Parish office Medjugorje and local communities Bijakovici and Medjugorje have organised Symposium on Fr. Stanko Vasilj’s work and character that was held on July 23, 2013 in the Hall of the Blessed John Paul II in Medjugorje. Fr. Stanko was born in Medjugorje on July 20, 1920 and he died in the Clinical Hospital in Split on June 30, 1993.
Various Franciscans, historians, lawyers, musicians and writers spoke about Fr. Stanko, among them were: Fr. Tomislav Pervan, Fr. Ivan Dugandzic, Fr. Robert Jolic, Ivica Sarac, Josip Muselimovic, Snjezana Vrbanec, Kreso Sego and Fr. Marinko Sakota.
Fr. Tomislav Pervan spoke about life and work of Fr. Stanko Vasilj and his pastoral work as well as about his music. “Fr. Stanko is Franciscan who gave his community and people of his time inerasable trace”, said Fr. Tomislav Pervan. Fr. Ivan Dugandzic spoke about his theological and pastoral heritage, with special attention to Council themes. He said how theology and practical pastoral work were inseparable for Fr. Stanko. Fr. Robert Jolic introduced Fr. Stanko’s biography and his written works by emphasising their exceptional value for further investigations.
Ivica Sarac spoke about boldness of critical opinion of Fr. Stanko and lawyer Josip Muselimovic spoke about the court process held against him and his time in prison. Unfortunately, even though he was sentenced to ten years of prison, he served seven years, documents from his trial and process were never found. Prof. Snjezana Vrbanec spoke about Fr. Stanko’s work as of the music composer and writer Kreso Sego spoke about Fr. Stanko as of the writer, especially about his book “Franciscan’s last will”. Fr. Stanko Vasilj is famous as the author of Hymn to Queen of Peace, hymn of Medjugorje, but he is also known for his engaged pastoral work, theologian, musician, and writer. Ever since the first days of Gospa’s apparitions until 1987, for as long as he was healthy enough, Fr. Stanko used to come to Medjugorje to confess pilgrims every night with three older Franciscans, his brothers, from Humac and those were Fr. Janko Bubalo, Fr. Vinko Dragicevic, and Fr. Luka Susac. Fr. Stanko also led celebration with his singing and playing during the evening prayer programme.
At the end of symposium, Fr. Marinko Sakota, parish priest of Medjugorje parish, spoke about Fr. Stanko and thanked all participants in this Symposium, saying that works of this Symposium are going to be published in special edition bulletin. This Symposium was enriched with music performed by String Quartet of Symphony Orchestra from Mostar and opera singer Jelena Kordic and piano player Meliha Kolukcija.
The rest of the day was also full of Fr. Stanko’s work with his music performed during the evening Holy Mass and there was solemn Academy after the Holy Mass where all present were able to see documentary filmed by Fr. Marinko Sakota and Mario Vasilj Totin about this exceptional priest from Medjugorje. (photos)