Memorial Service for former President Vaclav Havel
13.02.2012 / 21:15
(This article expired 20.01.2013.)
A special Memorial Service remembering and honoring former President of the Czech Republic Václav Havel was celebrated by The Most Reverend Jan Vokál, Bishop of Hradec Králové, on Sunday, February 12, 2012, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Eulogy was delivered by former US National Security Advisor Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski. In 1997, President Havel awarded Dr. Brzezinski The Tomas Garrigue Masaryk Order, the second highest State Decoration of the Czech Republic, for eminent contributions to the development of democracy, humanity and human rights.
Former President of the Czech Republic
Václav Havel (October 5, 1936 – December 18, 2011) playwright, essayist, poet, dissident, and politician, was one of the writers of Charter 77, a document that criticized the communist government for failing to implement human rights provisions. After the Velvet Revolution, Havel became the tenth and last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic. He was the first head of state from a former communist block to visit the U.S. and give a speech to the joint session of Congress. In his speech, he stated, “The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and in human responsibility.” Havel received numerous state decorations, honorary doctorates, and international awards, including the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom. After leaving office, he continued to work in human rights, creating the Forum 2000 Foundation. Read his full biography online at www.vaclavhavel.cz.
Bishop of Hradec Králové
Monsignor Jan Vokál (born September 25, 1958) was appointed Bishop of Hradec Králové in the Czech Republic by Pope Benedict XVI on March 3, 2011. Since 1991, he has served as official of the Secretariat of State (Section for General Affairs). From 1992–2005, he was the personal secretary of Cardinal Corrado Bafile, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Between 1989 and 1990, he served as a parish vicar of Epiphany Church (Diocese of Peoria in the United States). In addition to his service, he earned a doctorate in utroque iure in both civil and canon law from Pontifical Lateran University in Rome in 2008. In 1995, 1997, and 2009, he was a member of the papal entourage during the pastoral visits of the Holy Father to the Czech Republic. Read his full biography online at www.tisk.cirkev.cz.