Vrlika is a small place in Dalmatian Zagora that has long boasted three churches that belonged to different religious communities. Along with the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas. Until 1971, there was a Greek Catholic church dedicated to the Holy Trinity (Holy Trinity).
The Greek Catholic parish of the Holy Trinity Vrlika was founded back in 1834, when about a hundred local Orthodox joined the Catholic Church. The parish was part of the Dalmatian Vicariate of the Diocese of Križevci. In the 20th century, the number of parishioners decreased due to emigration. The last Greek Catholic in Vrlika died in 1952.
The Greek Catholic Church of the Holy Trinity in Vrlika was built in 1843. In September 1970, it was badly damaged in an earthquake when the roof collapsed. At the end of February 1971, it was destroyed by dynamite.
After decades of absence the Greek Catholic holiday of the Holy Trinity was celebrated in Vrlika on May 29. The celebration was jointly organized by the city of Vrlika and the Diocese of Križevci.
The celebration began with a ceremonial academy in the town hall. The speeches were given by Msgr. Milan Stipić, Greek Catholic Bishop of Križevci, Mayor of Vrlika Jure Plazonić and the initiator of celebration Ivo Mišur.
At the end of the academy, the mayor of Vrlika presented gifts to the bishop: a large framed photograph of the Church of the Holy Trinity and the famous Vrlika hat by which was bishop pleasantly surprised.
The program continued in the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rosary, where the liturgy was served by Bishop Milan Stipić of Križevci, making him the third Greek Catholic bishop to visit Vrlika. After liturgy at the site of the demolished church of the Holy Trinity, newly built memorial chapel was blessed. The initiative for the construction was given by engineer Ivo Mišur, who also made 3D model according to which the chapel was built.
The celebration was attended by Greek Catholics from Split, Šibenik and Zadar, and other guests and local Vrlika residents. After the blessing of the chapel, the people of Vrlika and the guests continued celebration in nearby restaurant.
From today, after a long time, Greek Catholics will have their own corner in Vrlika. The chapel will be taken care of by monks from the future monastery in nearby Kricke. The Diocese of Križevci plans to hold a Greek Catholic liturgy every year on the feast of the Holy Trinity in Vrlika.