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ACR – Austria-Croatia Chapter looks to the future

groupMembers of the ACR District Chapter, along with Fr. John van den Hengel of the General Council and Fr. Tomasz Flak of the Generalate staff

Being in a land rich in natural beauty, the District of Croatia and Austria looked for an inspiring place to hold their chapter. They chose a Carmelite monastery on the island of Krk on the Adriatic Sea. The island is deserted of the summer tourists, hence an ideal place to meet. The District chapter was an assembly chapter and included 12 of the 14 members of the District. Two members of the District were not able to attend.

Talk and listen “Although we are few we live together and we go ahead in faith,” said Fr. Andrzej Wosko, District Superior, in his opening words.

The District falls under the General Administration. Seven members of the District live and work in Austria, the other seven in Croatia. Of the seven members in Croatia five are native Croatians. Because all the Croatians have studied in Poland the lingua franca of the chapter was Polish.

The Chapter, outside of reflecting on the theme of the next General Chapter, dealt extensively with the situation of the District.  Much time was spent discussing  a pastoral plan for the District: What sort of future is foreseen by and for it? How Dehonian is our presence in the two countries?  What are the relations between Austria and Croatia, seemingly quite diverse countries? What sort of vocational ministry can be put into place? How is community life strengthened, as well as communications among the members?

Tomasz three-someAt the end of the chapter the members asked the District Council to look into a possible work of mercy in which the District could participate or sponsor.  The Chapter also asked the District to develop a communications policy and give a new priority to vocation ministry.

Croatia is new to the European Union. The impact of the Union has not been immediate, especially because of the economic crisis in Europe. However, there is a hope, expressed by the members, that the Congregation will have a healthy future in this part of Europe.

The District is young. In the past six years it has, through its publications, become better known, especially in Croatia.  Until this time, it has been quite dependent on pastoral work in parishes and on missions in parishes. Now the District has begun to look into other ways of being present in this part of Europe.


The island of Krk offered chapter delegates excellent sightseeing opportunities.