On Sunday, November 27, 2022, the parish community of St. Stephen of Dechani in Columbus, Ohio, celebrated their Patronal Feast Day – Slava. His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America celebrated the Holy and Divine Liturgy, concelebrated by Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Petar Petrovic, Economos Dragan Goronjic, Episcopal Dean of the Cleveland Deanery, Protopresbyter Isak Kisin, Parish Priest, Protodeacon Zeljko Jurisic and Deacon Darko Tripkovic.


During the small entrance, Bishop Irinej through the laying on of hands on the head of Deacon Zeljko Jurisic and elevated him to the rank of Protodeacon. The whole congregation joyfully exclaimed, “Axios! Dostojan! Worthy!” Bishop Irinej emphasized Deacon Zeljko’s love, dedication, and sacrifices for the Holy Church. In return, Deacon thanked His Grace for the honor and the great privilege.


As Divine Liturgy continued, His Grace spoke on the prescribed Gospel reading; about the importance of the “healing touch.” In the Holy Gospels, we have numerous examples of our Lord healing people just by His Holy touch. In this time of great social distancing and a great demand for individual “personal space”, we all need to be reminded just how important it is to be close to God and each other.


Following Divine Liturgy, a festal luncheon was served in the parish social hall for all in attendance. Special gratitude was expressed to this year's Hosts - Kumovi Dejan and Milka Djuricin and all those that worked hard to prepare everything.

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