In the International Catholic Community of Zagreb, we take the celebration of the church’s liturgy very seriously. In the tradition of the Second Vatican Council we encourage and strive for the "full, conscious and active participation" of all who gather to give thanks to God through the celebration of the Eucharist.

The most important way to be involved is to be an active participant yourself:

  • Joyfully join in the singing
  • Attentively listen to the reading
  • Reverently enter into the praying
  • Wholeheartedly participate in the communion

But for those who feel called to an even deeper participation at Mass, there are many opportunities for you as well.

  • Singing in the choir
  • Readers
  • Prepare the environment (decorate)
  • Altar servers
  • Mass facilitators or coordinators
  • Fully, actively participating in prayer!

This sacrament is administered in accordance with the need of the Community by the auxiliary bishop of Zagreb or an appointed priest.

Baptism, the Eucharist, and the sacrament of Confirmation together constitute the "sacraments of Christian initiation" whose unity must be safeguarded. It must be reminded to the faithful that the reception of the sacrament of Confirmation is necessary for the completion of baptismal grace. For "by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special strength of the Holy Spirit. Hence they are, as true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and defend the faith by word and deed." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1285)

All Baptisms are by appointment only.

Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua), and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1213) This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptize in) means to "plunge" or "immerse". The "plunge" into the water symbolizes the catechumen's burial into Christ's death from which he rises up by resurrection with Him, as "a new creature."

Prerequisites:

  • Parents must be members of the International Catholic Community of Zagreb.
    The Godparents are required to be Catholic and must provide SPONSOR certificates.
  • Baptisms are regularly held on Sunday; any other time must be scheduled with the priest.

"God the Father of mercies, through the death and resurrection of his Son, has reconciled the world to Himself and sent the Holy Spirit among us for the forgiveness of sins; through the ministry of the Church, may God give you pardon and peace, and I absolve you from your sins, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit." - Words of absolution - The Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered any time by request.

Here are the guidelines for better personal preparation:

PREPARATION FOR THE SACRAMENT

Read one of the following Scripture texts and consider what the Lord is saying to you through the Good News. Then pray for the gift of a contrite heart. A sample prayer is included. Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at his customs post. He said to him, “Follow me”. Leaving everything behind, Levi stood up and became His follower. After that Levi gave a great reception for Jesus in his house, where he was joined by a large crowd of tax collectors and others at dinner. The Pharisees and the Scribes of their party said to the disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and non-observers of the law?” Jesus said to them, “The healthy do not need a doctor; sick people do. I have not come to invite the self-righteous to a change of heart, but sinners.” (Luke 5:2 7:32)

The Parish Council is a sign and witness of unity for the larger Parish Community, the Archdiocese, and the Universal Church.

The Cardinal promised a permanent status to the ICCZ within the Archdiocese of Zagreb. Our efforts to obtain permanent status led in 2005 to the founding of a Parish Council, which since has formed a permanent part of our organizational structure. Parish council members serve according to their availability for one academic year or longer. The Council consists of officers and other members. The established positions for which our members volunteer their services are:

  • Frédéric Crété - Coordinator

The priests who serve our community are de facto members of the council. The parish council meets at least twice a year and as needed for consultation on the needs and activities of the community. Individuals may volunteer or nominate him- or herself to serve as member of the parish council. If more than one nomination is made for a position, the parish council will select by mutual agreement from among the nominees and request confirmation by written ballot at one of the community's regular services.

We are a welcoming Catholic community called to continue the earthly mission of Jesus Christ.

We are devoted to providing a parish community for multinational families residing in the Zagreb region of Croatia through worship, sacraments, religious education and fellowship.

We are challenged to give generously of our time, talent, and treasure to love, to minister and to serve others.

The Early Community

Since 1992, Roman Catholics of many nationalities living and working for a variety of reasons and stationed for a shorter or longer tour of duty in Croatia have met regularly for Sunday mass in English and other languages at one of a number of chapels in Zagreb. It was in March 1992, that Ron Neitzke, then Chargé d'affaires of the new U.S. embassy in Zagreb, his wife Jean with their three children, Matt, Danny and Kate, approached Father Stjepan Kušan, SJ at Pamotićeva church and asked if it would be possible for him to organize religious services for the children in English. Fr. Kušan accepted and word quickly spread. Soon after, New Members from throughout the international community in wartime Croatia began to join: diplomats, members of U.N. and E.U. observer teams, military personnel, representatives from various international corporations beginning to invest in the economy of the newly independent Croatia.

Our first masses were held in a little chapel at Palmotićeva church, just large enough to hold about 20 or 25 people. Fr. Kušan was involved in founding Jesuit Refugee Service at the time, and when he moved to the former Jesuit seminary in Šalata, the little international Catholic community moved with him. That was in 1993. In Šalata, our masses were held in three different chapels, depending on availability and the size of the community. In 1997, when Fr. Kušan moved to his new quarters at Jordanovac, the community moved with him, and has since held its Sunday Eucharistic services in St. Joseph's chapel on the 3rd floor of the Jesuit seminary.

Hard Times and Changes

After Fr. Kušan was transferred to Ohrid in 2003, Fr. Valentin Pozaić SJ, now Assistant Bishop Pozaić in the Archdiocese of Zagreb, took his place as the head of our community. In 2005, when Fr. Pozaić was named Assistent Bishop, we began the quest for a new priest to lead our community. It was an uncertain time, since no one member of the Jesuit community was able to assume the task. After a number of tries, we were able to agree with Fr. Željko Rakošec SJ, that he would say Holy Mass regularly on Sundays for our community.

This is and has remained the central service offered by members of the Jesuit community in Zagreb to Roman Catholics from countries outside Croatia living in Zagreb. While Fr. Kušan was pastor of our community, we were able to have Holy Mass every Sunday throughout the year. Later, it became difficult to ensure this service during the summer months, and for the past four years we have only been able to have mass during the academic year.

In addition to Holy Mass and the sacrament of Reconciliation, members of our community, under the guidance of the priests who have served us, have also organized religious instruction for our children and preparation for the sacraments of Holy Communion and Confirmation. Holy Mass is now offered Sundays during the school year in English, with prayers, readings, and songs in French, German, Spanish, Italian and other languages as needed. Our members maintain a choir and enrich our liturgy with songs and instrumental accompaniment. Our community has also been actively involved in charitable and humanitarian work throughout its existence. In addition, our community organizes social events such as our regular monthly (in the past also bi-monthly) coffee reception, an annual parish picnic and special receptions on the occasion of feast days like Christmas and Easter, as well as for the celebration of First Communion, Confirmation, Baptism and on occasion even the sacrament of Marriage.

Despite the transiency of our membership, our little community, symbol in itself of the Pilgrim Church on earth, maintains a surprising degree of continuity. Through the years, our community has succeeded in casting a net to unite Roman Catholics the world over who have passed through Zagreb at one time or another in bonds of lasting friendship and Christian solidarity that transcend the boundaries of space and time. Former members often meet other former members elsewhere in the world for the first time, and though they did not know each other from Zagreb, recognize one another as members of a special family through having each at one time been members of our international Catholic community.

New Beginnings

In September of 2007 a delegation of our members visited Pastor Marinko Zadro, OP of the Parish of Bl. Augustin Kažotić in the Zagreb city quarter Pešćenica, Ivanićgradska 71. Father Zadro and the other three priests at Bl. Augustin Kažotić were very sympathetic to the needs of our community and offered us their parish a permanent home. At a meeting of the ICCZ Council on September 15, 2007 and with the explicit support of Cardinal Josip Bozanić, with whom a delegation of the Council met on September 27, 2007, the members of the ICCZ Council voted to relocate the International Catholic Community of Zagreb to the parish of Bl. Augustin Kažotić. The relocation took place the last weekend in October, so that our first mass in Bl. Augustin Kažotić was celebrated on October 28, 2007.