthy. Well, doctors always do everything they can do, to the maximum, according to their conscience, and they give everything they can give to the patient. But if we were all always healthy, then heaven would already happen, the Kingdom of Heaven. For there is no dying, no disease, no birth to us… Jesus said, “Do not be afraid.” This is the message of today’s Gospel. Jesus is aware of these fears of ours and calls us to courage, aware that we are struggling to go public with our convictions, our thoughts, our faith not to be ridiculed.”

“Jesus invites us to remain steadfast and to endure this moment of history faithfully. As our parents endured before us, and grandparents and before them those others. And there has never been a time when faith can be lived comfortably. Because it is impossible to live the faith comfortably and easily. Because our faith has at its core the cross of Jesus Christ and we cannot escape from it. The only thing we really have to fear is the loss of eternal communion with God. Faith is the cure for our fear and the cure for our death. Doctors are the medicine for our bodies. Therefore, we do not have to fear, our trust and hope are in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul says, “Entrust all your care to him,” because he cares for us. Indeed, let us entrust all our care: personal, family, Church, Croatian, to Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, and to the intercession of the powerful patronsaints of Saints Cosmas and Damian and Blessed Alojzije Stepinac. They will inspire our words and encourage hearts for the actions that lie ahead,” concluded Bishop Gorski.

At the end of holy mass, fr. Igor Radašić thanked Mons. St. Mia of Gorski at the leadership of the solemn Eucharist, all the priests who participated in the celebration, the Choir of nurses “Lucerne”, members of the HKLD and all those who contributed to the organization of this celebration.

Dražen Galenić

Feast of Saints Cosmas and Damian celebrated – HKLD