President Milanović tells Croatian emigrants in Canada: Croatia does not need your money because you have given enough, but needs your love and you to remain what you are

17. September 2023.

“It’s your judgement and your decision whether to return to Croatia. Our heart is open to your experience, know-how, intelligence, and above all, your love for the homeland, for Croatia and its traditions. That’s something that will always remain within you and can’t be erased. You have given enough money. Croatia doesn’t need your money, but needs your love and you should remain what you are,” the President of the Republic Zoran Milanović told  Croatian emigrants in Hamilton, Canada, where he visited Holy Cross Croatian Parish celebrating its 65th anniversary on Sunday.

The President met in the parish with the Coadjutor Bishop of Srijem, Msgr. Fabijan Svalina, who had come to Canada for the anniversary, and the Croatian clergy from Ontario. He attended holy mass with his wife Sanja Musić Milanović. “This church was built with the hands, the money, the efforts and the work of our people. This property and this church have been Croatian for already 65 years”, President Milanović stated, and congratulated the clergy and the Croatian emigrants on the 65th anniversary of Holy Cross Croatian Parish.

The President told the Canadian-Croatians that he will cherish this visit as something beautiful and warm, especially since it’s his first visit to Canada. “After this, we will continue to work to try to make Croatia a country that you will return to by intuition and feeling – if you decide to, because such a decision must not be imposed – and a country that, even if you do not return, you will be extremely proud of. We are proud not only because we beat bigger and richer ones in football, but because it will simply be a nice, respectable, peaceful and good place to live, where man and family are respected, where everyone has the right to privacy, where people have enough to be able to save, earn and get rich if they find meaning in it. But where everyone has the right to search for happiness”, President Milanović stated in concluding his address.

Holy Cross Parish in Hamilton was founded in 1958.  With about 1,400 registered families and a Croatian community of more than 14,000 people, it represents a significant part of the Croatian identity in Ontario and this part of Canada. The City of Hamilton is home to the second largest Croatian community in Canada, after Toronto, and Croatians in Hamilton have a long tradition because, in addition to the Croatian parish, there is also the oldest active Croatian organization in Canada, the Croatian National Home, which celebrates its 95th anniversary this year.

PHOTO: Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia / Ana Marija Katić