How faith sustained a nation facing adversity
PIVOTAL ROLE: St Anthony’s was the first spiritual centre for the Sydney Croatian community.
AS Croatia fought for freedom and independence during the 1990s, religion took on a greater significance in the lives of Croatian people in Australia.
Fr Vlado Novak, 61, parish priest for the past 29 years at St Anthony’s Croatian Catholic Church, Summer Hill, says as their birthplace was being torn apart by war, people took solace in their faith to deal with the hardship and suffering their families, friends and relatives were going through overseas.
“Croatians are resilient people and are always fighting for their well-being both physically and spiritually,” Fr Novak said.
“Our faith has allowed us to overcome numerous hurdles and has made us stronger people.”
Croatians are known for their generosity, donating more than $1 million to help build Croatian churches and centres in Summer Hill, St John’s Park and Blacktown.
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