Tonight, in about five minutes, I was able to find online an 11:30 a.m. Catholic Mass, in English, in downtown Belgrade, Serbia, for our son. Gabriel will be in that city on July 30 with his chamber music orchestra. Gabriel plugged that time and location into his iPod. If it turns out that Mass time doesn't work for him, he also has the option of going to the 8 a.m. Mass in Slovenian or the 10 a.m. Mass in Serbian. I just emailed the pastor to check, but our son said he feels comfortable attending Mass in any language.
"It's all the same Mass," he just told me.
The Co-Cathedral of Christ the King (Krist Kralj) was built in 1924. It is the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Belgrade, Serbia, a country where Catholics make up little more than five percent of the population. Orthodox Christians make up the majority of worshipers in that country.
Talk about history coming alive. "The seat of the Belgrade Archbishopric is located in the former complex of the Austro-Hungarian Embassy, and today it is the location of the church of Christ the King. That location is in downtown Belgrade..."
Our son, 16, never has left the North America, and is about to learn first hand what universality means.
Catholic (Universal) in Means and in Mission (830-831)The Church is Catholic (meaning "universal") in two ways. First, the Church is universal because Christ is present in her. She receives from him "the fullness of the means of salvation." In this fundamental sense, the Church was Catholic on the day of Pentecost and will be so until Christ returns.
Second, the Church is Catholic because she has a mission to the whole world. The new People of God (while remaining one) must spread throughout the world. God made human nature one and now he decrees that all the scattered people be gathered together. By its gift of universality, the church seeks the return of all humanity under Christ the Head (Second Vatican Council).