Diocesan News

Arrival of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej marks beginning of Diocesan Days

ARRIVAL OF HIS HOLINESS SERBIAN PATRIARCH AND VISITING HIERARCHS MARKS BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR'S DIOCESAN DAYS

Alhambra, CA - WIth much joy and anticipation the Diocese of Western America welcomed His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej on Friday, September 4, 2015 at the onset of this year's annual Diocesan Days, traditionally held Labor Day Weekend. This year's annual celebration is both historic and unique as the highlight will be the glorification of St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson. This is the reason for His Holiness' visit and attendance at this year's event, but also the reason for the attendance and participation in the liturgical celebration of many other hierarchs. Arriving at the diocese today, besides His Holiness, were: His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Archdiocese, Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwestern America, His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America, His Grace Bishop Justin of Zicha, His Grace Bishop Benjamin (OCA), His Grace Bishop Savas of the Patriarchate of Georgia. 

His Holiness was welcomed by the diocesan bishop, His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America and the diocesan clergy. Upon the patriarch's arrival a Doxology service was served after which Bishop Maxim welcomed His Holiness and the visiting hieararchs and expressed his joy for having them participate in this great event of the glorification of the new American saints which will last all year, today's glorification of St. Sebastian will be followed by that of St. Mardarije of Libertyville to be held later this year. His Holiness thanked the bishop for his kind words of welcome and expressed his joy at once again being in the beutiful church of St. Stevan's in Alhambra and the great joy which is the occasion for this visit. The patriarch noted the work of St. Sebastian who preached and spread Orthodoxy to both Serbs and non-Serbs alike and this the patriarch noted needs to be the mission of the church to this day, that our doors be open to all who desire to open their hearts to God.

After lunch the patriarch led a Clergy Symposium for all diocesan clergy. He touched upon many matters, especially pastoral duties of the priests calling upon them to lead Godly and pious lives. The eyes of the community are ever upon both the priest and his family and the priest needs to always take particular care in the upbringing of his children. His Holiness also noted the need for the use of Serbian in the homes, noting that when he was in Prizren he knew of many children knowing three languages: Serbian, Turkish and Albanian. The symposium concluded with a discussion.

The first day of the 3-day Diocesan Days event included meetings of both the Diocesan Council and later the Diocesan Assembly.

At six o'clock everyone met once again in the beautiful St. Stevan's Cathedral for the festal Vespers officiated by His Holiness. The hymns to our holy and God-bearing Father Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson were composed by Deacon Veljko Vasiljev and sung beautifully at the Vespers by the seminarians from the Prizren Seminary. Following Vespers Patriarch Irinej addressed the clergy and faithful who filled the church. He expressed his joy at this great moment not just for this diocese or our Serbian Orthodox Church but the entire Christian Church. In his homily, in speaking of the life of St. Sebastian and his many deeds in the missionary field, noted how St. Nikolai of Zicha, who buried Fr. Sebastian at Zicha Monastery, referred to him as a saint.    

The hall was full for the dinner served after Vespers. Protopresbyter Nikola Ceko, cathedral dean, greeted all the visiting hiearchs and special guests and announced tomorrow's events which begin at 9AM with Matins.

Feast Day Celebration in Sacramento, CA

angier 1508 dormition slava fair oaks 2482The Assumption of The Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Fair Oaks, CA, has once again concluded a true celebration in honor of Its Protectress - this year with Bishop Justin of Zhicha, Bishop Maxim of the Western America,  Fr Stamatis Skliris from Athens, Fr. Hilarion from Kosovo, Fr. Dane Popovic, Fr. William Weir and Deacon Dragan Stojanovich from Jackson, CA. May God Grant Many Years to each person who assisted in preparation for this historical celebration.

 

 

Church Slava Celebration in Portland


9On Sunday, August 16, 2015, our Church Parish in Portland celebrated the Transfer of the Relics of Saint Archdeacon Stephen, the First Martyr. The Celebration of the Feast day began on Saturday, August 15 with Vespers which was served by Very Rev. Predrag Bojovic from Seattle followed by the promotion of the book "Christian Heritage of Kosovo and Metohija. Fr. Predrag Bojovic and Fr. Daniel Mackey, the priest from Eugene, as well as our parish priest Fr. Milan Unkovic spoke on the book promotion. Girls from our parish Jelena Boskovic, Dusica Drazic and Snezana Danilovic were selected to take part in the program. The promotion of the book was attended by about 40 parishioners. 

Bishop Maxim attends Concecration of the Ressurection of Christ Church in Prebilovci

2015 08 08 prebilovci featureHoly New Martyrs of Prebilovci, who, for Christ’s sake had been thrown into pits of Surmanci, found their final abode, and their relics, after over 70 years of waiting, are in a resting place!

On Saturday, on 8 August 2015, the Holy Church of the Lord, with its Eucharistic gathering, consecrated the church of the Resurrection of Christ in the village of Prebilovci in Hercegovina, while celebrating the newly-shining Martyrs of Prebilovci. His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej officiated the Divine Liturgy with the concelebration of sixteen Bishops, a large number of priests and in presence of a huge number of faithful.  On the eve of this historic event, a Vesper service was performed in the historic Monastery of Zitomislic, near Mostar, Hercegovina.

Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter & Paul in Fresno

fresno slava 2015 featureOn the occasion of the Feast Day of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, His Grace Bishop Maxim visited the faithful of the Saint Peter Serbian Orthodox Church in Fresno, California to lead this congregation on this Feast day for a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Parish Slava celebration. Assisting His Grace for this Archpastoral visit were Protodeacon Brad Matthews and Deacon Dragan Stojanovich. Upon arriving at the Church Vladika was welcomed by the Deacons, Reader, and Acolytes at with all of the parishioners filling this temple and the singing was sublime. Similarly, the beauty of this temple, erected in 1957, and the preservation of it was evident. 
Noticeably missing was the rector Very Reverend George Gligich who could not attend due to a medical situation.

Bishop Maxim visits the faithful in Reno Nevada

2015 07 05 reno featureHis Grace Bishop Maxim made his Archpastoral visit to the Saint John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church in Reno Nevada on July 5, 2015. The occasion was to gather the faithful for the Church Slava, the annual Eucharistic Celebration of the Saint of this temple commemorating the Nativity of the Holy Forerunner Saint John the Baptist. Greeting his grace was the Parish Priest Protopresbyter Fr. James Barfield and accompanying his grace was Deacon Dragan Stojanovich from the Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Jackson California. Among the many joyous moments of the feast day was the elevation of Father James to the rank of Protopresbyter. Bishop Maxim congratulated Fr. James with appreciative encouragement as he noted the service of Fr. James in the Reno area of the Western American Diocese. Bishop Maxim gave his homily on the Gospel Reading reminding us of the deeper meaning of the Gospel lesson in that we see how all creation suffers as a result of man's original fall into sin. His Grace mentioned that this fall of man affects all of creation as an extension of mankind including our ecological surroundings.
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