St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Monroeville, PA, together with the Serb National Federation lodges of Monroeville and Trafford, were bestowed the great honor and privilege to host the 78th Annual Serb National Federation Golf Tournament from the 7th to 11th of August.
Over 170 golfers from all parts of the United States and Canada gathered together to enjoy each other’s company and celebrate the sport of golf. The St. Nicholas parish family’s efforts to create a memorable event undeniably paid off following many months of preparations and planning. The St. Nicholas parish extends their sincere gratitude and appreciation to John Martich, President of the SNF, and his board, for choosing St. Nicholas to host the tournament. Truly it would not have been the success that it was without the generous support of the sponsors, golfers, their families, and guests. The St. Nicholas parish extends a wholehearted appreciation to them all. Additionally, the support from the St. Nicholas parish family, co-chairs Pero Prpa and Dusan Markoff, the tournament organizing committee, the St. Nicholas parish board and its President, Nicholas Jokola, all the auxiliary organizations of the parish, helpers and volunteers, were imperative to the success of the tournament. Together, they demonstrated how a parish can come together, unified as a family, and organize a momentous event such as this. May God bless them for their hard work, love and dedication to their church and the Serbian community!
The crown of this year's tournament was His Grace Bishop Irinej. His Grace arrived Saturday afternoon and attended the Vesperal Service, served by parish priest, Fr. George Veselinovic, and Deacon Milos Zdralic. Following Vespers, His Grace was welcomed into the banquet in traditional Serbian custom with the song, “Mars na Drinu” (March to the River Drina). With over 300 guests, the banquet was at capacity. The banquet was officially opened with prayer by our honored guest and host, Bishop Irinej. Other speakers for the evening were Pero Prpa, Master of Ceremonies, Fr. George Veselinovic, parish priest of St. Nicholas, Nicholas Jokola, parish board president, John Martich, president of the SNF, Co-chair Dusan Markoff, and Nick Lubic, SNF Golf Director. After the presentation of awards to the winners of the tournament by Nick Lubic, our Hierarch and Father, Bishop Irinej, addressed the audience. His Grace reminding all present that unity is the most sacred thing; the Serbian Orthodox Church is undivided and one forever. His speech was met with rounds of applause as many years have passed since a Bishop was present at an SNF golf tournament. The evening was truly one to remember for many years to come. St. Nicholas Church, members of the SNF, and all guests thank His Grace for accepting the invitation and blessing them with His presence. Mnogaja ljeta!
On Sunday, Holy Divine and Hierarchical Liturgy was served, with His Grace Bishop Irinej presiding, and Very Rev. Fr. Dragoljub Malich, Very Rev. Fr. George Veselinovic, Very Rev. Deacon Milos Zdralic, and Rev. Deacon Mark Resanovich concelebrating. To the delight to all, Loren Prisuta, daughter of Shelley and Ian, beautifully proclaimed the epistle like an angel. Following the reading of the Holy Gospel, His Grace delivered an outstanding homily in which He explained in detail the Gospel lesson and miracle of the five loaves and two fishes. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Fr. George thanked and welcomed beloved and dearest guest and Host, His Grace, with the ancient greeting, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Following Divine Liturgy, the parish family of St. Nicholas prepared and served a lunch in honor of His Grace, all guests and parishioners, and Very Rev. Fr. Rade Merick, Episcopal Dean of Pittsburgh.