On Sunday, October 27, 2019, the 19th Sunday after Pentecost, the parish of the Holy Prophet Elijah in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania gathered for a celebration of the Venerable Mother Paraskeva – “Sveta Petka” – the patron of the parish’s Kolo Srpskih Sestara (Circle of Serbian Sisters, or “K.C.C.” in Cyrillic).
The day began with the service of the Divine Liturgy by the parish priest, Rev. Branislav Golic. Inspired responses were offered by the St. Elijah Serbian Church Choir, directed by Kathy Loverich, who also serves as president of the K.C.C. “Sveta Petka.” Also joining in worship were Very Rev. Stavrofor Dr. Rodney Torbic, retired pastor of the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church of Carmichaels (Masontown), Pennsylvania and a son and member of the St. Elijah parish, and a large number of faithful, many of whom (including a host of children) received the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord. All of the faithful present joined in joyful and prayerful observance as the Slavski Kolac was turned by the Kolo sisters and blessed by Fr. Branislav.
This year’s feast marked the 90th anniversary of the K.C.C. “Sveta Petka,” and sharing the honor as Kume for the occasion were two sisters, in both a genetic and spiritual sense, who demonstrate exceptional devotion: Julie Madjarevich Taylor and Joann Madjarevich Ludovico. Their commitment to our parish has been demonstrated from their childhood, as twin daughters of +Stevo and +Mary Madjarevich, who themselves tirelessly served the church in many capacities for decades. Following that true Christian example, Julie and Joann have had active roles over the years in the parish’s choir, the Mother’s Club, the church school, and in countless parish projects, including the bi-annual Serbian Food Festivals. Julie also served for many years on the parish’s Executive Board, including two terms as President, and currently serves on the committee to support the construction of a cupola on the parish’s Holy Resurrection Chapel at the St. Elijah Cemetery. Julie and Joann remain committed and active members of the Kolo, never turning away when there is work to be done in our parish. Their witness to Christ and our faith as loving workers for the church is a beautiful blessing.
Following the Divine Liturgy, a Parastos was served for the members of the K.C.C. “Sv. Petka” who have departed this life, as well as for Jennie Zakovich, a former member of the Kolo, on the occasion of the anniversary of her repose. Over 350 departed sisters were commemorated during the Parastos. The list of departed sisters is a reminder of the incredible investments of time, talent, and treasure made by from the earliest days of the parish’s history by so many beloved mothers, babe, tete, and Kume, who never hesitated to do all they could to make sure that the St. Elijah parish would grow and thrive. May they be numbered in the mansions of the righteous, and may their memories be eternal!
After completion of the Divine Services, members of the Kolo and their guests gathered for a festive luncheon at the American-Serbian Club of Aliquippa.
As in all Serbian Orthodox parishes on this continent, the work of the K.C.C. “Sveta Petka” is crucial to the health and well-being of the St. Elijah parish. Our Kolo sisters are always ready with a helping hand, a spirit of generosity, and even a delicious meal or treat, no matter what the occasion or what work lies ahead. Simply stated, the St. Elijah parish could not have accomplished all that it has over the last 105 years without the exceptional and faithful contributions of the Kolo over the last 90 years.
Through the prayers of the Most Holy Theotokos and of our Venerable Mother Paraskeva, may our Lord richly bless our Kolo sisters with many more years!