NEW YORK - Croatian documentary film “Inodium Fidei" was shown on March 15th at the Croatian Center in Manhattan. At the center of the film is the murder of sixty six Croatian Catholic Franciscans in Hercegovina during the Communist takeover of that region in the early 1940’s (1941). This film was created by publishing&producing organization “Laudato”. The president and founder of “Laudato” is Ksenija Abramovic, who was present at New York’s film screening.
This interview with Ms. Abramovic is focused on the realization and possibilities of “Laudato”. Ksenia Abramovic was born in Slavonski Brod, April 1963. She attended the University of Zagreb where she received a master’s degree in Economics. It is after her graduation that building her reality began.
Modern day living often leaves us imbalanced and focused on a narrow band of reality. The time for spiritual practice and renewal is often swallowed up by chores and obligations that demand our attention. Ksenia Abramovic has to a great extent escaped the narrow band of success and living.
Ms. Abramovic is an entrepreneur. She started her own IT firm, ETNA (Sv. Ante spelled backwards). The firm has been in existence for 25 years and employs thirty professionals who serve the banking industry. This of course is an accomplishment in itself, but her vision gets bigger, boulder more encompassing and dramatic. Etna is the practical side of Ksenia, where “Laudato” is the spiritual/socio conscious part of this unique woman. “Laudato” is a forum, a platform for adventure and exploration of ideas.
Can you tell us more about “Laudato”?
Ksenija Abramovic: “Twelve years ago I had a dream and from that dream Laudato came into existence. I realized that just about all the religious relics, symbols I bought were made elsewhere so I thought why not give our artisans a chance to make and sell them in Croatia. Laudato stands and is composed of three pillars. The first is that the artisans who make religious items and build other artistic visions have to be Croatian. The second requirement is that the individuals have to believe in God and the third is that they need to bring talent to the table. The artists are exhibited and paid for their work”.
There are a number of “Laudato” galleries, including Zagreb and Slavonski Brod. “Laudato” has many other roads it is building and supporting. The organization has produced over sixty Cd’s of spiritual/religious/gospel music in the past ten years. Recently they have won the Porin Award (similar to an Emmy award) for best gospel album.
Can you explain the meaning of the film’s name; “Inodium Fidei”?
KA: “The reason I’m in New York and soon to travel to Canada is because of this film that was made by the leadership of “Laudato”. “Inodium Fidei" means “Hate Toward Religion”. You see, the communists wanted to create humans without memories and at the same time they wanted to destroy their culture and religious beliefs. I want their spilled blood to be renewed again through the actions of those in the present who identify with what the friars represent. I also wanted to show respect toward the victims. We need to be aware of such atrocities, incorporate them in our history and take the mask off of such narrow minded, intolerable and extreme people. Just about seventy years have passed since the executions of (mostly) Croatians at Bleiburg, so we want to do a documentary so as to renew collective memories”.
Ksenia employs ten workers at Laudato, some of them are her spiritually adapted children from Slavonija. The entrepreneur financially (partly) sponsored nine of them so that they would be able to obtain a higher education in Zagreb.
Ksenia Abramovic and “Laudato” are actualizing yet bigger plans, to start their own Television Station, a project that is well under way.
What kind of program you would like to produce at your TV Station?
KA: “The mission of the television station is to promote positive attributes of our culture, its people, the beauty of Croatia and the possibilities of such a place which is so dear to me. It’s TV for a better future. I identify my life by the cohesiveness of my family, God, religious practices, altruism and a strong moral base. I believe most Croatians have a similar mindset, thus the programing will focus on these topics and mostly on positive events. People are supporting our efforts by volunteering their time as well as monetary support. We have managed to get financial support, a grant, from the US Conference of Bishops. This grant allowed us to buy the necessary studio equipment. We also got the blessing from the Archbishop Cupic of Chicago. I was fortunate to be interviewed by EWTN, the biggest Catholic TV broadcaster in the world regarding our work and ideas. We have pilot project in the works as well as a license for cable, internet and dish transmission. The church is all of us not just the leadership of the institution. We need to improve ourselves for that is how we can improve the situation at large.”Ksenia Abramovic is a Croatian woman that represents the best attributes of present day Croatia. An entrepreneur with a greater vision that incorporates the best in herself and thus promotes those qualities in us. If you like to support “Laudato” visit Ksenia and the organization at www.Laudato.hr At their web site you can become a friend/supporter (under friends club) of the organization that is making a positive contribution to the world at large.