The III. NAPS International Ecumenical Concert of Sacral Songs 2007

On Thursday, 4 October 2007, the third international ecumenical concert of sacral songs 2007 was organised by NAPS. The concert was held in the Jonáš Záborský Theatre, via the big screen as well as in the square in front of the Theatre under the auspices of the Speakers of the Slovak and Hungarian Parliaments, Their Ecxellencies Mrs Katalin Szili and Mr Pavol Paška.

The NAPS civic association organised the event in cooperation with the City Council of Prešov represented by the Mayor, Pavol Hagyari.

350 invited guests who attended the event included: the Speaker of the Slovak National Council, Mt Pavol Paška with his team, a 4-member delegation of the Hungarian Parliament headed by the State Secretary and Director of the Speaker’s Office, Mr György Kerényi, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassadors of Hungary, Germany and Ukraine to Slovakia, top hierarchs of the leading Christian Churches, a representative of the Jewish religious community, members of the Parliament or representatives of the state administration and regional self-governments of the Prešov Region.

In connection with Prešov’s candidature for the European City of Culture 2013 this year’s concert was held in the city of the largest Slovakia’s region. In the light of the speeches delivered by the Mayor of Prešov, the President of NAPS, the Speaker of the National Council as well as the State Secretary of the National Council of Hungary, Peter Solej believes that if the event’s idea – to bring people together, deepen inter-religious dialogue and support the mutual tolerance - gets fulfilled, we can call Prešov the European City of Culture, even though unofficial.

During the event Mr Kerényi greeted the guests on behalf of the Speaker of the National Council of Hungary, Mrs. Katalin Szili, who believes that she will attend the next year’s concert in person.At the same time, the State Secretary presented the President of NAPS with a silver plaque of the National Council of Hungary, awarded by the Speaker, Mrs Katalin Szili, for the organisation of the ecumenical concert.

A letter from the Speaker of the National Council of Hungary, Her Excellency Mrs. Katalin Szili:

The cultural part of the event included performances by the Roman Catholic Choir of St. Cecilia at the St. Elisabeth Cathedral in Košice, the choir Chorus Comenianus of the Evangelical Church in Košice, the Greek Catholic cathedral choir of St. John the Baptist in Prešov, the Quartet of the Reformed Christian Church from Rimavská Sobota, the Orthodox cathedral choir of St. Alexander Nevský from Prešov and the singer of Jewish songs form Bratislava, Mr Ervín Schönhauser.

At the end of the event, a blessing was given to the guests by the Christian bishops and representatives of the Jewish religious community: the Roman Catholic Archbishop, Alojz Tkáč, in the Latin language, the Evangelical Bishop, Milan Krivda, in the Slovak language, the Greek Catholic Bishop, Ján Babjak in the Slovak language, the Bishop of the Reformed Christian Church, Géza Erdélyi, in the Hungarian language, the Orthodox Archbishop Ján, in the Old-Slavonic language and on behalf of the Jewish rabbi, Mr Ervín Schönhauser, in Hebrew.

Atmosphere of the event was created by the Guard of Honour of the Slovak Armed Forces and the military band which were delegated by Mr František Kašický, the Minister of Defence of the Slovak Republic.

The event was held under the moral auspices of:

His Excellency Mons. Alojz Tkáč,
The Metropolitan Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Košice,

His Grace Despotis Ján Babjak,
The Greek Catholic Eparchial Bishop of Prešov,

The Very Reverend Géza Erdélyi,
The Bishop of the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia,

His Eminence Despotis Ján,
The Orthodox Archbishop of Prešov and Slovakia,

Mr. František Alexander,
The President of the Central Union of Jewish religious communities in the Slovak Republic.