Diocesan News

St. Sebastian Orthodox Press Slava

2017 11 12 st sebastian slava 10Sebastian Press was established in 2006 by the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America, based on the vision of its, at that time, newly enthroned Bishop Dr. Maxim (Vasiljevic) and named in honor of a first American born Orthodox priest, Fr. Sebastian Dabovich, a great missionary and pioneer of the Orthodox Church in the West, and now a Saint of San Francisco and Jackson. Sebastian Press is one of the prevalent and most dynamic publishers of Christian Orthodox publications on the West Coast and in the USA. It has enriched Christian literature in the English language during the last few years with almost 100 titles in print from many of the best living and classical Orthodox writers, with its valuable translations of the interesting and resourceful works of Serbian, Greek, and other theologians to English. With its capable manager protinica Rada Bojovic, the St. Sebastian Orthodox Press is assisting with the logistics related to many Diocesan and other Pan-Orthodox events in USA.

This year, on November 12, 2017, a flock of faithful gathered at the Saint Steven’s Cathedral in Alhambra to celebrate the protector and inspirer of Sebastian Press’s Ministry, Saint Sebastian of Jackson and San Francisco.

A great blessing to all participants in this celebration was the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Nikitas of Dardanellia (Ecumenical Patrhiarchate), Director of Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in Berkley CA, who presided over the eucharistic synaxis with Bishop Maxim concelebrating and the clergy, and delivered an inspiring liturgical sermon.

Festivities continued inside the Saint Steven’s fellowship hall, first by honoring the veterans and then with the blessing of a beautiful “Slava” Bread and “Žito”. In accordance with the Serbian Slava tradition, Metropolitan Nikitas broke the Slava bread. 

After the spiritual feast, a delicious lunch prepared by the Diocesan Circle of Serbian Sisters was served and enjoyed by everyone. 

In his concluding address, Metropolitan Nikitas, again, emphasized the importance of Sebastian Press ministry and invited everyone to read as much as possible and to instill the love for reading into the young ones, so they can expand their vocabularies and improve their verbal communication skills in this digital era of ours. You can listen to his presentation here.

With gratitude to Fr. Nicholas Ceko for hosting this celebration at Saint Steven’s Cathedral, we are also grateful for the presence of the local clergy: Fr. Lazar Vasiljevic, Fr. Predrag Bojovic, Deacon Vladan Radovanovic, Deacon Jovan Katanic and all supporters of our ministry.


2nd sebastian book club gathering cFollowing the Slava Festivities, the St. Sebastian Orthodox Book Club held its second gathering. This time, His Grace Bishop Maxim and the participants of the book club discussed a chapter from the book, The Meaning of Reality, Tradition and Life, by Christos Yannaras. 
Everyone in the Los Angeles area is invited and welcome to join our Book Club.
Please contact us at info@westsrbdio.org








2017 Pan-Orthodox Clergy Retreat

panorth clergy retreat 000The Annual Pan-Orthodox Clergy Retreat was organized this year by the St. Sebatian Orthodox Press, a Ministry of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America, with the blessings of the Hierarchs of the California Orthodox jurisdictions of California: Metropolitan Gerasimos (Greek), Metropolitan Joseph (Antiochian), Archbishop Kyrill (ROCOR), Bishop Maxim (Serbian), and Archbishop Benjamin (OCA) and was held on November 9 & 10, 2017 at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California. 

We were honored to have His Grace Bishop Irenei, Auxiliary Bishop of the Western American Diocese and Administrator of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland and Archimandrite Nathanael Symeonidis, Director of the Office of Inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations presenting on the topic, Humanity and "Itentity": Discovering the "Self" in a World and in the Church. 

The Pan-Orthodox Clergy Retreat is an important gathering which brings the Orthodox clergy on the West Coast together in brotherly love and energizes them in their ministry of service to God and His faithful people entrusted to their pastoral care.

​Our presenters took a theological and a very practical approach to the topic and looked at how certain challenges and opportunities in the world often shape our identity.

Discovering the "Self"

What does it mean to “identify” who I am?—and where does this come from? In the Orthodox Tradition, the person is an identity that emerges through relationship (schesis, in the terminology of the Greek Fathers). The human being is constituted by a call from God, and its identity is constantly formed through the response to this call. Life in Christ means placing all our relations, in and through which we obtain our personal identity, in the person of Christ. The “new birth,” which is the essence of Baptism, is the acquisition of an identity not dependent on the qualities of nature but freely raising nature to a personal existence which emerges from the Father-Son relationship.

Now, questions of “identity” plague our society, including that of cultural, sexual, religious identity, etc. Worldly notions of “identity politics” often conflict and present challenges for the Church. These “contextual” questions of identity must be seen as part of a larger vision of identity itself.
What do we as pastors do when confronted by people who have different identities than that molded by the Church or try to change their identity or who don’t realize their identity has been changed?  


“Serbian Americans: History, Culture & Press” Presented at Chicago Cathedral

chicago book reviewAcclaimed author, academic and diplomat, Krinka Vidakovic-Petrov, presented the new book “Serbian Americans: History, Culture & Press,” at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral on Friday, November 10th. The book is the newest edition to the Serbica Americana series of Saint Sebastian Press, the publishing arm of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America introduced the author and opened the presentation by asking the rhetorical question, “what would America look like without a Serbian presence?” Vidakovic-Petrov’s book, which is based on extensive research and scholarship yet written in a dynamic, readable way, addresses that question by highlighting the various contributions Serbian Americans have made to America and American society since the mid-1800’s.

Read More

Source: http://eserbia.org


Children, St. Petka is Your Feast!

2017 10 29 san marcos 011On October 29, 2017, the 21st Sunday after Pentecost, the feast of Martyr Longinus the Centurion who stood at the Cross of the Lord, the faithful and Christ-loving Orthodox people of the St. Petka Serbian Church in San Marcos festively and prayerfully celebrated their altar feast, their Church Slava of the Venerable Mother Paraskeva, St. Petka. 
Upon the arrival and blessing of the diocesan hierarch, His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America, Matins was served by parish priest V. Rev. Protopresbyter Milovan Katanic. His Grace officiated at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy which followed with the concelebration of V. Rev. Protopresbyter Stavrophor Milan Vukovic, retired parish priest from San Marcos, Deacon David Williams the parish deacon and diocesan deacon and secretary Deacon Vladan Radovanovic. In his homily the bishop spoke of
 the gospel Parable of the Sower and the Seed and the need for all of us cultivate the ground of our hearts to receive the Word of God. His Grace noted that our salvation is not only in a teaching but in the person of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and thus depends on a living faith, a living relationship and in communion with Him which can only be realized in the Holy Eucharist.

After the Prayer before the Ambon, the festive Litya with the banners and cross-bearers, the clergy and faithful, processed around the church, stopping at the church doors for the Blessing of the Slava Kolach and Wheat. His Grace broke the Slava Kolach with this year's Slava kum Milan Djokic Sr. and all the faithful who had gathered for this joyous occasion. As the clergy and congregation re-entered the church singing „Blessed be the Name of the Lord....“ and after the final dismissal, His Grace offered touching and heartfelt words to the parishioners of St. Petka in admiration of this beautiful church property and all that has been built over the years here. This, he noted, is in gratitude to the sacrifice and diligence of the founding members, the benefactors but also parishioners throughout the years who have selflessly worked and given their time and talents in dedication to their church. „Children, the feast of St. Petka,“ he added, „is your feast“. He called upon the children to come to church and to rejoice in this feast and in their faith. The children then joyously rushed beneath the showers of the so-called „candy rain“ which the bishop traditionally produces with each visit.

The Avala Folklore Ensemble offered a beautiful program to all parishioners and friends of St. Petka who attended the Slava banquet that day. Greetings were offered by the parish priest, Fr. Milovan, the Slava kum Milan Djokic and His Grace Bishop Maxim. The bishop, congratulating the faithful on the occasion of their Church Slava made special note in acknowledging the hard work of the church board this year, led by president Sasa Nestorovic and in gratitiude he gifted him a hand painted icon of St. Petka for his dedication. 
As the celebration continued in music and dance the musical entertainment from the Las Vegas parish made a request that Bishop Maxim would sing the first song, „Jecan znjela Kosovska devojka“, to the delight of all those in attendance. 

The festivities lasted throughout the afternoon.








Sv. Jovan Zlatousti na putu Hristovom 14.10.2017. god.

bpmaxim blegrade oct 2017Реч на представљању 6. тома Сабраних дела Св. Јована Златоустог Градска библиотека, Врњачка Бања, 14. октобра 2017.


St. John Chrysostom on the Paschal Path of Christ
Bishop Maxim's address at the presentation of the Collected Works of St. John Chrysostom, Public Library, Vrnjacka Banja, October 14, 2017.

Parish Slava in Patterson, Florida

2017 10 06 patterson 007 У петак 6. октобра, на дан црквене славе, патерсонске парохије, Зачеће Св. Јована Крститеља, Св. Архијерејску Литургију у парохијској цркви у Патерсону служили су Један Митрополит, три Епископа, шест свештеника и ђакон.

Началствовао је гост из Цариграда, Васељенска Патријаршија, Максим, Митрополит Силивријски, а саслуживали су Епископи Јеротеј Евкарпијски, игуман ман. Св. Ирине, Асторија, Васељенска Патријаршија, Максим Западноамерички и надлежни Епископ Иринеј Источноамерички. Саслуживали су и јеромонах Мелетије, Грчка Архиепископија, Протојереји: Живојин Јаковљевић из Њујорка, Александар Влајковић из Бостoна, Зоран и Саша из Елизабета и ђакон Јован Аничић. Црквени хор патерсонског храма је складно одговарао на овом свечаном молитвеном сабрању где је присуствовало око шестдесет верних.

Епископ Западноамерички Максим је беседио о празнику Зачећа Св. Јована, који је, као највећи рођени од жене спона, мост између Старог и Новог Завета. Он непрестано стоји на средини Старог и Новог Завета, и цео његов живот од самог зачећа до мученичке смрти стално нас подсећа и упућује на Христа. Након Св. Литургије Његово Високопреосвештенство Митрополит Максим Силивријски се обратио вернима на течном српском језику говорећи о светињи парохије која кроз љубав и послушање постаје стварна Божија заједница верних, сабраних и окупљених око свог Епископа, који је оличење самог Господа у парохијској зајендици. Након поздрава гостујућег Митрополита уследио је благослов славског знамења, а у црквеној сали је послужена свечана славска трпеза.

Надлежни парох, Протојереј Ђокан се захвалио Епископу Иринеју што је уприличио оваку велику част патерсонској парохији да на дан парохијске славе има овако еминентне црквене великодостојнике и велике пријатеље српског народа. Захвалио се Епископу Максиму, браћи свештеницима који су својим присуством увеличали наше славље, као и сестрама Љубинки Павловић, Биљани Срејић, Кати Евтимовски и Савети Јанковић, које су припремиле трпезу љубави.

Source: Eastern Orthodox Diocese








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