SAINT CYRIL AND METHODIUS PARISH IN BELGRADE (GREEN PROLETERIAN ČUKARICA)
In the early XX century on the outskirts of Belgrade, there was a strong need for new pastoral spiritual center for Catholics who were settled and worked in this area after World War I. The Apostolic Nuncio at the time, Hermengilda Pellegrinetti, and Belgrade Archbishop Msgr. Rafael Rodić asked the Fathers of the Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul from Slovenia to take a parish on the outskirts of Belgrade. They offered them Čukarica or Karaburma. The provincial of the Congregation of the Mission Leopold Šmid and brother Alojz Plantarič chose Čukarica on 5 July 1929. Nuncio Pellegrinetti and Archbishop Msgn. Rodić received the news with joy. Parish of Christ the King was quite far away. Believers wanted to have their own church and minister. Before that, holy mass was served in a private apartment from 1927.
Congregation of the Mission bought a house in Požeška Street and opened a small chapel in it. The first mass was celebrated on 5 August 1929. There were Alojz Plantarič, who was named superior, and Andrej Tumpej who became the first pastor. Two more lay brothers joined them later. That is how the first Congregation of the Mission community was formed in Belgrade.
They decided to build a church, bought land next to the house and soon started building it. They entrusted architect Blaž Katušić from Zemun with the design. Alojz Wagner, pastor of the Christ the King parish, blessed the cornerstone on 18 August. The construction works started on 13 August 1929. The church was built in November already, and on 17 November 1929 it was consecrated by Archbishop Rodić in the honour of the holy brethren Cyril and Methodius. On this occasion, a statue of the holy brethren was brought from the church of St. Joseph in Celje. The statue had been blessed in 1851 by the blessed Bishop Anton Martin Slomšek who established Confraternity of Christian unity in that church. The statue was placed in the main altar. That is the greatest treasure of this church. New altar was a gift from Ivan Tomažič, the Bishop of Maribor, and it was donated in a memory of the blessed Anton Martin Slomšek. The church is of the indoor type, with a semi-circular ceiling. It is 23 metres long, 10 metres wide and 9 metres high. The height of the tower is 23 metres. There is a signature above the main entrance to the church “MAY ALL BE ONE”.
The parish was established on 1 January 1930.
Archbishop’s office in Belgrade appointed Andrej Tumpej, CM, pastor on 30 December 1929. The parish establishment was confirmed by the state Ministry of Religious Affairs on 17 January 1930. The parish is located in the southwestern area of the city of Belgrade.
When it was established, the new parish had about 2,500 believers. The same year already, there were 77 children baptisms, 32 weddings and 23 burials. Religious life was very rich. The number of believers started decreasing slowly, and after the communism era it started growing again and the religious life was activated again.
The territory of the parish spreads on: Čukarica, a part of Savski Venac – Senjak, Dedinje, Rakovica, Mladenovac, Sopot, Barajevo, Lazarevac and Obrenovac.
The parish of St. Cyril and Methodius has changed eight pastors from its beginnings up to now. Each of them worked diligently for the love of God and the salvation of souls. The priests from Čukarica administred the area of Valjevo for a certain period, and the areas of Kraljevo, Kragujevac, Čačak, Užice and Smederevo during the war.
Since 1929 they have worked and helped in the pastoral parish of Čukarica. Sisters of Charity, who have been present in Belgrade since 1920, have taken care of the poor and the sick.
God guides history of the human race. With the faith of God we go forward!
Thank God for everything. The works of God never fail.
Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius
35 Požeška Street, Belgrade, 11000
Alojz Letonja, pastor
Spiritual Assistant Petar Tashev
Spiritual Assistant Jurij Devetak
011 / 30-56-120