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Visit of Minister Česnik in Belgium

Between 18 and 20 October 2019, a working visit of Minister for Slovenians Abroad and Peter J. Česnik took place in Belgium.

On Saturday Ambassador Dr. Rado Genorio welcomed Minster Česnik at the Embassy, where Minister met representatiev od Slovenes in Belgium, namely Head of the Slovenian Pastoral Center in Brussels, dr. Zvone Štrubelj and Gregor Šemrlj, representatives of »VTIS« (Anže Švara, Ajda Gracia Golob, Nina Turk and Barbara Ulčar) and Mihaela Zupančič Magovac, President of »Slovenians in Brussels«, accompanied by Dr. Jerneja Jug and violinist Tina Čeh. The purpose of the meetings was to exchange views and information on the possibilities of closer cooperation between Slovenes in Belgium with their home country.

In honor of Minister Česnik, Ambassador dr. Genorio organized a lunch, which was also attended by Slovenian Honorary Consul Erik Luts and Mayor of Maasmechelen Raf Terwingen.

In the afternoon, Peter J. Česnik and his delegation attended the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Slovenian Catholic Mission in Belgian and Dutch Limburg. At Mass at St. Barbara's Mining Cathedral in Eisden-Maasmechelen was also Msgr. Patrick Hoogmartens, Bishop of Hasselt. Singers and singers of the mixed choir Slomšek and the Škofja Loka Oktet enriched the worship. The celebration in honor of the 90th anniversary of the Slovenian Cultural Society "Sveta Barbara" from Maasmechelen continued in the hall of the Slovenian Cultural Society "Naš dom" in Genk, where the 59th Slovenian Day, organized this year by the Slovenian Cultural Society "Slomšek", was held. At the ceremony, Minister Česnik decorated the representatives of the Slovenian Catholic Mission in Eisden, SKD Sv. Barbara of Maasmecheln, celebrating 90th anniversary this year, and some members special acknowledgments of the Government Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Slovenes abroad for many years of successful work and an important contribution to the preservation of Slovenian identity and cultural heritage in Belgium and constructive cooperation with the Republic of Slovenia. For many years of creative cooperation with SKD Sv. Barbara, their president, Jože Oblonšek, also donated a commemorative plaque of the Ambassador Dr. Genorio and thanked him for his support of the association so far. Mrs. Genorio baked two poticas for the occasion.

Special guests of the event were the singers of the Škofja Loka Oktet that prepared a rich program. The event also featured a mixed choir Slomšek.

On Sunday, 20 October 2019, the Minister visited the mining settlement and museum in Eisden and met with members of the SKD Slomšek, the Slovenian Catholic Missions and the SKD Sv. Barbara at their headquaters.