Sunday, 8 November 2020

Nedelisce Parishioners Forgive Priest After He Leaves Church For Love

November 8, 2020 - Nedelisce parishioners are seemingly universal in their understanding and forgiveness as their local pastor leaves the priesthood for an altogether different kind of calling

Not every job is undertaken just to pay the bills. The strong urge to take a specific career is often referred to as a calling. Occupations in which you help other people are usually those described in this way - doctors, teachers, nurses, nuns and priests.

Spoken of with admiration, those who receive 'a calling' are presumed to be on a path of life which is their true destiny. Be it supernatural, genetically implanted or influenced by God, it is considered unlikely that anything could turn their heads and make them veer off course. Such considerations are naïve in their ignorance of Cupid's arrow.

Both Vecernji List and 24 Sata this week reported on the recent resignation of popular parish priest Rev. Tihomir Ciglar (30). Although on his path to the priesthood since he attended Archbishop's Classical Gymnasium in Zagreb, Ciglar has recently departed from his chosen course in favour of an altogether different calling - he fell in love.

Župa presvetog Trojstva.jpgThe parish church in Nedelišće © Župa Presvetog Trojstva - Nedelišće

“He was wonderful.,” one of Ciglar's former Nedelisce parishioners is quoted as saying in 24 Sata. Nedelišće is a small town near Varaždin. “He was mild-mannered, good, everyone's favourite. My whole family loved going to Mass and listening to the sermons because of him. And then what happened, happened. He just fell in love, that's how it was.”

“We don't blame him for anything,” the parishioner continued, her voice apparently representative of locals' general feeling on the affair of the popular priest. She also added that news was circulating about the imminent arrival of the couple's first child. “May God give them many more children!”

Tihomir Ciglar was first presented to Nedelisce parishioners in 2014 as a chaplain, and in 2018 he was appointed pastor of the church. His pull from the pulpit occurred after he met the woman who is now his girlfriend in service of the church – she donated her time in the form of a cook. Further speculation on the development of feelings between the woman and her roamin Catholic partner is perhaps best left for village gossip.

croatia_nedelisce_crkva.jpgAn older image of the church in Nedelišće © TZ Nedelišće

In a heartfelt letter Ciglar penned to his flock, which was read aloud at Mass last Sunday, he asked for their forgiveness. The Nedelisce parishioners seem uniform in their understanding of the situation.

“I wasn't surprised when the letter was read,” one is quoted as saying in 24 Sata. “We'd seen something happen between him and that girl before. That's no small thing with us. Still, we were all kind of rooting for their love story.”

The local diocese is in the process of assigning another young priest to the parish. It is unlikely that the new priest will be similarly tempted from his path, but, you never know. This is not the first time it has happened. A similar case was recorded in Nedelišće forty years ago when a priest left the service out of love for a woman.

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Monday, 23 January 2017

A Closer Look at Dubrovnik's Churches

Whether you're religious or you just love history and architecture, Dubrovnik has an array of churches and places of worship for all different religions. Many of them have been there since before the rest of Europe (and indeed the world) accepted the idea of more than one faith being permitted in any one place, showing Dubrovnik to once again be a step above the rest when it came to human rights. Let's take a closer look at some of them...


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Worshiping For Non-Catholics In Split

Christianity is one of the foundations of Split, and its many churches can witness how faith was important in city's history. However, what to do if you are religious, but not Catholic? Or not a Christian? Where to worship? Here is the brief guide, in alphabetic order.

Adventist Church

One of the rare non-Catholic Christian denominations that managed to build their own faith center, on a very good and accessible location. Every Saturday there is a Bible studying at 10 am, and sermon on 11.15. Plus, every Wednesday at 6 pm, they have meetings of Bible Friends Club.

Baptist Church

Thanks to activities by pastor Dražen Radman, this small church community is very well present in local community. They have sermons every Sunday at 10 am, and prayer meetings on Wednesdays at 8 pm. For English speakers translation during sermon is provided.

Evangelical Lutheran Church Split

Officially, it's based in Split, but its site is actually in Šibenik. However, they have activities in Split. Since web site is in Croatian only, maybe it's the best to contact them to check, e-mail address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Evangelical Methodist Church

Another small religious community, with a praying site, you can find it here. For more info on activities, phone them on + 385 (0)21 569 766.

Islamic Community Majlis

Another big and important community in Split, and city's history and social life. Unfortunately, there is no mosque in Split, but to all faithfull a praying site, or mesjid, is available in the city's center. Beside all religious services, there you can also learn about where to buy, or where to eat by hallal principles. In Split, only Turkish restaurant Istah has this certificate.

Jewish Community

Jews left incredibly important mark in Split history, and some of the most important city landmarks are connected with their community, like 16th century synagogue, old Jewish cemetery, or Morpurgo bookstore, the third oldest in Europe. Unfortunately, Split doesn't have a rabbi, but it's possible to worship in the synagogue. Of course, Community's excellent web site will give you a detailed insight into a role Jews played and still play in Split.

Kailash Buddhist Center Split

This center is consisted of temple and a bookstore, and offers a place for meditation. Often are different events, like lectures about Buddhism foundations, and principles. As they say on their web site, it's open to anyone, you don't need to be a Buddhist to participate in Center's activities.

Serbian Orthodox Church

Recently, we wrote about unfinished Serbian Orthodox church of Saint Sava, but this community has a small place of worship, right next to this site. There they hold all services like in any Serbian Orthodox church, in spite of spatial problems. Serbs are the biggest ethnic minority in Croatia, and thus their national church plays an important role in their social life.

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Monday, 28 April 2014

Is Saint Martin The Narrowest Church You Have Ever Seen?

Maybe the most often sentence beginning you can hear in Split, when listening some local explaining beauties of his or her city by far is "This is the most...". And than goes "beautiful", "oldest", "famous", just pick one. For example, Split cathedral of Saint Domnius is probably the oldest building serving as a cathedral, since it's actually converted mausoleum of Roman emperor Diocletian.

But there is one hidden gem that can be the other extreme in this race for greatness. Just above the northern gate of the Diocletian's palace, called Golden Gate, in what once was the Roman guardhouse, there is probably the narrowest church you have ever seen. It's called Saint Martin, and is only 1.64 meters wide and 10 meters long, settled within the Palace's northern wall. The only trace of this church from the outside, apart from stairs leading to it through old Dominican monastery, are miniature windows visible from the inner yard of the Golden Gate, hidden in once bigger niches, now covered with bricks.

Sveti Martin 9-mala

Sveti Martin 11-mala

And Saint Martin's importance very much exceeds its size. It was built in the ninth century, during reign of old Croatian duke Trpimir, and actually it was the first Christian church to be built within the Diocletian's Palace. Beside Saint Martin, church was originaly dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and pope Gregory. From that age dates the most important piece in the church, a 9th century architrave with carved names of Trpimir's chaplains Dominic and Martin.

Sveti Martin 7-mala

After monastery was abandoned due to a medieval black death epidemic, church was forgoten for centuries, until in late 1800s founder of Croatian archeology father Frane Bulić rediscovered it and lead its reconstruction. During excavations he even discovered a grave of Saint Martin's builder, chaplain Dominic.

Sveti Martin 1-mala

Even many locals don't know about this church, and visit offers really one of a kind view to the monument of Gregory of Nin, or to cathedral's bell tower on the other side. And all this visible just if you turn from one side to another, within barely two steps. Of course, being inside the ancient Roman palace's walls is unprecendent.
Sveti Martin 3-mala

Sveti Martin 6-mala