Dom Sv. Terezije
St. Theresa's Orphanage in Zagreb
When I first visited St. Theresa’s Orphanage in Zagreb, Croatia in 1993, the roof was leaking, the floors were warping, the bathroom plumbing was rusted, the washer and dryer were inadequate, and there was no elevator to go up and down the four-story building. It was on January 19, 1994, when the Croatian Council of Kansas City, with the help of the Croatian Fraternal Union, the Croatian Catholic Union and friends of Croatia throughout America were able to send our first donations to St. Theresa’s. Sister Katarina came to Kansas City and together we begged for financial support throughout Kansas City and Omaha. The word spread throughout the Croatian community of America and soon donations were coming in from New York to Seattle.
We replaced the plumbing, installed a new washer and dryer, replaced the 75-year-old roof, added a small elevator, repaired the floors and the walls and converted a dark, wet attic into a computer learning center to prepare the youngsters for a future.
Sister Katarina, a mover and a shaker, was transferred to St. Joseph’s Home just outside of Zagreb. St. Theresa’s is a home for infants to about seven years old. Then, if they are not adopted, they are transferred to St. Joseph’s. Here the youngsters are from the ages of eight to 20, hoping to get an education to prepare them to enter the workforce of Croatia.
When I visited St. Theresa’s and St. Joseph’s on June 5 - 7, 2008 to re-evaluate our progress and see what else needed to be done I found St. Theresa’s in fine shape but was alarmed at what I found at St. Joseph’s. St. Joseph’s was not built for human habitation. It was originally a cow barn and transformed into a habitable space in 1917. The sisters were taking in children who lost their parents in WWI and have continued to take in children ever since. There never have been enough finances to build a new home for the children and so they continued repairing and adding on to the cow barn.
St. Joseph’s is at the point where it can no longer be repaired. There is a constant moisture problem under the building and it creeps up into the floor, the walls and the ceilings. Enough moisture has gotten into electrical boxes and the current had to be shut off. Mold is growing everywhere.
They are not on city water and rely on a pump which does not always work because of an erratic source of electricity. The water that they do get via the pump is not healthy and so they have to purchase water for drinking and cooking. The children haul much of the water in buckets from a building some distance away.
There is only one answer - build a new St. Joseph’s Home for children. Sister Katarina and her biological sister, Sister Kristina, are again asking for our help. I can only ask you to keep giving in these difficult times.
We will retain the checking account for St. Theresa’s and if you want to donate you may write the check to St. Teresa’s and in the memo write, “St. Joseph’s Home”. We will wire the funds directly to Sisters Katarina and Kristina Piskovic and they will take if from there.
Please do what you can to support this worthwhile effort by sending a check in any amount to:
St. Theresa/St. Joseph
Thank you for your support.
Most sincerely and gratefully,
St. John's Catholic Church
Thank you and may God Bless.
Current Needs | How to Give | Photo Album | St. Theresa's History | Links
Copyright © 2004-2007 by St. Theresa's Orphanage Croatia. All rights reserved.