The University Pastoral Center (UPeCe) of Saint Joseph Freinademetz in Bratislava celebrated 20 years of existence this month. It was during the Eucharistic celebration presided over by Bishop Stanislav Zvolenský, Archbishop of Bratislava on the occasion of the opening of the academic year.
More than five hundred students attended the celebration. The founder of the center, Fr. Milan Bubak SVD, his successor, Fr. Ján Štefanec SVD and the current administrator and the chaplain, respectively, Fr. Stanislav Kraj?ák and Fr. Martin Štefanec SVD were also present in the celebration. Many other Divine Word Priests who served in the center and the Provincial of Slovakia, Fr. Pavel also participated in the celebration.
After the Eucharistic celebration, the students thanked the archbishop for his support and spiritual guidance. They also thanked the Missionaries of the Divine Word for their pastoral care since the beginning of the center. They expressed gratitude to all those who have helped out in the growth of the center at its early years until now. These are: Frantisek Balaj, the Rector Charles Karol Mi?ieta; Daniela Ostatníková, Vice-President of the UK, Róbert Gula, Director of Mens Valley Mining; Smolik + Peter and Paul; ?ubomír Závodný, the author of the libresso; ?udmila Sepp, Lukáš Zachar, Ferdinand Devínsky, the former Rector of the Comenius University (UK), and many others who are still helping in the UPeCe.
Fr. Milan Bubák SVD, the founder of UPeCe thanked God for the 20 years of the center’s existence. He invited the young people to take advantage of this place for their human and spiritual growth.
Fr. Ján Štefanec, the former administrator who served at the UPeCe for 9 years, thanked all the members of the academic community for their involvement geared towards the positive development of the center. He said: "After one year of being away of the center, I can see many changes and I think the changes are something good in life and positive for the UPeCe. These changes are mainly due to the fact that young people are more and more rigorous and more creative. The level is growing and that's a very good sign. My wish is that you will continue in the same line."
On the left: Fr.Milan Bubak, the Founder of UPeCe and on the right: Frs. Jan Stefanec and Stanislav Krajnak
The center is located in the Public University of Bratislava and it welcomes students of all the universities situated in Bratislava. The Divine Word Missionaries who take care of the pastoral activities at the center attend daily to the students from noon to evening with confessions, Eucharistic celebrations, catechesis, etc. They organize also other activities such as, sports and cultural activities.
By: P. Martin Štefanec SVD
Photo: Iakob Tunievi