2008 Archived News

Monday, December 14, 2008


Youngwood, PA - The Kolo Srpskih Sestara Vavedenje of Holy Ascension Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngwood, Pennsylvania, celebrated its 79th Slava on December 7, 2008. His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan, Parish Priest Father Miladin Blagojevic and Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic celebrated the Divine Liturgy, the blessing of the Slavski Kolac, and the Parastos Service for all deceased members of  the Kolo.

Beloved and honored Kuma, Dorothy Podbesek made the beautiful Slavski Kolac which has become a tradition in our church, and the Kolo sisters prepared a delicious lenten dinner which was enjoyed by family and friends of Kuma Dorothy, guest clergy, and all parishioners.

Describing Kuma Dorothy as an elegant lady with a heartwarming smile, George Kalp served as master of ceremonies. Father Miladin presented next year’s Kuma, Angie Klassen, with the Vavedenje icon which she will keep until next year’s Slava when it will be given to the Kuma who succeeds her.

Father Miladin then spoke about the history and role of our Kolo since its founding. “As I read the history of our Kolo since 1929 to the present time, I  see a wonderful example of motherly and sisterly love in our Serbian tradition. The common cause of our Kolo is the betterment of the Church, and the Serbian phrase ‘desna ruka’ (‘right hand’) describes its role in our Church.” He noted that our Kolo’s first Church fundraising activity was a zabava (party) held on January 8, 1929. He also held up a framed certificate from Serbian Queen Marija Karadjordjevic, sent from London in 1943, thanking our Kolo for the help it gave to the suffering people of Yugoslavia after the Axis Power invasion during World War II. Father concluded, “We pray that the ladies of our Kolo will stand strong for many more years.”

Bishop Mitrophan noted that few organizations stay together for 79 years and that those that do are remarkable. “The Sisters are the backbone of the Church,” he said, “and we must remember that if we are united, everything is possible, but if we have disunity, nothing is possible.” He discussed Mary and Martha and how they both served the Lord in differing ways, yet both exemplified wonderful examples of faith. He also discussed the Mother of God and Vavedenje (her presentation in the temple) explaining, “From the beginning, she was the one closest to the Lord, and we find in her the best example of motherhood.” His Grace concluded his remarks by stating, “Our children and grandchildren will be proud of us for transmitting this wonderful Serbian tradition (of the Kolo).”

Kolo President Mary Nagoda thanked all the Sisters for their help and cooperation, and she also thanked Skip Rusiewicz and Alex Morvosh for their invaluable assistance. She said, “I have wonderful members who are willing to come and work for the church whenever I call.” She also invited all younger people in the parish to come to some of the Kolo’s work sessions so they can learn the art of Serbian baking.

Melony Musgrave    

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[Archived News] Saturday November 29, 2008


Elizabeth, NJ - With the Archpastoral Blessing of His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America, on Sunday November 2nd, for the first time in its 47-year-long history, the parish of St George Great Martyr in Elizabeth, NJ greeted a number of holy relics for our spiritual growth as well as the healing of both the body and the soul:

A piece of the Cincture of the Most Holy Theotokos,
The relics of:
St George, Great Martyr, the patron of our parish,    
St Nicholas the Wonderworker,
St Basil the Great,
-     St John Chrysostom,
St Charalampus,
Holy Martyr Irene,
Venerable George Chosebite,
Martyrs of St George Chosebite by Persians,
Martyrs of Mar Sabba by Persians,
Venerable Parasceva of Trnovo, Martyr,
Venerable Xenophont,
St Herman of Alaska,
St Elizabeth, and
Venerable Xenia Holy Martyr.

Our parish priest, Reverend Father Zoran Radovic, celebrated the Divine Liturgy before a multitude of the faithful. A lot of people from all the neighbouring parishes came to venerate the holy relics and the copies of the miraculous icons of the Most Holy Theotokos which had been blessed on the original ones:

The Mother of God of the Three Hands,
The Mother of God of Jerusalem,
The Mother of God of Sitka,
The Kursk-Root Mother of God,
The Mother of God “The Milk giver”,
The Mother of God of Humility, and
St Anna with the Mother of God as a Little Girl.

The icon “Not Made by Hands” (Holy Napkin) of our Lord Jesus Christ from Jerusalem, as well as the icons of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco and St Herman of Alaska blessed on the holy relics of both the saints respectively, and the icon of St Catherine Great Martyr brought from the monastery dedicated to the saint on the mount of Sinai, were also available for veneration.

Upon the completion of the Divine Liturgy, the prayer to the Mother of God found on Her tomb in Gethsemane and the prayers to all the saints were read. The faithful venerated the icons and the holy relics and were anointed with the holy myrrh from the miraculous myrrh-streaming icons of the Mother of God “Iveron”, St Anna of Philadelphia, and St Nicholas, and oils from the lamps burning before the icons of the Mother of God on the Mount of Athos, Holy Land, and on the relics of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco and St Nektarios of Aegina.

Great spiritual joy was evident on the faces of all the faithful gathered for the prayer especially those with serious health issues.

Together with the renovation of our church, we are working on the spiritual renewal. Our parish was blessed to have the weeping icon of St Anna from Philadelphia twice: in February and in September. God willing, we expect to have more miraculous icons and holy relics in the future.

Popadija Vesna Radovic

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[Archived News] Saturday, November 29, 2008


Pittsburgh, PA - His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN presided at the Twenty-Second Annual Pittsburgh Deanery Meeting on Christian Education held at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral on Saturday, November 22, 2008.

Host priest from Holy Trinity Cathedral , Protonamesnik Father Rajko Kosic warmly welcomed the attendees and demonstrated a very clear willingness to host the meeting.

Protopresbyter Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov, Dean of the Pittsburgh Deanery referenced the instructions from the Lord Jesus Christ to the Holy Apostle Peter as recorded in the  Gospel of St. John(21:1517) as a firm basis for Christian education. Proto Stepanov has been a supporter of the Deanery meetings since their inception.

Reverend Father Dejan Obradovic from St.Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, Pennsylvania was designated by His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN as the featured speaker for the meeting. In addition to being active with children in the St.Nicholas parish, Father Obradovic also assists with the St.Sava summer camp program at Shadeland.

Father Obradovic spoke on the theme “Who is Raising Our Children?” Father Obradovic described that young children when baptized start out as angels. He questioned how some of them came to act in ways that are evil?

Father Obradovic  said children change. The do what they see. The influence of television, computers, DVD’s cell phones and books was mentioned. A Time magazine article was used to illustrate the increase in aggressiveness noticed among younger children.

The report of an eight year old being charged with two murders occurred during the week of this Deanery meeting. Father Obradovic concluded his talk with reference to questioning what children are reading in schools. He referred to a book entitled And Tango Makes Three.  Father Dejan said the book sends an approving message for a non-traditional family lifestyle…two same sex individuals living together and having a child.

Father Obradovic’s presentation served as a basis for extensive discussion that included but was not limited to references about public and parochial schools, the values taught in schools, the place of faith in schools, the need for fathers and mothers as role models and the large number of divorces occurring in the Diocese.

Written and oral reports describing the Christian Education efforts in each of the eleven parishes in the Deanery were presented and individuals present had the opportunity to ask questions.

The Pittsburgh Deanery includes the Pennsylvania parishes in Aliquippa, Carmichaels, Clairton, Mckeesport-Duquesne, Johnstown, Midland, Monroeville, Pittsburgh and Youngwood. The parish in Steubenville, Ohio and the mission parish in Fairmont, West Virginia are also in the Pittsburgh, Deanery.

Additional clergy in attendance besides those already mentioned include: Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rade Merick, Protopresbyter Dr.Rodney Torbic, Protopresbyer Vladimir Demshuck, Father Milan Pajic, Father Miladin Blagojevic, Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic.

Christian educators in attendance included: Rosemarie Marinkovich, Ted Zeljak, Melony Musgrave, Kim Kabaci, Joyce Yovetich, Juliann Taylor, Cheryl Robbins-Lufkin, Brian Hayden, Melissa Yoest, Virginia Davidovich , Mary Collins, and Mark Stupar.

Ann Marie Belich, Parish Executive Board President Milan Stanojevic and wife Maria Stanojevic, and Danielle Opacic prepared the refreshments and lunch for the participants.

In a closing statement, His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN encouraged the preaching of the Gospel and activating the dormant faith among inactive Orthodox Christians. His Grace illustrated the importance of addressing the dormant faith of inactive Orthodox Christians by describing a recent meeting with a young man of Serbian Orthodox background.

The Annual Deanery meetings consistently brings together His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN, Deanery clergy and Christian Educators to discuss and review Christian education on a serious basis.

The meetings provide documented reports of existing efforts and serve as a basis for measuring progress and planning improvements.

Father Rajko Kosic and the parishioners of Holy Trinity Cathedral provided gracious hospitality as hosts for the meeting.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Wednesday November 26, 2008


Akron, OH - St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church of Akron, Ohio, festively celebrated its patronal feast on Sunday, November 23, 2008.

Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was officiated by His Grace the Right Rev. Bishop Dr. Mitrophan, assisted by V. Rev. Peter Burlakov (St. Sergius ROCOR, Cleveland, OH - retired), V. Rev. Fr. Zvonimir Kotorcevic (Akron, OH – retired), V. Rev. Fr. Stevan Zaremba (St. Sava Serbian  Orthodox Church, St. Petersburg, FL), parish priest Protonamesnik Dragomir Tuba and Deacon Zeljko Jurisic. The Kosovo Men's Choir beautifully sang the responses.

To the joy of the parish and visiting faithful, parish Priest Dragomir Tuba was elevated to the rank of Protopresbyter by His Grace Bishop Mitrophan.  

The Episcopal Decree states:  “Zeal and love in pastoral ministry, a moral family example, and years of labor on the improvement of spiritual and religious parish life entrusted to him, and especially in the work of helping of our people who were driven out of our Serbian Lands, made us to award Protonamesnik Dragomir Tuba with the rank of Protopresbyter.” AXIOS! AXIOS! AXIOS!  We extend sincere congratulations to prota Dragomir, protinica Kristina, their children and the entire Tuba and Kostur families.

The joyous slava feast continued upon the completion of Divine Liturgy with the Ritual of the Blessing of the Slavski Kolach.   At the banquet in the church social hall, Prota Dragomir introduced the honored Kumovi Dan and Kathi Kunzin and the distinguished guests on the dais.

His Grace Bishop Mitrophan bestowed a Gramata upon Mr. Dragan Jovanovic for his selfless efforts and dedication to the parish for voluntarily making renovations and repairs in the church social hall.  Dragan’s wife Marina humbly accepted the Gramata on Dragan’s behalf.

The most recent parish project was the vital repair of the hall roof which had been leaking extensively. The lowest estimate came in at $18,000.00.  Thanks to Dragan and other hardworking stewards, the entire cost of the project was reduced to $3200.00.  Each of the individuals involved in this project was now gifted with a blessed icon as an expression of sincere gratitude from the entire parish.

Prota Dragomir warmly thanked Kosovo Choir for their beautiful responses, and, as always, the sisters, under the leadership of Kolo Sestara President Anita Ondreyka, for their wonderful preparation of the slava feast.  It was wonderful to see the social hall filled with parishioners, friends, children of all ages, from near and far, who came to share in this celebration.  Drago Micic provided the musical entertainment for Sunday’s banquet.

Traditionally Akron’s annual slava celebration is enhanced on the eve of the feast by the children's Annual Folklore Festival.  Nine guest groups answered this year’s invitation and happily traveled from Toronto, Niagara Falls, Kitchener, Hamilton, Windsor, Cleveland, Akron (St. Demetrius), Warren, and St. Petersburg. These talented young people performed exceedingly well with great artistry and provided our guests with an outstanding program of culture, music, and dance.  God bless you all! 

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[Archived News] Monday, November 24, 2008


Youngstown, OH - His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN scheduled the Annual Cleveland Deanery Meeting on Christian Education to be held at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday, November 15, 2007.

Dean Very Reverend Stavrofor Janko Raljich was the host priest and warmly received the participants. Very Reverend Stavrofor Rastko Trbuhovich was the featured speaker.

Father Trbuhovich centered his talk on the development and activities of the parish summer day camp which is conducted each year at St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church in Lackawanna, New York.

The day camp at St.Stephen’s Church has been in existence for twenty-three years and provides Father Trbuhovich with the opportunity to have extensive personal contact with the children and youth of the parish.

Protinica Victoria Trbuhovich and Church School Director Diane Sullivan as well as church school teachers and parishioners assist in the camps operation. Each year a respective theme serves as the basis for instructional classes and activities.

Father Trbuhovich described conducting a teaching Divine Liturgy, various educational trips that have been a part of the camp and his personal delight in seeing the campers grasp thoughts that were being taught in classes.

Father Trbuhovich gave a vivid example of the  personal delight he experienced when campers were able to relate the words from a camp lesson about  the Holy Prophet Isaiah and the receiving of Holy Communion.

Additional active participants in the meeting included Protonamesnik Dragomir Tuba, Protonamesnik Zivojin Jakovljevic, Protonamesnik Milovan Katanic, Reverend Father Isak Kisin, Father Deacon Milan Medakovic, Church School Teachers-Steven Munich, Mile Andjelkovich, Michael Hanlon and Lori Momcilovich.

Parish Christian Education reports were given orally and submitted in writing from Ohio parishes in Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Columbus, and Youngstown. Reports also were submitted from parishes in
Hermitage, Pennsylvania and Lackawanna, New York.

The Deanery Meetings have been conducted on an annual basis since 1987 and provide for the exchange of vital information on Christian education among parish priests and church school teachers. as well as the opportunity to hear a featured speaker on a relevant theme.

His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN emphasizes the importance of Christian Education in the Diocese by consistently assigning speakers, attending and scheduling the meetings

This was the first year the Deanery meeting talk focused exclusively on a particular day camp. In 1997 a Diocesan Seminar was held focusing on the development of parish day camps. The longest running day camp is at the St. Elijah Church in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania.

Several parishes in the Eastern Diocese now operate day camps and find them to be a very beneficial addition to the parish Christian Education program.

Information was distributed at this meeting about the Third Annual Nativity Fast Retreat to be held at St.Sava Camp-Shadeland on December 28-30, 2008.

Dean Proto Janko Raljich has participated in the Cleveland Deanery meetings since their inception. The Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngstown, Ohio graciously hosted this meeting.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Tuesday,


Steubenville, OH - Representatives from parish Circles of Serbian Sisters of the Eastern American Diocese assembled at Holy Resurrection Church in Steubenville, Ohio for their semi-annual Kolo Federation meeting on November 15.

In the front row of the photo are (l-r), Federation Kuma and past president Olga Dimitrijevich, Weirton Kolo president Dorothy Zatezalo, Federation vice-president DeeDee Baskot, Federation spiritual advisor Prota Dragoljub Malich, host pastor Prota Rade Merick, Federation president Millie Radovick, secretary Martha Springborn, and treasurer Barbara Topich. Hosts for the event were the sisters of  the Sveta Petka Kolo of Holy Resurrection Church, Mim Santilli, president.

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[Archived News] Monday November 17, 2008


With the blessings of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle of Serbia and His Eminence Metropolitan Amphilohije of Montenegro and the Coastlands, His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America officiated at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. George the Great Martyr on Banovo Brdo, assisted by His Grace Bishop Atanasije of Hvostna and Vicar to His Holiness. Also on this day, the daycare center “Djurdjevak”, a part of this parish, celebrated their Slava.

Assisting the hierarchs were V. Rev. Stavrophor Caslav Marinkovic, Protonamesnik Vitomir Kostic, Deacon Jovan Lucic and Deacon Savo Topalovic and hierodeacon Christopher (Nedjic). Following the Divine Liturgy His Grace Bishop Mitrophan cut the Slava Kolach and addressed the faithful and the children with paternal words, inspired the morning's gospel reading, he pointed out that riches are a great temptation but also a great burden for man to renounce, and he carries it with much difficulty, for it is difficult to handle money, especially if we don't notice the poor and to all of those who are in need of material help.  

Following the service all the guests took part in the luncheon at the Parish home. We wish a Joyous Slava to all workers and children who attend the Djrudjevak daycare center and with all of our hearts do we exclaim: GOD GRANT YOU MANY YEARS!!! 

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[Archived News] Monday November 10, 2008


Carmichaels, PA - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN published a book in 2001 entitled The Teachings of Saint Apostle Paul on the Church. During the Fifty-Fourth Anniversary program of the consecration of the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania, six sections of the book were read.

The readings focused on the Relationship of the Church to God the Father, to Christ and the Holy Spirit. The readings included the Characteristics of the Church-Unity, Holiness and Catholicity.

Contemplative readings are an integral part of the dinners at the St. George Church. The readings give perspective to the celebrations and increase opportunities for serious participation and learning.

An additional contemplative reading for the day was the “Scriptural types of the oneness and indivisibility of the Church” by St. Cyprian.

Fifty-four years have passed since the consecration of the St. George Church. Much has changed and much has remained the same. It is important every year to celebrate and develop perspective.

Sunday November 2, 2008 began early with the 5:30 AM Midnight Office, followed by Matins and First Hour. At 9:30 AM, Paulette Radock began reading the Third and Sixth Hours. Divine Liturgy began at 10:00 AM

The church had double the weekly average of people in attendance for the Divine Liturgy. This was clearly a special Sunday. The names of all departed parishioners were read in the Litany for the Departed.

Maria Djonovich who travels one hundred and twenty five miles each way each week to attend the Divine Liturgy joined with long time parishioner Djelosh Milosevich in reading the Epistle in Serbian and English languages.

Sonia Janson directed the St. George Choir as she does each week. Andrea Janson and Dr. Ivko Dimitric chanted the troparia and kontakia.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the Anniversary dinner and program was held at Dolfi’s in nearby Masontown. Hold the dinner at this location is a practice established eleven years ago in the time when Father Djokan Majstorovich was the parish priest.

Stan Brozik, Executive Board President served as Master of Ceremonies for the program. Sonia Janson spoke in behalf of the St. George Choir and Kolo and presented gifts to the church from both organizations. Sonia is President of the Choir and Kolo in addition to being Treasurer of
the Executive Board.

Mildred Bezjak, Executive Board Vice-President expressed her joy and greatfulness for this celebration. Parish Nurse Practitioner and Executive Board Secretary Mitzie Hunchuck read a poem she created summarizing the Anniversary.

Attorney Linda Chambers spoke about the fundamental right of freedom of religion established by the United States and Pennsylvania Constitutions. Attorney Chambers cited several case examples having to do with the freedom of religion.

Executive Board Financial Secretary Andrea Janson read the selection from St. Cyprian of Carthage. Reading selections from His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN’s book were: Dr. Rade Dimitric, Dr. Ivko Dimitric, Aaron Carson, Djelosh Milosevich, Linda Porter and Nathan Klingensmith.

Father Dimitre Dimitrov from the Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Masontown expressed his appreciation for being in attendance. Father Dimitrov shared his thoughts of close identification and friendship with the St. George parish.

In addition to parishioners, many friends of the parish were in attendance. Every person present and supporting the Anniversary is important to the St.George Church.

The Anniversary celebration is a time each year to give glory and thanks to God for the St. George Church, It is a time to remember parishioners departed this life and to appreciate current parishioners and friends of the parish.

The Anniversary celebration is a time to remember the fundamental reasons and purpose for the St. George Church and the many beloved people, living and departed that have been a part of the history.

Always the clergy and hierarchs who have served the parish are remembered. As the St. George Church moves into the Fifty-Fifth year, many, many reasons exist to give thanks to God and be optimistic about the future.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Tuesday November 4, 2008


Lackawanna, NY - On Sunday, November 2, 2008 the Sveti Ilija Circle of Serbian Sisters of Lackawanna, NY celebrated their 80th Anniversary. Bishop Mitrophan led the celebration, beginning with the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, assisted by local priest Fr. Rastko Trbuhovich and Deacon Blagoje Siljegovic. Bishop Mitrophan gave a moving sermon on the Gospel reading of the day, the raising of the son of the widow of Nain. A pomen was served for all the departed members of the Kolo. A beautiful dinner was served in the hall for about 80 guests, prepared by chef Michael Buntich. The Kolo board, led by President Sinia Korach, sat at the head table with Bishop Mitrophan and Fr. Rastko. Following the dinner and celebratory speeches, the Kolo took advantage of the occasion to have their photograph taken with the Bishop in the St. Stephen Church. We pray God grant the Sveti Ilija Kolo Many Years of health and fruitful service.

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[Archived News] Friday October 31, 2008



Shadeland, PA - His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN scheduled the Annual Fall Clergy Seminar at the beautiful new facilities at Shadeland on October 29-30, 2008. Shadeland is the site of the St.Sava Camp and the Most Holy Mother of God Monastery.

The Eastern American Diocese has been holding clergy education seminars on a regular basis since 1993. This seminar began with Vespers on Wednesday, October 29, 2008. Afterwards, following the evening meal, His Grace held a general meeting with the clergy to discuss a range of topics affecting parish life and the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Wednesday evening concluded with Protopresbyter Djokan Majstorovic, Dean of St. Sava Cathedral, giving a slide presentation of the recent group trip he conducted to visit monasteries and churches in Russia.

On Wednesday evening and Thursday, Father Majstorovic addressed the group in his capacity of President of the Clergy Brotherhood of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South  America.

Father Majstorovic reviewed the work of the Brotherhood and urged all clergy to be active supporters and stewards. The Brotherhood is a direct source of support for clergy, clergy widows and theological students.

On Thursday morning, His Grace officiated at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy assisted by Protopresbyter Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich and Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rade Merick. Several of the clergy in attended sang the responses.

His Grace designated Protopresbyter Stavrofor Dragan Filipovic of St. George Church in Canton, Ohio as the seminar speaker. Prota Filipovic spoke at length about his entry into the priesthood, his seminary
experiences and observations about Orthodoxy from his childhood to the present.

In the subsequent question and answer period, clergy in attendance asked Father Filipovic to elaborate about times of joy and times of difficulty in the priesthood.

His Grace oversaw the lively seminar discussion and provided the opportunity for clergy in attendance to fully express their comments and questions. His Grace used His extensive knowledge of Holy Scripture to give perspective when necessary.

Eastern Federation Kolo President Millie Radovick, Vice-President Dee Dee Baskot and Former President Olga Dimitrijevic graciously prepared the meals for the seminar participants.

Seminar participants by Deanery were as follows: Cleveland Deanery: Dean-Protoprebyter Stavrofor Janko Raljich, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Dragan Filipovic, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rastko Trbuhovich, Protonamesnik Dragomir Tuba, Protonamesnik Zivojin Jakovljevic, Protonamesnik Milovan Katanic, Reverend Father Isaac Kisin and Father Deacon Milan Medakovich.

Pittsburgh Deanery-Dean Protopresbyter Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Dragoljub Malich, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rade Merick, Protopresbyter Stevo Rocknage, Protopresbyter  Lt.Colonel Adam Yonitch, Protopresbyter Dr.Rodney Torbic, Protopresbyter Vladimir Demshuck, Protonamesnik Rajko Kosic, Reverend Father Dejan Obradovic, Reverend Father
Miladin Blagojevich.

Washington Deanery-Dean Protopresbyter Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich, Protopresbyter Aleksandar Vlajkovich, Protopresbyter Djokan Majstorovich.

Many of the clergy traveled great distances to come to the seminar, particularly those from the Washington Deanery. On Wednesday there were periods of snow. Father Aleksandar Vlajkovich drove all the way from Boston, Massachusetts.

The new facilities at Shadeland offered an ideal atmosphere for the seminar. The seminar was a time for clergy of the Diocese in this very appropriate Church setting to gather around the Diocesan Bishop to learn.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Charlotte, NC – The Mission Parish of St. Symeon the Myrrhflowing in Charlotte, North Carolina organized their fourth annual Benefactor's Dinner which, like previous years, was very successful and well organized.

Similar to previous years the event was held at an Italian restaurant “Il Nido” where we have started to feel at home and so little to no problems in our functions there.

Our dear friend Fr. Michael from the Holy Trinity Greek Church began the program at 7pm with a few words of the essence of our Orthodox faith which, once again, confirmed to us why it is that we exist and why we should endure all things, particularly in prayer.

Our Reader Vladan Gluvacevic emceed the program. He spoke of the significance of Pascha, Christmas and the Krsna Slava with Serbs. In the pauses between speakers we were treated to live music by the flutist Patty Moore and the newly formed trio ART. The auction was the icing on the cake where we truly had much to offer, from the the artistic works of the painter Vukosava Mijatovic-Teofanovic, the beautiful icon of Archangel Gabriel by Teofana Zaric, a decorative floral arrangement by Milica Mitrovic, painted Easter eggs, a 100 year old sash, a part of the traditional Serbian folk dress from northern Serbia from our Gordana Djuranovic, a bottle of red wine from our monastics in Hercegovina, along with various other smaller items.

We are grateful for all the things that were gathered for the auction, as well as purchased, so that we might have the means to pay off our mortgage.

Our priest, Fr. Dragan Zaric, addressing our parishioners as well as the guests who attended this event and thereby supporting our community, thanked in his own name and in the name of the parish all of those who donate and continue to contribute to this community with all of their strength, working for it's progress as well as the preservation of Orthodoxy.    

In the end, what else to say, it was very nice. We parted with laughter and sincere farewells, with the hope that next year we will come together as well. Even though the current economy is not quite favorable, we continue to have great plans for the development of our our parish here and, with God's help, those plans will be realized.

Dejan Dimitrijevic

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[Archived News] Monday October 13, 2008


Hermitage, PA - The repairs on the dome and the roof of the St. George Serbian Church in Hermitage, Pa which began last fall and continued this spring, came to an end today as the cross was placed on top of the dome. During the course of work the wooden cross on top of the dome was discovered to be heavily rotted and needed replacing. Work on the church included fixing the main dome of the church, replacing the shingles and cross which was once again placed on the church.

There are still plans to paint the interior of the church later this fall.

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[Archived News] Thursday October 2, 2008


Columbus, OH - On September 28, 2008, Deacon Aleksa Pavichevich was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace Bishop Dr Mitrofan of Eastern-American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church.  His Grace concelebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with Protopresbyters Mateja Matejic and Dragoljub Pavichevich, St Vladimir's Seminary Chancellor Archpriest Chad Hadfield, and St Stevan's Parish Priest Father Isak Kisin.

Father Aleksa and his wife Emily have been active members in the life of Columbus' Serbian Orthodox Parish St Stevan of Dechani.  Together they worked on developing the parish website, organizing fund raising activities, planning church events and serving in other capacities including committees, groups and at divine services.

In September of 2005, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Dr Mitrofan and the encouragement of Fr Isak Kisin and Fr Dragoljub Pavichevich, Father Aleksa departed for Crestwood, New York to attend St Vladimir's Seminary. During that time Papadija Emily worked as a special education teacher in the Bronx and studied choir conducting at St Vladimir's. Father Aleksa worked in technical support at the seminary while completing his degree. Father Aleksa and Emily celebrated the birth of their first child, Sophia, during their final year at St Vladimir's. During that final year Father Aleksa also took on the additional responsibilities as a Resident Advisor on campus and as Deacon at St Sava's Cathedral in New York City.

The St Stevan's community wish all of the Lord's blessings on Father Aleksa as he begins his priestly ministry.


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[Archived News] Saturday September 20, 2008


Portland, Maine- On Sunday, September 14, 2008 the Portland parish celebrated their Church Slava, the Synaxis of the Serbian Saints. The celebration begun on Saturday with Vespers. His Grace Bishop Mitrophan was in attendance. Their church had recently been painted.

On the following day the celebration was continued with the Divine Liturgy, officiated by Bishop Mitrohan, who was assisted by V. Rev. Aleksandar Vlajkovic from the Boston parish, and the local clergy V. Rev. Ivan Marjanovic. The Boston choir, joined by a few parishioners from the Portland parish, sang the responses at the Divine Liturgy. Bishop Mitrofan delivered the homily in which he spoke of the the Serbian Saints, their lives and how they should be a model for all Christians and their life journey, keeping in mind that each Christian should first be a good person in heart.

The blessing of the Slava Kolach followed the liturgy with Slava host and kum Milorad Jovicic with his family who passed the Kolach on to Dragan Mojsilovic, who will be the serve as kum for next year. Besides the parishioners from Portland parish, V.Rev. Vasilis, of the Greek Church joined them as well as many from the Boston parish.

There was much singing, dancing and enjoyment until the late afternoon. The food was enjoyed by all, which was prepared by this year's kumovi, with help from the local Circle of Serbian Sisters. There were many reasons for the celebration including the new painting of the church and the new painted Iconostas.

The bishop left this northernmost parish of his diocese, in the evening hours. Parishioners were very thankful for being able to receive a blessing from the bishop, for the beautiful Slava celebration and returned to their homes waiting for the next Slava of St. Demetrius in two months.

V. Rev. Ivan Marjanovic 

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[Archived News] Friday September 19, 2008


Congratulations to members of the SSS Njegos Choir of Cleveland, Ohio. Due to financial restraints, a select number of talented Njegos singers were able to compete in the 22nd  International Choral Festival Competition of the Balkans held in Nis, Serbia. The invitation from the choral committee came to Cleveland via talented music director, Mr. Milan Damljanovic. The Njegos choir competed in the sacred music portion of the program. The strenuous competition was held over a 5 day period, July 5th – 9th . Over 35 choirs competed from diverse countries including, Sweden, Hungary, Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, and of course, the U.S. choir Njegos!

Accomplished, gifted choirs represented many countries in both sacred and secular programs.  The artistic composition of the songs were carefully selected as Damljanovic had previous years been a juror for this competition. The Njegos choir was honored to have 2 members of the Stevan Hristc Choir of Phoenix sing together with them. They are considered their extended choir family. Both Lazo Mihajlovic and Gordana Stojanovic were a critical addition to the chior.

The competition opened with the parade of choirs. The leader of the parade was a local gajda musician in a Serbian costume. Over 35 choirs carrying flags and signs to identify their choir and country of origin. The parade began at Hotel Ambasador and proceeded across the  Nisaa River to the fortress. National costumes were worn by each individual choir, including a stars and stripes hat worn by our very own Maksim Damljanovic!

The opening ceremony had several special guests including Bishop +Irinej of Nis and Mayor of the city, Mr. Smiljka Kostica. The jury was then announced including reknown musicologists including; Prof. Kulikov of Russia, Prof. Muratovski of  Macedonia, Prof. Blume of Germany, and Prof. Scheck of Belgium. The opening performance included the premiere of the “Volcano Symphony” which  was performed by the university choir and orchestra with conductor Ms. Suzana Kostic.

Competition events included the promotion of the “Anthology of Serbian Art Song” written by Ana Stefanovic. The ACAA – Academic Folk Dancing and Singing Ensemble Oro also performed. Oro, founded in 1959, is the oldest students’ ensemble of the University of Nis.  The group has performed in many countries including Brazil, Norway and the United States. The sacred competition was opened by Hor Branko of Nis. Many of you may have heard them on their tours in the U.S.

The competition was televized live throughout Serbia. Viewers enjoyed the wonderful performances of so many talented choirs from many countries. There was also a daily press conference from noon until 1pm which was attended by invited guests including newspaper and television media from over a dozen countries. Milan Damljanovic was the speaker at  the July 8th press conference and was a member of the discussion panel throughout the week. Some of the focus at the press conferences included discussion of the future formats of the competition – folk versus sacred music, accrediting composers properly, artistic direction, etc.  

As if the competition wasn’t enough, the Njegos choir was asked by the festival committee to perform in Niska Banja. Of course the members immediately left to have an evening of singing in a casual atmosphere. Members were able to breathe!! Anyone that knows Damljanovic also knows that breathing is not an option in singing under his direction!

The choir was also invited to attend a farewell luncheon prepared by the members of Hor Branko to thank the Njegos choir for being such generous hosts during their visit to the U.S. Following the competition, Njegos members joined one of the Bulgarian choirs to do some sight seeing! The Bulgarian choir sang patriot songs on the bus and in turn, Njegos singers sang a few of our own Serbian patriot songs. What fun it was! An appreciation of other nations and ethnic music of various cultures was truly gained. Members of other choirs were so thrilled to meet Serbian Americans and many invitations were exchanged! It was a gift to meet so many talented singers from so many countries, truly a blessing.

The closing ceremony was beautiful, again the choirs came to the old fortress for the finale where everyone sang a few rounds of  Viva La Musica! The Njegos choir was praised for keeping the tradition of song alive in the Diaspora. Such artistic selections were a pleasant surprise to the jury. Thousands of viewers in over a dozen countries were privledged to watch the competition and read about it. The members of the Njegos choir were humbled to have the opportunity to compete in such a prestigious event. The many hours of rigorous rehearsals now seemed worthwhile. Many new friendships were made and the importance of music as our culture was evident through everyone’s efforts. This is a group which is  truly working to keep our heritage alive through SONG.

By Mimi Dae

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[Archived News] Monday September 8, 2008


Mars, PA - A total of fourteen priests and three deacons were in attendance for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Mother Ana and Sister Anastasia were present from Monastery Marcha. An additional priest was among those present for the Vigil served by His Grace on the eve of the Slava.

All four Deaneries of the Diocese were represented. Attendees
came from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, North Carolina and Washington D.C.

In his homily, His Grace emphasized the strong connection
between the St.Nikodim Chapel and the monasteries and churches of the Serbian Orthodox Church throughout the world and throughout the centuries.

His Grace spoke of the centuries old Serbian Orthodox tradition
of building and beautifying monasteries and churches for the glory of God and the advancement of the Gospel.. He referred to the beauty of the frescoes adorning the St. Nikodim Chapel and expressed gratitude for the iconographic work and for the donors.

His Grace's homily referred to the holiness that can be felt
upon entering an Orthodox church and this is an experience certainly relevant to entering the St. Nikodim Chapel.

A goodly number of children were in attendance for the Slava
celebration and provided additional joy in the turning of the blessed

A Litany for the Departed was included in the Divine Liturgy
with prayers offered  for departed hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Diocese.

At the Slava dinner that followed the Divine Liturgy, His Grace
made special point of thanking the Federation of the Kolo Srpski Sestara for not only providing for the luncheon but also for being helpful at Shadeland Camp, particularly for the Diocesan Day celebration.

The support and presence of all who came to the Slava celebration was acknowledged and each person's presence was gratefully

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[Archived News] Monday August 18, 2008


Carmichaels, Pa - Beginning in August 1999 at the time of the commemoration of St. Panteleimon, thanksgiving services were begun at the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania. The services focused on expressing appreciation to those employed in emergency medical services.

Gradually the remembrance evolved into the establishment of a Parish Nurse's Office with the Archpastoral Blessing of His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN and later into a yearly Healthcare Day program.

In recent years, St.Panteleimon(August 9) has been taken as the Slava for the Parish Nurse's Office with the Divine Liturgy being celebrated. In addition to Healtcare Day, a second day seminar was added. Each year local ambulance services have been invited to have their ambulances blessed.

Vespers and Matins were held for St. Panteleimon this year. Healthcare Day was celebrated on Sunday August 10. Living and departed members of the parish employed in healthcare services were remembered. The Kolach and Koljivo were blessed. The St. George Choir sang responses under
the direction of Sonia Janson.

Fayette Emergency Medical Services Director Rick Adabato provided an ambulance as he has every year since 1999. Mr. Adabato's consistent support and the work of his agency are greatly appreciated.

Fayette Emergency medical personnel Jim Hammaker and Joe Podlagar brought the ambulance to the St. George Church for the blessing and joined the parishioners for the luncheon.

Emergency medical personnel Hammaker and Podlagar were recognized for the work they do individually, for the work of Fayette Emergency Medical Services and all those employed in healthcare do throughout the year.

The program on August 10 in the church hall included greetings from Executive Board members; President Stan Brozik, and Executive Board Vice-President Mildred Bezjak, Parish Nurse Practitioner Millicent Mitzie Hunchuck served as Master of Ceremonies.

As in previous years, summaries of the the lives of St.Panteleimon, Sts. Cosmas and Damam( three different commemorations) and St.Luke were read. Mitzie Hunchuck, Mildred Bezjak, Josephine Vuich, Christina Sivak and Linda Porter, all healthcare workers by profession, did the readings.

Father Dimitre Dimitrov from nearby Nativity of the Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Masontown came again this year to be a part of the program.

On Monday, August 11, the Second Annual Healthcare Seminar was held. The focus was "Organ Transplants: A Serious Discussion." The first two sets of speakers spoke from personal experience.

Social worker Holly Torbic described the immediate and continuing impact as a result of her father, Dave Donald, receiving a lung transplant. Mr. Donald, a retired administrator in the labs at Pittsburgh's Oakland Veterans' Hospital and McGee Hospital in Pittsburgh, spoke about his medical condition and the way the lung transplant affected his life.

Nurse Cathy Stupar and Certified Fraud Examiner Mark Stupar described their experience associated with the liver transplant Mark's brother +Michael received. Mark and +Michael are the sons of + Father Mile and +Popadija Elizabeth Stupar.

The power of faith and prayer in both transplant families was fundamental to the discussion. Both families were very open and candid in addressing the many different questions asked.

Attorney Katica Trajkovski Ribel from Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Mission parish in Fairmont, West Virginia completed the morning schedule of speakers. Attorney Ribel spoke from her research and experience about legal considerations and transplants.

St. George Executive Board President Stan Brozik and Kolo and Choir President and Parish Treasurer Sonia Janson welcomed and addressed the seminar attendees at the luncheon. The Kolo was recognized and thanked for providing the meals for the seminar.

Executive Board Vice-President Mildred Bezjak, a pharmacist by profession, was among the participants in the seminar.

Parish Nurse Practitioner Mitzie Hunchuck addressed the seminar participants in the afternoon. She raised questions and commented on emotional issues related to transplants based upon her extensive nursing experiences. Practitioner Hunchuck is available to the parish throughout the year for consultation on healthcare concerns.

A paper by Father Rodney Torbic entitled "Organ Transplants: A Serious Discussion" was distributed and read during the closing part of the seminar. The well attended seminar touched on deep matters of faith and raised many questions of interest.

The seminar began with Matins and concluded with Vespers. Participants in attendance came from Serbian Orthodox parishes in Pennsylvania:  Aliquippa, Pittsburgh, Clairton, Monroeville, Johnstown and Youngwood as well as Fairmont, West Virginia. Orthodox Church in America parishes from Monessen and Masontown, Pennsylvania were also represented.

Certificates were issued to all participants.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Wednesday August 13, 2008


Steelton, PA - The annual Vacation Church School was convened on August 5-7 with 29 children, aged 3-12, in attendance. Our children are such a precious blessing and they were so attentive to this year’s theme, “Love Your Neighbour” which was tied to Church School activities of raising money to help the St. Innocent Orphanage in Mexico (Project Mexico) . Thanks to God, our program was a success once again. Fr. Srboljub opened each session with a worship service in the church, the students responded to the litany with Lord Have Mercy, Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal & Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit etc. in Spanish. Then the teachers led the students to the church school area for lessons. Students viewed a DVD regarding Project Mexico and were able to see the work that their stewardship was accomplishing. Each student group also rotated to music, crafts, and outdoor recreational activities. The sessions concluded with prayers and refreshments.

The teachers were Maria Bowers, Arlene Barber, Andrea Gunther, Paula Werner and Jevgenija Radanovic. Additional classroom support was provided by Emily Fithian, and Jody Criswell. Michelle Kingsbury, Nikki Lewis, Angie Vorkapich, Jennie James, and Jody Criswell oversaw the children in their crafts activities. Nina Radanovic directed the children in their music activities. Nicholas Govelovich, Mitch Matovich, Lenny Tepsich, and Pete Barber were “coaches” for the outdoor exercises.

Special thanks to Mitch for bringing the go-kart which was a huge hit. We were delighted and thankful to have Lenny double as “Mr. Music” for a special performance on Tuesday evening. Patty Hernjak, Andrea Gunther, Mitch Matovich, Bojan and Sladjana Gligorevich, Milimirka Lojpur, Mickey Mazus, Rita Vorkapich, Tatiana Reznitchenko, Olga Klipa prepared the snacks. Mitch Matovich and Jody Criswell took pictures of the various events.Students participated in an obstacle course, Pinata braking, grafts including designing & making T-shirt, bookmarks, and picture frames.

The students also learned new music relating to Orthodox traditions within our country and Mexico. Finally, we are most appreciative for the support of the parents and congregation as a whole. Our VCS program has been growing each year and, by God’s grace, we will continue to offer our youngest stewards a meaningful and rewarding experience as they grow with us in our Orthodox Christian faith.

Thank You very much,
Fr. Srboljub Jockovich & Church School Staff

(Proverbs 16:32 KJV) He [that is] slow to anger [is] better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

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[Archived News] Friday August 8, 2008


South America - Abbot Gerasim of St Herman of Alaska´s Monastery in Platina, California (Brotherhood of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America), visited the Serbian Orthodox Mission in Brazil with the blessings of Bishop Mitrophan (Diocese of Eastern America) and Bishop Maxim (Diocese of Western America).

He arrived on July 25th and was welcomed by Archpriest Alexis and Archpriest Rafael and Ighuman Pedro. From July 14th till 27th he celebrated Vespers and the Divine Liturgy at the Most Holy Trinity Parish in Aldeia which were celebrated by him and the priests: Fr. Alexis, Fr. Rafael, Ig. Pedro and Fr. Elias.

On August 1st / July 19th, he visited the St. John Chrysostom's Mission in Caruaru - the second most important city of the State of Pernambuco - where he was welcomed by the lay responsible for the Mission, Mr. Jairo Carlos. He also celebrated Vespers and delivered a lecture on the Orthodox Faith to a group of catechumens and those interested on the Orthodox Church. On Saturday, August  2nd / July 20th, he celebrated the Divine Liturgy in commemoration of the Feast of the Holy Prophet Elijah and in the afternoon the office of Vespers.an - Brazil under the blessing of Bishop Mitrophan -  Diocese of West America

On all his stay in Brazil, besides the local clergy, he attended a lot of the faithful and made contacts with individuals interested on the Church from the States of Alagoas, Minas Gerais and São Paulo.

On Sunday, August 3rd / July 21st, he celebrated at the Parish of Dormition of the Mother of God in Recife with the parish rector, Archpriest Alexis, and the Ighuman Pedro, who is monk of St. Herman´s Brotherhood and seminarian of St. Tikhon's Seminary, Pennsylvania, USA).

Last Sunday he left for Brasilia where he was waited for by a group of the Orthodox faithful to whom he had offered spiritual assistance.

We glorify God for the fruitful and blessed visit of Abbot Gerasim to Brazil, for his support and comfort that he gives to this Orthodox Mission, which had been so desirous of his pastoral visits. Glory to God for everything! 

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[Archived News] Monday August 4, 2008


Shadeland, PA -
With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America the 2008 Diocesan Day celebration was held on Sunday August 3, 2008. Special guest and con-celebrant at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning was His Grace Bishop Longin of the New Gracanica Diocese, assisted by nineteen diocesan clergy and five deacons. Four clergy were also in attendance and not serving, including Rev. Zivojin Jakovljevic, the director of the camp who led the children's choir during the liturgy. Mother Ana and Sister Anastasija from Monastery Marcha also attended the diocesan event.

Bishop Mitrophan delivered the homily following the Divine Liturgy addressing the children in particular as Shadeland continues to have a very exciting part in the hearts of children. Using a spiritually edifying story the bishop pointed out to the children, as well as to all the faithful in attendance that morning, the need for every Christian to protect not only their physical bodies but more importantly their souls from corruption and eternal punishment.

The traditional Program put on by the campers was held that afternoon in the newly built pavilion. Bishop Mitrophan, in his remarks at the beginning of the program, pointed out the work that was done in Shadeland this year which included the church, the new pavilion as well as the house still under construction to be used next year for the mothers who help in the kitchen during the season.

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[Archived News] Thursday July 31, 2008


Akron, Ohio - St. Archangel Michael's 2008 Serbian Festival July 26-27, was a huge success!  Delicious foods and pastries, krofne, almost 4000 grilled cevape, hot spit-roasted lamb (17) and pork (8), music by "Noca Smena" from Indiana, Soccer and Balote/Bocce Ball Tournament, entertainment from our wonderful folklore group and Serbian fellowship all made Pickle Road the place to be!  Fr. Deacon Dragoslav Kosic joined host parish priest Protonamesnik Dragomir Tuba and Protojerej Zvonko Kotorcevic for Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning at 10:00am.   
Along with our host team Gavrilo Princip Sports Society, the following soccer clubs came from near and far to participate in the two day-tournament:  Beograd (Cleveland), German Central (Cleveland), GFS (Akron), Karadjordje (Cleveland), New Era (Akron), Nikola Tesla (Pittsburgh), and Schererville.  Karadjordje Soccer Club from St. Sava Church on Wallings Road in Cleveland, won the soccer tournament and Express from St. Sava Cathedral on Broadview won the Balote Tournament!  Congratulations to them all! 

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[Archived News] Tuesday July 29, 2008


Richfield, OH - His Grace Bishop Mitrophan officiated at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Saturday July 26, 2008, the feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Gabriel, the monastery Slava of Monastery Marcha in Richfield, Ohio. His Grace was assisted V. Rev. Stavrophor Stevan Stepanov, Archpriest Peter Selenoi, V. Rev. Rodney Torbic, Rev. Zivojin Jakovljevic and Rev. Milorad Orlic. Deacons Milan Medakovic and Dragoslav Kosic also served. V. Rev. Stavrophor Dragan Filipovic and Rev. Milovan Katanic were also in attendance.

Mr. and Mrs. Alex Macheskee served as kumovi for this year's Slava celebration.

At the end of the service, after the Cutting of the Slava Kolach, His Grace delivered the homily in which he, with great archpastoral care and love, spoke about how no matter how abandoned and lonely we might feel God never leaves us and neither does our Holy Guardian Angel. In fact, our Guardian Angel only leaves us when we cease to follow God's commandments and become slaves of sin. And even in this case the Angel leaves us with great mourning and sadness, always awaiting our reptenance and return.

A Slava banquet was held afterwards.

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[Archived News] Tuesday July 22, 2008


Shadeland, PA - V. Rev. Rodney Torbic, V. Rev. Djokan Majstorovic and Protonamesnik Fr. Rajko Kosic were on hand for the first week of St. Sava Camp from Sunday afternoon July 13 to Saturday morning July 19, 2008. Religous classes and arts and crafts was held in the mornings and fun activities in the afternoon and evenings. Some activities included: the inaugural bonfire, olympic games competition, a basketball tournament, fishing, swimming, boat riding, slip-n-slide, baseball, hiking, hayride and bowling.

His Grace Bishop Mitrophan, as he makes an effort of doing every year, visited the campers, giving the children the opportunity in a special session of questions and answers to answer any questions the children might have.

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[Archived News] Friday July 18, 2008


By Rachel Conway, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Not long ago, someone referred to Milana Bizic, of Moon, as a Serbian warrior.

The outgoing and ever jovial retired Edgeworth Elementary School librarian laughed because she actually liked the moniker.
"When they called me a Serbian warrior, I thought that was an accomplishment," she said.

Ms. Bizic, who is known as Mim, has spent a lifetime celebrating her Serbian heritage and this weekend, those who share that heritage will celebrate Ms. Bizic, 66, as she is named the Serb National Federation Person of the Year during an annual gathering in Pittsburgh.

The federation, based in Pittsburgh, was started more than 100 years ago to help steel-working Serbian immigrants buy insurance.

It supports the building of churches here and in Serbia and provides Serbian Americans the opportunity to gather and share their heritage, Ms. Bizic said.

"I don't feel it's just my award," Ms. Bizic said. "It's a reflection of all the people who came before me and all the people who are going to come after me."

Both sets of Ms. Bizic's grandparents came to the United States from Serbia and she was raised by Serbian parents on the South Side of Pittsburgh.

Her father, Milan Karlo, was editor of the American Serbian newspaper Srbobran for years and also wrote a book, "Early Days: Serbian Pioneers in America."

"Our parents taught us we were American first, last and always, but we should always remember our Serbian heritage," Ms. Bizic said.

And she has. Ms. Bizic, whose great uncle was a founding member of the federation, has been a lifelong member.
She was instrumental in preparing the historical photo display for the federation's 100th anniversary celebration in 2001, is a contributing writer for Srbobran and has started her own Web site, www.babamim.com, dedicated to all things Serbian.

When she retired from the Quaker Valley School District in 2004, Ms. Bizic dedicated a small percentage of any remaining retirement funds to the Serb National Federation in the event of her death and also has taken out a small life insurance policy naming the federation as beneficiary.

In a tribute written in 2006, the late Larry Maravich, a former Aliquippa School District superintendent, called Ms. Bizic, " . . the irrepressible, unflinching and dedicated High Priestess of Serbian Orthodoxy; Matriarch of Serbian Ethnicity and Duchess of Serbian Culture in all its dimensions. . . ."

That she will receive her award Sunday, 46 years to the day she met her late husband, Gus, makes the honor even more special, Ms. Bizic said.

Ms. Bizic's son, Nick, and his wife, Dana and their daughter, 18-month-old Jocelyn, came in from Houston for the presentation.
Ms. Bizic said she wants to leave her granddaughter with a rich legacy of what it means to be of Serbian descent.

"What she'll get is built-in love and protection. No matter where she goes in the world, if she meets another Serbian, she will be instantly embraced."

Ms. Bizic said she's deeply touched by the federation's Person of the Year award and that people see her as a Serbian warrior, ambassador and matriarch of Serbian ethnicity.

Nothing, however, beats her favorite title.

"Baba," she said, which means "grandmother" in Serbian.

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[Archived News] Friday July 11, 2008


Shadeland, Pa - The 2008 St. Sava Camp season will begin in a few days, on Sunday, July 13, 2008 as campers will slowly arrive that afternoon to register for the first week of camp. An orientation was held on Thursday, July 10 for counselors. His Grace Bishop Mitrophan was present together with area clergy.

Besides work being done on the church, which includes a new roof, a residence for women helpers are currently under construction. 

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[Archived News] Thursday July 10, 2008

St. Elijah 31st Annual Summer Day Camp

Aliquippa, PA - In the spring, we begin the process of planning our summer day camp by choosing a theme.  For 2008, we got our inspiration from His Holiness Patriarch Pavle, who exhorts us in his Easter message to “…let scholars with their scientific work defend Kosovo…;let every parent have Kosovo be a first word to whisper to a newborn’s ears…;let every worker dedicate his first hour of work to Kosovo…’let every pastor offer his first prayer to God for Kosovo…Following this lead, we decided to dedicate our Thirty-first Annual Summer Day Camp to Kosovo je Srbija!

Under the spiritual guidance of Fr. Stevan Stepanov, we planned a full week of religious and historic education along with fellowship, fun, and food.   

Each day began with morning prayers, followed by a history lesson on an era of Kosovo’s history:

Monday: Land of faith and tradition: Why Kosovo is important to us

Tuesday: 1389 ~ The Battle of Kosovo

Wednesday: Turkish Occupation, Independent Serbia, and Yugoslavia

Thursday: Yugoslavia breaks up, NATO bombs, the UN takes over

Friday: The Battle of Kosovo movie

In order to enhance each lesson, special activities were planned.  The older campers rehearsed and performed a play The Battle of Kosovo (thanks to St. Luke in Washington, D.C. for providing the script and costumes).  Mim Bizic shared her personal experiences in Kosovo and presented each camper with several gifts that helped to truly demonstrate the spirit of Kosovo.  And of course, the camp t-shirts had the Maiden of Kosovo on them.  We even incorporated the Kosovo theme into our “Serbian Survivor” game.  Our teams were named for famous Serbian Orthodox monasteries or churches in Kosovo, each with a flag designed and made by the team to show a little of that church’s history and importance.  The knowledge challenge questions were all about Kosovo, as we attempted to tie the daily lessons into a practical use – winning a prize!  

We were truly impressed with how well all of our campers embraced the theme and listened and learned.  Just ask any St. Elijah camper about the Yugovici brothers!

The campers also toured Old Economy Village, played at Lakewood Park, swam and sunned at Lake Tomahawk, and saw a movie – along with lots of running around, laughing, and eating good food prepared by our kitchen babas.  

This June, we have an average of 35 kids each day – from ages 4 through 19.  It is encouraging and heartwarming to see our teenagers willingly spending a week with our younger campers, and taking responsibility to insure they are having a safe and happy time.  And as a bonus, we were joined by a few campers from our neighbors at St. George in Midland.  

Our 31st Annual Day Camp is truly a church-wide effort.  Many of our parishioners donate money, supplies and time.  All of the church organizations support us.  Parents, grandparents, kumovi, aunts, uncles, and friends take days off of work to spend the day with our campers.  

By far, this is one of the best traditions in our church and we are thrilled that another generation of campers enjoys and appreciates the camp.  Two stories help to demonstrate this.  On the first day, Fr. Stevan talked about how Kosovo is the foundation of our spiritual and cultural lives.  He mentioned that our forebearers had brought this with them when they came to America on a boat; one boy later asked his mother is she had come here on a boat.  When she replied no, but that his great grandparents had, it provided for a real opportunity to talk about that family’s personal history.  On a lighter note, another mother laughed about how her son awaked her one morning at 5:00 asking if it were time to go to camp!

Special thanks to camp director Georgette Osman and Sunday School co-ordinator Brian Hayden, along with daily counselors Lynn Popovich, Linda Mistovich, Joann Ludovico, and Juliann Taylor.  We also appreciate the assistance of Bob Baron, Kathy Loverich, Men’s Club, KCC, Mother’s Club, the Aliquippa American Serbian Club as well as so many others who helped to make this year’s camp a great success.

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[Archived News] Thursday June 19, 2008


New York City, NY - The Serbian Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of North and South America convened for the Annual Assembly at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City on Monday evening June 9 and Tuesday, June 10, 2008.

Brotherhood President and Dean of St Sava Cathedral, Protopresbyter Djokan Majstorovic welcomed the brothers-in-Christ in attendance. The priests and deacons came from far corners of the United States and included clergy with experience in South America.

Clergy were in attendance from the states of California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts and Maine. The following clergy were in attendance in addition to President Prota Majstorovic:

The clergy in attendance were from the Dioceses of the Midwest Metropolitanate, Eastern America, Western America and New Gracanica.

Abbott Gerasim, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Predrag Micic, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rastko Trbuhovich, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Toma Stojsich, Protopresbyter Dr. Rodney Torbic, Protopresbyter Aleksandar Vlajkovic, Protopresbyter Ivan Marjanovic, Protonamesnik Zivojin Jakoljevic, Father Ljubisa Brnjos, Father Dragan Zaric, Father Zoran Radovic, Father Srdjan Veselinovich, Father Vladislav, Father Norman Kosanovich, Father Michael Boyle, Father Deacon Damjan Bozic, and Father Deacon Alex Pavichevich.

The business portion of the Brotherhood Assembly was held on Monday evening. Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rastko was elected to preside at the Assembly. Father Srdjan Veselinovich was elected to be Secretary for the Assembly.

President Prota Masjtorovic reported on the work of the Brotherhood during past year. His report included emphasis on efforts made to involve all the clergy in the work of the Brotherhood as stewards and as brothers.

Prota Majstorovic spoke of the Brotherhood's concern for clergy widows, for clergy experiencing difficulty getting the proper United States government approvals necessary to work in the parish and to care for their families. He spoke of the Brotherhood's concern shown to families of clergy departed this life. Requests from clergy seeking financial aid for studies also received attention as did attention shown clergy at the time of ordination and retirement.

Father Deacon Damjan Bozic presented the financial report and calendar report. Deacon Damjan, Protopresbyter Djuro Krosnjar and Father Darko Spasojevic are Editors for the calendar. Comments regarding the 2008 were all very favorable and the Editors commended for their work. Deacon Damjan reviewed the various steps necessary to prepare the calendar for preparation each year.

The Audit report submitted indicated the Brotherhood financial records were in proper order.

The Pension Plan report prepared by Protopresbyter Stavrofor Dragjoljub Malich was distributed. Prota Malich was recognized for the hard work he puts into Brotherhood pension interests.

Father Vladislav Radujkovic, the new second priest at St.Sava's Cathedral in New York was introduced as was Father Deacon Alex Pavichevich, a recent graduate of St.Vladimir's Seminary who will be going to Serbia for additional studies this summer.

Prota Aleksandar Vlajkovich was chosen to chair a committee to produce informational pamphlets of practical value for parish use. The pamphlets will be made readily available to Brotherhood clergy to assist in keeping parishioners and prospective parishioners informed of necessary information steps leading to Orthodox growth.

At the request of Protopresbyter Alexandar Bugarin of Kansas City, the Brotherhood decided to include historical accounts about clergy serving the Serbian Orthodox Church in the geographic areas served by the Brotherhood.

The usefulness of Clergy Messenger, the newsletter of the Brotherhood was recognized. The Clergy Messenger has been prepared and distributed through the efforts of Father Milovan Katanic, Father Mile Subotic and Father Dragoljub Popovich. Father Djokan Majstorovic indicated he would be willing to assume responsibility for printing and distributing the Messenger as once done by Father Popovich as he is no longer available.

On Tuesday, the Brotherhood assembled for the Divine Liturgy and parastos for departed members of the Brotherhood. Abbot Gerasim served with six additional priests and two deacons. Brother priests sang the responses.

The new Chancellor at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Very Reverend Dr. Chad Hatfield was the designated speaker for the second day o f the Brotherhood's Assembly. His topic was "Revitalizing Our Priestly Ministry in A Post Christian Culture."

Protopresbyter Hatfield spoke about the new curriculum at St.Vladimir's Seminary and the challenges of educating clergy. Bioethical issues are of primary concern. Technology and temptations are major issues. Chancellor Hatfield spoke about the ministry of presence, of raising the Cross in times of difficulty, of remembering wholeness and quiet, of holiness of life and Christ the Good Shepherd.

Father Hatfield said beat-up wheat carries more protein than perfectly grown wheat. Difficult times can be times of greater nourishment for the soul. People want God in the priests.

The clergy in attendance applauded Chancellor Hatfield for his talk and made extensive comments in addition to asking questions.

In bringing the Assembly to a conclusion, the Brotherhood adopted a new budget and elected new officers for the forthcoming year.

Discussion centered on the application process for clergy seeking financial help to further their studies. Also, a portion of the discussion included concrete steps to be taken to deal with the difficulties clergy face in getting necessary United States government approvals. Members of the Executive Board and Audit Board serving during 2007-2008 were recognized and thanked for their contributions to the Brotherhood.

The Executive Board elected to serve for 2008-2009 includes President: Protopresbyter Djokan Majstorovic,; Vice President Father Dragan Zaric. Treasurer-Father Deacon Damjan Bozic; Secretary-Father Norman Kosanovich; Board Members: Abbot Gerasim, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rastko Trbuhovich; Protopresbyter Dr. Rodney Torbic, Father Srdjan Veselinovich, Father Ljubisa Brnjos, Father Darko Spasojevic. Audit Board-Protopresbyter Aleksandar Vlajkovic, Father Dragan Petrovich, Father Michael Boyle; Father Deacon Aleksa Pavichevich was asked to assist with the Clergy Brotherhood website.

Brotherhood members in attendance were very well received at St. Sava Cathedral. Brotherhood President Prota Djokan Majstorvic took steps to ensure the Brotherhood experienced fine hospitality in all aspects of the Assembly from overnight accommodations to providing for three meals and meeting facilities.

This was a very serious gathering of the Brotherhood intent on addressing issues facing priests at present and in the future.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Thursday June 19, 2008


Fairmont, WV - Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Mission Parish in Fairmont, West Virginia reached a new level of development with the Slava celebration on June 16, 2008. The Mission Chapel was full for this celebration with the honored presence of His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN.

The Mission was officially received into the Eastern American Diocese on Lazarus Saturday, April 15, 2000 when His Grace blessed the chapel and officiated at the first Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.

Services are held at the Mission twice per month, normally on Saturdays. The Slava is generally celebrated on Pentecost Monday with Vespers, Blessing of the Slava Kolach and Koljivo.

Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic, Diocesan Secretary, accompanied His Grace this year along with Djakonica Rosandra and daughters Anastasia and Theodora. Honored Kumovi for the Slava were Scott Tennant and Chrystal Ann Griffith.

Chrystal, now a grown teenager, frequently reads the Hours and Epistle when the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN remembered Chrystal was just a little girl when the chapel was originally blessed. Crystal distributed rose petals when His Grace arrived to begin the first Hierarchical Divine Liturgy more than eight years ago.

Scott Tennant is a regular altar server during the Divine Liturgies celebrated at the Holy Trinity Mission. Scott, Chrystal and young Michael Tennant who also was in attendance were the first three baptisms at the Mission. Mother Ann Tennant had reason to feel good at the Slava.

This year for the first time the Slava dinner was held indoors in the newly completed social area adjacent to the chapel. A number of individuals from St. George Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania were present to show their support.

St.George Choir Director Sonia Janson came to lead the responses at the Vesper service. St. George Executive Board President Stan Brozik was accompanied by his wife Karen. It was Karen's first visit to the Mission.

Milosh "Serb" Krewasky drove from Carmichaels with Josephine Gresko and was busy taking pictures throughout the service and dinner. Niko and Rose Illich and Maria Djonovich are regularly present at the Mission and always add to the joy of the Slava celebrations.

Last year's Kumovi Gojko and Anka Arbutina presented the traveling Slava icon to Scott Tennant and Chrystal Griffith to keep and honor until next year's Slava.

Sharren Paroda offered greetings in behalf of the Mission and thanked all in attendance for their gracious support. Sharren, her husband Dr. Charles Paroda and Mike Danko are the three remaining original adult members of the Mission.

New to the Slava celebration this year were Attorney Katica Trjkovski and college student Stevan Kosanovich. Katica moved to Fairmont from Detroit and Stephen is from Weirton, West Virginia. Local area residents Dennis Elliot and his wife Sandy also enjoyed the Slava as Dennis continues to pursue his interest in Orthodoxy.

Wayne Kirby, owner of Fairmont Graphics, the building in which the Mission is located, attended the dinner with his helper Roger. Wayne and Roger completed the extensive remodeling of the chapel last year and have brought the social area near to completion.

Mike Danko is always grateful for the services held at the Mission and was particularly inspired this year by the Slava celebration..

His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN spoke eloquently at the dinner about the Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles and empowering them to speak boldly about the Lord Jesus Christ.. His Grace's message about the unifying power of the Holy Spirit in our lives was of great interest to everyone present.

God has blessed the Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Mission Parish from the very beginning. Each Slava celebration is an expression of thanksgiving to God and to everyone having a part in the creation and continued existence of the Mission.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Monday June 16, 2008


Youngstown, Ohio – Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church celebrated its Krsna Slava beginning with the Divine Liturgy. His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan was assisted by parish priest V. Rev. S. Janko Rajlich, Father Deacon Milan Medakovich, and Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic. During the Pentecostal service, parishioners kneeled and weaved wreaths and made crosses from grass spread throughout the church as three prayers were read. The green grass symbolizes Spring and new life which represents the Apostles after being enlightened by the Holy Spirit. A procession was led around the church. The blessing of the Slavski Kolac and traditional banquet took place in the Holy Trinity Serbian Memorial Hall across the street from the church. Responses were sung by the Holy Trinity Choir under the direction of Mrs. Olga Tatalovich.

His Grace spoke of the significance of Pentecost and compared the Apostles before they received the Holy Spirit to a seed without soil, water, and other nourishment, unable to germinate and grow. After receiving the Holy Spirit they gained the strength, knowledge, and courage to spread the word of our Lord Jesus Christ - Christianity.

Serving as Kumovi were Mrs. Mary Shirilla and her son, Mr. George Shirilla. Mary was grateful and spoke of her love toward God, her church, family, and friends. Also honored during the banquet were graduating College and High School students. Charlie Tepsic, Brittany Danilov, John Lyras, and Derek Cosic were presented with a blessed Holy Bible (high school) or Icon of their Patron Saint (college) by Father John and Church board president Mr. George Mirich. High school graduates were also presented with gifts from the Parents Association by Church-School Superintendent Mrs. Lori Moncilovich and by the Circle of Serbian Sisters by First Vice President Christina Tepsick. Father John reminded the students to always remember their church as they either pursue a career or continue their education. Master of ceremonies was First Vice President Mr. Nick Mitovich. The Kolo Sestara prepared the delicious food for the banquet. Friends from the Midland and Hermitage parishes were also in attendance.

Mile Andjelkovich

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[Archived News] Friday June 13, 2008


Youngwood, PA - With much love and great joy, the church family of Holy Ascension Serbian Orthodox Church celebrated its 96th Krsna Slava on June 8, 2008. His Grace, Dr. Mitrophan, assisted by parish priest Rev. Miladin Blagojevic, celebrated the Divine Liturgy, he blessing of the slavski kolac and koljivo, and the Slava Litija. Many visiting family and friends participated in the celebration by singing with the choir and assisting with the banquet held after the services.

A delicious roast lamb buffet dinner was served by the hardworking ladies of the Kolo Sestara Vavedenije and their loyal helpers. Visiting clergy included V. Rev Dragoljub Malic, V. Rev. Dr. Rodney Torbic, and Rev. Dejan and Popadija Marija Obradovic. Executive Board President Angie Babich welcomed and thanked everyone in the packed social hall, and Mistress of Ceremonies Bernadette Barron introduced Kum Alex Morvosh. “It’s an easy job and a great pleasure to introduce a person as kind, giving, and respectful as Alex,” she said.

Known to many as “Alex of all trades” because he works at everything the Church undertakes, Alex especially serves as tutor and head chef at the Church fish fries. He also holds the record of having served as the youngest Executive Board President in Holy Ascension’s 96-year history. Alex thanked God for the gifts of his wife, Nancy, his mother, Emma, his three children, and his five grandchildren who were all in attendance.

His Grace, Bishop Dr. Mitrophan spoke about the Slava celebration in the greater context of our Orthodox Faith and Church history. “The people at the first Slava here celebrated three things: the Resurrection of Lord Jesus, the Ascension of Lord Jesus, and the Holy Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council. We do exactly the same today, and in fact, we celebrate these same three things at each and every Divine Liturgy,” he said. He also emphasized that the Holy Fathers did not change the world through politics or philosophy. Instead, they focused on changing the hearts, spirits, and souls of people through teaching, and then by fulfilling what they taught, and then by teaching what they fulfilled. His Grace concluded, “The Slava we celebrate today teaches us the meaning of our lives which is Jesus Christ and eternal life.”
Rev. Blagojevic commented on what a joyful moment in time it was for Holy Ascension’s founders when they celebrated the first Slava in 1912, and he honored all the priests who have faithfully served the parish since its inception. He discussed the meaning of “Samo sloga Serbina spasava” (in English, “Only unity will save the Serbs”) and the respect people must have for one another to achieve unity. “By supporting and attending church, we ensure the words of Jesus, ‘I am with you and no one will be against you.’ So keep the Faith and stay dedicated to our Church,” he said. To conclude the celebration, Rev. Blagojevic said, “To be a Kum is to be honored, so God bless you, Alex.” He then presented him with a beautiful golden icon of Christ.

Melony Musgrove 

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[Archived News] Wednesday June 4, 2008


Belgrade, Serbia -
Their Graces bishops: Mitrophan of Eastern America, Irinej of Australia and New Zealand and Atanasije of Hvosno officiated at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Sts. Constantine and Helen Serbian Orthodox Church in Vozdovac, Belgrade on the feastday and Church Slava, Tuesday June 3, 2008. They were assisted V. Rev. Stavrophor Velimiri Petakovic of San Deigo, V. Rev. Stavrophor Miodrag Peric from Sidney, Australia, Protonamesnik Miodrag Popovic and Protonamesnik Branko Topalovic and Fr. Predrag Prodic.

Bishop Mitrophan, in his homily, reminded the many faithful gathered for this spiritual celebration of the unavoidable place that these two holy saints, St. Constantine and his mother, St. Helen, have in Christian history and of their lives, filled with divine providence and wondrous events.  

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[Archived News] Wednesday, June 4 2008


The Class of 2008 celebrated their commencement Saturday, May 17 at St Vladimir’s Seminary. There were twenty-nine students graduating in five academic programs and for the first time, the ceremony included the awarding of hoods to the graduates. I am happy to announce that Fr. Dn. Aleksa Pavichevich graduated cum laude with a Master of Divinity degree (MDiv) on this very special day.

Since entering the seminary Fr. Aleksa has had a variety of community service experiences to include; hospital visits to the sick and dying, resident advisor for married students in assigned housing, web support and IT (information technology) for St. Vladimir's Seminary, and over the past year his church assignment has been to serve as Deacon at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Saint Sava's in New York under the direction of Father Djokan Majstorovic.

Fr. Aleksa, Emily and Sophia will be staying in Belgrade this summer, returning to New York in the fall where Emily will continue to teach special education in the Bronx.

It is by the grace of God, the blessing of His Grace Bishop Mitrophan, the guidance and encouragement of his uncle, Very Rev Father Dennis Pavichevich, love and support from family and friends at St. Stevan of Dechani that Fr. Aleksa was able to achieve this goal.

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[Archived News] Tuesday June 3, 2008


Carmichaels, PA - The St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania held the Annual Outdoor Religious Program and Picnic on Sunday, June 1, 2008. The day began with Midnight Office, Matins and First Hour. Reading of the Third and Sixth Hours preceded the Divine Liturgy.

Guest clergy at the Divine Liturgy were Reverend Father Zoran Milinkovic visiting from Novi Sad and Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic, Diocesan Secretary.The St. George Choir sang the responses under the direction of Sonia Janson.

Parish Executive Board President Stanko Brozik welcomed the attendees at the picnic grounds and expressed appreciation to the St.George Kolo and all helping with the picnic.

Mr. Paul Adams, a member of the St.George Serbian Orthodox Church in Midland, Pennsylvania, recently returned with his wife Carol from a pilgrimage visiting Serbian churches and monasteries.

Mr. Adams accompanied Father Milinkovic to St.George Church in Carmichaels and was the first speaker at the program. Mr. Adams described in vivid detail his journey to Dubrovnik where he visited the church of Father Slavko Zorica.. Mr. Adams also went to other religious sites including the Monastery of St.Basil of Ostrog. He was able to venerate the relics of St. Basil of Ostrog and also the relics of nearby St. Stanko.

Among the highlights of the Adams' trip was being able to visit the monastery where the hand of St. John the Baptist is kept.. Visiting the churches and monasteries and venerating the relics made a lasting impression on Mr. Adams and he communicated the impact in his remarks.

Mr. Adams is a retired iron worker and uses his woodworking skills in advancing the Orthodox Faith. He regularly mounts icons as gifts and in the past has applied his skills at St. Nikodim Chapel and Monastery Marcha.

Very Reverend Father Slavko Zorica and Father Milinkovic accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Adams on various parts of their pilgrimage.

The second speaker for the afternoon was Reverend Father Dimitre Dimitrov of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Masontown, Pennsylvania. Father Dimitrov spoke at length about Christian love and the different ways it is manifested in daily life.

Father Rodney Torbic was the third speaker and spoke on the theme of "Choosing Orthodoxy."

Following the program at the picnic grounds, an Akathist to the Mother of God was served at the large Cross in the St. George Cemetery.

The afternoon and evening featured music by orchestra Radost. Throughout the day, attendees enjoyed lamb prepared under the watchful direction of Milosh "Serb" Krewasky and other Serbian foods prepared by the St. George Kolo.

St. George Church is blessed to have a beautiful church and grounds which are very well suited for the Divine services and an atmosphere of peace and relaxation. Thanks to God, the participating guest clergy, dedicated parishioners and friends for this wonderful day.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Tuesday May 27, 2008


Their Graces: Bishop Vasilije of Zvornik-Tuzla, Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America, Bishop Longin of the New Gracanica Diocese of America and Canada and Vicar Bishop Antonije of Moravica served the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the Slava of St. Vasilije of Ostrog Monastery.

Bishop Mitrophan delivered the homily in which he stated that St. Vasilije is our spiritual beacon which shines before the Throne of the All Mighty Lord. His Grace, the bishop, then spoke of the greatest of all joys for mankind which we see in the Resurrection of Christ.

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[Archived News] Saturday May 24, 2008


Johnstown, Pa - The St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, Pennsylvania celebrated the parish Slava with Divine Liturgy on May 18, 2008 and continued the celebration with Procession around the Church –Litija and Blessing of the Koljivo and Kolach. Divine Liturgy was served by Father Dejan Obradovic and responses were sung by St. Nicholas Choir directed by Suzette Gardehour.

Following the Divine Liturgy, the parish family served a delicious meal in celebration of our Krsna Slava. Richard Uzelac, Executive Board President, welcomed the attendees at the dinner.  All organizations of the church took part in the preparation and serving of the meal. Our Kumovi for this great day were Mr. & Mrs. Charles and Olga Bulich. Both completed their duties very well. Honored on this day were the graduates of the parish.

Many good friends of the parish attended the dinner: Father Miladin Blagojevic from Holy Ascension Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngwood, PA and popadija Branka Blagojevic,V. Rev. Nicholas Smisko of the Carpatho Russian Orthodox Church who gave us wonderful speech at the hall, and V. Rev. Franck Miloro parish priest at Christ the Savior Carpatho Russian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, together with many other guests. As the short program came to a close, president Richard Uzelac and Father Dejan Obradovic invited everyone to stay and share the company and friendship of each other.

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[Archived News] Saturday May 17, 2008


Carmichaels, Pa - The St.George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania celebrated the parish Slava with Vespers on May 5, Midnight Office, Matins and Divine Liturgy on May 6 and continued the celebration on May 10 with Divine Liturgy, Procession, Blessing of the Kolach and Koljivo, dinner and program.

Guest clergy serving at the Divine Liturgy included Father Mladen Blagojevic from Holy Ascension Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngwood, Pennsylvania and Father Dimitre Dimtrov from Nativity of Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Masontown, Pennsylvania. Responses were by St. George Choir directed by Sonia Janson. Honored Kumovi were Philip and Christina Sivak. Father Blagojevic gave the sermon.

Stan Brozik, Executive Board President, welcomed the attendees at the dinner. Remarks were offered by Choir and Kolo President Sonia Janson, Executive Board Vice-President Mildred Bezjak, and Father Blagojevic and Father Dimitrov.  An icon of St.George was presented to Philip and Christiana Sivak and they were greatly honored to serve as Kumovi for this Slava.

Executive Board Financial Secretary Andrea Janson read the life of St. George at the dinner and Dr. Ivko Dimitric shared thoughts about the Slava in behalf of himself and his brother Dr. Radoslav Dimitric. Dr. Dimitric emphasized the need for prayers and assistance for the suffering Serbian
People in Kosovo.

During its formative period in the early 1950's, the St. George Church in Carmichaels was first served by the Serbian Orthodox priest at Holy Ascension Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngwood and the close relationship between the two parishes continues. The Nativity of Virgin Mary Orthodox Church in Masontown is the closest neighboring Orthodox parish to St. George Church.

St. George the Great Martyr has blessed and protected the parish for more than half a century and continues to be a intercessor before our Lord Jesus Christ. The Slava celebration was an opportunity to express the joy of the Resurrection, the joy of the existence of the St. George Church and appreciation to God for the manifold blessings each day for more than half a century in this parish.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Monday May 5, 2008


Hermitage, Pa – The St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Hermitage, Pa celebrated their Church Slava on Sunday May 4, 2008. His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America officiated at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, assisted by parish priest Protonamesnik Rev. Milovan Katanic and Diocesan Secretary Deacon Dragoslav Kosic.

In his words to the faithful Bishop Mitrophan told of how St. Seraphim of Sarov used to greet everyone with the words “Christ is risen, my joy”. Very often, the bishop pointed out, we only coldly greet each other with the Paschal greeting or the Nativity greeting, words we hear over and over in our churches. Yet, the beauty of our faith is in our greeting one another with our entire beings, in our joy of the feast. The bishop spoke in depth about the Apostle St. Thomas as this was Thomas Sunday. The doubt that the apostle Thomas had, the bishop mentioned, is not to be confused with anything atheistic. Rather, his doubt is his little faith which His Grace even compared to our doubts when we don't agree with a certain teaching our church holds, when we disagree with the words of the bishop, or the priest or even Holy Scripture.

Cross bearer, fans, banners, flags, the Slava kolach and icon led the bishop, priest and deacon out of the church for the Slava Litiya after the prayer before the ambon, while the cutting of the Slava kolach with this year's kum, Mr. Milos Miodrag, was officiated by His Grace in the church hall. Remarks were made at the slava banquet by the church board president, the kum, the parish priest and His Grace Bishop Mitrophan. Special guest speaker was D. Hunter Haynes of the Orthodox Christian Advocacy Institute who gave a moving presentation about the sufferings of Christians, particularly the Orthodox, throughout the world who are, as he pointed out, the most persecuted peoples in the world today. 

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[Archived News] Monday May 5, 2008


Columbus, OH - The most glorious and joyous day in the history of mankind – the day of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, was for the parishioners of St. Stephen of Dechani in Columbus even more joyous with the presence of a group of soldiers from Serbia who attended their church.

These soldiers are currently in Columbus, Ohio where they are taking part in the recently established program of cooperation between the Army of the Republic of Serbia and the Ohio National Guard, which is also the host of these Serbian soldiers.

At the constant insistance of these soldiers to their authorities at the army base, they expressed their desire to go to the local Serbian Church on the occasion of the great feast of Pascha. Due to their resposibilities at the army base they were unable to be present at the Divine Liturgy but arrived as most of the parishioners had already left. Those few parishioners that were still at the church when the soldiers arrived engaged in joyous conversation with the soldiers, the main topic and interst being Kosovo and the need to endure in the rightoues and God pleasing defense of the Serbian Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the necessity for us a people to remain loyal to the Kosovo covenant. Tears of joy were at times mixed with those of sadness because of the injustices which have been dealt to the much suffering Serbian poeple by the mighty of this world.

All of our hope is in the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ for just as our Lord endured the worst possible sufferings, insults and even death, on the third day He resurrected in His glory. Our hope is that the Serbian people, after countless pains and persecutions, will await the final establishing of God's justice on earth, in spite of all opposing efforts of the powers of this world.

Fr. Isak Kisin

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[Archived News] Friday May 2, 2008


New York City, NY - The Twenty- First Annual Washington Deanery Christian Education Meeting was held at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City on Bright Wednesday, April 30, 2008.

His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN designated Reverend Father Zoran Radovic of St.George Serbian Orthodox Church, Elizabeth, New Jersey to be the feastured speaker.

His Grace officiated at the Paschal Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with attending clergy serving and singing responses.

Following the Divine Liturgy, Cathedral Dean Protopresbyter Djkokan Majstorovic expressed his pleasure in having His Grace and Brothers in Christ present for the meeting.

Protopresbyer Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich gave welcoming remarks emphasizing Christian education in the Deanery.

Father Radovic's well-prepared presentation stimulated discussion particularly regarding contemporary issues facing parents and children. Challenges regarding use of the internet, television and reading practices drew considerable attention.

Parish reports reviewing Christian education in each parish were presented by attending clergy including clergy mentioned and Protopresbyter Stavrofor Toma Stojsich, Protopresbyter Aleksandar Vlajkovic, Protopresbyter Ivan Marjanovic, and Reverend Father Aleksa Micich. Protopresbyter
Stavrofor Pregrad Micich, Protopresbyter Dr.Rodney Torbic, Father Vladislav Radujkovic and Father Deacon Alex Pavichevich also participated in the meeting.

The Washington Deanery consists of the Pennsylvania parishes in Steelton, Lebanon and Philadelphia; the New Jersey parishes in Paterson and Elizabeth; the New York City parish and parishes in Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Maine and Washington D.C.

His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN schedules and actively participates in the Deanery meetings for the Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Washington and St. Petersburg Deaneries every year. His Grace's consistent scheduling of the meetings and His participation is the strongest evidence of the importance of Christian education in the Diocese.

Deanery meetings have been held annually since 1987 in the Eastern American Diocese. Clergy and teachers in each Deanery are always invited to attend and participate.

The meetings provide an opportunity to learn from the speaker and for participants to share and learn from each other.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Thursday May, 1, 2008


Orlando, FL - A beautiful and joyous Paschal liturgy was served on Bright Tuesday at the St. Petka Serbian Orthodox Church in Orlando, Florida. The parish priest Fr. Ljubisa Brnjos was joined by Fr. Milovan Katanic of St. George in Hermitage at the holy altar. Also attending was V. Rev. Lazar Kostur of St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana (Midwest Diocese). Prota Lazar joined the chanters. A brunch was prepared by Popadija for the guests who were joined by the parishioners for fellowship.

Afterwards Fr. Ljubisa gave the clergy and guests a tour of their small candle shop. This candle making technique Fr. Ljubisa brought with him from his native Diocese of Zahum and Hercegovina. The candles are made of 100% beeswax and come in a variety of sizes. For more information about the candles please contact Fr. Ljubisa 407-831-SERB.

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[Archived News] Thursday May 1, 2008


Greensboro, NC -  The Paschal celebration, led by parish priest Fr. Dragan Zaric, began on a raining early morning at 4am at the St. Basil Serbian Church in Greensboro. The rains stopped as the procession started with the congregation joyously singing the Resurrection hymns. Many parishioners the service together with Russian Orthodox.

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[Archived News] Thursday April 24, 2008


Pittsburgh, Pa - His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN officiated at the Holy Unction service on Great and Holy Wednesday at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Serving with His Grace were Protopresbyter Stevo Rocknage, Protopresbyter Dr.Rodney Torbic, Protopresbyter Vladimir Demshuk, host priest Protonamesnik Rajko Kosic, Father Dejan Obradovic and Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic. Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir sang the responses. Holy Trinity Kolo provided resfreshments afterwards. Faithful Serbian Orthodox Christians come from throughout the Greater Pittsburgh and Southwestern Pennsylvania area each year for Holy Unction on Great and Holy Wednesday.
Protopresbyter Vladimir Demshuk was the homilist. Proto Vladimir spoke with clarity and conviction about the meaning of Holy Week.

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[Archived News] Wednesday April 23, 2008


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[Archived News] Tuesday April 22, 2008

Hosanna in the Highest!
St. Nicholas Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church

Oberlin-Steelton, Pa - We know from Scripture readings that the people of Jerusalem eagerly awaited the arrival of one special person, Jesus Christ, and when He entered the city, He was greeted with much singing, joy, and reverence.  Palms and other branches and even clothes were strewn in His path.  Notably, children were a large part of this excitement as they sang, “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord!”  Indeed, that same spiritual lift is still experienced today in Orthodox Christian churches around the world as they observe Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday.  We are prepared to endure the sorrow of Holy Week because, unlike the people of Christ’s time, we know we will then experience His joyful resurrection.

At St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Oberlin-Steelton, there was great anticipation on the eve of Lazarus Saturday as the Great Lent was brought to a formal close.  It is also on this special occasion that our children reach the age when they learn, in more concrete ways, the meaning of repentance and the joyful sorrow of our Lenten journey with Christ to Jerusalem   Under the supportive guidance of their Sunday School teacher, Andrea Gunther, four students had been preparing to receive the Sacrament of Holy Confession for the first time.  The students, Kaitlin Christ, Stefan Gligorevic, Maxim Reznitchenko and Hannah Ruby, now had a final orientation with the Very Reverend Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich before meeting individually with him to make their first confession.  In many ways, these young stewards of St. Nicholas Church have been getting ready for this weekend since they were toddlers.  Their families and Sunday School teachers, especially pre-school teacher Maria Bower and kindergarten/first grade teacher, Jevgenija Radanovic, supported them as they grew in our faith and expanded their understanding of Christ’s teachings.

Both Stefan and Maxim are altar servers while Kaitlin and Hannah regularly attend Liturgy and participant in Sunday School activities.  Kaitlin’s and Hannah’s great-grandparents – the late Joe and Maria Jajich and the late Marko and Alma Stanovich respectively – and their extended families are long-time members of the St. Nicholas Church while the families of Stefan and Maxim joined us in more recent years.  We are blessed to have all of them in our church community.

The prospects of a special Lazarus Saturday were evident as soon as the sun rose and we experienced the first real promise of Spring’s warm renewal of the earth.  Then, at the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, we celebrated Christ’s bold promise of the heavenly kingdom when He raised his friend, Lazarus, from the tomb.  In place of the Thrice-Holy Hymn, we sang the special baptismal hymn, “As many as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ!” remembering this Liturgy as one in which Christians historically were baptized.  Along with many of their Sunday School friends, Kaitlin, Stefan, Maxim and Hannah received the sacrament of Holy Communion from Fr. Srboljub.

With Fr. Srboljub and con-celebrant Fr. Dan Ressitar of Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Harrisburg leading the way, eight altar servers, the Sunday School teachers and students, stewards of the Church and their extended families and friends made the traditional procession around the church.  The excitement was palpable as they sang, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” and rang the bells tied to the pussy willow and palm branches --all emblematic of the crowds that greeted Christ upon His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and of His victory over death.  At the conclusion of the Liturgy, everyone moved to the Church social hall where the Mothers’ Club hosted a fellowship time.

At the Palm Sunday liturgy, the four Sunday School children who had made their first confessions received Holy Communion along with the rest of the St. Nicholas faithful.  In recognition of this important step in the life of an Orthodox Christian, Fr. Srboljub presented Kristin, Stefan, Maxim and Hannah with an icon of Christ, the Good Shepherd on behalf of the St. Nicholas Church Mothers’ Club, our energetic and long-time supporters of the Sunday School.  Following the Palm Sunday liturgy, Fr. Srboljub blessed the branches and they were distributed to the faithful.   

The children, their families and kumovi and all the stewards of St. Nicholas Church now move forward to the inevitable sorrow of Christ’s Passion and the resounding glory of His resurrection.  Through the Great Lent we have grown in His Spirit and by His Grace and are now ready to follow Him to His promised Kingdom.


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[Archived News] Monday April 21, 2008


Hermitage, Pa - The Lenten Vespers which began at St. George Church in Lorain on Forgiveness Sunday came to an end on Palm Sunday, on the eve of Passion Week, at St. George Serbian Church in Hermitage, Pa.

Serving at the holy altar were six priests and one deacon. Protonamesnik Rev. Zivojin Jakovljevic delivered an inspiring homily on the power of God's word in Scripture, in the lives of the Saints and, more importantly, in the words we exchange among one another and how those enpowering words can bring hope, faith and even healing.

Following the service a lenten dinner was served in the church hall. Proceeds from the dinner benefitted the suffering Serbian people of Kosovo. A brief video was presented during the dinner from the Humanitarian Organization Divac and parishioners from the different communities were informed about the wonderful things this organization was doing and they were called to action.

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[Archived News] Monday April 21, 2008


Carmichaels, Pa - Each year on the Feast of Jesus Christ's Entry into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday, at the St.George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania,  at the conclusion of the Feastal Divine Liturgy, a procession is made around the church three times. The photos show Altar servers Dr.Ivko Dimitric and Aaron Carson, flag bearers Philip Sivak and  Harry Richard Porter. The St.George Choir is obervaable in the photos as directed by Sonia Janson, Executive Board President, is part of the procession. Photos are by Parish Nurse Practioner Mitzie Hunchuck. A similar procession was made on Lazarus Saturday. Throughout the procession, the St.George Choir sang the Troparion of the Feast.

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[Archived News] Wednesday April 16, 2008


With the blessing of His Grace, Bishop Mitrophan, Popadija Tatiana Katanic, (wife of Protonamesnik Rev. Milovan Katanic, Hermitage,) organized a lenten pilgrimage to the Serbian and Greek monasteries in Arizona. A group of nine women from all over the country met to make the pilgrimage to the St. Paisius Serbian Orthodox Women's Monastery in Safford, AZ and to St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery in Florence, AZ, over the weekend of April 11-13.

At St. Paisius' they were warmly welcomed by Abbess Mother Mihaila and the sisterhood, who went out of their way to make the visitors feel right at home. They were able to participate in the Divine Services and also spend some true quality time with Mother Mihaila, who gave them wonderful, strengthening advice. The monastery has been in Safford for seven years and the sisterhood is now close to completing their main church. Donations are currently being accepted for the various adornment needs for the sanctuary. You can contact them through their website for more information.

On their way back to the airport, the group stopped by St. Anthony's for a brief tour, Vespers, followed by Trapeza, and then Compline. “The grounds are beautifully maintained and truly spiritually edifying,” said Popadija Tatiana. “Our group was also blessed to have seen and receive a blessing from Elder Ephraim, the famous Athonite elder who started that (and 16 other) Greek men's and women's monasteries around the United States within the last twelve years.”

All the women taking part in the pilgrimage agreed with Popadija Tatiana who said, “This was an excellent opportunity to take time out of our hectic schedules, especially during Great Lent, to appreciate the monastic lifestyle and participate in the prescribed services which most parishes are incapable of holding. It was even more special that we were able to celebrate St. Mary of Egypt Sunday in the desert.” They hope this to be only the first of a series of planned pilgrimages to holy sites all over the world.

More photos...

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[Archived News] Tuesday April 15, 2008


Johnstown, Pa - The St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, Pennsylvania hosted the Deanery Lenten Vespers on Sunday, April 13, 2008.

Host priest Fr. Dejan Obradovic, Father Vladimir Damshcuk from Clariton and Father Miladin Blagojevic from Yungwood, officiated.  The St. Nicholas Choir of Johnstown sang the responses under the direction of Suzette Gardenhour. Fr. Vladimir Demshuk gave a very nice sermon.

Following Vespers, the faithful went to the church hall for a dinner prepared by the Kolo Sisters of St. Nicholas Church. Executive Board President Richard Uzelac warmly welcomed all in attendance and expressed appreciation for everyone coming. He thanked Fr. Vladimir Demshuk for his beautiful homily that he delivered in the church and the choir who sang the responses as well as the Sisters who prepared a wonderful dinner.

All funds collected at the dinner will be donated by the parish for the benefit of the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo.

Thanks be to God for this blessed evening.

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[Archived News] Monday April 14, 2008


Carmichaels, Pa - The St.George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania hosted the Deanery Lenten Vespers on Sunday, April 13, 2008. His Grace Bishop Dr.MITOPHAN came for the Vespers. Clergy serving included Protopresbyter Stavrofor Dragoljub Malich, Dean Protopresbyter Steven Stepan, Protopresbyter Rade Merick,

Protopresbyter Dr.Rodney Torbic, Protonamesnik Rajko Kosic, Reverend Father Milan Pajic and Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic. The responses were sung by Tsar Lazar Male Choir under the direction of Mark Doncic. Proto Malich gave a very strong sermon on the sickness of the current culture which is too tolerating and too accepting of a downward spiral in moral standard and activities. Proto Malich called on Orthodox Christians to be strong in maintaining the Orthodox Christian life which is distinctively different from the immorality which is currently becoming pervasive. The St. George Church was completely full.

Following the Vespers, all present went to the church hall for a dinner prepared by the St George Kolo. Executive Board President Stan Brozik warmly welcomed all in attendance and expressed appreciation for everyone coming. St.George Choir and Kolo President Sonia Janson thanked the Tsar Lazar Choir for coming and acknowledge the the choir’s presence was a very big help. Father Rodney Torbic thanked His Grace, the visiting clergy and faithful for coming. The St. George Kolo was recognized for the hard work in preparing for the visitors. His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN said this was perhaps the largest amount of people at the St.George Church since the consecration.

All funds collected during the service and at the dinner were being donated by the parish for the benefit of the suffering Serbian People in Kosovo.

Faithful from Pennsylvania parishes in Aliquippa, Midland, Monroeville and Pittsburgh attended as well as faithful from the parish in Steubenville, Ohio. Two buses came, one from Midland and one from Monroeville. Church school students from Monroeville came as a special field trip. Thanks be to God for this blessed evening

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[Archived News] Saturday April 12, 2008


Diocesan Headquarters - On Wednesday April 9, 2008, clergy confession was held for the Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Washington Deaneries at the St. Nikodim Chapel in Mars, Pennsylvania, the site of the Diocesan Headquarters. Protopresbyter Stavrofor Dr. Mateja Matejic served as Confessor.

His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN officiated at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Serving with His Grace were the Episcopal Deputy Very Reverend Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich and Deans: Protopresbyter Stavrofor Janko Raljich, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich and Protopresbyter Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov. Father Deacon Milan Medakovich also served.

His Grace delivered an extensive and well developed homily on the topic of Holy Confession. Clergy were in attendance from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine and the Washington D.C. area. In addition to His Grace, twenty-eight priests, two deacons and one nun were present for the Hierarchical Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts.

His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN hosted the clergy in attendance with a Lenten dinner. At the dinner His Grace spoke of the great and immediate need for assistance from parishes to help suffering the Serbian People in Kosovo and Metohija.

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[Archived News] Friday April 11, 2008


Orlando, Fl
- The Second St. Petersburg Deanery Christian Education Meeting was held on Friday, April 4, 2008 at St. Petka Serbian Orthodox Church in Orlando, Florida.

The St. Petersburg Deanery includes parishes in Atlanta, Georgia; Greensboro and Charlotte, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Orlando, St. Petersburg and North Miami, Florida.

Scheduled in conjunction with clergy confession for the Deanery,
the meeting followed the Hierarchical Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts. His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN officiated at the Liturgy with participating clergy.

Dean Protopresbyter Stephen Zaremba and host priest Father Ljubisa Brnjos welcomed the additional attending clergy which included: Protopresbyter Stavrofor Miloje Raicevich, Protopresbyter Svetozar Veselinovich, Father Dragan Zaric, Father Sasa Turkic, and Father Stanislav Kravljaca.

Reports were presented on the Christian education efforts in each
parish and the Winter Camp recently held was also discussed. His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN presided at the meeting and  recognized the improvement in Christian education in the Deanery. Protopresbyter Dr.Rodney Torbic participated in the Christian education meeting and served earlier in the day as the Confessor

The St. Petka parish provided an excellent hospitable setting for
the meeting.

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[Archived News] Monday April 7, 2008


Cleveland, OH - The Lenten Vespers on the fourth Sunday of Lent, dedicated to St. John Climacus, are traditionally hosted by the St. Sava Cathedral in Cleveland Ohio for all churches in the Cleveland Deanery of the Diocese of Eastern America. This year, however, Great Vespers were served on the occasion of the eve of the great Feast of the Annunciation. Nine priests and one deacon served the Vespers while retired priest V. Rev. Stavrophor Vasilije Sokolovic sang at the chantor's stand.

Fr. Milovan Katanic of St. George in Hermitage, in his homily, spoke of the great gift of repentance the Church gives us during these days of the Great Fast. All proceeds from the dinner which followed the service benefitted our suffering Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija.

View slideshow

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[Archived News] Friday, April 4, 2008


Johnstown, Pa- On the Sunday of the Veneration of Holy Cross, on March 30th 2008 believers and parishioners of St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, PA had a beautiful experience participating at the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy officiated by His Grace Dr. Mitrophan Bishop of Eastern American with parish priest Father Dejan Obradovic and Diocesan deacon Dragoslav Kosic.

A great number of parishioners were honored with the bishop's visit to our colony. Bishop Mitrophan delivered the homily about the meaning of the Cross and the sufferings as Orthodox Christians. His Grace also spoke about the suffering Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija who with their lives confess their faith as Orthodox Christians who need our spiritual and material help and support.

Following the liturgy His Grace and Deacon Dragoslav Kosic were welcomed at the parish house of Father Dejan Obradovic.

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[Archived News] Tuesday April 1, 2008


Midland, Pa - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN accompanied by Father Dragoslav Kosic travelled to St. George Church in Midland,Pennsylvania for Deanery Vespers for the Third Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Holy Cross. Dean Proto Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov, Proto Stavrofor Rade Merick, Protopresbyter Rodney Torbic, Protonamesnik Rajko Kosic,and host priest Father Milan Pajic also participated. Father Torbic gave the homily.

The large number of people in attendance were from the Midland parish and parishes in Steubenville,Ohio and  Pennsylvania parishes-Aliquippa,Carmichaels, Monroeville and Pittsburgh.

At the dinner, the President of the parish Executive Board and Father Pajic warmly welcomed the attendees. His Grace Bishop MITROPHAN addressed the attendees and told of a recent martyr for Christ, illustrating that Orthodox Christians continue to face threats of violence in parts of the world.

Appreciation was expressed to Father Pajic and the Midland parish for the warm and abundant show of hospitality.

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[Archived News] Monday March 24, 2008


Akron, Oh - The St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church in Akron hosted the Cleveland Deanery Vespers on Sunday, March 23, 2008.  Guest homilist was Protojerej-Stavrofor Dragan Filipovic from Canton, Ohio who spoke in both languages about the importance of fasting as a time for change. "If we are entering the third week of the fast and feel that nothing has changed in our lives, we're not going to church more, not praying more, not thinking and doing all we can do to help those in need, then this fast is meaningless," Fr. Dragan said.

Dinner followed in the social hall.  Host priest Protonamesnik Fr. Dragomir Tuba welcomed the clergy and all those in attendance and called upon all of the faithful gathered to, in light of the lenten season and particualary the words that Fr. Dragan had offered in church about charity, consider our suffering brothers and sisters in Kosovo who find themselves today in a very grave situation. Donations were collected for our suffering people in Kosovo.

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[Archived News] Tuesday March 18, 2008


Boston, Ma - The St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Boston hosted the Vespers service on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 16, 2008 . Many clergy from various jurisdictions attended the service. V. Rev. Thomas Fitzgerald, Dean of Holy Cross School of Theology delivered the sermon. About three hundred faithfull participated in service. A reception dinner was held in the parish hall.

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[Archived News] Monday March 17, 2008


Hermitage, Pa - The Pan Orthodox Clergy Association of Mercer and Lawrence Counties in Northwest Pennsylvania held their annual Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers at the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Hermitage. Eight Orthodox clergy took part in the annual celebration. Fr. Andrew Gall of the Ukrainian Church delivered the homily. This small Pan Orthodox clergy association is made up mostly by the clergy of the Shenango Valley, a total of six parishes and combines with neighboring Lawrence County for annual events such as this.

The association is planning a Lenten Retreat this coming Saturday, to be led by Fr. Thomas Hopko. The Orthodox parishes also join in covering the costs of a billboard that announces Christ's Resurrection and brings awareness to the Orthodox presence in the community.

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[Archived News] Monday March 10, 2008


McKeesport, Pa - Seven priests and one deacon gathered at St.Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in McKeesport, Pennsylvania with faithful from the Pittsburgh Deanery for Forgiveness Vespers on Sunday, March 9, 2008. The service was scheduled by Dean Very Reverend Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov with the Archpastoral Blessing of His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN. Clergy serving included Proto Stepanov, host priest-Very Reverend Stevo Rocknage, Very Reverend Dr. Rodney Torbic, Protonamesnik Rajko Kosic, Reverend Father Dejan Obradovic, Reverend Father Milan Pajic, Reverend Father Mladen Blagojevic and Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic.Seminary graduate Christopher Rocknage participated.

Responses were by the St.Sava Choir. The Pittsburgh Deanery is comprised of Pennsylvania parishes in Aliquippa, Carmichaels, Clairton, Johnstown, McKeesport, Monroeville, Midland, Pittsburgh and Youngwood. The parish in Steubenville, Ohio and mission parish in Fairmont, West Virginia complete the Deanery. Proto Stepanov set the tone for beginning of Great Lent with the sermon. At the conclusion of Vespers all attendees participated in the Rite of Forgiveness. The St.Sava parish provided a refreshing meal afterwards.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Monday March 3, 2008


Monroeville, Pa - With the blessings of His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan the diocese of Eastern America held their annual assembly on Friday, February 29 and Saturday, March 1, 2008 at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Monroeville, PA. Despite wintry weather the assembly was very well attended by clergy and delegates from throughout the diocese.

The official business of the assembly took place on Friday evening after the service of the Invocation of the Holy Spirit and continued Saturday morning. Besides discussing diocesan issues and future plans, the assembly also dedicated time to the current crisis in Kosovo. A motion was made and passed by the assembly to donate $100,000 from diocesan funds to the suffering people of Kosovo.

The Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served on the following morning, Soul Saturday. After a light continental breakfast the work of the assembly continued with guest speaker Very Reverend Archimandrite Polycarpos Rameas, priest at Holy Dormition Greek Orthodox Church of Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

The last items of the assembly were discussed after the lecture which included, among other things, the election of the Diocesan Council. After some discussion of the needs of the mission parishes in the South it was decided to hold next year’s assembly at St. Simeon the Myrrhflowing in North Miami, Florida.

Protonamesnik Milovan Katanic

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[Archived News] Wednesday February 27, 2008


Cleveland, Oh - Two days after Cleveland Serbs came together in protest of the illegal declaration of Kosovo independence in downtown Cleveland they rallied once again on Tuesday, February 26, 2008. This time they met at the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State University, the stage for the Clinton/Obama Democratic Debate.

Three buses from the Serbian church in Cleveland and one bus from the church in Akron escorted Serbs to the Wolstein where, despite the cold and snowy weather, hundreds of Serbs gathered in protest. The demonstrations were peaceful and orderly. 

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[Archived News] Monday February 25, 2008



WASHINGTON, DC - Around 1,000 people gathered at our nation's capital to protest the illegitimate actions the United States took in recognizing the illegal succession of Kosovo from Serbia. Serbs were joined by Greeks, Cypriots, Russians and others who stretched out their prayers and support.

A moleban was served by His Grace, Bishop Mitrophan in front of the White House, followed by a formal demonstation on the White House lawn, with numerous speakers proclaiming the truth for all to hear.

The protest was peaceful and prayerful.

Donors made it possible for Serbs from the Pittsburgh, Aliquippa, Monroeville and Hermitage parishes to travel by bus, free of charge. Special thanks goes to Mim Bizic for coordinating the bussing and soliciting the donations.

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[Archived News] Saturday February 2, 2008


Columbus, Oh - Friends and family joined together in celebration of Saint Sava at St Stevan of Dechani Serbian Orthodox Church. Dr Predrag Matejic began the day's activities by presenting on the life and times of St Sava, while sharing prints from his collection at the Hillander Research Library at The Ohio State University.

Under the direction of our church school teachers Kathy Maragos, Antonia Bojanin and Fiona Medich, our children sang songs, played the piano, recited poetry and read stories in honor of St Sava.

David Kos, Zoran Grozdic, Fr. Isak Kisin and Rev. Mateja Matejic said kind words of appreciation and inspiration to all present.

Our Kumovi for today’s event were Zoran and Gordana Grozdic along with their children Bojan and Tanya. The kolac was passed on to Marko and Zora Stankovic who will be Kumovi for next years celebration.

Our special thanks to the Circle of Serbian Sister’s for their tireless work in making today special for everyone….Deborah Mamula, Lisa Popovich, Dee Grubich, Lisa Hodkinson, Vida Bowen, Melaina Grubich. Honorary mention to Tom Bowen and Sam Manula for their endless hours of help.

Click here for more photographs.

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[Archived News] Monday, January 28, 2008


Midland, PA - The St. George Serbian Orthodox Church-School congregation celebrated St. Sava on Sunday January 27, 2008. Fr. Milan Pajic, parish priest blessed the Koljivo and Kolach before the dismissal of Divine Liturgy. A program and luncheon were held immediately following Divine Liturgy. Fr Milan & Popadija Jelena provided lunch for all in attendance. The program consisted of a play depicting the young life of St. Sava. Complete with costumes, set and props, the children acted out the early years of St. Sava's life. It was truly a treat to see our youngsters act with such love and enthusiasm. At the commencement of the play, the children recited their deklamcijas in Serbian. Church School Superintendent Ted Zeljak thanked all who contributed in any way to make the day a huge success.

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[Archived News] Tuesday January 29, 2008

Good Shepherd, St. Sava, Let Us Praise Him!
St. Nicholas Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church

Steelton,Pa - Is there any event in the Serbian Orthodox Church that can transport adults to their childhood more quickly and more profoundly than the observance of St. Sava’s Day? You may have forgotten long ago the words of the Serbian deklamacija you had to memorize – whether it was 4 short lines when you were 4 years old or 4 long verses when you were 8 years old – but you have never forgotten the uplifting restrains of the Hymn to St. Sava that echoed in your head and your heart long after the program was over.

What a special blessing for Serbs everywhere when St. Sava’s Day is on a Sunday as it was this year. At St. Nicholas Serbian Eastern Orthodox Church in Oberlin-Steelton, Pennsylvania, there was a special excitement that started even before the Divine Liturgy as children and their families came early with plans to stay late. The flowers in front of the holy icon of St. Sava were offered to all of the St. Nicholas Church School children by the Mothers’ Club with loving wishes for a Srecna Krsna Slava and God’s blessings. The Mothers’ Club has been tireless and generous in their support of the Church School and the entire Church community is deeply grateful.

Our dear spiritual father, the Very Reverend Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovic, celebrated the Liturgy with the SSS Marinkovich Choir singing the responses. You could tell who the “old-timers” were because they were anticipating the Choir’s singing the opening verse of Uskliknimo S Ljubavlju while Fr. Srboljub received communion, and they sang along – some of them remembering all the verses while others hummed along with just as much satisfaction. Singing the Hymn to St. Sava is another one of the clear occasions when we know we share our Serbian heritage as Orthodox Christian stewards, bound to Christ by our ties to His blessed shepherd, St. Sava.

As is the practice at St. Nicholas Church, Sunday School students are the Slava Kumovi, an honor shared this year by Christian Gunther and Jordan Nikolic on behalf of all of the children and youth. They turned the kolach with Fr. Srboljub, Nicholas Govelovich (tonsured reader and Sunday School Superintendent) and Jevgenija Radanovic (Assistance Sunday School Superintendent and teacher). Regrettably the Kuma, Alana Tepsich, was unable to join in because of illness. When Fr. Srboljub exclaimed “Christ is among us,” many people responded, “He is and always shall be!” It was another sign of the faith and unity of the St. Nicholas Church families.

In his brief homily, Fr. Srboljub reminded us the Gospel reading for the day is the one used for the Holy Hierarchs. It is the reading from John 10:9-16 about Christ as the Good Shepherd. He underscored the example St. Sava offered as a shepherd of the Serbian people. St. Sava gave his life to Christ and worked tirelessly to bring the people of Serbia to Orthodox Christianity. By his inspired wisdom, leadership, patience and humility, the Serbian Orthodox Church was established and St. Sava was our first archbishop. In his bulletin message, Fr. Srboljub called us too to be shepherds for each other, tending to each other, making certain none of us loses the way, and together, following the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

Following the Liturgy and picture-taking of the Sunday school students and their teachers with Fr. Srboljub, we moved to the Church Social Hall for lunch and the St. Sava program. Thank you to Sylvia Sevenack and her kitchen team for another delicious lunch, including everybody’s favorite, “mac ‘n cheese” as a side-dish that clearly got the attention of the children who had been eyeing the dessert tables. Even the babas and djedos were asking for “seconds!” By the time we got to dessert, the Sunday School students had changed into their costumes and the program was about to begin.

In his introductory remarks, Nicholas Govelovich sadly but proudly announced the program was being dedicated to the memory of Zarko Mrkona who spent all of his 81 years as an active participant in every facet of church life, including his service as the official greeter at Sunday services. Zarko fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday and will be missed by all of us who pray for his eternal memory

The St. Sava Youth Choir and all of the Sunday School students assembled on the stage and sang Usklilkimno S Ljubavlju and “America the Beautiful” under the most capable direction of Nina Radanovic. Each verse of the Hymn to St. Sava was first sung in English by the very talented Anney Mierski and then the entire student body sang in Serbian…or what passes for Serbian for 3 year-olds. Many family members sitting in the audience unabashedly sang along. This was just the beginning, however, and the next special treat was a play recounting St. Sava’s birth as Prince Rastko, his journey to Mt. Athos, the family’s appeal for his return, and his decision to take the monastic vows. The play was adapted by Sunday School teacher Lenny Tepsich for use by the St. Nicholas Church School from a manuscript available on-line through the St. Sava Monastery.

All the Sunday School students participated in some way in the play with featured roles taken by Nathan Mierski (Stefan Nemanja), Guiliana Carricato (Ana Nemanja), Philip Werner (Prince Rastko), and Marina Radanovic (Commander of the Army). Kyranna Radanovic, Aleksandra Nikolic, Jelena Lojpur, and Andrea Matovich served as narrators. They were all Oscar-worthy performances – even the kindergarten student who fell asleep and couldn’t return to the stage for the final scene. Our Church community is blessed to have such a truly dedicated Sunday School faculty that includes, in addition to Nick Govelovich, Jevgenija Radanovic and Lenny Tepsich, Maria Bowers, Andrea Gunther, Luke Jacobs, Paula Werner, Nikki Lewis, and Emily Fithian.

Next up on the stage was the St. Sava Junior Choir, led again by Nina Radanovic who has helped these young singers learn to sing three-part harmony in English and Serbian! Their singing is inspiring, especially when they sang the most beautiful Troparion to St. Sava in Tone 8:

O guide of Orthodoxy and blessed teacher of virtues,
Purifier and enlightener of thy homeland,
Beauty of monastics,
Most wise Father, Holy Sava,
By thy teaching thou didst enlighten thy people,
O flute of the spirit, pray to Christ for our souls.

When the Junior Choir left the stage, the audience was encouraged to take a quick break and come back for yet another special treat – and surely it was. The St. Nicholas Junior Tamburizans, as presently constituted, performed for the first time in public. The group includes three generations of players in the case of the Radanovic family, two generations of the Werner and Mierski families, and other talented representatives of our youth and the more mature members of our church family. They come together each Thursday evening for lessons and practice with the patient and talented Mark Kresho. They played several of the old favorites including Tamo Daleko and had the audience singing along in relaxed pleasure.

Those of us who have participated in the St. Sava observance for more decades than we care to acknowledge are always ready to remember our time at the Slava Liturgy and on the stage. We remember our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents helping us to memorize our “parts” and then cheering for us with boundless energy and laughter. Surely some of the folks attending today’s celebration remembered some years back when Alex Govelovich was Slava Kum. Today he carried his infant son, Lincoln Alexander, around from table to table visiting with family and friends. We are heartened to expect to see that little boy in the altar and on the stage in a few years. It is a way we continue to keep faith with our past and with our future and especially with our dear St. Sava.

Uskilkinimo s’ljubavlju, Svetitelju Savi!
Dr. Beverly Yanich

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[Archived News] Tuesday January 29, 2008


Fairmont, WV - Each year during the time of Theophany, parishioners from Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Mission in Fairmont, West Virginia go to the nearby Monongahela River for the annual blessing of the river.

This year Sharren Paroda, Michael Danko, Niko Ilich, and Katica Trjkovski made the short trip down Morgantown Avenue following the Divine Liturgy on January 26. Inquirer Dennis Eliot came for this firt time experience. Rose Ilich took the photos.Niko and Rose Ilich in a previous year attended the river blessing under the auspices of the St.George Church in Carmichaels, Pa. This was the first year the Great Blessing of the Waters was performed in the newly renovated Mission Chapel. Sharren Paroda prepared a Kolach in honor of St. Sava and during the Divine Liturgy the Kolach was blessed.

Niko Illich and Maria Djonovich did readings of Uskliknimo/Hymn to St.Sava at the luncheon following the Liturgy. April 15, 2008 will mark the Eight Anniversary of the first Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Mission and official acceptance of the Mission into the Eastern American Diocese by His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN.

Father Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Tuesday January 29, 2008


Carmichaels, Pa - Following the Divine Liturgy, a dinner was held in the church hall. Greetings and remarks were given by Executive Board President Stan Brozik, Choir and Kolo President and Parish Treasurer Sonia Janson and Executive Board Vice President Mildred Bezjak. Dr. Ivko Dimitric spoke from a personal perspective about St.Sava.

Readings in honor of St. Sava were done by Linda Chambers,J.D., Dr. Rade Dimitric, Executive Board Secretary and Parish Nurse Practioner Mitzie Hunchuck, Executive Board Financial Secretary and Assistant Choir Director Andrea Janson, Altar server and Audit Board Chairman Aaron Carson, Choir member Djelosh Milosevich and Audit Board member Linda Porter.

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[Archived News] Thursday, January 17, 2008


Pittsburgh, Pa - His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN scheduled the semi-annual Diocesan clergy seminar for January 16 and 17 at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Protonamesnik Rajko Kosic was host priest.

Following Vespers on Wednesday evening, His Grace met briefly with the clergy in attendance to discuss issues of Diocesan interest.

The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served on Thursday morning. In addition to His Grace and Diocese Secretary Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rade Merick Protopresbyter Stevo Rocknage, Protopresbyer Rodney Torbic and Reverend Father Sasa Turkic served.

The seminar focused on the theme of stewardship. Featured speakers included Protopresbyter Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rastko Trbuhovich and Protopresbyter Stevo Rocknage.

The three speakers represent the parishes in Steelton and Mckeesport, Pennsylvania and Lackawanna, New York. All three parishes are well advanced in using stewardship as a way of increasing the Christian commitment and participation of parishioners.

Twenty two parish priests participated in addition to His Grace and Deacon Dragoslav. Priests traveled long distances. Priests from the District of Columbia and states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Georgia and Florida.

Diocesan Deans Protopresbyter Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov, Protopresbyter Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich and Protopresbyter Stephen Zaremba represented the Pittsburgh, Washington and St.Petersburg Deaneries.

Protopresbyter Djokan Majstorovic, Dean of St.Sava Cathedral in New York City was in attendance. In addition of being Cathedral Dean, Proto Majstorovic serves as the President of the Serbian Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of North and South America.

The presentations on stewardship inspired a number of questions and generated further interest in stewardship being developed in Diocesan parishes.

His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN schedules the clergy seminars on a regular basis each year. They serve as a form of continuing education and enable Diocesan clergy to review and discuss topics directly related to parish life.

His Grace thanked the speakers and participating clergy for their contributions and participation in the seminar. His Grace thanked host priest Father Rajko Kosic and the Holy Trinity Cathedral Kolo for the gracious hospitality.

KSS Federation President Millie Radovick, and Holy Trinity Kolo President Joanne Maravich members of their respective families and Dolores Belich worked to ensure the seminar participants had a good visit to the Cathedral on Wednesday evening and Thursday.

V. Rev. Rodney Torbic

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[Archived News] Wednesday January 16, 2008

Whever our Lord gives,
He truly gives and richly He gives

To us and our small parish, here in the far away America, gave us so much that we are still, and constantly surprised by our luck. Actually, God didn’t give us, but He blessed us… and literally He did that. ( In Serbian, the word bless-blessing is compressed of two words, one meaning treasure, and the other gift.). Without our merit, He Gifted us such a Treasure, the most beautiful church. We all know that without this kind of help, we would have needed years and years to erect our own church, and for sure we wouldn’t have had the courage to undertake building such a big temple. Definitely, that would have been much smaller and humble temple… but “what’s impossible for men, is possible for God”. When we don’t have “heart” and courage, He gives us His Own.

Look, we have planned to move into our new church, for the feast of our kolo of Serbian sisterhood, Nativity of the Most Holy Theotocos, give deserving thanks to the Greek Church in Greensboro on their most wonderful hospitality, and than move into our “place under the sun”. But the One who gifted it to us, didn’t want it that way, so He used already customary delays of the developers for that part of the process, and so here is the proof that nothing is accidental, but only the providence of God. Many set dates came and went by when we thought that we will move into our temple, but it didn’t happen… But, it had to come the Christmas Eve and the day of the Birth of our Lord God, for us to hold our very first service, exactly than !!!!

Our temple is now bare, but the very capable hands clothed it in a creative iconostasys erected in only an hour or two, the icons were hung, the candles shared their light and warmth with us, and the concrete floor received the most beautiful, precious, hand-made carpet, the carpet of the straw. Everything was like in Those days, the days of the Birth of the Bridegroom, so much so that our parishioners, in awe, stood around the edge of the space covered by straw, just like those shepherds who admired the Newborn from a little distance. Since there were, I am sure, more than 200 people, our Father Dragan had to call the present to move toward the middle of the church, so that everyone could enter, therefore also to step onto the straw. The service was truly festive, with the light of candles (they still have not connected us to the electrical pole)…but we have our own Pillar and Stone, as we have the living ties with the Living God. Our small choir gave it its best, now somewhat lost in this large space and acoustics (now, mistakes are not to be hidden), but God enriched us here as well by the beautiful voice of our Russian girl Nadia, so we could, under her leadership, respond to the priest’s prayers.

When the time came for us to walk around the church 3 times, we were outside welcomed by yet another gift from God! Here in North Carolina, we don’t have very cold and tough winters, but we do know what is snow, and freezing temperatures, freezing rain, and frost… but we had none of that this Christmas Eve and Day. Outside, sunshine, light breeze and around 70 F degrees awaited us, just so that we’ll realize what God had planned for that day. In the middle of the small plane, bonfire was already burning, and than, lead by fr. Dragan, boys with ‘badnjaci’, others with flags and three big guys who were carrying huge branches of ‘badnjak’, than we all approached. Everything was done according to our tradition, with songs and joy of children and the adults, and according to the given ‘signs’ of the Almighty as well. Just like always, our high-sister Jovanka already had everything prepared for some refreshments, and some Serbian-domestic specialties – from the bottle! There we spend some nice time, as it is deserving from one God thankful parish.

Tomorrow morning at 4 am, again we gathered together at the same holy place. It’s true, there were less of us than the day before, but our harts were filled with warmth looking at a few very young kids, many of us waiting for the confession and communion, and in the altar, besides our own priest, there were another two priests. Those were, Fr. Christopher from OCA and, always devoted and willing to help us in every way, Fr. Dionisius from the Greensboro Greek Orthodox Church, and Vladan, the reader from Serbian parish in Charlotte, NC. Father Dragan was trying to “all to everyone”… to co-serve in the altar, to take confessions, to sing, and give instructions and assist the readers and the choir, so one could see his cassock and red garment ‘flowing’ from one side of the temple to the other. After this festive Christmas service, giving thanks to our distinguished guests, well wishing to each other, we gathered around a table with Serbian specialties, in particular smoked and bottled ones. It was the way Lord God planned it – UNFORGETTIBLE !!!!

Nothing happens by chance, not even God’s grace poured on us! Now, what’s left for us to do, is to justify that great trust and even greater love of God we were shown, by progressing in faith and love for each other.


Dusica Prelevic

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[Archived News] Thursday, January 10, 2008


Aliquippa, Pa - His Grace Bishop Mitrophan tonsured Alexander Osman as a reader at the St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church in Aliquippa, PA on Sunday, January 6, 2008. Bishop Mitrophan was assisted by parish priest V. Rev. Stevan Stepanov and Deacon Dragoslav Kosic. At the end of the Liturgy, His Grace gave Christmas greetings and made a moving statement about our need to remember the true meaning of Christmas and that as Alex has accepted Christ into his heart, this should serve as an inspiration to all of us during holiday season.

Alex is the son of Georgette Osman and brother of Jessica; his grandparents are Alex and Billie Brnilovich, all of Aliquippa. Alex is active in the St. Elijah parish, attending Sunday School, serving as an Altar Boy, and is a member of the Youth Group. He is a summer and winter camper at Shadeland and was a delegate at the 2006 and 2007 Youth Sabors. He plays, sings, and dances with several tamburitza groups. Alex is a junior at Hopewell Area Senior High School.

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[Archived News] Wednesday January 9, 2008

"The Church and the Family"

Charlotte, NC - A few days ago the fifth annual Winter Camp, held this year in Charlotte, came to an end. This annual event is organized by the St. Petersburg Deanery of the Eastern Diocese. It was the first year that the camp was held outside of Florida; the host parish was the St. Symeon the Mryhh-flowing and St. Arsenije of Srem parish in Charlotte, North Carolina. Over sixty children, ages 6-18, took part in the camp. This year’s theme was “The Church and the Family” and classes were conducted by clergy and the Church School teachers of this deanery.

A one day trip to “Hawk’s Nest” skiing resort was organized during the camp. Since there was no real snow during the camp the campers enjoyed the artificial snow at the resort. Many of the children from Florida had never seen snow until then so that even the artificial one was very enjoyable to them. The children were also taken to a hockey game one night and a movie the other. Various games and quizzes were organized during the camp and the best campers were awarded.

All the campers were delighted with the visit of His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America who spent a couple of days with the children. On Saturday morning His Grace, the bishop, officiated at the Divine Liturgy which was the crown of the four day camp. Assisting His Grace at the Divine Liturgy were: V. Rev. Stavrophor Theodoros, a guest from the local Greek Orthodox Church, V. Rev. Stephen Zaremba, Protonamesnik Dragan Zaric, Fr. Stanislav Kravljaca and Fr. Ljubisa Brnjos. The bishop blessed and praised the campers, advising them that it is only under the wings of the church that they can preserve their identity and their faith and that there should be more gatherings like this so that more and more of our children take part. Next year’s camp, the sixth annual, is scheduled to take place at the Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Atlanta, Georgia.

Photographs from the winter camp have been posted on: http://svetapetka.org/camp/index.html

Fr. Ljubisa Brnjos

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[Archived News] Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Very Reverend Archimandrite Nazarius, ordained Nikodim, fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday, January 2, 2008 Johannesburg, South Africa, beloved son of Vladimir and the late Margaret Pribojan of Stoney Creek, Ontario.

Father Nazarius leaves his sisters, Protinica Maria Yatsko and her husband Very Rev. George Yatsko and his nephews and niece John, Elizabeth, Nicholas and Alexander of Youngwood, Pa, Protinica Sandra Ceko and her husband Very Rev. Nicholas Ceko and his nieces Andreana and Maria, Alhambra, Ca., and Suzan Lush and her husband Stephen Lush and his niece and nephews Sarah, Kyle and Jacob, Hamilton, On. together with Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins and Kumovi in the former Yugoslavia, England, United States and Canada.

Fr. Nazarius also leaves his Brothers in Christ, including Rev. Heirmonk Elias (Palmos) of The Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit in Pretoria, South Africa, where he worked tirelessly fulfilling his calling of both missionary work and monasticism, his most beloved work in Christ…”Go Ye Into All the World and Make Disciples of all Nations…”.

Born Nickolas Richard, Glanmorgen County , South Wales, Dec. 10, 1951. He entered the seminary in Monastery Krka in 1969 and was tonsured a monk by the late Bishop Stefan on the Eve of the Annunciation in 1971 in Monastery Krka, Dalmatia, taking the name Nikodim; ordained Deacon 1972 in Niagara Falls, Ontario; ordained Priest-Monk in Dalmatia, 1974; raised to the rank of Archimandrite, in The Holy Land in 2000 taking the name Nazarius; died Johannesburg, South Africa January 2, 2008.

For those who wish, donations can be made to the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, South Africa, where Fr. Nazarius will be laid to rest, c/o St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, 149 Nash Rd S Hamilton, ON L8K 4J9. Parastos will be held Saturday, January 5, 2008, 10:00 a.m.

Memory Eternal - Vjecnaja Pamjat

Fr. Nazarius (Pribojan)

1976-St.George in Carmichaels,Pa.

1977-1978-St. Sava in Boston, Ma.

1979-St.Petka - Johnstown, Pa.

1980-1983 - Holy Mother of God Monastery, Shadeland

1984-St.Sava - Winnipeg, Manitoba

1986-1988 - St.Sava - Edmonton, Alberta

1989-1990 - St.Stephen - Ottawa, Ontario

1991-1999 - St.Petka - Orlando,Florida
*1993-1996 served as administrator of the newly formed Sts. Peter and Paul Mission in Atlanta, Ga

Member of Diocesan Department of College Student Ministry in late 1970's.

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