"Jesus, thank you for fighting all my flaws and for being my only best friend who will never abandon me. Thank you, Mary, for being strong and bringing the most valuable gift to this world, Jesus.” Anamarija Carević, a quote from the (probably) last homework assignment she wrote.   We need your help to realize a noble goal: restoring the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Zagreb, heavily damaged in the Zagreb earthquake, and building the pastoral centre which will be named after the 15-year-old parishioner Anamarija Carević who died in the earthquake.   Each donation represents a valuable contribution to this initiative, one of the building stones in restoring the devastated basilica, and supports the efforts to build a permanent remembrance of the only victim of the Zagreb earthquake.     Foundation for the Restoration of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Building of the Pastoral Centre Anamarija Carević

SUDJELUJ U OBNOVI

Svaka donacija vrijedan je doprinos ovoj inicijativi,
ciglica u gradnji razrušene bazilike te podrška nastojanju
da se jedina žrtva zagrebačkog potresa nikad ne zaboravi.

SUDJELUJ U OBNOVI

Svaka donacija vrijedan je doprinos ovoj inicijativi,
ciglica u gradnji razrušene bazilike te podrška nastojanju
da se jedina žrtva zagrebačkog potresa nikad ne zaboravi.

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Anamarija Carević

Anamarija Carević

Through His divine providence and love, God bestowed upon us the mercy to meet and live alongside Anamarija Carević in our parish community gathered in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

As her religion teacher I feel particularly blessed to have had the opportunity to guide her towards the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to teach her about the divine love through religion classes in school and in our basilica.

Anamarija was a wonderful child with a joyful, radiant soul. Her heart was filled with God’s love that always shone through her smiles. Everyone could experience God's love in her presence - children and youth in our parish loved being around her. One of the sources of God’s love for Anamarija was the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus where she grew up, and towards which she had always felt a strong connection.

Her desire to know Jesus and His love was evident since her childhood days in school and church religion classes and continued during her highschool days. It is with joy that I remember today how the longing for Jesus and His love grew in her heart, especially during the preparation for her First Confession and Communion. She joyously counted the days to that encounter by saying: “In a month… in 25 days...in 20…”.

As the day of her First Communion approached, the joy in her heart grew and was reflected in her countenance and in her life. When that day of heavenly and earthly celebration arrived,  Anamarija sang and praised with her whole heart: Jesus, I love you… Jesus, I praise you…. Jesus, I need you… Jesus, thank you...

I believe that on that day she already touched the Heaven she lives in now.

Anamarija participated in all activities in our parish community, selflessly using her abilities and time for the greater good and to God’s glory. Her active participation in our basilica was a true example of a joyful Christian life for other children and youth. The love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus exerted strong attraction on Anamarija, she always wanted to be close to the altar of the Divine Heart of Jesus. 

Anamarija was particularly fond of the liturgical celebrations in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, where she joyfully participated by singing in the children’s choir, by playing in our children’s orchestra and by reading the Word of God. Anamarija participated in the liturgy in our basilica with all her heart, to the last day of her earthly life. 

The Sacred Heart of Jesus welcomed her in the heavenly kingdom where we will all meet one day. We refer to Anamarija as an angel already, because her good, angelic soul and angelic smile enriched our everyday lives while she was with us. 

I believe that Anamarija is now praising the Lord in eternity with the choir of angels, joyously looking upon us and our basilica and interceding with God for us, just as she sang in the children’s choir and played in the children’s orchestra in our basilica.

For that reason, my heart as well, oh Heavenly Father, stands before You, full of glory and gratitude for the short, but miraculous life of our Anamarija... The life in which You have loved and brought joy, the life in which You were celebrated and praised and through which You have crossed this Earth and left a strong and bright mark in our hearts. 

sister Marijela Žuro, religion teacher

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Foundation for the Restoration of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the construction of the pastoral center Anamarija Carević Foundation for the Restoration of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the construction of the pastoral center Anamarija Carević

Foundation for the Restoration of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the construction of the pastoral center Anamarija Carević

The earthquake that hit Zagreb on 22 March 2020 shocked us and left us speechless. The realisation that the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was also heavily damaged made our hearts shrivel even more. Many tears have fallen when Christians saw the collapsed ceiling, the damaged apse around the main altar, and especially the broken cross on the ground of the sanctuary. The famous galleries of the basilica were also severely damaged, as well as the choir and the church towers. Those who have experienced the basilica in its full glory must feel a strong urge to help in any way possible after seeing it in its current wounded form. 

The death of the young Anamarija Carević reverberated even more strongly and touched the hearts of the Croatian people. Those of us who knew her know how active she was in the parish, how kind to everyone who met her, a true role model for her peers as a daughter and as a friend, but also as a Catholic who lived her faith in her everyday life. 

Through our joint commitment to the restoration of the Basilica, an idea was born to form a foundation which would help our endeavours. This foundation would not only help the restoration of the Basilica, but enable the realisation of another great project: the building of a pastoral centre which would carry the name of Anamarija Carević. The pastoral centre will therefore be a reminder of her life in this parish. To those who know her “only” as the first victim of the Zagreb earthquake, this centre will give the opportunity  to become familiar with her ideals and her way of life. We can only hope that we are worthy of her purity and the mission she had started in this parish. Encouraged by her legacy, we hope to build a pastoral centre which will become a place of refuge for the youth, where they will be surrounded by the pastoral care of the Society of Jesus and where their initiatives based on spreading our faith and the Gospel will be supported. 

We received the Decision on the Establishment of the Foundation on 29 October 2020. A donations account was created and we started to plan the initial activities. The activities completed so far can be found in the section “History of the Foundation”, and the planned activities in the section “The Future of the Foundation”. As the donated funds are put to use to restore the basilica and build the pastoral centre, the section “Realized with your help” will be expanded as well. 

We sincerely and deeply thank you for your contributions, in the name of all the Christians who will come to the basilica in the future, and in the name of the youth who will be able to grow as humans and as Christians through the activities in our pastoral centre. 

father Stipo Balatinac, Foundation manager/director of the Foundation


As the rector of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus I greet the formation of the Foundation for the restoration of the basilica. I would also like to thank a group of enthusiasts, lay parishioners, friends of the basilica, who have “birthed” this Foundation (literally, because the idea came from their hearts) and who continue to carry it with their engagement and commitment. Besides the restoration of the basilica itself, the sacrifice of our young parishioner Anamarija Carević gave us the strength to do more after the devastating earthquake which damaged the basilica heavily - it gave us the incentive to build a pastoral centre worthy of the restored beauty of the basilica and the apostolate under its wing. This centre of encounters will carry the name of the only victim of the Zagreb earthquake, Anamarija Carević. I hereby thank her parents for their permission and cooperation. The centre will be a permanent remembrance of Anamarija and an inspiration for children and youth. The centre will make the basilica a second home for the children just as our basilica was Anamarija’s second home, it will be a place where they are always welcome, where they can grow as humans and as Christians, and where they can actively participate in building a better world relying on the values promoted by the Gospel. This centre will also offer room for other groups of lay Christians, our seniors (grandfathers and grandmothers), fathers and mothers, artists, athletes and many Catholic associations and prayer groups inspired by Ignatian spirituality. I expect that lay Christians and other citizens will recognize the value of this undertaking and support it for the good of all Christians and citizens of this city, the very centre of Croatia and the Croatian Church. A great task lies before us, but it will also be a great joy to complete it to the glory of the Heart of Jesus and for the benefit and greater good of everyone. “Unless the Lord builds a house, They who build it labor in vain” (Psalms, 127,1). Let therefore God’s blessing and reward be with everyone who contributes to this goal. 

father Ivan Matić, treasurer

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