PARISH OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST IN SMEDEREVO
It was based in 1927 (or better said, it was renovated then, because it dates back to the XV century). It is known that several years after the formation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians there was a large number of Catholic newcomers in Smederevo, which brought out the need for a church. Hence it is not surprising that in the mid-1926 one building was purchased in order to be converted into a chapel and a house for the priest. It was planned that after completion of the construction of the new place of worship parish be established, which would include all the places in the surroundings.
Early next year, when the Ministry of Religious Affairs approved the establishment of the parish, all conditions were created for the parish to begin to live ‘life to the fullest’. A church dedicated to St. John the Baptist was also built. A few years later, on 5 June 1941, there was an explosion in the fortress, and the church and the parish house were destroyed (a big part of the of the city was destroyed then, and about 3,000 residents were killed). Holy mass was served in various temporary locations after that.
In 1954, after many diverse problems a new parish house with a chapel of St. Ivan the Baptist was built in Smederevo. According to all known sources, regular service to holy mass was not possible until the arrival of the Sisters, Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, and after them, Mary’s Sisters of the Miraculous Medal, who worked in the hospital, ”much to the delight of patients and doctors” (it is unclear why they left Smederevo in 1972).
In 2001, the government of the city of Smederevo allowed Smederevo Catholics to raise a new church (a work of architect Miroslava Pašagić from Belgrade) by changing the regulatory plan. It was anticipated that the church be long 19 and 11 meters wide. Its construction came to a halt in 2004 due to the alignment of various details, as well as works that were carried out of Smederevo, some even in Slovenia. That did not mean that the temple did not serve its purpose, as it already had a roof and marble floor.
Before long, they set the altar, ambo and baptismal font. The altar is made of a stone block weighing over 4 tons, transferred from the Croatian island of Brač. It was made based on the draft of a gifted Slovenian architect Vera Turnšek. According to the interpretation of Archbishop Hočevar, is designed ”as if it is wanted to split in the shape of a cross, it is a picture of Christ’s tomb and his sacrifice for our salvation and just because of that it is not drawn, but immersed in the stone’. Ambo is on the right of the altar. A baptismal font is set there too.
The parish and the parish church, and not only parishioners, but also Serbia and the Church as a whole, were honored by the achievements of Jesuit p. Ivan Marko Rupnik, who was asked by Archbishop Stanislav Hočevar to give Smederevo his creative vision (because his achievements have decorated the most important rooms of the “Archdiocese home” as well as the inner walls of the parish church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross in Niš, in a special way). According to Rupnik’s ideas windows of the church are made in the technique of stained glass, mosaic plays in the presbytery, whose making has only recently been finalized.
Previously mentioned architect Vera Klepej Turnšek has also made a great contribution to the high value effect of the concept of the church of Holy Nativity of Ivan the Baptist. She had actually followed the idea of the original design, building her own creative signature into the building.
The year 2006 was written in the history of the parish in special writing, when a special consecration of the new Smederevo church was arranged.
Church of St. Ivan the Baptist
7 Nemanjina Street Smederevo, 11 300
Don Geremia Massa, Pastor
tel. 026 / 229-503
Service of God
Weekdays: Mon. happiness. – 6pm (winter), 7pm (summer); Thurs. – adoration 10am, afterwards Holy mass
Sundays and holidays: 10am