Mons. Jan Graubner

* 1948

  • “Mum sometimes recalled that from time to time there were different old acquaintances who had preferred to cross to the other side of the street, and that many people had stopped chatting with her on the street. And when she went with her stroller or walked back, at the time we were evicted - because the porter's lodge, it was a part of a business - they checked her stroller to see if she was takeing anything under the baby. So... there were such unpleasant moments."

  • “They laughed a little at me. 'You are naive, you think they would accept you to high school!' Well, I admit that at that time - as far as possible at that age - I seriously considered the priesthood. And I thought, 'Well, without a grammar school, you can't. So I have give it a go.' I even remember my pilgrimage to Hostýn vividly. Probably the first one. Singing boy kneeling and saying something like: 'Virgin Mary, people come to ask for miracles here. Nothing hurts me really, but they tell me if I got to high school, it would be a miracle. I think I should be a priest. If you think so, please take care of the miracle. 'I don't know if it was a miracle, but they accepted me.´”

  • “Some little dad earned a sent mercy money back home. But of course it was inadequate. So, my mother learned to take care of us in such a way that everything was stitched and redone. And we always wore clean, but relatively poor clothing. One by one, he inherited clothes and stitched. Well, I remember that I was a little bit bigger when I drafted my grandfather's trousers. And I just didn't like it because no one wore such pants. But my mother was flattered by a doctor where I went to a checkup who admired my pants and he asked where I got them. So ever since then, as a kid, I used to wear them... walk with pride."

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    Olomouc, 30.10.2019

    duration: 02:31:22
    media recorded in project Stories of the region - Central Moravia
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We should not simply condemn

Graduation photography
Graduation photography
photo: Archiv pamětníka

Jan Graubner was born on August 29, 1948 in Brno by Ludmila and Jan Graubner. He spent his childhood and adolescence in the South Moravian Region in Strážnice, where he also attended elementary school. From an early age he had longed to become a priest. Given that his parents were active Catholics, who, after 1948, the Communists nationalized their firm named Jan Graubner and his sons (later Šohaj), Jan was not easy to accept at Strážnice High School (equivalent to today’s grammar schools). He is said to have started on condition that the school manages to re-educate him by withdrawing from his faith and ceasing to attend church. However, this did not happen. After successfully passing the school-leaving examination, Jan first went to Brno for advice from a well-known priest. He reported on theology on appeal, but again encountered due to lacking working-class origins. So he decided to get it. He was employed in Gottwaldov (present-day Zlín) as a tool warehouse worker and after that he had no problem getting accepted the theological faculty. The year was 1968 and a new branch of the Cyril and Methodius Theological Faculty of Olomouc was opened in Litoměřice. During his studies, he met prominent spiritual figures, many of whom had experience of communist prisons and camps of the 1950s. After 1968, he still experienced absurdity of regime will while still studying. For example, a canon law teacher was forced to replace a cantor who taught catechesis and did not understand law. In the years of normalization, during his own priesthood, he met with the controversial bishop Josef Vrana, who cooperated with the state security and openly supported the collaborative Catholic movement Pacem in terris. The spiritual attitudes of Jan Graubner were strongly shaped by the illegal Fokoláre movement, whose ideological head in the then Czechoslovakia was a priest and a mucus from the 1950s Karel Pilík. During his time in Vizovice, Jan Graubner helped distribure church samizdat and managed to build a secret network of parishioners who participated in the reading and distribution of samizdat. After the Velvet Revolution in 1990, he received the episcopal consecration of František Vaňák and a year later, after Vaňák’s death, Pope John Paul II. appointed the archbishop of Olomouc.