Distinguished Members of the FEAMC and FIAMC,  

On February 16, 1991, the founding assembly of the Croatian Catholic Medical Society was held at the Residence of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb. Since it was impossible for our many members to gather in celebration of this significant jubilee due to the epidemiological situation, the Executive Committee decided to postpone the official commemoration until the autumn.

Nevertheless, in order to mark this anniversary symbolically, on February 16, 2021, at 4 p.m., in the Pater Ante Gabrić Auditorium of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb, where the founding assembly was held thirty years ago, our ecclesiastical assistants conducted a Mass of Thanksgiving for the first thirty years of the Croatian Catholic Medical Society.

Principal Celebrant: Msgr. Valentin Pozaić, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Zagreb, First Ecclesiastical Assistant of the HKLD.  

Concelebrants: Prof. Ivan Bodrožić, Ecclesiastical Assistant of the HKLD, Prof. Friar Draženko Tomić, Ecclesiastical Assistant of the Branimir Richter Branch of the HKLD in Zagreb.

The other members of the CCMS were able to follow the Mass online, which was livestreamed via the CCMS website, www.hkld.hr  

With prayer for the intercession of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Luke on behalf of our society, we congratulate you on this anniversary! Greetings in Christ!

Rok Čivljak, President
Croatian Catholic Medical Society (CCMS/HKLD)



Mass of Thanksgiving 

On the Occasion of the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Founding of the CCMS

Fr. Ante Gabrić Auditorium, Zagreb, February 16, 2021

Your Most Reverend Excellency, our dear Pater Pozaić, as we secretly continued to address you after you were appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Zagreb, distinguished current ecclesiastical assistants of the Croatian Catholic Medical Society (CCMS), Prof. Ivan Bodrožić and Prof. Draženko Tomić; dear guests and members of the CCMS,

In these brief remarks at the conclusion of this Solemn Eucharistic Celebration, I should first like to express our gratitude to our Father Bishop: We cannot describe what an immense joy it is to be with you again, just like the good old days in 1991 and for many years afterward, when we used to gather at the Residence of the Jesuit Fathers, precisely in this auditorium. (Note: The auditorium, which is temporarily being used as a chapel, is located next to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, severely damaged last March by an earthquake. The altarpiece from the Basilica, depicting the Sacred Heart of Jesus, has been moved to the auditorium/chapel). In 2019, Pope Francis consecrated the members of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations (F.I.A.M.C.) to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which we have particularly venerated since then. However, even before that, we were always happy to gather at this residence and be guided by your hand. Today we thank you for those memories and hope you will continue to accompany us in your prayers.  

I also thank our current ecclesiastical assistants, Bishop Pozaić’s successors, for their spiritual support and encouragement during these times, which have never been opportune for Croatian Catholic physicians and other medical personnel, and have never been sufficiently untroubled for us to dedicate ourselves solely to our work and calling. There have always been various attacks, although with the spiritual guidance of these ecclesiastical assistants and all the spiritual assistants who support us throughout Croatia in the branches and sections of the Croatian Catholic Medical Society, it has been easier to overcome various crises, even spiritual ones. On behalf of all our members, I thank you sincerely. 

In what is now called the Fr. Ante Gabrić Auditorium, where we gathered for years, and used to simply refer to as the auditorium in the courtyard of the church on Palmotić Street, it is a particular pleasure to see our former officers, who found the strength and daring to honor us with their presence, despite the threat of the coronavirus, because these days we seldom venture to gather and socialize with one another. On February 16, 1991, you established something, although I am not quite sure it was exactly what you envisioned, and laid the foundations for what we are doing today. Looking at the back rows of this auditorium, occupied by members of the Young Doctors’ and Medical Students’ Section of the CCMS, whom I particularly thank for leading the singing and liturgical readings during today’s Mass, I hope and believe that they will learn something from you and take the Croatian Catholic Medical Society into the next thirty years. 

I am pleased that we have been able to livestream this Mass to all our members throughout Croatia, although I regret that circumstances do not permit more of us to assemble here today in person.  Therefore, the Executive Committee of the CCMS has decided to postpone the formal assembly in celebration of our first thirty years until the autumn, when we hope more people will be able to attend, although our original intention was to hold it on today’s date. Instead, we shall await better times and hope they will come.  I greet all of you who are following us online and ask you to support the current leaders in all the branches and sections of the CCMS because, besides the spiritual help provided by our ecclesiastical assistants, we need help from all of you, current members of the CCMS and the young members who will join us over time. 

Sometimes it is not easy to be a member of the Croatian Catholic Medical Society, as you all know and have experienced first hand, particularly those who paved the way for the CCMS in 1991.  Perhaps it is also not easy for us today, although we live in a so-called democracy. However, our sole mission is to pray and prayerfully work for the common good of all people, with faith in God and under the protection of the saints whose memorials we commemorated last week, Blessed Alojzije Stepinac and Our Lady of Lourdes, and our patron saint, Luke the Evangelist, with dedication and obedience to the Heart of Jesus, to which we have consecrated ourselves.

I urge your support in this endeavor and, once again, sincerely thank you all.

Rok Čivljak