Last weekend, on 2 May, the 50th anniversary of the Croatian Catholic Apostolate of Blessed Ivan Merz was celebrated at Most Precious Blood Parish in Astoria in Queens, New York.
The anniversary event was under the name “Our Home Away from Home,” to honour the parish and what it meant for Croatian catholics in and around New York since 1971.
The parish’s Croatian Apostolate carries Blessed Ivan Merz’s name. Born in 1896, Blessed Ivan Merz is credited for the liturgical revival of the Croatian people in the 1920s and created a movement for the young people, “The Croatian union of the Eagles”. He passed away in 1928 at the age of 32 following complications from a severe jaw infection.
On behalf of the Diocese of Brooklyn-Queens, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio greeted those present and welcomed guests, Bishop Ivica Petanjak from the Diocese of Krk in Croatia and the former pastor and head of the Apostolate, Robert Zubovic, who arrived from Croatia for the anniversary. The Mass was presided over by Bishop Ivica Petanjak.
The Croatian Catholic Mission, currently led by Don Vedran Kirinčić, has all these years contributed to the preservation of religion, cultural heritage and unbreakable ties with the Croatian homeland.
After the Mass, celebrations continued with a reception at the Istra Club Astoria NY where the guests were greeted by President Maria Santanelli and Histrian Women’s Club representative, Marina Jurasic Vucenik.
Celebrations continued with with good Istrian food and music as well as top Croatian wines from Istria and Dalmatia from Croatian Premium Wine Imports.