[Archived News] Saturday, November 29, 2008


Pittsburgh, PA - His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN presided at the Twenty-Second Annual Pittsburgh Deanery Meeting on Christian Education held at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral on Saturday, November 22, 2008.

Host priest from Holy Trinity Cathedral , Protonamesnik Father Rajko Kosic warmly welcomed the attendees and demonstrated a very clear willingness to host the meeting.

Protopresbyter Stavrofor Stevan Stepanov, Dean of the Pittsburgh Deanery referenced the instructions from the Lord Jesus Christ to the Holy Apostle Peter as recorded in the  Gospel of St. John(21:1517) as a firm basis for Christian education. Proto Stepanov has been a supporter of the Deanery meetings since their inception.

Reverend Father Dejan Obradovic from St.Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Johnstown, Pennsylvania was designated by His Grace Bishop Dr.MITROPHAN as the featured speaker for the meeting. In addition to being active with children in the St.Nicholas parish, Father Obradovic also assists with the St.Sava summer camp program at Shadeland.

Father Obradovic spoke on the theme “Who is Raising Our Children?” Father Obradovic described that young children when baptized start out as angels. He questioned how some of them came to act in ways that are evil?

Father Obradovic  said children change. The do what they see. The influence of television, computers, DVD’s cell phones and books was mentioned. A Time magazine article was used to illustrate the increase in aggressiveness noticed among younger children.

The report of an eight year old being charged with two murders occurred during the week of this Deanery meeting. Father Obradovic concluded his talk with reference to questioning what children are reading in schools. He referred to a book entitled And Tango Makes Three.  Father Dejan said the book sends an approving message for a non-traditional family lifestyle…two same sex individuals living together and having a child.

Father Obradovic’s presentation served as a basis for extensive discussion that included but was not limited to references about public and parochial schools, the values taught in schools, the place of faith in schools, the need for fathers and mothers as role models and the large number of divorces occurring in the Diocese.

Written and oral reports describing the Christian Education efforts in each of the eleven parishes in the Deanery were presented and individuals present had the opportunity to ask questions.

The Pittsburgh Deanery includes the Pennsylvania parishes in Aliquippa, Carmichaels, Clairton, Mckeesport-Duquesne, Johnstown, Midland, Monroeville, Pittsburgh and Youngwood. The parish in Steubenville, Ohio and the mission parish in Fairmont, West Virginia are also in the Pittsburgh, Deanery.

Additional clergy in attendance besides those already mentioned include: Protopresbyter Stavrofor Rade Merick, Protopresbyter Dr.Rodney Torbic, Protopresbyer Vladimir Demshuck, Father Milan Pajic, Father Miladin Blagojevic, Father Deacon Dragoslav Kosic.

Christian educators in attendance included: Rosemarie Marinkovich, Ted Zeljak, Melony Musgrave, Kim Kabaci, Joyce Yovetich, Juliann Taylor, Cheryl Robbins-Lufkin, Brian Hayden, Melissa Yoest, Virginia Davidovich , Mary Collins, and Mark Stupar.

Ann Marie Belich, Parish Executive Board President Milan Stanojevic and wife Maria Stanojevic, and Danielle Opacic prepared the refreshments and lunch for the participants.

In a closing statement, His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN encouraged the preaching of the Gospel and activating the dormant faith among inactive Orthodox Christians. His Grace illustrated the importance of addressing the dormant faith of inactive Orthodox Christians by describing a recent meeting with a young man of Serbian Orthodox background.

The Annual Deanery meetings consistently brings together His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN, Deanery clergy and Christian Educators to discuss and review Christian education on a serious basis.

The meetings provide documented reports of existing efforts and serve as a basis for measuring progress and planning improvements.

Father Rajko Kosic and the parishioners of Holy Trinity Cathedral provided gracious hospitality as hosts for the meeting.

Father Rodney Torbic