One of our annual Knights traditions is to present one of our members with our Soldier of Christ award at the end of the year. On Sunday 4th Dec 2022, at our last Men’s Breakfast for the year, Eddy Borovnjak was posthumously nominated as our Soldier of Christ for 2022.
Eddy was an exemplary witness of the Gospel, living every moment as a true Soldier of Christ. He really did suit himself up in the armour of God – speaking truth readily, maintaining the spirit of peace, and using the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (cp. Ephesians 6:10-18) to dispel the darkness in this world. He took a firm stand against the devil’s schemes by taking every effort to pray for souls, to seek those who were in danger, trying to lead them back to Christ by way of handing out miraculous medals and rosaries, and by evangelising in his own joyful, genuine manner. He welcomed everybody without judgement, recognising that our enemy is not each other but the spirit of evil that seeks to enslave us all, that makes men fall in their weakness. He never had a bad word to say about anyone. He used his words to uplift, to encourage, to evangelise.
More so than his words, the way Eddy lived his life spoke volumes about the love and abundant mercy of God, and this was never more evident than during the most difficult times in his sickness. Eddy lived a joyful life, even in adversity. He would never complain about anyone or anything and never displayed any anger or hatred. His face belied his discomfort or pain because he always smiled and sought to comfort and uplift those around him instead of focusing on himself. He was always in good spirits, positive and joyful. One always left his presence feeling humbled by the blessings of peace and joy he brought.
Eddy made every person he met feel ‘seen’ and valued. He listened with compassion to the pain others bore and did his best both materially and spiritually to help alleviate others’ burdens. He would give away his own blankets and would collect food and clothing to distribute to the poor in his area, who he would visit often with his mother or with the Legion of Mary chapter that he had joined, providing them with their physical needs but also with the love and company that many were starved of. He offered numerous Masses and prayers for a wide variety of souls he came across, many having no idea he had taken them under his wing spiritually.
Eddy’s trust in the Lord was inspiring and he was totally accepting of God’s will. We recall him saying that regardless if God wanted to heal him or to call him home, he was at peace with whatever the Lord decided. And the truth of his statement was confirmed by his demeanor and his voice – he truly was totally at peace in accepting God’s will, even if this meant being separated from the family he loved so dearly here on earth, particularly his three boys who really were the apples of his eye. He relished his times fishing with them, or spending times enjoying the outdoors with them and the joy they brought him was clear to all who knew him. In turn, it was clear the boys loved and respected their father and enjoyed their precious time together. Their relationship with one another was a vignette of unconditional love.
As with any good soldier, nothing stopped Eddy from continuing in his prayer and faith life. Eddy would come to the Men’s Rosary Crusades even whilst undergoing his cancer treatment. Not only would he participate, but he would take videos and compile some amazing promo videos for the Men’s Rosary Crusade. One of his other goals was to complete writing his book, only if God willed it of course. He was tireless in his efforts to complete this task, even in the hardest times. He credits this to a great devotion to Our Lady and to the Rosary.
The Soldier of Christ award was presented to Eddy’s mother on the feast day of the Holy Innocents on Wednesday 28th Dec 2022, at the shrine of the Holy Innocents Kellyville. The day and place of the presentation was providential as Eddy was a very active pro-life champion, and loved the Shrine of the Holy Innocents. He had a great compassion for the unborn and selflessly gave up one of his favourite things for many years (actually right up until his death) in reparation for the sins of abortion and for the ending of abortion. Eddy’s good friend, Brother Dominic Levak, was also present, having had the award blessed by a priest before it was presented to Eddy’s mother, Jelica, an amazing woman of faith in her own right.
Eddy’s mother was pleasantly surprised and deeply moved to receive this award in her son’s name – an award recognising that her son had not looked back, but had pressed on, keeping his eyes on the prize, Christ himself, and finished the only race that matters in this world (cp. Philippians 3:13-14).
Rest in peace, dear brother.
Bog i Hrvati.