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Holy Family Institute

The Holy Family Institute is an institution for the accommodation, education and upbringing of girls without adequate parental care and of the girls from socially vulnerable families. Through the programmes of spiritual renewal on the Island of Jakljan Father Jozo became aware of the need for such an institution for girls who are good students, but who, because of various objective difficulties, have no possibility to continue their high school and university education.

The Institute was built at Puringaj, a new Široki Brijeg settlement, on the land allotted for this purpose by the Municipality of Široki Brijeg. The construction of the facility started in autumn 1997, and the Institute opened its door to the first protégées in October 2000. The Institute was built owing to the money and material donations of the friends and benefactors of the Association.
The protégées of the Institute come from all parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They attend secondary schools or study at Široki Brijeg or Mostar.

The life at the Institute is organised in the Christian spirit and in accordance with Christian education and moral principles. Apart from their regular obligations related to school or studies, the girls also take part in various free activities at the Institute: choir, liturgical, dramatic, journalistic and culinary sections, as well as in the work of the visual arts workshop.

The girls are requested to keep to the rules of conduct defined by the Institute’s Rule Book, which precisely prescribes the time for prayer, the time for learning, the time for recreation and free activities. The Rule Book also specifies the responsibilities and obligations of the girls in everyday life of the Institute, such as: assistance in the kitchen and the dining room, maintenance of cleanliness, etc.

The heart of the Institute is a small chapel where the girls gather daily for common prayer. With their singing the girls animate Sunday Mass; they prepare Mass readings and general intercessions. In their prayers they include all benefactors, with Father Jozo at the head as the conceptual creator, builder and spiritual father of the Institute. In addition, for every feast, especially in Advent, Lent and before St. Joseph’s feast, they have a special spiritual preparation.

The annual work programme of the Institute also includes a number of excursions, participation in cultural manifestations, and participation in other programmes of the Association.

Every year in Advent the protégées invite their fellow citizens, teachers and friends to the Christmas event, which has been held in the Institute’s multipurpose hall since 2007. They also show their hospitality for the feast of St. Joseph, the patron of the house.

Since the 2005/06 academic year the protégées of the Institute with their educators have been publishing the Annual of the Holy Family Institute.