INFLUENTIAL SERBS IN AMERICA ADDRESS PATRIARCH: On disinformation and in support of our Bishops

TO THE HOLY SYNOD OF THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
THE SERBIAN PATRIARCHATE,

BELGRADE

 

 "Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the Head, that is, Christ."

(Ephesians 4:14-15)

 

Your Holiness,

Your Eminence,

Your Graces:

 

As faithful children, communicants, and benefactors of our Holy Serbian Orthodox Church, we write to express our steadfast support for our bishops in America: Their Graces Bishop Longin, Bishop Maxim, and Bishop Irinej. Recent slanderous articles and petitions to you by a vocal and unchurched minority oblige us before the public and before the Holy Synod to raise our voices openly in support of our archpastors— and to speak the truth in love.

 

We humbly submit to you that the Church of Saint Sava in America is among the most dynamic parts of our church anywhere in the world. This is evidenced by our faithful’s regular attendanceof divine services, participation in the divine mysteries, and generous stewardship to support the ministries of our dioceses and parishes; by the many active programs for youth and adult education at all levels of church organization; by the frequent and impressive publishing of religious literature; by continuous humanitarian and charitable activities and active hospital ministries; and by defending our brothers and sisters in our ancestral homeland, by educating our nation’sgovernment about their oppression. All of these efforts have been inspired and fostered by our bishops who deserve to be commended for their work and their leadership. Indeed, our bishops are honored and respected for their ministries even more widely in the Pan-Orthodox community which is the reality in our country.

 

Petitions and letters sent to the Holy Synod based on outright lies, half-truths, rumors, or presenting facts out-of-context cannot be the basis for any action which would bring any good to our Church and her faithful children here. Anyone who claims to the Holy Synod that Bishop Longin, Bishop Maxim, or Bishop Irinej seek to separate our dioceses from the Serbian Orthodox Church is either unknowing and ill-informed, or lying with malicious intent. Indeed, it appears that this disinformation is being generated and disseminated by a small group of detractors—while the vast majority of our parishes and faithful in America remain peacefully supportive of our bishops. We. urge you not to heed the ill-informed calls to action of these few detractors at the risk of disturbing the peace and harmony of the much larger majority.

 

We trust and hope, dear Synodal fathers, that you will have the ability and wisdom to discern the true, ulterior motives of the few who create and raise public controversies in the life of the churchin America for their own personal reasons. “By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew7:16). And we hope that you will give due consideration to our joint letter as well, given our yearsof filial devotion and service to Christ’s Church and Svetosavlje in America and throughout the world.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Daniel August

Tonsured Reader – Čtec
Member, St Elijah Church, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania

Zoran Beric

Owner, Fiber Node Services, Inc.
University of Banja Luka, Republika Srpska (Electrical and Electronics Engineering) Chicago, Illinois

Mira Bishop

Owner, Oliver Brothers Art Restoration and Conservation, Est. 1850 Parishioner, St. Sava Cathedral
Boston, Massachusetts

Milana-Mim Karlo Bizic

Contributor, Tesla Nation
Serbian-American Cultural Advocate and Activist Member, St. Elijah Church
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania

Jasmina Theodore Boulanger

Juris Doctor and Master of Science, Economics
Order of St. Sava, 2d degree
Former President, Serbian Unity Congress
Former First Vice President of Diocesan Council, Diocese of Western AmericaParishioner, St. Steven’s Cathedral

Board of Directors, International Orthodox Christian Charities Former President, Cotton Point Advisors, LLC
Former Vice President, Conexant Systems, Inc.
Alhambra, California

Eli Bradaric

Assistant Vice President at Major Financial Services Corporation managing accounting for the 2nd largest public pension fund in the US
Treasurer Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church
Sacramento (Fair Oaks), California

John Buffalini

Serbian American Leadership Conference Tonsured Reader - Čtec
St. Luke Church
Washington, DC

Vlade Divac

Basketball player
Sacramento Kings General Manager Elected to Hall of Fame 2019
Founder Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation UNICEF Ambassador
Sacramento, California

Miroslav Michael Djordjevich

Founder, Capital Guaranty Corporation and three commercial banks
Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bank of Southeast Europe International, Inc. Rebuilt Razvojna Banka in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina post war
Founder and Director Serbian Unity Congress and Studenica Foundation
Medal of Nemanja (II Degree)
Medal of Yugoslav Flag (II Degree)
Who’s Who Worldwide Lifetime Achievement Award
Recipient, Americanism Medal from National Society Daughters of the American Colonists Served on the Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Centennial Commission
Initiated and organized the Sentandrea Sabor in Hungary,
Member of St. John the Baptist Church (since 1956)
San Francisco, California


Nenad Djordjevich, CIC, CRM

Business Development Director for Specialty Underwriters Company Past President, Northshore Insurance Managers
Past President, Saint Sava Academy
Order of St. Sebastian, 1st Degree

Patriarchal Gramata by His Holiness Patriarch Pavle Rolling Meadows, Illinois

Aleksandar Djuricic

President, Serbian American Leadership Conference
Juris Doctor Candidate, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, DePaul University
Member, St. John the Baptist Bellwood
Indianapolis, Indianа

Luka Erceg, Esq.

Attorney and Counselor-at-Law
Juris Doctor, Master of Laws, Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Commerce Tonsured Reader- Čtec
Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor (AIRA)
Professor, University of St. Katherine, Orthodox University in San Marcos, CA
Member, Diocesan Council, Diocese of Western America
Member, Central Church Council
Member, Legal Risk & Compliance Committee of the Central Church Council
San Diego, California

Anka Jaksic Erne

Philanthropist

https://www.telegraf.rs/vesti/srbija/3143561-anka-iz-amerike-dala-3-miliona-dolara-srbima-koji-tesko-zive-zbog-ovog-mosta-nisu-odseceni-od-sveta

 Parishioner, St. Sava Cathedral
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

David Erne, Esq.

Corporate Attorney
Juris Doctor, Harvard University
Current Board Member of Five Fortune 500 corporations Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Andjelka Gojkovich

Plan Review Coordinator at Engineering Firm
Board Member, Director of Sunday School, Director of Folklore Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Church
Sacramento (Fair Oaks), California

Radmila J. Gorup, Ph.D.

Columbia University Senior Lecturer Department of Slavic Languages Parishioner, St. Sava Cathedral, New York New York, New York

Jeffrey Gray

California Polytechnic State University, Bachelor of Arts, Political Science.
CEO, Growth Stage Venture Backed Software Company serving Global Fortune 500 Enterprises.
Recipient of Gartner Cool Vendor and 2019 Sacramento Region Innovation Awards.
Recipient, John F. Kennedy Entrepreneur of the Year 2012 United States Congressional Commendation, United States Congress for business entrepreneurship with a social conscience. Recipient United States Special Congressional Recognition, United States House of Representatives, for invaluable service to the community.
Holder of two patents in technology
Entrepreneur mentor in AT&T Operation Hand Salute to assist and mentor service disabled veterans seeking to launch or grow IT businesses.
Former Board Member, John F. Kennedy University Institute for Entrepreneurial LeadershipSelected as Sacramento Business Journal “40 Under 40 Winner”
Member, Diocesan Council, Diocese of Western America
Member, Central Church Council
President, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Church
Sacramento (Fair Oaks), California

Stan Grgich

President St. Sava Mission Foundation, Jackson, California
Past President and current Vice-President St. John the Baptist Cathedral, San Francisco, California

Alexandra Brkic Griffin

Policy, Change Management and Communications Strategist
Former Congressional Aide to Hon. Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley Alexandria, Virginia


Martina Hone, Esq.

Attorney
Juris Doctor, University of California, Berkeley, School of Law

Bachelor of Arts, University of Chicago
Former Associate Undersecretary, US Department of Commerce Chicago, Illinois

Michael Jovovich

Executive Board Member, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church Sacramento (Fair Oaks), California

Lila J. Kalinic, M.D.

Physician
Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University.
Founding Member Advisory Board, Njegos Foundation, Columbia University Former Board Member, International Orthodox Christian Charities Parishoner/Steward, St. Sava Cathedral, New York
New York, New York

Michael Kosanovich

Special Agent (Retired), Federal Bureau of Investigation;
Recipient, State of Michigan, “Law Enforcement Award for Professional Excellence”, Detroit,Michigan;
Recipient, “Director of National Intelligence Meritorious Award”, Washington, DC;
Member, Central Church Council, Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America; Vice President, Diocesan Council of the New Gracanica-Midwestern American Diocese; Trusteeship President, St. Basil of Ostrog Church, Lake Forest, Illinois;
Past President, St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church, Washington, DC;
Past President, St. Lazarus Serbian Orthodox Church “Ravanica”, Detroit, Michigan;Chicago/Elmhurst, Illinois

Nick Kosanovich

President, Executive Board, St Elijah Church, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania Recipient, Episcopal Gramata (Bishop Mitrophan 2014)
Aliquippa, Pennsylvania

Don Kosovac

Colonel (Retired), USAF
Past president and Board Member of St. John Cathedral, San Francisco, California


Dragan Kovacevic

Owner, City Fresh Market, Chicago, Illinois Entrepreneur/Investor
Chicago/Lake Forest, Illinois

Nikola Lonchar

President / Founder
Tesla Science Foundation Narberth, Pennsylvania

Leon J. Lysaght, Esq.

Juris Doctor, University of Chicago
Retired Professor, Philosophy and Law (five universities in three countries on two continents) Recipient, Czar Dushan Award of Serbian Bar Association of America
Member, Legal Risk and Compliance Committee of the Central Church Council
Trustee Emeritus, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.
Member, St. George Church, Monroe, Michigan
Glen Arbor, Michigan

John G. Martich

Immediate Past President, Serb National Federation, Pittsburgh, PA Member, Holy Resurrection Church, Steubenville, Ohio
Weirton, West Virginia

Branko Mikasinovic

Recipient, Order of the Holy Despot Stefan Lazarevic
Ph.D. University of Beograd, M.A. Northwestern University
Fellow, International Strategic Studies Association
Former Broadcaster, Voice of America Serbian Service
Former Professor Tulane University
Scholar and award winning anthologist of Serbian literature in English.
Editor, Fantastic Serbian Plays (co-editor Dejan Stojanovic), Serbian Satire and Aphorisms, Selected Serbian Comedies and Great Serbian Short Stories.
Parishoner/Steward Saint Luke Church, Potomac, Maryland
Washington, DC


Ljubiša Miličić, Esq.

Attorney
Juris Doctor, Northwestern University Pritzger School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
B.A. Political Science, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois


Tonsured Reader- Čtec
Member, Central Church Council
Past Member, Diocesan Council, Midwest Metropolitanate
Past Member, Diocesan Council, American-Canadian Diocese, New Gracanica Metropolitanate Co-Chairman and Founding Member, Chicago-Belgrade Sister Cities Committee
Past Member, Diaspora Council, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Past President, Serbian Bar Association of America
Past 1st Vice President, Serbian National Defense Council of America
Past 3rd Vice President, Serb National Federation
Chicago/Lake Forest, Illinois

Savka Mileusnic

Recipient, Order of St. Sebastian
Founder, First Secretary and Former Kolo Serbian Sisters President Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church
Sacramento (Fair Oaks), California

Larry Milosh

Parishioner, St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania

Milana M. Milosh

Parishioner, St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania

Milan Mrkal

Tonsured Reader- Čtec
Vice President, Diocesan Council, Diocese of Eastern America
Member, Central Church Council
Past Member, Diocesan Council, Diocese of Eastern America
Past President and Treasurer, Executive Board, St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania Member, Executive Board, St. Elijah Church
Past President, Tsar Lazar Choir
Eagle Scout and Alpha Omega Award B.S.A.
Moon Township, Pennsylvania


Andrew J. Muha, Esq.

Attorney
Juris Doctor, The George Washington University Law School
B.A., Economics, Allegheny College
Tonsured Reader- Čtec
Recipient, Episcopal Gramata (Bishop Mitrofan, 2014)
Past Member, Executive Board, St. Elijah Church, Aliquippa, Pennsylvania Member, St. Elijah Church
Member, Legal Risk & Compliance Committee, Central Church Council Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Desko Nikitovic

Past Consul General (Chicago), Republic of Serbia
Recipient, Order of St. Emperor Constantine (awarded by HH Serbian Patriarch Irinej)
University of Belgrade, School of Law
Executive Chairman, East Point Holding
Co-Chairman and founder of Belgrade Committee, Chicago Sister Cities International Chicago, Illinois

Marija Popovac

Financial Secretary, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church Sacramento (Fair Oaks), California

Dushica Protic, Esq.

Attorney
Juris Doctor, Fordham University School of Law
Bachelor of Arts in literature, Cornell University, College of Arts & Sciences Former Chief Counsel Regulation, American Stock Exchange
Former, Senior Counsel, New York Stock Exchange
Published author of numerous scholarly articles
Member, Board of Directors, Studenica Foundation
Past Executive Board Member, Serbian Unity Congress
Founder, Serbian American Professional Networking LinkedIn (5800 members) Member, Legal Risk and Compliance Committee, Central Church Council Parishioner/Steward, St. Sava Cathedral, New York (since 1968)
New York, New York

Jovan Radomir Protic, M.D.
Former Chairman of Pathology, Trinitas Hospital
Former Director of Residency Program at Beth Israel, St Luke’s, Roosevelt HospitalParishioner/Steward, St. Sava Cathedral, New York
New York, New York


Nikola J. Protic

University of Chicago, Ph.D. candidate in Molecular Engineering/Physics
Bachelor of Science, Cornell University, College of Engineering, Applied Engineering Physics Member, St. Sava Cathedral, New York (since birth)
New York, New York

Pero Prpa

Former Vice President, St. George Church Board, Schererville, Indiana
Former President, SSS Bishop Stevan Lastavica, Schererville, Indiana
Former President, St. Nicholas Church Choir, Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Founder "Tsar Lazar" Male Chorus, Tri-State Area (Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia) Former Vice President, St. Nicholas Church Board, Monroeville, Pennsylvania

Past President, Serbian Singing Federation of America Member, St. Nicholas Church
Monroeville, Pennsylvania

Mike Radakovich

President KBI Benefits
Member, Holy Trinity Church, Moraga, California Cupertino, California

Steve Radakovich

Member, Board of Directors, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Member, Holy Trinity Church, Moraga, California
San Francisco, California

Ron Radakovich

Corporate Vice President (Emeritus), Kaiser Aluminum & Chemical Corp. Order of St. Sava, 1st Degree
Nemanja Medal, 2nd Degree, State Union of Serbia and Montenegro Member, Central Church Council (25 years)

Vice President, Diocesan Council, Diocese of Western American (12 years) President, Parish Council, Holy Trinity Church, Moraga, California (5 years) Executive Vice President, Serbian Unity Congress (10 years)
San Francisco, California

Milos Radmanovich

Retired Engineering Manager of major US Flag Carrier Airline
Former President, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Serbian Orthodox Church, Sacramento (Fair Oaks), California


Lazar Supic

Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley Berkeley, California

Michael T. Rice

Deputy Sheriff Sergeant Member, Central Church Council Member, St. Sava Church Jackson, California

Debra Tasic, Ph.D.

Vice President, Diocesan Council, Diocese of Western America Member, Board of Trustees, St. Steven’s Cathedral
Alhambra, California

The Honorable Branko Terzic

Doctor of Sciences h.c. In Engineering
Former Commissioner, US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Former Commissioner, State of Wisconsin Public Service Commission Parishioner and Former Board Member, Saint Luke Church, Potomac Maryland Former Board Member Saint Sava Cathedral, Milwaukee WI
Potomac, Maryland

Marko Tesla

Manager, Serbian American Professional Networking Eaton Town, New Jersey

George Topich

Former Secretary and Treasurer, Serb National Federation
Recipient of HRH Princess Katherine Award from the Karadjordjevic Royal PhilanthropicOrganization “Lifeline” (2017)
Past President, Holy Trinity Cathedral
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Branko Tupanjac

Order of Saint Sava, 1st Degree
Senator, Republika Srpska
Real Estate Investor and Construction Entrepreneur Chicago/Lake Forest, Illinois

Milan Visnick

Trusteeship President, St. Luke Church, Potomac, Maryland
Former 1st Vice President, Treasurer & Member, Diocesan Council, Diocese of Eastern America Former Member, Central Church Council
Washington, DC


David Vuich

Retired Aviation-Aerospace Executive
Member, “Serbian Apollo 7”
Recipient Medal of “Karadjordje Star”, 1st Degree
Parishioner and Former Board Member, Saint Luke Church, Potomac MD Washington, D.C.

Ginger Vuich

US Congressional Chief of Staff (retired)
Director, Trade Development for the Great Lakes/Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation
US Department of Transportation
Alexandria, Virginia

Jasmina Vujic, Ph.D.

Professor of Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley Foreign Member, Academy of Engineering Sciences of Serbia
Foreign Member, Academy of Sciences and Arts of the Republic of Srpska Fellow, American Nuclear Society

Included in The Serbian Encyclopedia, Vol. II, Matica Srpska, Serbian Academy for Sciences and Arts
Founder/President, ETF Belgrade Alumni and Friends Association (ETF BAFA)
Past Vice President, Diaspora Council, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

Recipient, Episcopal Gramata (Bishop Maxim, 2016)
Recipient, Хиландарска споменица (2015)
Recipient, Order of the Republic Flag with Gold Wreath, Republic of Srpska (2013) Recipient, Tesla Plaque, The Government of the Republic of Serbia (2009)
Member, Holy Trinity Church, Moraga, California
Past Teacher, Serbian Language and History, Holy Trinity Church, Moraga, California Past Editor, Holy Trinity Church Newsletter, Moraga, California
Berkeley, California

Nenad Vukicevic

Vice President, Intrepid Technology, Inc.
Founder, Blago Fund, a US nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of Serbian treasures (monasteries, frescoеs)
Past President, St. Archangel Michael Church, Saratoga, California
Past President, Serbian Unity Congress
Member, Diocesan Council, Diocese of Western America
Half Moon Bay, California


Mark P. Zatezalo

Former Member, West Virginia House of Delegates Member, Holy Resurrection Church, Steubenville, Ohio Weirton, West Virginia

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Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America
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