WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 2020) – St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church recently announced that His Holiness Irinej, Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, will visit Washington, D.C. on March 2-3, 2020. As part of his official schedule in the Nation’s Capital, His Holiness will be attending meetings in Washington on both days and will visit the St. Luke parish on March 2, 2020. Patriarch Irinej, the spiritual leader of over 10,000,000 Serbian Orthodox Christians around the world, will be accompanied by His Grace Bishop Jovan of Šumadija, a member of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America, the diocesan bishop of Washington, D.C. and the East Coast of the United States.
The visit starts with the Great Compline and the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete which will be served at 6:00 p.m. at St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church at 10660 River Road, Potomac, MD 20854. Afterwards, a banquet will be prepared in His Holiness’ honor at the neighboring social hall of Saints Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church. In order to cover the cost of the event, the parish is asking everyone to make a reservation for the dinner : https://www.eventbrite.com/e/banquet-in-honor-of-his-holiness-patriarch-irinej-of-serbia-tickets-95535692829
St. Luke’s is honored to have His Holiness Patriarch Irinej together with Bishops Jovan and Irinej visit the parish and bestow patriarchal blessings on the faithful of the area.
His Holiness Patriarch Irinej (Gavrilović) of Serbia was born in the municipality of Čačak, Serbia in 1930. He finished elementary school in his village, and later on high school in Čačak. Thereupon he enrolled and completed Theological Seminary in Prizren, Kosovo and Metohija, and graduated from the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade. The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church appointed him a Professor of the Prizren Theological Seminary, but before assuming this assignment he was tonsured a monk and was ordained into the priesthood in 1959. While he worked as a professor at the Prizren Seminary he spent a period of time persuing post-graduate studies in Athens. In 1969 he was appointed Principal of the Monastic School in the Monastery of Ostrog, Montenegro, from where he returned to Prizren and became Principal of the Prizren Seminary. From that office he was elected Vicar Bishop of the then Patriarch of Serbia with the title of Bishop of Moravica in 1974. A year later, in 1975, he was elected as diocesan Bishop of Niš and enthroned in the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Niš later that year. As Bishop he headed the Diocese of Niš for the next 35 years. The Holy Assembly of Bishops elected Bishop Irinej as Archbishop of Peć, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Serbian Patriarch on January 22, 2010, and as successor of the previous Patriarch Pavle (Stojčević). Consequently, he is the 45th Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Bishop Jovan (Mladenović) of Šumadija was born in Arilje, Serbia in 1950. He felt a monastic calling as a teenager. After a novitiate in the monasteries Klisura and Studenica, he finished monastic school in Ostrog Monastery and was tonsured a monk in 1971. He was ordained deacon that same year in the Studenica Monastery, where he was also ordained priest in 1973. The following year he completed his seminary education at the Seminary of St. Sava in Belgrade. He graduated from the Faculty of Theology in Belgrade in 1980. The same year, he was elected and appointed the Abbot of the historical Studenica Monastery. In 1993, the Holy Assembly of Bishops elected him as Vicar Bishop of the then Serbian Patriarch Pavle with the title Bishop of Tetovo. The following year, Bishop Jovan was elected and enthroned as the diocesan bishop of Western America, with a see in Los Angeles, CA, where he served until his election to the throne of bishops of Šumadija, Serbia. He is the third bishop of Šumadija since the establishment of the diocese.
Bishop Irinej (Dobrijević) of Eastern America was elected and consecrated by the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church as bishop of Australia and New Zealand in 2006. Since 2016 he has been the bishop of the Diocese of Eastern America. He attended St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania after attending the Cleveland Institute of Art. He graduated with a Licentiate in Theology with the academic distinction maxima cum laude and then enrolled in St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York and graduated with a Master of Divinity degree with an honorable mention for his master’s thesis. He has spent most of his career in the field of education, lecturing at Loyola University in Chicago and at the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade. For more information about His Grace Bishop Irinej, visit: www.easterndiocese.org/ourbishop.
For additional information about the visit of Patriarch Irinej to St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church on March 2, go to: www.serbianchurch.org, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.492.0492. Also, please visit us on Facebook at : www.facebook.com/svluka.srpskapravoslavnacrkva.
About St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church
More than half a century ago, in the capital of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., about 50 believers of the Serbian Orthodox faith - Americans of Serbian descent and Serbian immigrants – organized an unofficial meeting on February 12, 1961 to establish regular church services. The first Divine Liturgy of the Serbian Orthodox community was celebrated in the Chapel of American University on March 26, 1961 by Archimandrite Dr. Firmilijan Ocokoljić, at that time the dean of the Saint Sava Cathedral in New York City, and then later the Bishop of the Middle-American Diocese. It was decided to organize a church-school community in Washington and its metropolitan area, to name Saint Luke as the saint protector of the parish, to give his name to the church, and to organize a parish. After a number of locations over the course of more than 50 years, St. Luke’s Serbian Orthodox Church has a permanent home at 10660 River Road, Potomac, MD 20854 and as of December 1, 2017, a new priest, Fr. Vasilije Vranić, appointed by His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America.