[Archived News] Monday, December 17, 2007

Lorain, OH - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN scheduled the Twenty First Annual Cleveland Deanery Meeting on Christian Education at the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Lorain, Ohio for Saturday, December 15, 2007.

Host Priest warmly welcoming the participants was Reverend Father Milorad Orlic. Very Reverend Stavrofor Janko Ralich serves as Dean of  the Cleveland Deanery and has been a part of the Deanery meetings since their inception.

Very Reverend Stevo Rocknage, priest of St.Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Mckeesport, Pennsylvania and President of the Clergy Brotherhood of the Pittsburgh Area was the featured speaker. Father Rocknage drew from his own experience as a parish priest as well as his service to the Serbian Orthodox Church on a national level in mission and youth ministry work

Father Rocknage spoke about the importance of adult education, of the importance of adults setting good examples for youth and of giving priority to God and the Church in everyday life. In his own parish, Proto Rocknage holds a “Family Night” once per month to bring families together. A “Youth Group” night each month brings the parish youth together. A “Parish Renewal Day” during Christmas Lent and Great Lent focuses on the whole parish.

Father Rocknage cited spiritual trips to other parishes and monasteries and charitable work feeding the homeless as additional activities at St. Sava Church in Mckeesport which strengthen parish and family life.

Deanery clergy actively participating in  the meeting in addition to Proto Raljich and Father Orlic included Very Reverend Dragan Filipovic, Protonamesnik Dragomir Tuba, Protonamesnik Zivoljin Jakovljevic, Protonamesnik Milovan Katanic and Father Deacon Milan Medakovich.

Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic, Diocesan Secretary, accompanied His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN. Church school teachers and interested adults from the Deanery in attendance included: Popadija Milena Orlic, Mile Andjelkovich, Lori Moncilovich, Dorothy Winovich, and Helen Beverly. Reader Joseph Lia from  St.Sava Church in Mckeesport accompanied Father Rocknage.

The Cleveland Deanery consists of Ohio parishes in Columbus, Lorain, Akron, Canton, Cleveland and Youngstown. Parishes in Hermitage, Pennsylvania and Lackawanna, New York also are part of the Deanery.

Oral and written reports were prepared by the participating parishes and will be compiled as an overall Deanery report.

Father Rocknage’s presentation inspired substantial and extensive discussion among the participants. A portion of the meeting devoted attention to the Nativity Retreat scheduled at St. Sava Camp in  Shadeland, December 26-29, 2007.

His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN thank Proto Stevo Rocknage for his presentation and praised the charitable work being done at St. Sava Church in Mckeesport, Pennsylvania. His Grace thanked all of the participants and particularly the host parish for the gracious hospitality.

His Grace Bishop MITROPHAN stressed the importance of teaching parents and children as well as reaching out to college students. His Grace spoke of the place of the Cross in Christian work and the discipline involved in living an Orthodox Christian life.
The Deanery meetings are an annual opportunity for clergy and parish educators to learn more about Christian education, review current practices and programs and discuss new initiatives.

The consistent scheduling of the meetings annually and the presence of the Diocesan Bishop at the meetings reflects the strong commitment of the Diocese to Christian education.

Father Rodney Torbic