A Sunday Mass in Števanovci
As on every Sunday the church community of Števanovci congregates at the Roman-Catholic church, which presents proudly in grand yellow on a hill, to attend mass. Also on this windy, chilly, but still sunny March Sunday.
Since the death of the former parish priest of Števanovci, who was a Slovene from the Raba region, the current priest of Szentgotthárd delivers weekly sermons in the church of Števanovci as well. After Sunday mass in Szentgotthárd he goes to Števanovci, which explains the somewhat late beginning of the mass (11 am). Since the death of the Slovene-speaking priest, the mass in Števanovci is said only in Hungarian.
The two neighboring Slovene-speaking villages Andovci and Verica-Ritkarovci do not own any churches. The inhabitants of these communities therefore attend church in Števanovci. A bus, which connects Andovci and Verica-Ritkarovci as well as Farkasfa village, which lies outside the Slovene Raba region, with Szentgotthárd, takes the believers to Števanovci for mass. Due to the fact that the inhabitants live spread over a wide area, also many worshippers from this village go to church by bus, however, some also come on foot. Very often they are dressed darkly, mostly in black. Elder women wear mostly headscarves and elder men hats.
However, most community members arrive at the church already some minutes before the mass starts in order to pray in silent devotion or to light a candle commemorating a beloved person. The church of Števanovci, which was renovated some years ago, possesses an opulent nave with magnificent golden saint figures and a majestic altar. On the church walls you can see decorated images, some of which are provided with Slovene writings.
Outside the church a merchant patiently awaits the arrival of his potential custom. He sells mostly articles of clothing and hopes to make a good stroke of business with generous buyers. Like every Sunday.
Pictures Tibor Horváth / Joël Gerber