SIGNIFICANT DONATION BY AID TO THE CHURCH IN NEED FOR A COLLAPSED CHURCH IN CROATIA
Germany, 6 May 2002. On Saturday 4 May in the local town hall in Glashütten, Königstein - near Frankfurt in Germany - Antonia Willemsen, the Secretary General of the International Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, formally handed over a cheque for 25,000 Euros to Father Norbert Ivan Koprivec, the parish priest of the Croatian parish of St Peter's in Orehovec in the diocese of Zagreb, Croatia. The donation was a contribution towards the repair of his parish church, partly destroyed when the tower collapsed last year. A second cheque, for 1,735 Euros, was also handed to the priest by the mayor of Glashütten, Jutta Nothacker, who had raised this money together with the volunteer Fire Brigade and the local parish communities for the renovation of this damaged church.
The 100 ft high tower of this church, built at the end of the 18th century, collapsed in June 2001. In doing so it also destroyed the choir stalls, the organ and two confessionals in the church. Fortunately there was no one in the church at the time and so nobody was hurt, Father Koprivec was able to tell his listeners. So far they have been able to do no more than temporarily cover over the huge gap in the church wall. For out of this parish of some 2,000-plus members many are elderly people, and few have any normal kind of income. Most already live from hand to mouth, and the few young people who have not yet moved to the towns likewise earn only very small incomes. As a result this parish is almost entirely dependent on outside help to restore their damaged church. And the more so since the present economic crisis and associated inflation in Croatia mean that building costs are exceptionally high. Nonetheless, as Father Koprivec told his listeners, it is still hoped that renovation work can begin this year.
Immediately after civil war broke out in the former Yugoslavia in 1991, Aid to the Church in Need was present with emergency aid for the refugees. In the nine years since, ACN has helped above all for the re-establishment of church structures, the training of religious sisters and essential transport for pastoral work - in all a total of over 10.8 million Euros.
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Photo: The damaged church in the parish of St Peter's, Orehovec