Help finish the building of the John Paul II youth pastoral center in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Project Code: 444-01-19

This year, the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina will be commemorating the 20th anniversary of the end of the war that took place there. In June 2015, Pope Francis will travel to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo for a one-day visit, 12 years after Pope John Paul II also went there, appealing for mutual forgiveness and the rebuilding of relations of fraternity and understanding among the people.

Sarajevo was one of the cities that suffered the greatest devastation during the war. Now a brand new youth center is being built there, named after Pope John Paul II. ACN has already helped towards the first two phases of the building work, with a total of $332,700 so far. Now the third and final phase is beginning. Help finish the John Paul II Youth Pastoral Center

Father Simo Marsic, the director of the center, writes: "Even though the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina ended 20 years ago, there are still many wounds that remain unhealed. The peace is still fragile and there is great insecurity. A weak democracy and an economy that does not meet people's needs are further factors affecting the lives of young people.”

“The younger generation in Bosnia is looking for role models and signs of hope for the future. They yearn for true values and for greater understanding between the various ethnic groups. Christians, Orthodox and Muslims must learn how to shape the future together."

The new youth center is open to everyone, regardless of religion or ethnicity, and is also to be used for international gatherings. "Here is a place where Europe can come together!” says Father Marsic. The center will be an open window on other faiths and religions and on other ways of thinking and living. In this way people can learn to live together in tolerance and freedom.

In practical terms this will be achieved through pastoral meetings, training sessions and leisure activities in which groups and individuals from all over the country can participate. The center will also provide accommodation, so that events can be held over several days. The motto will be "Encounter – Reconciliation – Shaping a peaceful future together."

Father Marsic is hoping that the youth center will be able to open on October 22 this year – "if God wills and we can obtain the necessary support from our benefactors." That is the day on which the Church will be commemorating the patron saint of the center, Saint John Paul II.

ACN has now promised a further $9,900, so that this center of peace and hope can finally become a reality. Will you now give so that this youth pastoral center in Bosnia and Herzegovina can be opened this year, on the day of its patron saint, Saint John Paul II?


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