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Current church buildings and parishes in Banja Luka

The number of believers in Banja Luka and the surrounding region has changed considerably during past and more recent history. This was due to the population decline of catastrophic proportions, especially after Second World War and during the Croatian War for Independence (Homeland War) from 1992 till 1995, which was ended in tragedy and the almost total exile or exodus of the Catholic population of this region. From some parishes only fragments of the original congregation remained, mainly the elderly. Thus, in spite of a small number of returning citizens, the population still declines gradually and is threatened with extinctin.

There are five parishes in Banja Luka today:

  • Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
  • Maria Stella,
  • Petrićevac,
  • Budžak and
  • Presnače.

But only three church buildings still exist:

  • the Bishop’s church or cathedral, dedicated to St. Bonaventura (in Kralja Petra I Street),
  • the parish church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (in Srpska Street), and
  • the large Trappist Church of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Delibašino Selo (in Slatinska Street) which is a monk’s and a parish church at the same time.

The Franciscan church of St. Anthony on Petrićevac (Marija Dimić Street) was destroyed in 1995, so a customized hall is used for the Liturgy. On the other (eastern) end of Banja Luka, in Presnače (Tešana Podrugovića Street) the monumental St. Theresa of Child Jesus church, which was destroyed on 1995, is being reconstructed (the roof is already completed). The Roman Catholic parish Budžak (in the street Put srpskih branilaca – Way of Serbian Defenders) still does not have a church building, and the Liturgy is still celebrated in the cellar of the parish house. Every parish has its own parish priest, but some of them have no parish vicar, to the distress of a large number of believers. Every parish has a parish house, and the friars, Franciscans and Trappist monks, beside whose monasteries are parish churches, reside in their monasteries.

THE BANJA LUKA CATHEDRAL OF ST. BONAVENTURA - GOD'S TENT. THIS WONDERFUL BUILDING HAS BEEN PROJECTED IN 1960S BY MIROSLAV MATASOVIĆ, CROATIAN ARCHITECT.BANJA LUKA CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL - CATHEDRAL OF SAINT BONAVENTURE  THE CATHEDRAL OF SAINT BONAVENTURE IN BANJA LUKA IS ONE OF THREE ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRALS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA. IT IS THE SEAT OF THE BANJA LUKA BISHOPRIC CURRENTLY LED BY BISHOP FRANJO KOMARICA.  THE CATHEDRAL WAS BUILT IN HONOR OF SAINT BONAVENTURE, A FRANCISCAN THEOLOGIAN FROM THE MIDDLE AGES. IT WAS CONSTRUCTED BY ALFRED PICHLER IN THE 1970S AFTER THE ORIGINAL HAD BEEN DAMAGED IN AN EARTHQUAKE.  THE BUILDING SUFFERED DAMAGE IN THE BOSNIAN WAR, BUT WAS REINAUGURATED IN 2001 AFTER THE COMPLETION OF REPAIRS.     ARCHITECT 	ALFRED PICHLER

The Banja Luka Cathedral of St. Bonaventura - God's Tent. This wonderful building has been projected in 1960s by Miroslav Matasović, Croatian architect.

Source: www.biskupija-banjaluka.org

 

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