"Bielonedeľná púť" to Katarínka celebrates 15th anniversary

The last April Sunday (27/04/2014) was dedicated to "Bielonedeľná púť", the traditional one-day pilgrimage to Katarínka on the first Saturday after Easter. The pilgrimage was attended by approximately 140 pilgrims, and about 280 people took part in the following Holy Mass. This day's mass turned out to be a celebration of both the canonization of John XXIII. and John Paul II. as well as the feast of the Divine Mercy Sunday, which is also called the "White Sunday", of which the name of the pilgrimage is derived.

The track of the pilgrimage started traditionally at the railway station Buková, from where it continued across Raková and up the forest trail straight to Katarínka.

The pilgrimage was accompanied by short stops with reflections which recalled the meaning of the pilgrimage. The sunny weather, which lasted until the very end, created an agreeable atmosphere throughout the journey.


The Sunday Mass in the ruins of St. Catherine's Church was celebrated by Branislav "Beren" Popelka, the administrator of the parish of Majcichov. The sermon was delivered by Vladimír Bartolomej Hurňanský (in the picture, distributing the holy communion), a dominican priest and administrator of UPC Zvolen. After the mass, an opportunity arose to have a barbecue, to show the visitors the results of the work and the plans of the volunteers that help here over the summer. Some people were also interested in a guided tour telling the history of this place.


It was the 15th pilgrimage from the time of its modern dating. We were pleased by the biggest turnout so far - probably also thanks to the favourable weather, although it is generally hard to predict weather in April.


Invitation to the event (Slovak only):


Annual report

The main aim of an annual report is to share what our project accomplished in the year 2013.

t also talks about important and interesting facts from the life of Katarínka. Besides these, you can also find there information about events open for public that were and are going to be organised.
Figures in a chart prove how important voluntary contributions and donation of 2% of income tax are.
At the end of this report you can read about our plans and vision for the year 2014.

Experimental procedure of conservation (2013)

In august 2013 we conducted an experimental procedure of conservation. We put a layer of loam and plants on the top of the walls of the monastery. By this way conditions for mortar are improved so it can get that right consistence and the life expectancy of such wall is expanded, as well. This method was developed at Katarínka.

If you want to learn more, don´t hesitate and watch the video below (in Slovak).


What does winter at Katarínka look like?

These special views capture the atmosphere of our trips to Katarínka in winter. Last year there was the coldest and whitest "Bielonedeľná púť" (one-day pilgramage to Katarínka on the first Saturday after Easter) in history of Katarínka:

St. Catherine’s Feast 2013 at the Franciscan Church in Bratislava – what it was like

At the end of November, just like every year, we commemorated the feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, who is also the patron saint of the church and the monastery called Katarínka near the village of Dechtice. The feast started with a solemn mass presided by Brother Bartolomej, who was assisted by Brother Zénius. The mass was accompanied by our band “sv. Katerína”.

After the mass, the participants (mostly young volunteers – “katarínkovci”) got the opportunity to see the exhibition dedicated to Katarínka and its mysteries. Then the reception (“agapé”) began. The traditional meal - bread with grease and onions - gradually became a scarce commodity, but nobody minded it, since the great atmosphere remained with until the very end. We hope that we will see each other next year again!

Brother Bartolomej’s homily (in Slovak):

More pictures can be viewed at this link:

View the original invitation for this event »»

Show the blog about St. Catherine of Alexandria with an invitation to this event (Slovak version only) »»


Summer working season 2013 is over

The summer season at Katarínka has been successfully completed. This, however, does not mean that Katarínka cannot be visited anymore. Quite the contrary: right now, when the autumn is so beautiful and multicoloured, the place is really worth visiting.

We would like to share with you a summary of how we got on and what we have managed so far. Here is some brief information on our most important summer (especially working) activities.

Conservation works on the tower

The masonry and grouting took place on the crown of the tower - on its roof at the height of 363 metres above sea level, 30 metres above the ground. On the highest 6th floor, it was necessary to ensure the static equilibrium and fix the wall that will be used as a railing of the tower.

The masonry was also done on the individual storeys inside the tower. All storeys are already completed and masoned (there are 5 storeys plus the roof). The masonry was done on the spots where the bearing beams of the storeys were embedded - in stripes of 50 cm above and 50 cm below the floor - in order to complete the floors and to make a ladder.

In the next few years, our task will be to do the grouting on the mezzanine level.


We managed to craft the stairs (some are fitted between the 4th and 5th floor, others are prepared). The floors were done too – the ones on the fourth and fifth floors are already installed thanks to the intensive planing of wooden boards during our two-week summer camps.

Archaeological research

The presbytery and the crypt were discovered. "We have it! Finally, in the crypt..." Elorien and our archaeologist Ivana Kvetánová were both very pleased. The ceiling of the crypt was crushed, and the whole crypt was buried under the debris. We found the remains of the marble altar, which is likely to have been situated above the crypt . Occasionally, we came across some bones and splinters. The crypt is divided into two storeys with two internal partition walls. Six grave sites were probably situated there. Based on the historical sources, we can assume that the crypt was robbed several times in the past, or that the descendants transferred their ancestors’ remains elsewhere.

Conservation of the monastery

After a couple of years, we came back to work on the monastery. It was the drilling and anchoring of the statically vulnerable parts – the internal partition walls. We also did the complete re-masoning of the crowns of the walls and the grouting of the monastery, which is to be continued next year.

The highlight of this season was the disassembling and the re-vaulting of the destroyed arches, the repair of the brick shutters and the grassing of the crowns of all the repaired walls.

See also photos – The monastery before and after. Especially the completely disintegrated vault, whose possible fall during the winter 2012/2013 was the subject of a bet. It did not fall at last ;-)

Of course, Katarinka is not just about work. It's about all of its 4 pillars, that is the people, community, spirituality as well as the place itself, which got prettier again last year.

Noc kostolných a kláštorných ruín (2.8.2013) - ako bolo

V piatok sa v podvečerných hodinách konalo na Katarínke podujatie Noc kostolných a kláštorných ruín. Zaujímavý kultúrny program začal koncertom sopranistky Evy Šuškovej a sláčikového kvarteta Mucha Quartet, ktorý sa odohral medzi múrmi zrúcaniny kostola svätej Kataríny.


Koncert začal spoločnou skladbou Starosloviensky otčenáš od skladateľa Vladislava Stančeka. Skladbu pre toto obsadenie a špeciálne pre túto príležitosť upravil slovenský skladateľ Vladimír Godár, ktorý bol tiež medzi hosťami podujatia. Ďalej sa pokračovalo výberom z diel od Josepha Haydna, Maurice Ravela, Ilju Zeljenku a na záver zaznel výber slovenských uspávaniek. 


Po krátkej pauze sa začala svätá omša, ktorú celebroval Vdp. Branislav (Beren) Popelka z farnosti Majcichov. Podujatie ďalej prebiehalo prichystaným občerstvením a okolo 10. hodiny večer aj obľúbeným turistickým sprevádzaním. Výklad dobrovoľníkov znel ruinami za sprievodu osvetlenia z lampášov a zúčastnilo sa ho okolo 130 návštevníkov.

Pôvodná pozvánka na túto akciu »»

Katarínka Open days 5.7.2013 - report

This year's Katarínka Open days, twelfth in order, has been welcomed by most participants in its history. Katarínka is a beautiful place which is worth to visit. The group of volunteers has prepared a special program on the 5. July on the Feast of St. Cyril and Method.

The following was available for around 1000 enthusiasts and visitors:

  • historic tourist service upon Katarínka ruins,
  • 12 different historic workshops and competitions with children,

The top item on the agenda was a festive mass accompanied by a traditional Katarínka band called s. Katerína.

The mass was celebrated by Felix Mária OFM, known in Katarínka as brother Zénius and concelebrated by brother Medus – Mário Bosý (a local priest designated to shepherding youth in Trnava's diocese). A special guest during the mass was brother Jordán – Juraj Dovala (a bishop of Czechoslovak Hussite Church) – who came up with a beautiful intercession.


The founder of civil association Katarínka, Benignus - Peter Herceg, came up with plans for future periods: „Čaká nás zahájenie výstavby schodiska do veže, ktoré má slúžiť budúcim návštevníkom a turistom, aby aj oni zažili ten pekný výhľad na rozľahlé okolie a končiny. Ďalej to bude nová etapa konzervovania kláštorných múrov, či odkrývanie nových archeologických nálezísk v lodi kostola.“

See all photos and atmosphere of Open days here:

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