Three Franciscan Friars from Djakovica Monastery in Kosovo near the Albanian border have gone missing and are unaccounted for after the Yugoslav army occupied the monastery as NATO air raids pounded nearby military buildings.
    One of the four friars managed to reach Albania and join his confreres in Skutari, but nothing has been heard of the other three, all of Albanian origin. According to the latest reports on Saturday, the friars had been taken in by local Christian families.
    Eight Franciscan monasteries are in war zones, either in areas subject to NATO bombing or areas in danger of being occupied by Serb troops if their barracks are destroyed -- as with Djakovica Monastery.
    The eight monasteries belong to three different Order of Friars Minor (OFM) provinces. The province of Zagreb, named after Saints Cyril and Methodius, has four communities in the NATO air strike zone: Belgrade-Zemun (6 friars), Novi Sad (2 friars), Subotica (6 friars) and Bac (1 friar). The monasteries in Belgrade and Novi Sad are in danger since they are not far from military quarters. As of Saturday, there were no reports of damage to religious buildings, although the friars reported that many homes had been damaged.

30/03/99 9:31:53 / Catholic World News


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