Slovenian communities abroad lack Slovenian priests

Novo Mesto – Minister for Slovenians Abroad Helena Jaklitsch and Novo Mesto Bishop Andrej Saje, the head of the Slovenian Bishops’ Conference, identified the lack of Slovenian priests as a problem for the Slovenian communities outside the country, especially in Hungary, Italy and Argentina, as they met in Novo Mesto on Friday.

Jaklitsch said this was an “extremely important area that deserves special attention” of the state and the Slovenian Church.

“Where a Slovenian priest is active, the Slovenian community meets, preserves the mother tongue, Slovenian culture and identity,” the minister said.

Religion is an important part of preservation of the Slovenian national identity and language, Saje stressed, noting that the Bishops’ Conference had discussed the lack of priests in Buenos Aires and Argentina in general and in Val Canale on Monday.

The conference also decided Ljubljana Auxiliary Bishop Anton Jamnik will from now on be responsible for Slovenians abroad.

Jaklitch said Slovenians living abroad had recently turned to the Government Office for Slovenian Abroad to express their concern over the lack of Slovenian priests in Veneto, and Val Canale.