2004 Archived News

[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, December 27, 2004


St. Petersburg, FL - With the blessings of His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan, the St. Petersburg Deanery held its second annual winter camp at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg from December 23-26, 2004. A total of 43 wonderful campers, between thte ages of 4-16, from the St. Basil parish in Kearnersville, NC, St. Simeon parish in Charlotte, NC, St. Petka in Orlando, FL as well as the St. Sava parish in St. Petersburg attended.

The camp began with arrival, dinner and registration on Thursday evening. We then retired to the Bucaneer Beach Resort on Treasure Island for the night.

On Friday morning we went to Church. After morning prayers and breakfast we broke up into groups and held our first session on talents. The younger group was led by Fr. Ljubisa and Popadija Natasa Brnjos, newly arrived in Orlando, FL. The middle group was led by Fr. Dragan Zaric, the new administrator of the mission parishes in Charlotte and Kearnersville, NC. The older group was led by Fr. Stephen Zaremba, host. We discussed the Lord's parable and explored what type of talents God gives us in our lives, how to recognize them and how we are responsible to use them

After the lunch break we went to the park, held a competitive quiz on Orthodoxy - and won by the campers from Orlando - and then served Vespers. After Vespers we had free time for music and fellowship and then retired to our hotel for the evening.

Saturday was much like Friday, except Saturday's theme was on the Good Samaritan. We talked about how we are to love God, ourselves (our own soul) and our neighbor. This tied in nicely with the theme on talents. We also had a wonderful opportunity to sit with Bishop Mitrophan who discussed our themes in greater detail, clearly established their close relationship and answered all other questions that our campers posed.

After lunch was watched the Battle of Kosovo, the Shadeland tape and then we had free time. We celebrated Vespers that evening, during which Bishop Longin arrived and gave us his blessing. After Vespers, our small children performed the songs they had learned and we had dinner. After dinner we went bowling and retired to our hotel to prepare for Liturgy.

On Sunday morning Bishop Mitrophan celebrated the Divine Liturgy, after which he had lunch and went to Busch Gardens,and then each to his own home.

The only unfortunate aspect of the camp was the weather. It was so unflorida-like! Overcast, windy, rainy and - cold. This greatly limited our options for outdoor activities and impeeded us in our desire to see more of beautiful St. Petersburg. Nontheless, at the conclusion of our camp in the parking lot of Busch Gardens, there were plenty of tears and sad goodbyes customary to any of our camp sessions. The children from our Deanery met other Serbian Orthodox children, one of our important objectives, and new friendships have been formed. We were already being asked about the next camp before we got home!

Any camp or retreat is no small endeavor and requires the help and cooperation of many.

First of all we would like to thank Bishop Mitrophan, under whose guidance and with whose blessing, pastoral love and concern for the Serbian Orthodox youth of our Diocese and Deanery the first camp in Orlando last year, as well as this year's camp, were held.

We must also express our appreciation and admiration for Fr. Dragan Zaric who, with the help of Vladan Gluvacevic, drove over 12 hours to bring a van full of campers to be with us. Fr. Ljubisa and Popadija Natasa Brnjos were also most helpful in the work with our youngest campers and ensuring the participation of the campers from Orlando, no small achievement for a priest newly arrived in his parish.

We would also like to thank all those who helped. Our teachers who helped plan and organize our camp as well as, with the help of the Circle of Serbian Sisters and mother volunteers, helped prepare our meals and offered hospitality. We would be remiss if we did not thank the men who helped serve, run errands and drive.

Thanks to God and St. Sava, our camp was a success. It is our prayer and desire for our winter camp to grow and include more children from our Deanery and Diocese.

Protonamesnik Fr. Stephen Zaremba

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Tuesday, December 21, 2004

KUM +STEVO [1932 - 2004]
By Luka Krneta

When talking about Stevo Milos Klipa, the number of words to describe the man can only be rivaled by the number of lives that he touched in his 72 years.

Whether it was a faithful member of St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Monroeville, an influential teacher and football coach, or as someone whose mere presence emitted: "Hey, I'm there if ya need me," everyone knew they had a spiritual, caring and unassuming individual they could call upon at any time.
Truth is, I knew of Mr. Klipa for quite a few years before my wife and I were blessed to know him as Kum Stevo.

Yet, in that short time as kumovi, we count our blessings, for he made a profound impact in our lives. My regret is that I never told him as much, for I knew his humility would not allow him to acknowledge such a fact. Our solace is nothing that had to be said between us for Kum to know it.

About 10 years ago, prior to our marriage, my future wife, her kids and I were invited to Stevo and Georgeann Klipa's home to help celebrate their St. George Slava. It was a slava that we will never forget.

"As we sat in the dining room table, Kum Stevo, the consummate teacher presented a mathematical problem to my kids (Leah and Brad)," my wife, Melanie, recalled. "The kids thought about it, and Leah came up with the answer in her head relatively quick, as Brad kept writing out the answer." Kum wasj just so surprised that Leah came up with it so fast, though, in her head. He started talking about their intelligence. Being the individual that he was - sincere and forthright - made me feel so good. Various school personnel had previously told me of the kids' intelligence and their potential.

"But coming from Kum, a teacher who was speaking from his heart and not because it was his job, made all the difference in the world to me and my children. My only regret is that my kids never had Kum as a teacher."

Although geographical distance kept our contact with Kum limited in the years that followed our marriage, he always was among the first people I would seek out when I returned for a Serbian function in the Monogahela Valley.

The last time I saw Kum was during the annual Shadeland camp picnic in August. I was so happy to see him that I dropped out of a kolo in which I was dancing just to talk to a man with whom I loved conversing. I asked him to tell me that old coach Pete Dimperio story, that I loved hearing him tell over and over and over. As usual, he didn't let me down.

Most important about Kum and Kuma Georgeann is the spiritual influence they had on their children. It is a testament to what faith in God is all about. But, working as God's ambassadors went beyond family ties.

A few years back, a couple that we knew made a decision to convert to Orthodoxy and asked Melanie and I to be their kumovi. At the time, my future Kum, who now is studying to enter the priesthood, spoke of various reasons behind the decision he and his wife had made. The determing factor, he told me, were conversations about Orthodoxy he had with Stevo and his son, Djuro.

He had told me that Stevo and Djuro's spirituality and sincerity when speaking about the faith was the epitome of what he and his wife had been seeking.

Although I can't speak for everyone when it comes down to Kum, I can say that the Orthodox faithful, Serbians and all people who knew the man known as Stevo Milos Klipa have been blessed.
Thank you Kum for being the man that you were.

Vecnaja Pamjat.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, December 20, 2004


Weirton, WV - The Eighteenth Annual Pittsburgh Deanery Christian Education meeting was hosted by the Holy Resurrection Serbian Church in Steubenville, Ohio. The meeting was held on December 5/18, 2004 at the Serbian American Cultural Center in Weirton, West Virginia.

The Deanery meetings are scheduled annually by His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN to review, strengthen and develop Christian education in the Eastern American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Host Priest Proto Rade Merick greeted the attendees and emphasized the importance of the meeting. Proto Rade has regularly attended the meetings since their inception.

Proto Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov, Dean of the Pittsburgh Deanery, was instumental in the creation of the Deanery meetings and commented on their value including the exchange of ideas that are beneficial.

Father Milan Pajic, the parish priest of St. George 'Lazarica' Serbian Orthodox Church in Midland, Pennsylvania was designated by His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN as the designated speaker for the meeting.

Father Pajic focused his presentation on the immorality that is fostered through immodesty in advertising and commercialism. Father Pajic spoke about body-piercing and the skin-revealing clothing that we have accepted in the contemporary society.

In his presentation, Fr. Pajic referenced the Bible in saying the body is the "temple of the Holy Spirit." He drew upon the writings of St. Paul in a call for modesty in dress among Christians. In addressing the question "How should we, as Orthodox Christians, consider this corruption of the human body expressed through poor and inappropriate clothing?", Fr. Milan responded, "Our role models, our mirrors of reflection, shouldn't be contemporary musicians, sports heroes, or movie stars, but Jesus Christ, the Mother of God and all the Saints, remembering that we are the icons of God, created in His image and likeness."

Fr. Pajic concluded with the words of St. John Chrysostom, "The primary goal in the education of children is to teach and to give them the example of a virtuous life."

The presentation generated considerable discussion of the existing state of contemporary society with everyone in attendance actively contributing.

Individual parish reports were presented by Episcopal Deputy Proto Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich, Proto Lt. Colonel Adam Yontich, Fr. Vladimir Demshuk, Protinica Donna Merick, Steve Milos Klipa, Brian Hayden and Ted Zeljak. Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic and Dennis Hickman also participated in the meeting.

Reports presented at the meeting in addition to Holy Resurrection Church's, Stuebenville, were: St. Elijah, Aliquippa; St. Nicholas, Monroeville; Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Clairton; St. Sava, McKeesport-Duquesne; St. George, Midland; St. George, Carmichaels and Holy Trinity Mission, Fairmont, WV.

Note was taken of Christian educators in the Deanery falling asleep in the Lord in the past year including Nell Lampich and Violet Kavic of Aliquippa and Mary Peggy Baheny of Steubenville who was tonsured as monastic Sister Macrina. Only two days after the present meeting, to the shock of all, meeting participant Stevo Milos Klipa, also fell asleep in the Lord.

The meeting concluded with His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN addressing salient priests. His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN said that men and women need to dress and prepare themselves for attending Church, bearing in mind the Church is holy. Clothing and demeanor should reflect reverence and love for God.

His Grace said it was important for Serbian Orthodox Christians to live the faith, to protect our children. His Grace spoke of the influence of television upon society and said television could be used more for Christian purposes. The Church is our future. His Grace emphasized the importance of all teacher coming to Deanery meetings.

In concluding, His Grace thanked Proto Merick and the Holy Resurrection Church of Steubenville for the hospitality. Fr. Milan Pajic's for his well-prepared presentation, and all the participants for attending.

Fr. Rodney Torbic

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, December 20, 2004


October 26, 2004 was a special day in the life of Very Reverend Lt. Colonel Adam Yontich. Protopresbyter Adam retired from the United States Air Force.

Proto Adam was assigned to the 9018th Air Reserve Personnel Center and was attached to the 90th Space Wing. The retirement ceremony was held at High Plains Chapel, Frances E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.

Proto Adam was commissioned in 1982 as a First Lieutenant Serbian Orthodox Chaplain. He has had assignments at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland; Offutt Air Force Base, Nebreska; Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany; Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; and Frances E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming.

Proto Adam's career in the Air Force which included extensive active and reserve duty was marked with major awards and decorations. He is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf clusters, Achievement Medal with oak leaf clusters, Outstanding Unit Medal, National Defense Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Longevity Service Ribbon with oak leaf clusters and Air Force Training Ribbon.

Proto Adam was promoted to Captain in 1985, to Major in 1997 and to Lieutenant Colonel in 2000.

Married to wife Roberta, they are the parents of twins Damian and Mira.

Proto Adam is a graduate of St. Tikhon's Russian Orthodox Seminary and has a Master's Degree in Religious Education from Marywood College in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

At the retirement ceremony, Proto Adam was presented with the Presidential Certificate of Appreciation and awards from the Chief of Chaplains.

A dedicated member of the United States Air Force and committed Serbian Orthodox Priest, Proto Adam was the first Air Force Chaplain from the Eastern American Diocese.

While all of Proto Adam's service was of importance, a particularly significant segment was during the Dayton peace talks when he was specially chosen to minister to the delegates and Secret Service personnel.

Proto Adam currently is serving as the parish priest of Holy Ascension Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngwood, Pennsylvania. Prior to entering full time service in the United States Air Force, he was the parish priest of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.

In addition to his formal acedemic education, Proto Adam participated in on-going seminars and training as part of military life. His rich experience as an Air Force Chaplain is of direct benefit in continous service to the Serbian Orthodox Church. May God grant Proto Adam Yontich many, many years of good health, peace and furtherance in all good things.

V. Rev. Rodney Torbic

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, December 13, 2004


Youngstown, OH - In 1987, Metropolitan (then Bishop) +Christopher, who was bishop of the Eastern American diocese at the time, wanting to monitor the growth and progress of Christian Education in the parishes of the diocese, began an annual tradition of holding Christian Education Meetings for each deanery, where borth clergy and teachers could exchange information and ideas. For those thirty years the Cleveland Deanery meetings were held in Youngstown, Ohio.

When His Grace Bishop +Mitrophan became diocesan hierarch he expanded the meetings to include designated parish priests as speakers in addition to the Bishop and respective Dean and varied the locations in which they were to be held.

This year's Christian Education Meeting for the Cleveland Deanery, which was held Saturday December 11, 2004, was hosted once again by Holy Trinity Serbian Church in Youngstown. The meeting began at 10:00 am with the warm welcome of both parish priest and Dean of the Cleveland Deanery, V. Rev. Stavrophor Janko Rajlic, welcoming first and foremost the diocesan hierarch His Grace Bishop +Mitrophan. Despite the bishop's busy schedule and hectic travel itinerary he has always made it a top priority to be present at these meetings. This year's meeting was attended by all priests from the deanery, which includes parishes in: Cleveland, Lorain, Akron, Canton, Columbus, Youngstown, Hermitage, Pa and Lackawanna, NY.
Fr. Deacon Milan Medakovic was the designated speaker at this year's meeting.  The deacon spoke eloquently on the theme of Christian educational tools, focusing on prayer as the greatest tool that we can use and how our liturgical prayers can be of educational benefit to us.  A discussion followed the lecture.

An oral report was given from each parish on the present status of their Church School Program, listing their accomplishments and long term goals.  According to the submitted reports there is a total of 359 children enrolled in the Church School with 64 teachers.  Besides educational programs for the children some parishes have very active adult classes.  After giving their reports each presenter answered questions from the clergy and teachers.

Finally, after listening to the morning's lecture and all the submitted reports, His Grace Bishop Mitrophan offered his thoughts on the various subjects that were brought up, such as poor attendance, the question of which language should be used in the services and how we are to keep Orthodoxy alive in our youth.  The bishop's words proved to be beneficial to each participant, enabling them to go back to their parishes and continue with all the more intensity to work with the future of our church - our youth.

An exceptional lenten lunch, served by the hard working women of the parish's Kola Sestara, ended the day's fruitful gathering.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 29, 2004


Boston, MA - On Saturday November 27, 2004 His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan performed the Holy Mystery of Baptism at the St. Sava Church in Wakefield, baptizing little Draginja Vlajkovic.

This was a special joy for parents Fr. Aleksandar and Popadija Vera Vlajkovic especially since this is their sixth child that the Bishop has baptized. Assisting the bishop at the baptism were Fr. Djokan Majstorovic of New York, Fr. Ivan Marjanovic of Portland and the parish priest. Besides the large family that traveled from locations such as Chicago, Florida, Canada and Serbia approximately 100 parishioners joined in the festive occasion. It should be noted that little Draginja is the fiteenth great-grandchild of Draginja Curic, whose name she bears.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 29, 2004


Shadeland, PA - The third Divine Liturgy for the newly established mission of Holy Bishop Nikolaj, formed in September of this year, was celebrated on Saturday Novembr 27, 2004. V. Rev. Rastko Trbuhovich of Lackawanna officiated.

Special guests at the litugy were Fr. Milovan Katanic who made the trip together with a few members of the Vojislav Ilich Choir of St. George in Hermitage to sing the responses during the service.  In addition to this, the hunters who make an annual trip during hunting season to the woods surrounding Shadeland, also attended the morning's Divine Liturgy.

Following the service a potluck lunch was served for all those in attendance.  With each month and each time this group meets for liturgy the excitement slowly builds and the small chapel at Shadeland becomes more and more their little church.

The visiting choir on Saturday was a real treat for this small group who always enjoys having guests during their monthly gatherings.  If you would like to make a trip to Shadeland in the winter and see how our diocesan summer camp looks covered in the cold snow, you are more than welcome to join the members of this newly established mission for their next Divine Liturgy scheduled for Saturday December 18, 2004.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Tuesday, November 23, 2004


Diocesan Headquarters - On the evening of Monday November 22, 2004 members of the Shadeland Committee met at the Diocesan headquarters in Mars, Pa with His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan presiding. Reports at the meeting included a financial update from the Shadeland Gala held in October, showing a net profit of $50,465.94.

Taking into consideration not just the financial, but overall success of the "Evening for Shadeland" held in Weirton this fall, the committee quickly began exchanging ideas for next year's fundraiser. While no difinite plans are made, the general consensus was that another fundraising be held next fall at a different location in the diocese.
The committee also discussed next year's Diocesan Days to be held on Saturday August 6 and Sunday August 7, 2005. A tentative theme was presented and plans are presently underway in search of possible guest speakers for the event.

After a short winter break the Shadeland Committee will meet again in February. The committee plans on having printed materials available for all clergy in regards to next year's Diocesan Days with the theme and schedule of events at the Diocesan Annual Assembly, to be held on Friday and Saturday February 25-26, 2005 at the St. George Church in Canton, Ohio.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 22, 2004


Columbus, OH - On Sunday November 21, 2004 the parish of St. Stevan of Dechani in Columbus, Ohio celebrated their church Slava. The holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was officiated by diocesan hierarch Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan. The parish priest, Fr. Isak Kisin, assisted His Grace as well as diocesan deacon, Fr. Deacon Dragoslav Kosic. The church was filled with the honorable faithful who attended the morning's liturgy, while the Ritual of the Slava Cake was performed in the church hall following the service.
Gathered in the church hall, the faithful were moved by the inspirational words of Bishop Mitrophan. The executive board president, Mr. David Kos, also addressed the faithful. The formal luncheon was prepared by the hard working Kolo Sestara, while the roasted meats were prepared by the "St. George Men's Club".

The relatively young Men's Club of St. George has been enthusiastic in their work in the parish and the fruits of their labor were evident at this year's Slava celebration. The honored kumovi were Milorad and Brankica Grozdic with their children Dejan and Ivana.

It was a day of true spiritual joy for all those in attendance.

Fr. Isak Kisin 

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 22, 2004


Merrillville, IN - His Grace Bishop +Mitrophan, by special invitation of His Eminence Metropolitan of Midwestern America, +Christopher, joined in the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the St. Elijah Cathedral in Merrillville, Indiana on Saturday November 20, 2004. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy began at 9:00 am, officated by the hierarch and assisted by the parish priest, V. Rev. Lazar Kostur, together with guest clergy: V. Rev. Stavrofor Nedeljko Lunich, V. Rev. Stavrofor Jovan Todorovic, V. Rev. Luka Lukic, V. Rev. Marko Pantic, Hieromonk Irinej Dobrijevic, Fr. Milovan Katanic, Fr. Aleksandar Savic, Protodeacon Stanimir Spasovic and Deacon Damjan Bozic.

Among others joining in the celebration were theological students Nikolaj Kostur, Radomir Plavsic, Dragan Arsic, Bosko Stojanovic, Georgije Baltic as well as acolytes from the cathedral who assisted during the beautiful service.

Bishop Peter of Cleveland, of the Russian Church Abroad, and Priest Andrei Papkov were also in attendance.  Responses were majestically sung by the Tzar Lazar Choir of Pittsburgh.  Immediately following the service, a memorial service was held for all the departed members of the parish as well as for the late +Bishop Firmilian and past priests +Protojerej-Stavrofor Dusan Shoukletovich and +Protojerej-Stavrofor Georgije Lazich.

Prior to the banquet the hierarchs and clergy were served hors d'oeuvers at the newly renovated parish home.  The banquet began promptly at 1:00 pm.

Due to a prior commitment, Bishop Mitrophan left the banquet early. During the banquet, Metropolitan Christopher addressed the gathered faithful and spoke warmly of the pastoral service of the former priests of this parish. The parish priest, V. Rev. Lazar Kostur, greeted all present and briefly overviewed the material, organizational and spiritual progress of the parish since its origination in February of 1964.

The honored guest speaker, Heiromonk Irinej Dobrijevic spoke eloquently on the significance of the 40th anniversary and how by divine providence this was also the 200th anniversary of the Serbian uprising. Following his talk, he presented both the parish priest, Fr. Lazar and executive board president, Mr. Djurica Majanov, with a commemorative coin as a gift from the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church in honor of the anniversary. This coin features Karadjordje on one side and the Church of St. Sava on Vracar on the other.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Buenos Aires, Argentina - From October 30 until November 8, 2004 His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America visited the parishes of South America.

On the feast of St. Petar of Cetinje His Grace served the Holy Liturgy at the church of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God in Buenos Aires, where a large number of faithful gathered for the service, around their hierarch, paying close attention to the homily he delivered. Among the things he touched upon during his sermons was the importance in preserving the unity in the Serbian Orthodox Church, for without unity in the church there will be no national unity, reminding all that enemies are always from outside and we shouldn't seek them from among our own.

Accompanied by Fr. Zoran Radovic His Grace visited the capital of Chile, Santiago, from November 3-6. A number of newly arrived immigrants now residing in this city joyously welcomed their archpastor. A new parish was founded, dedicated to Holy Bishop Nikolaj of Zica, which will remain under the administration of Fr. Zoran until they receive their own full time priest.

Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Damir Solar, the honorary consul of Serbia and Montenegro in Chile, His Grace was received at the highest state levels: the presidential cabinet, the Minister of Religion as well as the Mayor of Providence, where the majority of the newly arrived Serbs reside.

Returning to Argentina, His Grace had daily services. During his stay he paid visits to His Eminence Metropolitan Tarasius of the Greek Orthodox Church as well as His Eminence Metropolitan Platon of the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate).

His Grace officiated at the Divine Liturgy at St. Sava in Buenos Aires on November 7, 2004. During the luncheon the faithful joined their hierarch in singing the St. Sava hymn.

On the following day, November 8, the feast of St. Demetrius the Great Martyr, His Grace served the Divine Liturgy at the Church of the Nativity of the Holy Mother of God. Following Vespers on the same day the bishop had a return flight to the diocesan headquarters.

Fr. Zoran Radovic
Parish Priest in Buenos Aires

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 15, 2004


Jacksonville, FL - On Sunday November 14, 2004, through God's blessings, the Serbian Orthodox Church-School Congregation of the Holy King Milutin of Serbia in Jacksonville celebrated their church Slava.  Fr. Ljubisa Brnjos, parish priest in Orlando and temporary administrator of this mission, officiated at the Divine Liturgy, serving his first liturgy in Jacksonville.

This young Serbian Orthodox community in Jacksonville has some 300 Serbian homes, most of which settled here within the past few years.  The majority of the families arrived in this city after surviving the wars, concentration camps for Serbs on Croatian territory as well as Bosnia and Hercegovina, where they spent the most difficult moments of their lives.  After a relatively short period of adapting to life in America, these families, with the help of then priest Fr. Dragan Zaric, began to build the living church, serving and praying to God, renting space in the different churches of Jacksonville.  Soon after this, they purchased property where today a small church is dedicated to the holy King Milutin.

This year's kum for the Slava celebration was Mr. Stanko Precanica and his family and it was from him that Mr. Momcilo Nikolic received the honors of playing the role of kum for next year.  Many guests from Chicago, Orlando and throughout Florida joined the faithful in the celebration of their Slava.  After the luncheon music from Chicago entertained the gathered faithful until late that evening.

Addressing the gathered crowd were, among others, Fr. Ljubisa and the President of the Church-School congregation Mr. Cedo Zlatkovic, who expressed his hopes that this young church congregation would soon become complete with their own parish priest and become one community gathered around the true Pastor Christ our God.

The next Divine Liturgy in Jacksonville will be on Saturday November 27.  Fr. Ljubisa announced that he would serve liturgies at the mission twice each month.  Bishop of Eastern America, Dr. Mitrophan, has already announced his next archpastoral visit to be February 5, 2005.

May the holy King Milutin, through his intercessions before the Holy Throne of God, be the protector and guide of these honorable and Christ-loving people on their salvific path now and always.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 15, 2004


Cleveland, OH - A moving article appeared in the Cleveland newspaper, the Plain Dealer, on Sunday November 14, 2004 featuring V. Rev. Vasilije Sokolovic, retired parish priest formerly of St. Sava in Parma. The article described how Fr. Vasilije's father, Fr. Budimir Sokolovic, who was executed in 1945 with his remains buried in a field where no one could find them, is now expected to be canonized a priest-martyr at next year's assembly of bishops in Belgrade. An icon is being made and Orthodox Christians worldwide will be able to celebrate July 11 as a feast to St. Budimir of Dobrun and 29 other WWII martyrs.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 15, 2004


Richfield, OH - Diane Grahovac of St. Stevan of Dechani Serbian Orthodox Church of Columbus, Ohio organized the women from the parish's Circle of Serbian Sisters on a pilgrimage to Monastery Marcha on Saturday November 13,2004.

The women began their visit at the monastery with an Akathist to the Most Holy Mother of God. They were treated to lunch, during which time they engaged in discussion on the spiritual life. Among the ladies from Columbus on this spiritual journey to the monastery was 90 year old Mrs. Millie Kovaka.

The ladies enjoyed their stay and the spiritual atmosphere of the monastery.  The abbess of the monastery, Mother Ana, together with the sisters Anastasija and Barbara, always enjoy having visitors.  In fact, the group from Columbus discussed a possible second visit, a retreat sometime after the Thanksgiving holiday.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 15, 2004


Washington DC - The Church-School Congregation of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke in Metropolitan Washington DC, after much research and effort has purchased many new liturgical items in the first step toward the establishment of the new chapel. All of the items were imported from Greece, and most were handcrafted.

A new hand-carved altar table, also imported from Greece, should arrive sometime next month.  Many generous parishioners from all over the expansive parish have freely given of their God-given resourses to fund the renewing of our interior worship space.  On Sunday November 14, 2004, on the feast of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, these new liturgical items were blessed by Father Aleksa in front of the attending parish community.  At present, as we await county approval and the subsequent renovatin of our parish center, we celebrate Sunday liturgies at a local elementary school.  Our people have been very patient for over three years as we have struggled to achieve consensus and county and neighborhood approval of our plans.  We expect that in the spring all permitting will be completed and that our humble complex of chapel, hall, kitchen and classrooms will be complete next fall.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 15, 2004


Newport News, VA - On Saturday November 13, 2004, Father Aleksa Micich travelled to Newport News, VA to baptize seven people in that community.  The Serbian community in the Norfolk area (known as Hampton Roads) is comprised of about forty families of which the church knows.  The faithful there attend the Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Newport News, under the spiritual pastorship of Fr. George Chiorios.  Father George is always welcoming when Father Aleksa comes to visit and always makes available his church for our use.  This was true this past Saturday when seven of our faithful were baptized into the Orthodox Christian faith, including one infant, three school-age children and three adults.  This community is made up almost entirely of people who fled the former Yugoslavia within the last five to ten years.  We are actively working to develop this into a mission parish.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Tuesday, November 9 2004


Akron, OH -  In the true spirit of brotherly love and unity among the Serbian Orthodox Churches in Akron, Ohio, Fr. Dragomir Tuba of St. Archangel Michael closed his church on Sunday, November 7, 2004 and invited all of his parishioners to join him as he concelebrated with V. Rev. Milovan Korach of St. Demetrius Church (N. Gracanica Metropolinate) for their Church Slava.
Also joining in the celebration were V. Rev. Djordje Mileusnic of Warren, OH, V. Rev. Rade Merick of Stuebenville, OH and Rev. Mijoljub Matic of Youngstown, OH.  Archimandrite Fr. Gavrilo (Savic) attended the banquet after services at the monastery.  The Petar Krstich Choir of Holy Resurrection Church in Stuebenville were the guest choir.

Prota Milovan, together with the visiting clergy and the gathered faithful welcomed the newly appointed priest Fr. Drazen Tupanjanin who joined in the Slava celebration and concelebrated in the holy Altar.  Fr. Drazen arrived on November 2 from Trebinje where he served as priest since 2000.  Born in 1977 he finished Seminary in Cetinje and then continued his studies at the Theological Institute in Belgrade.  He was ordained by Bishop Atanasije (Jevtic) at the Cathedral Church in Trebinje.  His popadija, Milja, also finished the Theological Institute in Belgrade.  They have two children, Marija and Pavle.

We welcome them to the area.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 8, 2004


Hermitage, PA - On Saturday, November 6, 2004 the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church of Hermitage, PA celebrated their eightieth anniversary.  The celebration began with an evening Vespers service.  Joining Fr. Milovan, the parish priest, were V. Rev. Djordje Mileusnic (St. Elijah Serbian Church in Warren, OH), Fr. David Subu (Romanian Church in Hermitage), Fr. Taras Maximtsiv (Ukrainian Church in Sharon, PA) and Fr. Igantios Apostoloupolos (Greek Church in Farrell, PA).  Also attending the banquet was Fr. Dragomir Tuba (St. Archangel Michael Serbian Church, Akron, OH).  Very special guests for the celebration were former parish priests Fr. Rade Merick (1980-86) and Fr. John Zdinak (1986-1991).

A formal banquet followed the Vespers service in the church hall. President of the Church-School Congregation, Mr. Bran Vuich, opened the evening's program, welcoming the many gathered faithful, thanking them for taking time to rejoice with them in their jubilee celebration.  Fr. Milovan addressed the crowd afterwards, drawing on the strength and vibrance of the youth of the parish to carry it into the next 80 years and beyond.  Both the former priests, Fr. Rade and Fr. John, congratulated the parishioners on the occasion of their anniversary.

The program continued with a special performance by Jedinstvo Folklore Ensamble from Pittsburgh.  Musical guests Drustvo, also from Pittsburgh, provided the music for the dance that followed the program.

On the occasion of the 80th anniversary the Kolo Srpskih Sestara made a donation of $5,000 to the church, while the Isidor Bajich Choir donated $1,000.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, October 25, 2004


Orlando, FL  - Sunday, October 24, 2004 was a special day for the many parishioners that gathered at the church of St. Petka in Orlando.  It was on this day that they welcomed His Grace Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan as they celebrated their Church Slava with the Divine Liturgy and the festive luncheon that followed.  However, this was also the day that His Grace officially introduced and appointed the parish's new priest - Fr. Ljubisa Brnjosa and his family.

Joining in both the Slava celebration and in welcoming the new parish priest were Protonamesnik Stephen Zaremba, Dean of St. Petersburg Deanery and former Orlando priest, Fr. Dragan Zaric.  A very large number of Orlando Serbs gathered for the joyous occasion.  Kumovi for the Slava were Simo and Zvezdana Blagojevic while Milenko and Slavojka Markovic accepted the honors of being kumovi for next years celebration.

The newly appointed priest Fr. Ljubisa was born in 1975 and finished his theological studies at the Theological Faculty in Belgrade.  He was ordained by Bishop Atanasije and appointed parish priest in Trebinje where he served for eight years.  His popadija, Natasa, also finished her theological studies  and taught religious education in Trebinje for nine years.  They have three children: Konstantin (8), Svetlana (6) and Aleksey (3).  They arrived in Orlando only days before the Slava, on October 19th, and are anxious to begin their work in the parish.

Fr. Ljubisa together with his popadija is temporarly working on getting the Church School program started.  Services in the Orlando parishes are now held regularly on Sundays at 10:00 am with Vespers at 6:00 pm on Saturday evenings.  Fr. Ljubisa will also be temporary administrator of the Jacksonville mission.  In November he plans on visiting the mission on November 14 and 27.  On November 14, 2004 the Jacksonville mission will celebrate their church Slava, St. King Milutin.   

We look forward to hearing from Fr. Ljubisa and the parishioners from both the Orlando and Jacksonville parishes, reading of their successes.

Welcome Fr. Ljubisa, Popadija Natasa and children.  Ziveli na mnogaja ljeta!  

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Thursday, November 4, 2004


Diocesan Headquarters - We offer our most joyous congratulations to the Diocesan Secretary and Bishop's personal deacon, Fr. Deacon Dragoslav Kosic and his wife, Rosanda, who gave birth to a baby girl on Wednesday, November 3, 2004.  

was born at 11:30 am at Magee Woman's Hospital at 21 inches and weighed 8.8 pounds.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 1, 2004


Hermitage, PA - On Sunday, October 31, 2004 the Parents Club of St. George  Serbian Orthodox Church hosted an evening of food, games and  fun at their First Annual Family Festival, an alternative to participating in any Halloween-related activities.  Parish Priest Fr. Milovan Katanic was joined by the local Romanian priest, Fr. David Subu, in welcoming the local Orthodox children, as well as students from the Holy Trinity Orthodox Academy in Warren, Ohio.  The evening was a success as a good time was had by all!

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 1, 2004


Washington, DC - The parish of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist Luke celebrated its parish Slava on Sunday, October 31, 2004.  It is an exciting time for this growing parish. The parish is anticipating a renovation of its  current building to house a chapel, fellowship hall and kitchen, this being only the beginning of the building plans for the parish.  

Our Slava was well attended and the Slavski Kolach and Zito was blessed by Fr. Aleksa Micich, our parish priest in our temporary chapel.  It  was also a day in which several of our individual families  also  celebrated their family slavas.  In one of the pictures below, we see an  added blessing.  The Serbian  Unity Congress, Washington  DC Chapter, last weekend generously donated to our  parish, a replica of  an icon of an angel from Sokolica Monastery in Kosovo, which has been reproduced by the hand of Igumanija  Makarija.  Kumovi for this years Slava was the  Hadijski family and  our Reader Miodrag Lazarevic accepted the honor to be Kum next year.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 1, 2004


Akron, OH -  The "Kosovo" Mens Choir of northeastern Ohio  held their fourth annual Kafana Nite fundraiser on Saturday, October 30, 2004 at the St. Archangel Michael Serbian Church Hall in Akron, Ohio.  Special guest choir "Czar Lazar", the mens choir of greater Pittsburgh, took part in this fundraiser.  After both choirs performed separately they came together for the moving finale, singing "O Lord Save Thy People", under the direction of special guest Michael Hutnik, who arranged this troparion for a male choir.  

Towards the end of the program, the choir  members surprised their director, Dr. Stevan Zivic, with a special plaque in recognition of his ten year dedication to this choir.  Also, the members were very gracious to Mr. Steve Popovic who, on the occasion of their tenth anniversary, donated $1,000 to the choir.  Following  the program musical guests "Junaci" of Pittsburgh, entertained the crowd until late that evening.

The members of the "Kosovo" choir are thankful to all the many people who came out to support their cause.  

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, November 1, 2004


Richfield, OH - Milica Jaksic from Hamilton, Ontario is expected to arrive at Monastery Marcha on Saturday, October 30, 2004, bearing a very special gift - a new icon of St. Archangel Gabriel. On June 28, 2004 a small fire in the church damaged the original icon (also written by M. Jaksic). In addition to the icon, the carpet in the church was also ruined, yet miraculously the icon of St. Lazarus of Kosovo, which sat next to the icon of St. Archangel Gabriel, remained untouched!

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, October 18, 2004


Atlanta, GA -  Saturday, October 16, 2004 was a special day for the Serbian community in Atlanta, Georgia and the parishioners of the Serbian Church of Sts. Peter and Paul as they celebrated their 11th anniversary. Special musical guest Miroslav Ilic, who made a first time visit to the Atlanta Serbs, made the celebration all the more festive for all the parishioners who filled the rented hall to capacity.

The ever growing Serbian community in Atlanta, under the spiritual leadership of Fr. Sasa Turkic, has been rapidly growing. We look forward to reading more news from them as they continue to grow and prosper into one of our larger Serbian parishes.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, October 25, 2004


Charlotte NC – His Grace Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan made a special visit to the Serbian mission parish in Charlotte on Saturday, October 23, 2004 where he blessed the newly renovated house which the community is using as a temporary chapel.  On Friday evening parish priest Fr. Dragan Zaric served the evening Vespers service where, besides His Grace, Fr. Rajko Kosic and Fr. Milovan Katanic joined Fr. Dragan and the faithful people.  Also joining in the festivities on the following day was Fr. Sasa Turkic of the Atlanta parish together with the folklore group from Atlanta and choir director, Danka Vecerina, who helped with the responses during liturgy, sung by a mixture of choir members from Atlanta and Charlotte.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, October 25, 2004


Washington DC - His Grace Bishop of the Raska-Prizren Diocese visited the parish of the Hoy Apostle and Evangelist Luke in Metropolitan Washington DC on Sunday October 24, 2004. His Grace travelled to Washington to attend the annual convention of the Serbian Unity Congress, this year held in Washington DC. He was accompanied to Church by Protosindjel Simeon, Hieromonk Irinjej Dobrijevic, Hierodeacon Varnava and Mother Makarija, Igumanija of Sokolica Monastery in Kosovo. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served, with His Grace offering an inspiring homily, and afterwards, His Grace advised us of the current situation in Kosovo. This was the fourth visit to Washington this year of Bishop Artemije, as he frequently visits with the people of Capital Hill.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, October 18, 2004


Steelton, PA - The Circle of Serbian Sisters of the St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church of Steelton, PA had a dual celebration on Sunday, October 17, 2004, as they celebrated both their Slava as well as their 75th Anniversary. His Grace Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan joined parish priest, V. Rev. Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich and the sisters for the jubilee celebration which began at 10:00 am with the Divine Liturgy. Also serving at the liturgy were V. Rev. Dr. Michael Kovach and V. Rev. Dr. Rodney Torbic.

Following the Divine Liturgy and festivites a banquet was held. Mistress of ceremony was Mrs. Lila Packer. The Kuma of this celebration was a chapter member of the Kolo Mrs. Viola Yanich ( 92) . His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan congratulated her with His Hierarchical Gramata. The Program followed by Choir Marnkovic, Serb Wings Choir, and Junior Tamburitza of St. Nicholas Church.

After the Program, the Orchestra “Sviraj” from our own parish performed for dancing. About 214 people attended the Divine Liturgy, and 177 people attended the Banquet. 44 people received Holy communion. Mrs. Packer conclude in her remarks: “We are proud that we were able establish and preserve this organization in Steetlon, keeping it as mission intact, as it was originally in Serbia. We pray that God will protect our Kolo for many years to come. May we continue to be successful in our mission to help where there is need. “

The Program was finished by Benediction of Bishop Dr.Mitrophan.

V. Rev. Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovic

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, October 17, 2004


Weirton, WV - The much anticipated fundraising event to benefit the Diocesan Children’s St. Sava Camp was held on the evening of Saturday, October 16, 2004 at the Serbian-American Hall in Weirton, West Virginia. Joining His Grace Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan was special guest and former diocesan hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan +Christopher of the Midwestern Metropolinate. Also attending this formal affair were the local clergy from both the Pittsburgh and Cleveland deanaries as well as the many faithful, the majority of which were at one campers at Shadeland.
The occasion for the fundraiser was the construction of the new cabin, which, God willing, is expected to start next year. In his remarks given at the banquet, Metropolitan +Christopher took his patient listeners on the long journey of not just Shadeland as we know it today, but the beginning of this property which grew from a nickname “Shady house” to becoming the Village of Shadeland, then Serbian property and finally a place where generations of Serbian children of the Eastern American Diocese have spent their summers, learning about their faith and culture, where long lasting friendship were started. His Eminence, in describing all the work that went into Shadeland, commended and congratulated all those in attendance for all their efforts and donations, but also reminded them that they are only continuing the work that many before them began.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday,October 11, 2004


Boston, MA -  Upon the invitation from the Church Board of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church of Boston, a delegation from the Embassy of Serbia and Montenegro in Washington D.C. visited the Boston parish on October 9th and 10th 2004.  The delegation was lead by Mr. Bozin Nikolic, Head of Consular Section.
On Saturday they toured Boston guided by their host, Dr. Bozidar Kuljic.  In the evening they joined the parishioners for a fundraising dinner and concert by the famous singer from Serbia Predrag Cune Gojkovic. On Sunday after the Divine Liturgy, Mr. Bozin Nikolic gave a presentation on the work of the Embassy.  He spoke about the services they offer including citizenship, visas, military service regulations, etc. Mr. Mirko Stojcevic spoke about the economic situation in Serbia and Montenegro.  He especially focused on the economic transition with a comparative look at other countries from Eastern Europe who had similar experiences.  He also spoke about privatization and investing in Serbia and Montenegro.  Parishioners then had a chance to ask any questions of interest.

This was the first visit from the Serbian Embassy to St. Sava Church.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Friday, October 15 2004


Grays Lake, IL -  His Grace Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan joined His Grace Bishop of New Gracanica Metropolinate +Longin for the celebration of the monastery Slava, the Protection of the Holy Mother of God, Pokrov, on Thursday, October 14, 2004.  

Also joining Bishop Longin for the Monastery Slava was His Eminence Metropolitan of Midwestern America +Christopher, Bishop +Sava of Slavonia and Bishop +Grigorije of Zahum and Hercegovina.  The five hierarchs were joined by numerous priests and deacons from the Chicago area who gathered at New Gracanica Monastery for the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the day of the Slava

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, October 3, 2004


New York City - The Cathedral of St. Sava in New York held its 60th Anniversary banquet on Saturday evening, October 2, 2004, in the Downtown Marriott Financial Center Hotel in this vibrant city.  The event was spectacular on any number of levels. Joined by an array of clergy and members of the diplomatic corps, our beautiful guests, Serbian and otherwise, dressed in their finery, took center stage in a candlelight setting, savored a delicious meal while enjoying a first-rate program of fantastic entertainers. From a financial point of view the banquet, having raised over $135,000 that evening, was a rousing success.  Monies received specifically for this event by mail or other means and the proceeds from our journal have not yet been tallied.

It was a long-to-be-remembered, extraordinary celebration.  Seated at the Dais were His Eminence Metropolitan Christopher (Midwestern America), Their Graces, Bishop Dr. Mitrophan (Eastern America), Bishop Georgije of Canada, Bishop Dimitrios of  Xanthos (Greek Orthodox Diocese in NY), Rev. Prof. J. Robert Wright (Canon Theologian to the Bishop of New York),  and Rev. Fr. Djokan Majstorovic (Dean of the Cathedral of St. Sava).  Also gracing the Dais were The Honorable Ivan Vujacic (Ambassador of Serbia-Montenegro), The Honorable Igor Davidovic (Ambassador of Bosnia-Hercegovina), Ms. Dragana Ivanovic (Advisor to the Serbia-Montenegro Ambassador to the U.N.), Ms. Nicole Malliotakis (Assistant to NY Gov. George E. Pataki for Community Affairs), Ms. Mira Luna (President of the Cathedral of St. Sava), and Dr. Zorka Milich (Chairperson, Restoration & Development Committee). Participating in this auspicious event were Dr. Milos Prica, Assistant Ambassador to the United Nations from Bosnia-Hercegovina and Minister Counselor Bozin Nikolic, Head of the Consular Section of Serbia-Montenegro.

We were pleased to have a number of out-of-town guests at our celebration.  In addition to the many who joined us from New Jersey and Connecticut, we were delighted to welcome the Stevens and Chelar families from Gary, Indiana and the Savic family from Washington, DC. Also, we greatly appreciate the presence of visitors from Massachussetts: Fr. Alexandar Vlajkovic from Boston and the Milosavljevic family from Northampton.  

The program opened with the Invocation by Metropolitan Christopher, and greetings from Pres. Mira Luna, who expressed her sincere gratitude to all of our generous donors.  Furthermore, she announced that a contract has  been signed for $875,000 to complete the remaining and largest section of the Cathedral roof. Then the Cathedral Choir sang Liturgical Hymns. These formalities were followed by the superb voice of legendary singer, Predrag Gojkovic (CUNE), the spectacular folk dances performed by GRACHANITZA,  the Serbian Folk Dance Ensemble from Boston, the exhilarating Brass Band ZLATNE USTE, and the extraordinary artist, international classical musician, MARINA.

Each of our honored guests also greeted our banquet guests, praising the accomplishments of the St. Sava Church community and encouraging New York Serbs to continue to advance their parish. Guest Speaker Metropolitan Christopher provided a synopsis of the Cathedral’s early period, stressing its close relationship to the Episcopal Church and the purchase of Trinity Chapel from Trinity Church on Wall Street.  He continued by describing its transformation to a Serbian Orthodox church called St. Sava, and the work of the earlier priests and settlers. He inspired our community with stirring words of harmony and the importance of stewardship. Our own Bishop Dr. Mitrophan welcomed the audience and, as he does consistently, praised the community for what it has thus far accomplished and encouraged it to continue to support their beautiful church. He then totally surprised Fr. Djokan by presenting him with a Gramata, elevating him to Archpriest for his zeal and involvement in the spiritual and religious life of his parish, which he humbly accepted on behalf of himself and his parishioners.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of awards(Gamatas) by Fr. Djokan to the largest donors to the restoration of the Cathedral. The categories consisted of PATRON, presented to Lillian Booth Greek friend) and parishioner Dr. Radmila Milentijevic.  PARTNER recognition was granted to: United Bonevolent Society, Michael Masanovich, Boris and Miriann Stepic, Mira and Ralph Luna and Dr. Lila Kalinich. SPONSOR awards were received by: Kolo Sestara "Pokorv Presv. Bogorodice", Zoran and Annette Milkovich, Marica and Radoje Lazic, Ratko and Mirjana Picuric, Van and Tatiana Nikov, Milinkovic Family, Dr. Zorka Milich, Dusan and Beth Nesic, Zoran and Dorothy Milovic and Dragan and Slavica Milosavljev

Prefacing the granting of awards, Fr. Djokan addressed the banquet guests, sharing with them a short history of the Cathedral and the many accomplishments to date, simultaneously inviting all New York Serbs to unite as a force to work toward the further development and advancement of the New York Serbian community.

Subsequently, the exuberant crowd enjoyed kolo dancing to midnight. A Silent Auction was held throughout the evening. The Mistress of Ceremonies was Dr. Zorka Milich, who also delivered a fundraising speech. This 60th Anniversary Program was closed with a Benediction by Bishop Dr. Mitrophan.

Weary, though exhilarated from the previous night’s festivities, the visiting Hierarchs and the clergy celebrated Sunday Divine liturgy to a congregation of over three hundred (300) worshipers, followed by a rich meal of Serbian delicacies. To those of you who were unable to join us, we missed you, but do plan a trip to visit with your Serbian brethren at our landmark Cathedral, and enjoy this exciting city and our restoration “work in progress.” Serbdom is, indeed, alive and well in New York City, the Empire State. You are most welcome.

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[ARCHIVED NEWS] Monday, October 11, 2004


Cleveland, OH - On Friday, October 8, 2004, on the feast of St. Sergius of Radonezh, His Grace Bishop +Dr. Mitrophan was invited by special invitation of His Grace Bishop +Peter of Cleveland of the Russian Church Abroad to join him at St. Sergius Russian Orthodox Church for the celebration of the Temple feast.  Bishop +Mitrophan officiated, assisted by Bishop +Peter.

Protopriest Fr. Peter Burlakov, Fr. Peter Selenoi, Fr. Dragomir Tuba and Fr. Zivojin Jakovljevic joined parish priest Fr. Victor Boldweskul in the liturgical celebration.  Also serving were Protodeacon John Onopko and Deacon Dragoslav Kosic.  Other priests in attendance included V. Rev. Stavrophor Vasilije Sokolovic, V. Rev. Milan Zobenica, V. Rev. John Zdinak, Fr. Theodore Jurewicz, Fr. Rafael (visiting from the Serbian parish in S. America) and Fr. Milovan Katanic.  Mother Ana and the sisters from Monastery Marcha together with Fr. Seraphim were also in attendance.

A procession with the holy relics of St. Sergius of Radonezh and the blessing of the four sides of the church followed the liturgy.  Afterwards Bishop +Peter welcomed Bishop Mitrophan of the Serbian Diocese, thanking him kindly for joining them in the holy liturgical celebration of the day and asking that he keep the Russian Church in his prayers.  All guests were treated to a luncheon at a local restaurant.


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Lorain, OH - On Saturday September 25th the St. Geroge Serbian Orthodox Church of Lorain Ohio celebrated a double Anniversary - 80 years since the founding of the parish (1924 -2004) and 75 years since the consecration of the church building.

The celebration began on Friday evening with Vespers and Matins which were served by Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Fr. Mihailo Doder (former parish
priest of Lorain, 1975-1980, and currently priest of All Serbian Saints Church in Mississauga, ON.), Archpriest Fr. Basil Stoyka (rector of Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church (O.C.A.) in Lorain), and the current parish priest of St. George, Fr. Milorad Orlic. 

The celebration continued on Saturday with Hierarcichal Divine Liturgy served by His Grace, Rt. Rev. Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan with eight priests and a deacon. Among the clergy was Fr. Stephen Tumbas, the current parish priest of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Jackson, CA., and a native of Lorain. Responses were beautifully sung by the KOSOVO Men's Choir, under the directorship of Dr. Stevan Zivic. Prior to Divine Liturgy, His Grace tonsured Mr. Michael Kowalczyk of Elyria, OH. to the rank of Reader, in recognition of his faithful participation in the life of the Lorain parish. During his sermon, His Grace spoke of the importance of the Church in our lives, and encouraged the many faithful present to continue in the ferver of God's House that their fathers had. The Liturgy concluded with a Litija around the church and the blessing of the four sides.


The celebration continued that day with a gala banquet which was held at the beautiful Hall of St. Mark Serbian Orthodox Church (New Grachanica Metropolinate) in Shefflield Village, OH.  The hall was filled with over 250 guests, many of whom traveled considerable distances to the attend the festivities.  During the banquet, on behalf of St. George's parish, Fr. Milorad presented gifts to the oldest male member, Mr. Milivoje Knezevich (age 95) and the oldest female member, Mrs. Mary Govich (age 92).  In recognition of his service to St. George's Parish, His Grace Bishop +Mitrophan awarded Fr. Milorad with the red sash.  The Gala banquet continued with music and dancing into the evening.

The celebration concluded on Sunday with a special blessing for Fr. Milorad - responses to Divine Liturgy were sung by his hometown choir of St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Hamilton, ON. under the direction of Protinica Mira Stojsavljevic.  Along with Fr. Milorad the Divine Liturgy was served by Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Stevo Stojsavljevic (Dean of St. Nicholas Cathedral of Hamilton ON.) and Fr. Stephen Tumbas.  Deeply moved by the day, Fr. Milorad thanked all present at the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, and stated unreservedly that if it had not been for the example of Fr. Stevo Stojsavljevic, and the magnificence of the services at the Cathedral, to which the choir contributes so much, he would not have chosen the priestly vocation.  The day concluded with a wonderful luncheon for all.

The double anniversary celebration was truly an joyous experience for all who participated in it.  Many thanks go to the Church board under the able leadership of President Nikola Malobabic, and the Kolo under President Kathy Fritisch and to all members and friends of St. George Parish would made our double anniversay a memorable event.



Portland, ME - His Grace Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan officiated at the Divine Liturgy at Synaxis of Serbian Saints in Portland, Maine on Sunday, September 26, 2004.  Assisting His Grace was Protonamesnik Fr. Ivan Marjanovic, whom the bishop presented to the parish following the service and introduced as their new full time priest.  Fr. Ivan arrived in America only a few days prior to the first liturgy, on September 23 with Popadija Biljana and daughter Monica.  Prior to his appointment to the newly established mission in Portand, Fr. Ivan was a priest in the town of Godovik, Serbia in the Diocese of Zicha where he served for 17 years. 

Attending the Divine Liturgy on Sunday was also Protonamesnik Fr. Aleksandar Vlajkovic of St. Sava in Boston, who joined Popadija Biljana and seminarian Stanislav Kravljaca at the pevnica, singing the responses.  Also attending this very special event in the life of this young parish were a number of neighboring Greek families, close friends of our Serbian community.

A luncheon was served in the church hall following Divine Liturgy where His Grace offered his welcoming words to the newly arrived priest,wishing him much success in his new surroundings.  The bishop also used this time to thank the efforts of Fr. Aleksandar Vlajkovic who had served the needs of this faithful community as administrator over the years.  A number of parishioners were also recognized with Episcopal Citations.  Special recognition was given to Milica and Donald Pogorzelski who were recognized as Founders and Benefactors for their many contributions to the parish. 

There were about 150 parishioners attending the affair.  Special guests at the luncheon were local Greek priest Fr. Vasilios Arabatzis and Professor Veselin Kesich and his wife Lidija. 

We welcome Fr. Ivan and his family into our diocese and wish him many, many years! 


Boston, MA -
On Sunday, September 26, 2004, His Grace Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan visited the parish of St. Sava in Wakefield, MA, attending the Vespers service on the eve of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  The following day, on the feast, His Grace officiated at the Divine Liturgy with parish priest, Protonamesnik Fr. Aleksandar Vlajkovic singing the responses together with a number of faithful.  His Grace, the bishop, used this visit to better aquaint himself with the current situation in the parish in their search for new property, visiting two Roman Catholic churches that the parishioners are very interested in purchasing. The churches will soon be closed and for sale.


Springboro, PA - Parishioners of the newly established mission of Holy Bishop Nikolaj parish gathered together for the celebration of their first liturgy at Shadeland on Saturday, September 25, 2004.  Temporary Administrator of the parish, V. Rev. Rastko Trbuhovich of St. Stephen's in Lackawanna, NY celebrated the Divine Liturgy.  Parishioner Melanie Krneta led the people in singing the responses during the service.  Fr. Rastko addressed the congregration at the liturgy in both Serbian and English languages, as there were also some newly arrived refugee families present, on the theme of our Lord's words, "only one thing is needful", reminding the faithful that if they put Christ and the liturgy first all other things will come in time.  An article written by Luka Krneta appeared in the local newspaper, the Erie Times about the newly establised parish.



Libertyville, IL - The first annual Sabor of St. Sava School of Theology
Graduates was held on Thursday and Friday, September 23-24 at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, Illinois. The assembly formally opened at 4:00 pm with the registration, which was then followed by the evening Vespers service served by Rev. Aleksandar Novakovic. That evening V. Rev. Miroljub Ruzic, who at one time was professor at this theological school, began the academic section of the planned activities with his lecture entitled: "The Cross as the Center of the Pastoral Service". A lively discussion followed.  Following dinner all attendees enjoyed a few hours of free time where many of the gathered clergy had the chance to catch up with their classmastes, many of whom they hadn't see in years.  Approximately thirty graduates attended, including faculty members: V. Rev. Milos Vesin, V. Rev. Deacon Stanimir Spasovic, Lecturer Predrag Samardzic and Dr. Helen Criticos Theodoropoulos. Only one graduate from our diocese, Fr. Zivko Velimirovic, was able to attend the event. The assembly of St. Sava alumni were also joined by the faithful from the community.

The following day began with the Matins served by Hieromonk Seraphim (Milojkovic), followed by an Akathist served by V. Rev. Miroljub Ruzic and Rev. Mile Subotic at the gravesite of Holy Bishop Nikolaj of Zica and Ohrid. After breakfast the attendees were once again offered a lecture, this time by V. Rev. Rodney Torbic who spoke on the subject of prison ministry. A discussion followed the lecture.  Following lunch the assembly came to a close.

Although many clergy, graduates of this theological institution, weren't able to attend the event due to conflicting schedules in their parishes, the organizers of this event and, in fact, all St. Sava alumni remain hopeful that this event will grow in the years to come, becoming an event that we schedule all of our other personal plans around.



New Carlisle, IN -
His Grace Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan joined Fr. Gavrilo, Mother Evpraksija and the sisterhood of the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchal Monastery of the Nativity of the Mother of God in New Carlisle, IN on Monday, September 20, 2004, for the celebration of the Monastery Slava.

His Grace Bishop +Longin of New Gracanica officiated at the Vigil, assisted by Fr. Gavrilo.  There was no room for all the pilgrims who faithfully flock to attend the annual celebration of the monastery Slava.  During the Vigil service many had to be outside.  A meal was prepared for the visiting hierarchs, clergy and pilgrims following the service.

The Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the day of the feast was served by special guest His Grace Bishop +Peter of Cleveland and Administrator of the Chicago Diocese of the Russian Church Abroad, with the concelebration of Bishop +Longin and Bishop +Mitrophan.  The hierarchs were assisted by Fr. Gavrilo and visiting clergy, V. Rev. Djuro Krosnjar and Rev. Dragan Petrovic. Bishop +Mitrophan offered the homily at the liturgy.

The Ritual of the Slava Cake followed the liturgy which was served by Bishop +Peter.  Although a working day, the church was once again filled to capacity with the pilgrims who flock here out of their great love for this holy Serbian center of spirituality.  Sixty cars and two buses, one from Holy Resurrection parish and the other from St. Symeon the Myrrhflowing parish.  The spiritual children of Fr. Gavrilo from Serbian, Greek and Russian jurisdictions were present at the event.  Certainly a very special moment during the liturgy was the elevation of Fr. Gavrilo to the rank of Archimandrite.  AXIOS!


Festival of the Founding of the
Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos
Clairton, Pennsylvania

Clairton, PA - On a beautiful Sunday morning, 19 September 2004, the Church-School Congregation and Parish of the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos, Clairton, PA held High Festival in honor of its founding in the year 1924.

At 9:45am, as the bell pealed, His Grace †MITROPHAN, Bishop Dr. of the Eastern American Diocese arrived at the church from Mars, PA. The Executive Church Board President Mr. George Kavic met His Grace at the church entrance with the traditional bread and salt, welcoming His Grace. The Parish Priest of St. Mary's Fr. Vladimir V. Demshuk greeted His Grace with the Holy Cross.

The small church was nearly filled to capacity with faithful parishioners and many friends of the parish as well as people from neighboring Orthodox parishes. Fr. Vladimir and Fr. Deacon Dragoslav Kosic assisted His Grace Bishop Dr. †MITROPHAN who was the chief celebrant of the Liturgy. Readers assisting at the Hierarchical Holy Liturgy were Joseph Lia and Michael Krajac. After the vesting of the Bishop and before the Liturgy, His Grace tonsured Mr. Peter Pevac a Reader, an elder son of St. Mary’s, Clairton, PA who also assisted the Bishop at the Hierarchical Holy Liturgy.

The guest choir, the "Serb Wings" Ensemble from St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, Steelton (Oberlin), PA, under the direction of Mrs. Nina Radanovic sang the responses in English, Church Slavonic, Greek, and Serbian. His Grace Bishop Dr. †MITROPHAN gave an inspirational sermon after the Gospel for the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, based on the Parable About The Talents. Several of the faithful received Holy Communion from the hands of their Bishop that day.

His Grace Bishop Dr. †MITROPHAN celebrated The Rite of the Breaking of the Bread ("Slava") in honor of the patronal feast of the Parish, the Nativity of the Most-holy Theotokos (8/21 September) after "The Prayer Behind the Ambo." The honored "Kumovi" (Sponsors) for the celebration were Mr. George J. Zdrale and Rita his wife.

After veneration of the Holy Cross and blessing from the Bishop with fresh basil and Holy Water, the Eightieth Anniversary~Slava Dinner and Concert, at which over one hundred persons attended, was held at the church hall. Very Rev. Stavrofor Dragoljub Malich, Very Rev. Dr. Rodney Torbic, Very Rev. Lt. Col. Adam Yonitch, and Rev. Hieromonk Iwakeim (Joachim) arrived for the dinner.

The dinner program began with the procession to the head table of Bishop Dr. †MITROPHAN and all the assembled clergy as the guest choir and assembly sang "Ton Despotin." The guest choir and assembly then sang the Lord's Prayer, which preceded the blessing of the tables by His Grace Bishop Dr. †MITROPHAN. The dinner and program took two hours with several speeches and Archpastoral remarks and felicitations by His Grace Bishop Dr. †MITROPHAN and the acknowledging of numerous guests who were in the audience and at the dinner head table.

The whole program was under the direction of the capable Mrs. Stella Kukich and Mr. George J. Zdrale, Co-Chairpersons, and the committees serving under them. All of them worked very hard for two years in preparation for the Eightieth Anniversary~Slava. A one hundred six page Eightieth Anniversary~Slava Commemorative Book was typeset and printed by the computer-savvy Mr. Mark Metikosh, Editor, and Fr. Vladimir V. Demshuk, Contributing editor and given to those present in remembrance of this auspicious occasion.

After the dinner, the Master -of-Ceremonies responsibilities were admirably performed by Rdr. Peter Pevac, a member of the parish.

A special attraction of the program was a beautiful concert presentation by the "Serb Wings" Ensemble of both spiritual hymns and folk songs sung in Church Slavonic, Serbian, and Macedonian after which President George Kavic gave a generous monetary gift to the Ensemble on behalf of the parish in support of Monastery "Marcha."

After the concluding remarks of Fr. Vladimir V. Demshuk, the program ended with the prayer "We thank Thee, O Christ our God…" and blessings of His Grace Bishop Dr. †MITROPHAN.

Many people remained awhile to enjoy fraternal friendship that always prevails at the St. Mary’s Church before departing.

Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!
Presvjataja Bogorodice, Spasi Nas!

Rev. Vladimir Demshuk
Parish Priest



Diocesan Headquarters -  Once again this year our Diocese of Eastern America celebrated it’s Patron Saint, St. Nikodim of Serbia on Saturday, September 18, 2004.  As always, the celebration was observed cheerfully, beginning formally on the morning with the spiritual celebration of the holy service.

His Grace Bishop Dr. +Mitrophan officiated at the Holy Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, assisted by V. Rev. Stavrofor Dragoljub Malich and Rev. Milan Pajic, the newly appointed priest of St. George in Midland, PA.  Also serving was the Bishop's deacon, Rev. Deacon Dragoslav Kosic.  Other clergy that attended included Lt. Col. V. Rev. Adam Yontich, V. Rev. Rodney Torbic, Rev. Vladimir Demshuk, Rev. Dragomir Tuba, Rev. Radomir Cutilo (St. Sava Cathedral, Milwaukee, WI), Rev. Zivojin Jakovljevic, Rev. Milovan Katanic, Rev. Rajko Kosic and Rev. Milorad Orlic.     

In his homily, His Grace focused his attention on the ever growing number of people distancing themselves from organized religion.  Although the statistics Bishop used referred to the broader Christian church, he mentioned that this trend affects our church as well, pointing out some of the larger cities in our diocese where a multitude of Serbian families live yet the church attendance doesn't reflect that number.  The theme of Bishop's homily captivated both clergy and laity alike, as each are affected by the problem in their own ways. 

The Ritual of the Cutting of the Slava Cake following the liturgy with Slava kumovi Mr. Michael and Mrs. Priscilla Torbic, the parents of V. Rev. Rodney Torbic.  A luncheon followed the service, during which the Master of Ceremonies, Prota Dragoljub Malich, on behalf of His Grace thanked all the clergy and laity for attending, mentioning the importance of this event in the life of our diocese.  Fr. Rodney spoke as well, commenting on the past Slava celebrations he had attended, pointing out how this particular one will certainly be most memorable to him since his parents were given the great honor of serving as kumovi.  Mr. Michael Torbic, followed his son’s comments, expressing his gratitude to His Grace for such a great honor.


Erie, PA -  His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan, V. Rev. Rastko Trbuhovich, Rev. Milovan Katanic and Rev. Deacon Dragoslav Kosic met on Tuesday, September 14, 2004 at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Luka Krneta together with a small group of interested families to discuss the establishment of a new mission parish in Shadeland, PA.

The newly formed mission is made up of a little over twenty families who primarily live in the greater Erie area.  Per the request of His Grace and the unanimous acceptance of the gathered faithful, the new mission is dedicated to the newly canonized Holy Bishop Nikolaj of Zicha and Ohrid.  The parish will celebrate as their Slava the feast of the Transfer of his Relics from America to Serbia April 30/May 3.  V. Rev. Rastko Trbuhovich of Lackawanna and Rev. Milovan Katanic of Hermitage were appointed temporary administrators.  Services will be served once a month in the Shadeland church chapel.

The first service will be on Saturday, September 25, 2004 at 10:00 am with V. Rev. Rastko Trbuhovich officiating.  We welcome all visitors to join us for liturgy.


Shadeland, PA - Much of the faithful from throughout our diocese who attended the first annual Diocesan Days agreed that it was a great success. Diocesan Bishop, Dr. +Mitrophan was joined by Bishop of New Gracanica, Bishop +Longin, who delivered an inspiring lecture to all campers and adults about the sufferings of the new martyr Bishop Varnava of Hvosno. That evening, following Vespers and dinner, the children huddled around the bonfire, listening to Proto Stevo Rocknage deliver yet another insightful talk aimed especially at our youth.

The following day at the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy nearly all the clergy joined the two hierarchs at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Although some clergy were unable to make the long trek, over twenty clergy joined together in prayer that beautiful Sunday morning. Bishop Longin once again addressed both the children and adults, delivering his homily.

All were treated to a wonderfully organized program on the campgrounds following lunch, which ended with all past and present campers and clergy singing the St. Sava hymn.



Shadeland, PA - On Sunday, August 8, 2004 during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy served in Shadeland Fr. Danilo Rogich of St. Stefan Despot Lazarevic Mission Parish in Clinton, New York was surprised when, during the Little Entrance, His Grace Bishop Mitrophan elevated him to the rank of protopresbyter. Besides his current pastoral work at the mission in upstate New York, along with his past work in Clairton, PA and the Theological College in Libertyville, IL, Bishop also commended him on his translations of the works of St. Gregory Palamas as well as the Serbian Patericon, not to mention his many years of devotion to the children's camp in Shadeland. May God grant him many, many years!

July 31, 2004

Richfield, OH -  On Saturday, July 31, 2004 His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan, together with surrounding clergy from the Ohio and Pennsylvannia parishes joined the sisters at Monastery Marcha for the celebration of the Monastery Slava.  Following the Hierarchial Divine Liturgy the Slava cake was cut and all guests were treated to a meal at the banquet.  A special announcement was made that the debt on the monastery has been paid off, as well as the many things that have been completed over the past year.


July 8, 2004


Diocesan Headquarters - On Thursday July 8, 2004 His Grace Bishop Mitrophan received a special group of visitors at the Diocesan Headquarters: the students from the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church School in Hermitage, PA. In fact, this was the first time that the children from the Hermitage parish made a visit to the diocese during his tenure. The chidren and parents were warmly welcomed by His Grace, who led them into the chapel where the children venerated the icons while bishop showed his visitors the current work being done on the restoration of the frescoes. Following this, the children were led outside where they were served to drinks and snacks.
     Fr. Milovan thanked His Grace for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with the children and pointed out that the children came prepared with questions. A lively Q & A session followed, which lasted over an hour as Bishop was asked questions ranging from: why he wears the mitre, to what he wears in public, to how strictly should children prepare themselves for Holy Communion. The questions even required deeper theological insight as children inquired - why do some people blame God for their misfortunes, do we believe in fate and the teaching of free will.

     However, this was not only a time for the children to ask the bishop questions, His Grace also posed some questions to them. Namely, he asked them what feast we celebrated the day before (July 7) and told them about the life of St. John the Baptist and the importance of our celebration of this feast. 
     A lenten lunch was served after which the children and parents slowly got their belongings together and made their way home. Before they left Bishop gave the children little crosses and icons as a momento of their visit. This visit will remain imprinted in the memories of our children as we strive to make this a yearly visit to our Diocese and our dear Bishop Mitrophan. 


April 22, 2004


Pittsburgh, PA - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN has been scheduling formal seminars for the clergy of the Eastern American Diocese on a regular basis for more than a decade.

     Normally the seminars are held at least twice annually. The first one of each year immediately follows Pascha. The second one most often occurs toward the end of the year.

     Speakers for the most part have been Diocesan clergy. The subjects are wide-ranging topics of contemporary interest relating directly to parish life. Health care ethics, marital concerns, burial practices, ministering to the imprisoned, burial practices, counselling the grieving, Holy Confession and concerns regarding the family have been among the topics covered.

     Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral was the site of the most recent seminar on April 22, 2004. The speaker was Very Reverend Archimandrite Polycarpos Rameas, priest at Holy Dormition Greek Orthodox Church of Oakmont, Pennsylvania.

     Archimandrite Ramaes is experienced and well respected. He has been the featured speaker at Orthodox institutes and seminars for many years. Archimandrite Rameas is active with and has held positions of honor and leadership within the Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of Greater Pittsburgh.

     The day began with the Hiearchical Divine Liturgy with His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN officiating. Father Rameas' presentation followed. Drawing from his decades of experience as a priest and his travel to the Holy Land, Father Rameas spoke to the hearts and minds of the many priests present. He addressed the essence of the priesthood, the problems and the joys, the calling of God and God's presence in daily life. He spoke eloquently of the unity of Orthodoxy expressed in the Holy Divine Liturgy.

     A large number of Diocesan priests attended the seminar. Several of the priests travelled great distances. Comments and discussion of Archimandrite Ramaes' presention verified the effort needed to attend was worthwhile.

Attending in addition to His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN and host priest Reverend Father Rajko Kosic were:

Very Reverend Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich,
Very Reverend Stavrofor Dragoljub Malich,
Very Reverend Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov,
Very Reverend Stavrofor Janko Raljich,
Very Reverend Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich,
Very Reverend Rade Merick,
Very Reverend Adam Yonitch,
Very Reverend Predrag Micic,
Very Reverend Toma Stojsich,
Very Reverend Stevo Rocknage,
Very Reverend Dr. Rodney Torbic,
Reverend Father Vladimir Demshuk,
Reverend Father Dragomir Tuba,
Reverend Father Zivojin Jakovljevic,
Reverend Father Djokan Majstorovic,
Reverend Father Milovan Katanic,
Reverend Father Zivko Velimirovic,
Reverend Father Isaac Kisin,
Father Deacon Milan Medakovich,
Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic.

The seminars keep Diocesan clergy focused on the need for continued learning and provide opportunities for collective attention and thinking directed at subjects that will ultimately benefit parish life in the Diocese.

The Holy Trinity Kolo was commended for preparing a wonderful dinner for the attendees



St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa, V. Rev. Stavr. Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich
St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa, V. Rev. Stavr. Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich
St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa, V. Rev. Stavr. Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich
St. Nicholas, Johnstown
St. Nicholas, Johnstown
St. Nicholas, Johnstown
St. Nicholas, Monroeville, V. Rev. Rade Merick
St. Nicholas, Monroeville, V. Rev. Rade Merick
St. Nicholas, Monroeville, V. Rev. Rade Merick

Holy Unction at Holy Trinity Cathdral, Pittsburgh
Holy Unction at Holy Trinity Cathdral, Pittsburgh
Holy Unction at Holy Trinity Cathdral, Pittsburgh
St. Sava Cathdral, Cleveland, OH L-R: Deacon Dragoslav Kosic, Fr. Isak Kisin, Fr. Zivojin Jakovljevic, V. Rev. Milan Zobenica, V. Rev. Stav. Janko Raljich, V. Rev. Dragan Filipovic, Fr. Dragomir Tuba, Fr. Milovan Katanic
St. Sava Cathdral, Cleveland, OH L-R: Deacon Dragoslav Kosic, Fr. Isak Kisin, Fr. Zivojin Jakovljevic, V. Rev. Milan Zobenica, V. Rev. Stav. Janko Raljich, V. Rev. Dragan Filipovic, Fr. Dragomir Tuba, Fr. Milovan Katanic
St. Sava Cathdral, Cleveland, OH L-R: Deacon Dragoslav Kosic, Fr. Isak Kisin, Fr. Zivojin Jakovljevic, V. Rev. Milan Zobenica, V. Rev. Stav. Janko Raljich, V. Rev. Dragan Filipovic, Fr. Dragomir Tuba, Fr. Milovan Katanic
St. George, Midland, V. Rev. Stevo Rocknage
St. George, Midland, V. Rev. Stevo Rocknage
St. George, Midland, V. Rev. Stevo Rocknage
March 13, 2004

Johnstown, PA - On September 26, 1987 the first Annual Christian Education Deanery Meeting of the Eastern American Diocese was scheduled by the Diocesan Bishop, His Grace (Now Midwest Metropolitan) Bishop CHRISTOPHER at the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Mckeesport, Pennsylvania. Since then, each year in each of the Deaneries of the Diocese, Christian Education meetings have been held annually.

     This year the Seventeenth Annual Pittsburgh Deanery Meeting was held at the St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on March 13, 2004. It was the Fifty-First Deanery meeting held since September l987..

     Host Proto Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich offerred warm words of welcome. Proto Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov, Dean of the Pittsburgh Deanery, gave opening supportive remarks.

     The featured speaker in Johnstown was Very Reverend Stavrofor Dragoljub Malich, parish priest at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Monroeville and President of the Serbian Orthodox Clergy Brotherhood of the United States and Canada.

     Proto Malich spoke with strength regarding the existence, meaning and purpose of Church schools. He questioned where many Church school students have gone. He asked rhetorically what Church schools were about: To know God! To serve God! For the salvation of souls! For life eternal!

In his presentation, Proto Malich said the knowledge of God was the main goal of Church schools. He spoke of the mind of Christ and the Orthodox Christian mind.

     Repentance and keeping the baptismal garment clean were topics in Proto Malich's presentation. The central importance of the Divine Liturgy and the Eucharist were emphasized by Proto Malich.

     Oral and written reports from the parishes in the Deanery were reviewed. The Pittsburgh Deanery consists of parishes located in the Pennsylvania communities of Aliquippa, Carmichaels, Clairton, Johnstown, McKeesport, Midland, Monroeville, Pittsburgh and Youngwood. The Holy Resurrection Church in Steubenville, Ohio and Holy Trinity Mission in Fairmont, West Virginia are also part of the Pittsburh Deanery.

     His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN thanked Proto Malich for his presentation and Proto Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich and the St. Nicholas Parish for hosting the meeting. His Grace emphasized the importance of teaching students to pray and educating the parents.

     Additional clergy attending the meeting were Protopresbyter Rade Merick, Protopresbyter Lt. Colonel Adam Yonitch, Protopresybter Stevo Rocknage, Father Vladimir Demshuk, Father Rajko Kosic and Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic.

     Also actively participating in the meeting were: John Russin, Joyce Yovetich, Steve Milosh Klipa, Patty Devich, Laura Malich, Michael Winowich, Brian Hayden, Lynn Popovich, Juliann Madjarevich Taylor and Lillian Fleck.

Deanery meetings offer Christian educators an annual opportunity to exclusively focus on and discuss Christian education. All parish priests and teachers within the Deanery are invited to attend the meetings and to actively participate. The Deanery meetings consistently include speakers knowledgeable in Christian education and provide for the opportunity to hear of parish education projects and highlights.

     Parishes were encouraged to utilize books and publications by Serbian Orthodox clergy as part of the curriculum. Excerpts were distributed from His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN's book, The Teaching of Saint Apostle Paul on the Church and Proto Stavrofor Dr. Nedeljko Grgurevich's book The Eucharist as Sacrifice.

     The importance of Christian education in the Eastern Diocese is best reflected by the consistent scheduling by and presence of His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN at the Deanery meetings. Proverbs 8:10-11 states: "Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all things that are desired may not be compared to it."

Very Rev. Rodney Torbic

25 December/7 January 2004

Carmichaels, PA - For the first time in memory, the Diocesan Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church celebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania on the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

     His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN, Bishop of Eastern America, successor to the Holy Apostles through the canonical laying on of hands, embodied the joy of the Feast when He officiated this year at the St. George Church on December 25, 2003 according to the Church Calendar. 1

     The Feast of the Nativity of Jesus Christ is a true feast of joy, the celebration of the divine taking on human flesh, the celebration of Jesus Christ coming to the hearts and homes of believers. 

The St. George Church in Carmichaels is a parish of dedicated and hardworking Serbian Orthodox Christians primarily from the counties of Greene and Fayette in Southwestern Pennsylvania and areas of neaby West Virginia.

     Divine services are held daily in the St. George Church. It was truly fitting and exceedingly joyful for the long preparation for the Feast of the Nativity to culminate with the presence of the Diocesan Bishop celebrating the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.

     The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy lifts believers to new levels of Christian experience each time it is served. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy radiates the presence of Christ to immeasurable distances. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy unites the Church Militant and the Church Triumphant.

     The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy transcends and unites believers from all of the centuries. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy transcends georgraphic boundaries. 

     When the Diocesan Bishop serves, the whole Diocese is the beneficiary of the worship experience. His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN is steadfast and learned in holding to the established liturgical practices of the Holy Orthodox Church.

     Accompanying and assisting His Grace at the Divine Liturgy was Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic, Diocesan Secretary for the Eastern American Diocese. St .George Parish Priest, Father Rodney Torbic also served. The St. George Choir was directed by Andrea Janson.

     This historic visit by the Diocesan Bishop was shared with believers located in far distances from the St. George Church, but connected by heart and spirit. For the first time ever, the Feast of the Nativity Divine Liturgy was rebroadcast on the radio. Tom Hunter provided the idea and necessary skills for recording of the service.

     The joyful memories of this Feast are written in the hearts and minds of those present and will remain for years to come. Mir Bozji! Hristos se Rodi!

Peace of God! Christ is born!

October 27, 2003

Aliquippa, PA - St. Sava School of Theology graduate Father Deacon Sasha Turkic was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN on October 27, 2003, St. Petka-Paraskeva.

     The ordination took place at St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Church in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania on the occasion of the Kolo Slava. Very Reverend Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov, parish priest at St. Elijah Church and Dean of the Pittsburgh Deanery particpated.

     Seja Mabee is President of the St. Elijah Kolo Srpski Sestara. Honored Kumovi for the Slava were Mary and Patty Cekoric, two long time active and faithful members of the St. Elijah Church.

     Father Sasha is the ninth graduate of St. Sava School of Theology currently serving in the Eastern American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

     St. Sava School of Theology graduate, Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic, Diocesan Secretary, served at the Hierachical Divine Liturgy and had the joyful opportunity to proclaim with all in attendance, "Axios", "He is worthy!"

Ordinations are joyful occasions. The "Call" to the Holy Priesthood is a special call. It is a call to a lifetime of commitment in service to the Lord Jesus Christ.

     Father Sasha had ample opportunity during his several years of study at St. Sava School to contemplate the commitment he was making. During his studies, he had the opportunity to hear about and think about the complexities of the Holy Priesthood and parish life.

     Father Sasha's preparation included learning the services of the Church, the Holy Scriptures, the music and iconography and history of the Church. He had to study patristics and pastoral theology.

     Continued learning will be required of Father Sasha as he puts into practice what he has learned. He will see and experience pressing needs in the parish and will be required to call upon His faith in God for guidance to meet them.

     Just as Father Sasha was required to prepare for ordination, His professors had the opportunity to observe him. He was observed and tested in his classes. He had to master the material and conduct himself in ways approved by the Church. Father Sasha was observed on the grounds of the School of Theology.

     The ordaining bishop assumes a big responsibility at each ordination. The decision to ordain must be made carefully and after due prayeful deliberation. His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN is very familiar with Father Sasha and had ample information upon which to base His decision.

     His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN serves on the faculty at St. Sava School of Theology and has been affiliated with the School of Theology since its inception. Episcopal Deputy, Proto Stavrofor Dr. Nedelkjo Grgurevich, also has been a part of St. Sava School of Theology from its origin.

     The St. Elijah Kolo has a distinguished record of service. It is fitting ordination took place during the Kolo Slava making it a memorable occasion for years to come.

Very Rev. Rodney Torbic

His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN, with Deacon Dragoslav Kosic, vests the new priest, Fr. Sasa.

Prota Stevan Stepanov, Kuma Patty Cekoric, Kuma Mary Cekoric, His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN.
October 11, 2003

Akron, OH - For seventeen consecutive years, priests and church school staff members of the Cleveland Deanery have been scheduled to assemble on a Deanery basis by the Diocesan Bishop for purposes of Christian education.

     The Annual Deanery Meeting brings together the priests and the teachers to hear an effective and thorough presentation dealing specifically dealing with Christian education.

     The Annual Deanery meeting includes reports of parish highlights and affords the opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss problems affecting Christian education in the parish.

     His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN is an active and consistent presence at the Deanery meetings demonstrating the Diocesan commitment to Christian education.

     Father Janko Raljich serves as the Dean of the Cleveland Deanery. Father Raljich hosted many of the initial Deanery meetings and served as a speaker.

     The Cleveland Deanery consists of the Ohio parishes of Akron, Canton, Cleveland, Colombus, Lorain, and Youngstown. The St. Stephen Church in Lackawanna, New York and the St. George Church in Hermitage, Pennsylvania are also part of the Deanery.

     On October 11, 2003 the St. Archangel Serbian Orthodox Church in Akron, Ohio hosted the Seventeen Annual Deanery Meeting. Father Isaac Kisin from St. Stephen of Decani Church in Colombus, Ohio was the featured speaker assigned by His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN.

     Father Kisin is a graduate of the St. Sava School of Theology in Libertyville, Illinois. He prepared a well-researched and referenced presentation discussed learning and development in the life of an individual in the Orthodox Church from birth through adulthood.

     Father Kisin used many different authoritative sources to illustrate his points. Father Kisin's presentation demonstrated the richness of resources available for individuals choosing to seriously do Christian education research.

     Deanery clergy participating in the meeting in addition to Father Kisin were host priest Father Dragomir Tuba, Prota Dragan Filipovic, Father Zivojin Jakovljevic, Father Milorad Orlic and Father Deacon Milan Medakovich.

     Popadija Christina Tuba and Popadia Milana Orlic were active participants as were Dorothy Winowich and Laureen Solomon of Cleveland. Dorothy Winowich has been teaching church school for forty years. Dorothy is a valuable example of the type of dedication needed in parish schools.

     His Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN encouraged parishes to invest in the development of parish schools. To illustrate the point that where money is invested is a reflection of priorities, His Grace asked the amount each parish sets aside in the annual budget for Christian education.

     In addressing certain negative aspects of contemporary culture and urban life, His Grace reviewed the influence of the media and street life on Christian life.

     The meeting participants were warmly received by the host parish of St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church of Akron, Ohio and were appreciative of the hospitality rendered.

Very Rev. Rodney Torbic



Diocese of Eastern America

65 Overlook Circle
New Rochelle, NY 10804


E-mail: diocese@easterndiocese.org 


Office & Residence: 

(914) 633-9000 - (914) 633-9009