Vjeko Curic, Franciscan Priest, Murdered in Rwanda
The following two communiques were received at the offices of St. Anthony Messenger February 1, 1998.
CATHOLIC PRESS AGENCY (IKA) - ZAGREB
FRA VJEKO CURIC, MISSIONARY IN RWANDA, HAS BEEN KILLED
Rwanda, February 1, 1998 (IKA) Fra Vjeko Curic, a member of the Bosna Srebrena Province and missionary in Rwanda, was killed during the night between January 31 and February 1 in that African country. According to present knowledge, Fra Vjeko was killed in his automobile by pistol shots and the perpetrator of the crime has escaped.
Fra Vjeko was born on April 26, 1957 in Lupoglava in the parish of Osova. He entered the Franciscan order on July 15, 1976 and was ordained to the priesthood on June 21, 1982 in Sarajevo. That same year, he went to Paris to prepare for his missionary calling. On August 18, 1983, he began his missionary activity in Rwanda.
Fra Vjeko, a young and capable priest, gained worldwide recognition during the time of the violent conflict between the Hutu and Tutsi, when he selflessly worked to help the victims of both nations. He also brought numerous whites (bishops, priests, monks, nuns and others) to safety.
The Franciscan order and Fra Vjeko's province of Bosna Srebrena received special recognition from the Holy Father for the work of Fra Vjeko. In order to rescue and help others for the glory of God and love of his neighbor, Fra Vjeko endured a martyr's death, according to the statement by his provincialate. Fra Vjeko's provincialate has requested Church officials to have his earthly remains transported to his homeland. (f02451ab)
[The above news report was forwarded to St. Anthony Messenger by Father
Zdravko Kujundzija, O.F.M., a Bosnian confrere of Father Vjeko Curic. For more about
Father Vjeko, please see Father Zdravko's Bosnian Franciscan home page.]
01 February 1997 (12.00 noon Rome time)
Fr. Vjekowas born on 26.04.1957. He made his profession on 13.07.1976 and was ordained to the priesthood on 21.06.1982. Fr. Vjeko came from the Franciscan Province of The HolyCross of Bosnia-Argentina (Sarajevo).
He was one of the first volunteers for the Franciscan Africa Project and he had been serving In Africa since 1983. Until yesterday he was the Parish Priest at Kivumu and treasurer of the diocese.
Arrangements are being made for his funeral. Further information will be posted at our website (http://www.ofm.org) as it arrives here.
John Abela ofm