Diocesan News

Bishop Maxim visited Portland, Oregon

2017 01 14 portland 024Епископ Максим у посети Портланду, ОР

У Суботу 13. и Недељу 14. Јануара је Његово Преосвештенство, Епископ др. Максим посетио своју верну паству у парохији Св. Архиђакона Стефана у Портланду, савезна држава Орегон.

Прелепо сунчано време је красило оба дане ове канонске посете. После дочека на аеородрому су овогодишњи угледни кумови Храмовне Славе Момчило и Ружица Ђурђевић дочекали Преосвећеног Владику у своме дому , где је у пријатној атмосфери и срдачном разговору обедовао.

У вечерњим сатима су  верници дочекали драгог Владику у парохијском Храму где је надлежни парох Видослав Вујасин, арх. Намесник Бјутски служио празнично вечерње богослужење.

Abbot Damascene Visits Montana Mission Communities

36From December 11 to 19, 2017, Abbot Damascene of the St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, California, in the capacity of Episcopal Assistant of Missions, visited the mission communities of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montana. He was accompanied on his trip by Alexey Selishchev, a postulant at the St. Herman Monastery.

Fr. Damascene and Alexey flew into Butte, Montana, where they were greeted by Fr. Russell Radoicich, rector of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Butte. Fr. Russell also ministers to mission communities in Anaconda and Dillon. 

On the first leg of the the trip, Fr. Damascene and Alexey were hosted by the mission community in Anaconda, which lies a half-hour west of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Butte. They stayed at the home of Gary and Sarah Otteson, who were received into the Church at Holy Trinity by His Grace Bishop Maxim on its Slava last year. They are enthusiastic converts, who, being retired, are able to devote much time to both the church and their local community. Since they have a great desire to learn more about Orthodoxy and share it with others, Fr. Damascene had several interesting and fruitful discussions with them.

On Tuesday, December 12, Fr. Damascene met Fr. Russell at the Holy Trinity Church, where together they gave a talk on Orthodoxy--especially its iconography--to an art class from a local Roman Catholic high school. The icons covering the walls of the church served as the illustrations. Painted by master iconographer Ugljesa Mileta and a team of iconographers from Serbia, these wall-paintings have made Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church one of the most beautiful sites to see in Montana. The church therefore receives a good number of visitors seeking guided tours, which gives Fr. Russell or one of his appointed parishioners an opportunity to witness the Orthodox Faith.

The next day, Fr. Russell, Fr. Damascene, and Alexey drove to St. Peter's Monastery near Harrison, Montana, about an hour's drive southeast of Butte. Located on a beautiful, thousand-acre ranch in "Big Sky country," the site of the monastery complex overlooks a lake, amidst clear streams and rolling hills, with mountains in the distance. The monastery is part of the Orthodox Church in America, Diocese of the West, with the Monastery of St. John in Manton, California, overseeing the construction of the monastic buildings. However, the effort to build the monastery has been multi-jurisdictional. Brothers from the St. Herman Monastery have accompanied brothers from St. John's on trips to construct the monastery buildings, and clergy and parishioners from various jurisdictions have helped out as well. The owners of the ranch have pledged their land in a church trust as soon as the monastery is established. So far, the walls of the main monastery building are over half completed.

It was snowing when Fr. Russell, Fr. Damascene, and Alexey arrived. They were greeted by the caretaker of the property, Brad Buescher, who is living in the boathouse. Brad is a convert to the Orthodox Faith who is connected with the mission community in Anaconda and attends Liturgy at Holy Trinity in Butte. He gave the visitors a tour around the property, showing them the monastery building, the cemetery, etc. Since the snow was continuing to fall heavily, Brad then had to drive his three guests to their next destination in his 4-wheel drive truck.

The travelers arrived that evening at the University of Montana Western in Dillon, where Fr. Damascene was scheduled to give a lecture for the mission community there. Besides the converts, catechumens, and inquirers who are already part of the Dillon community, some people had come from the mission community in Anaconda. John Xanthopoulis, a founding member of the Dillon community, had introduced many other members to the Orthodox Faith. Ever the missionary, he had brought four new people to the lecture that night, including a student of the University of Montana Western and her husband. 

At the prior request of the Dillon community, Fr. Damascene gave his talk on the subject of Sin, focusing on the difference between Western view of Original Sin and the Orthodox view of Ancestral Sin. The group was quite responsive and eager to learn, even when this meant going deeper and not accepting over-simplified formulations. Accordingly, Fr. Damascene was able to explain subtle differences between East and West. The talk generated much discussion.

Dillon is located about an hour south of Butte. Members of both the Dillon and Anaconda communities travel to Butte for Liturgies on Sundays and feast-days. On a typical Sunday, the faithful from these outlying communities make up a large portion of the congregation. Fr. Russell gives weekly classes in Dillon and Anaconda, which is a tremendous source of encouragement and inspiration for the believers there.

Fr. Damascene and Alexey spent much of the next day, Thursday, talking with Gary, Sarah, and Brad, and later with Tristan, another member of the Anaconda community. Tristan is a medical doctor who works as a general practitioner at the local prison.

In the evening, Fr. Damascene gave a talk to the Anaconda mission community. Everyone, including Fr. Russell, met at the home of Todd and Tracy, a couple who are catechumens and live in Anaconda. Again, it was thecommunity that chose the title of the talk in advance. This time the theme was Confession and Repentance. The group went at an unhurried pace, with spiritual conversation interspersed in the talk. This seemed well suited to small, close-knit group, as well as to the topic at hand, which was of a very personal nature. Everyone contributed something valuable to the discussion, while a sense of Christian unity and fellowship prevailed throughout.

The next day Fr. Russell drove Fr. Damascene and Alexey to Missoula, where we met for coffee with Fr. Daniel Kirk (priest of St. Herman's Serbian Orthodox Mission Parish in Kalispell, Montana), Fr. Rob (Haralambos) Spliatsos (priest of the Holy Annunciation Greek Orthododox Church in Missoula, Montana), and Vesna, Fr. Russell's oldest daughter, who is now attending the University of Montana in Missoula. Fr. Daniel then drove us to Kalispell, about four hours northwest of Butte, where we had dinner.

The following day, Saturday, Fr. Daniel showed us St. Herman's Church, located in downtown Kalispell. It's a nicely renovated former Protestant church, with graceful woodwork -- all done by parishioners. A sizeable church hall is located downstairs. Still, the parish community is outgrowing the location. A few acres of land have been donated for a new church: larger, built as an Orthodox church, with Orthodox architecture. Fr. Daniel showed us the land, located in a rural area, close to downtown. A cemetery is planned near the site of the future church. A house for Fr. Daniel's family, situated next to the church land, is almost finished. A church building fund has been been established, and architectural plans for the church are underway.

Fr. Damascene and Fr. Daniel met with a catechumen in the parish who is to be received into the Church on Theophany. They then went to St. Herman's Church for a "meet and greet" with the parish before Vespers. 

Many people, as is usual, had come from the outlying towns of Eureka and Polson, about an hour north and south of Kalispell, respectively. Some years earlier, Fr. Russell had made missionary journeys to these towns, as well as to Kalispell. When Fr. Daniel, a former parishioner of Fr. Russell, was ordained a priest, he decided, together with the faithful from the three communities, that they would establish a church in Kalispell, which is centrally located. 

At the "meet and greet," Fr. Damascene had a question-and-answer session with the parishioners. He began by talking about St. Herman of Alaska, since he's the common patron saint of the church in Kalispell and the monastery in Platina. He then went on to answer questions on a variety of topics, with Fr. Daniel participating. Vespers was then celebrated, after which there was another opportunity to visit with the faithful. On both this evening and the day following, Alexey had opportunities to converse in Russian with several Russian speakers, which was a consolation for them.

On Sunday morning, Fr. Damascene served the Divine Liturgy and gave the sermon, with Fr. Daniel concelebrating. Since it was Fr. Damascene's nameday (along with St. Barbara's day), Fr. Daniel led everyone in singing "Many Years!"

After the Agape meal, Fr. Damascene gave a talk entitled "Creation, Redemption, Deification." In it, he spoke of man and the world before the fall, the fall and its consequences, our redemption by Christ, and the state beyond the general resurrection. The talk was in two parts, with a break. As in Dillon and Anaconda, the parishioners in Kalispell were fervent in the longing to go deeper into their Faith. With all the thoughtful questions and discussion that the two-part lecture generated, it lasted over four hours. 

The following day Fr. Damascene and Alexey attended Vespers and spent more time with the parishioners and Fr. Daniel.

Fr. Damascene returned home very pleased and impressed with the state of our Montana mission communities. As noted above, there is much enthusiasm in each place, including the towns like Polson and Eureka that he wasn't able to visit. Clearly, there is much potential for growth. Everywhere Fr. Damascene went in Montana, this is what he heard: if the Orthodox Faith becomes more known, many will embrace it. The time especially becomes ripe as Roman Catholicism reaches a crisis, and the deficiencies of Protestantism become more apparent.

Fr. Russell and Fr. Daniel are doing exemplary work in bringing Orthodoxy to the people of Montana. In addition, something must be said for the people of Montana themselves: they are good solid ground on which to plant the seeds of the Orthodox Faith. Behold, I say unto you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest (John 4:35).


Bishop Maxim Celebrates Badnje Vece in Salt Lake City

IMG 7011Оn Saturday, January 6, 2018, His Grace Bishop Maxim, together with neighboring clergy and many parishioners of the St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox IMG 7230Church in Salt Lake City, celebrated Badnje Vece, the eve of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Following the beautiful Christmas Eve service,  everyone was ushered outside for the traditional lighting of the Badnjak, with each having the opportunity to break off a small twig to take to their own homes.  

The festivities continued in the church hall where a delicious lenten meal was served.  Both young and old were dressed in beautiful Serbian costume to celebrate this joyous occasion. Many small children huddled around His Grace Bishop Maxim, with great excitement, as he threw small sweets up in the air for all to catch and enjoy. 

It was a truly beautiful evening enjoyed by all who came to celebrate the birth of the christ-child, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 



Bishop Maxim visits Belgrade Elementary School and Hospital for Cerebral Palsy

IMG 9477Оn December 21, 2017, Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America visited the Dr. Dragan Hercog Elementary School and the Special Hospital for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Neurology on Sokobanjska Street, in Belgrade. 

Bishop Maxim was welcomed by excited children with smiles on their faces at the time of their German language class, teachers of the school, the director Mr. Zoran Aleksic and the Head of the Department Tatjana Arežina.

On this special occasion, Bishop Maxim presented the financial help sent by the Circle of Serbian Sisters of the Diocese of Western America.






St. Sava Parish in Phoenix Hosts Diocesan SKSS Slava

2017 diocesan skss slava 002On Sunday, December 3, 2017, St. Sava Phoenix Parish, along with their Circle of Serbian Sisters - Kolo, hosted this year's Western Diocese Kolo Slava - the Entrance of the Mother of God Into the Temple.  Several months ago, St. Sava Kolo was asked to host this wonderful annual event and graciously accepted the honor.  Children along with faithful Phoenix Serbs eagerly awaited the arrival Sunday morning of His Grace, the Right Reverend Bishop.+Maksim of the Western American Diocese.  Bishop Maksim officiated Hierarchical Divine Liturgy assisted by parish priest, Very Reverend Dragomir Tuba, Very Reverend Stavrophor Lazar Vasiljevic, and Deacon Vladan Radovanovic.  Liturgical responses were sung by the St. Sava  S.S.S. Stevan Hristic Choir.  

His Grace gave a beautiful sermon explaining this week's Gospel story and at the end of Liturgy congratulated the Executive Diocese Kolo and all Kolo Sisters in the Western American Diocese.  He mentioned that when non-Orthodox ask what is the role of women in the Serbian Orthodox Church, is it that of serving in the Circle of Sisters - Kolo.  During the reception of honored guests in the Cultural Center Library Room hosted by parish priest Fr. Dragomir, Protinica Kristina, and Church Board President Milan Kesic along with his wife Danielle, His Grace met with guest clergy, St. Sava Executive Board Members, Executive Diocese Kolo Board Members, Honored Kuma Dee Price and St. Sava Parishoner Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

His Grace cut the Slava Kolac аnd read the Oath of Office for the newly elected Western Diocese Executive Kolo Board.  Bishop Maksim showered the joyful children in attendance with his signature "Candy Rain."  Under the direction of Ruza Jaksic, St Sava Kolo President, the delicious luncheon was prepared and enjoyed by a full hall of parishioners, including guests from neighboring Phoenix Church St. Nikola and from Southern California.  Honored 2017 Kuma was Dusanka Dee Price of St. Sava Phoenix.  St. Sava parish children prepared a short musical and folklore program especially for His Grace.  It was a beautiful, festive celebration enjoyed by all in attendance.




Saint Sebastian Day 2017 Festivities, Jackson, California

angier 1711 2477 st sebastian slava“ALL ROADS LEAD TO JACKSON”

Saint Sebastian Day 2017 Festivities

The feast day of Saint Sebastian of Jackson and San Francisco, an Equal-to-the-Apostles Enlightener of America, was triumphantly celebrated in the Saint Sava Church in Jackson, California, on the 30th/17th of November, 2017. The first US-born Orthodox Christian monk and priest, together with the Serbian miners who had come from Herzegovina and the Bay of Kotor, founded this small but beautiful church in the peaceful capital of the Amador county in 1894, as the first Orthodox Christian church built by the Serbian immigrants on this continent.  

The celebration started with Vespers on the eve of the feast. His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America came to Jackson from his episcopal see in Los Angeles in the early afternoon and antiphonally chanted with protopresbyter Predrag Bojović from Los Angeles, while the parish choir sang the responses. Prota Stevan Tumbas and Deacon Dragan served. At the blessing of five loaves, presided by Vladika Maxim, they were joined by Archimandrite Damascene, Abbot of Saint Herman of Alaska Monastery, who came with monks Sebastian and Andrew from his brotherhood, and Prota Vasilije Cvijanović from the Holy Trinity Church in Moraga, California. The unpretentious but irresistible beauty of the Jackson’s sanctuary was created not by an abundance of sources but by the sacrificial love of the immigrant miners. Together with the ancient beauty of the Orthodox Christian worship and the grace-filled presence of the holy relics of Jackson’s patron, venerated long after the end of the service, it left an equally profound mark in the souls of pilgrims from afar and the local faithful. Hence many of them commented at the dinner that it was one of the most beautiful services they had ever experienced and that at some moments they felt were in an Athonite monastery or in one of the renowned medieval Nemanjić monasteries, like Dečani or Studenica.     After the dinner, prepared with love by the parish KSS, a few church songs were sung by the youth and musicians of the parish and then everybody enjoyed an exhibition of art works (photos, paintings, quilts, etc.) made by the artists of the parish and some of them inspired by their beloved church. Actually, not only Serbs and not only Orthodox Christians of Jackson say that, when they drive back to their home city, once they see this white beauty with the cross on the top, their hearts start dancing with joy and excitement and whispering: „We are at home“. Attheconclusionoftheevening, HisGraceBishopMaximwishedeveryoneablessedfeastday andsaidafewwords on significance, presence and role of Saint Sebastian in our lives.Finally, heblessedeverybodyandthencontinuedhisapostolicjourneytoouranothergreatandholyshrine, thefirstSerbianOrthodoxmonastery of Saint Sava in Libertyville, Illinois, for the annual meetings of the Episcopal Council and Central Church Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America.

On Thursday, the Lord granted us another lovely autumn day. Per Bishop Maxim’s blessing, Abbot Damascene of Platina Monastery, who wrote the first account of the life of Saint Sebastian, served the Matins, while Prota Djurica Gordić of San Francisco and Prota Predrag Bojović of Los Angeles chanted from two cantor stands, and then he presided the Divine Liturgy, served by nine priests and two deacons. Protodeacon Triva Pavlov was prayerfully present. He was one of the initiators of the transfer of relics of Archimandrite Sebastian from Žiča to Jackson. Among the presbyters, Prota Stephen Tumbas, a former parish priest at Saint Sava’s, served, as well as Prota Dane Popović of the Holy Assumption Church in Sacramento, Prota Vasilije Cvijanović of the Holy Trinity Church in Moraga (near San Francisco) and Prota Djurica Gordić of the Saint John the Baptist Cathedral in San Francisco, who was blessed to participate in uncovering of the holy relics of Saint Sebastian in Žiča Monastery ten years ago. Prota Predrag was there, as well as Monk Ignatius from the Venerable Silouan the Athonite Monastery (ROCOR) in Sonora, California. It was a joy also to have two priests from Sacramento: Andrew Jacobs of the Elevation of the Holy Cross Church (OCA) and Paul Volmensky of the Holy Ascension Church (ROCOR), who came together with twenty five of his parishioners. The church was packed with even more people than the previous evening, mostly thanks to many pilgrims, who came to Jackson from all over California. So many participants at the Divine Liturgy and so many communicants this church has only for the greatest feast days. Taking into consideration the high employment rate and that it was a business day (several people took a day off from their jobs), it was a true little miracle of God and Saint Sebastian and the proof than nothing like holiness gathers and unites people.  

            After the Prayer before Ambo, Prota Dane and Prota Predrag blessed and cut two Slava breads in honor of Saint Sebastian: one as the church founder and the other as the patron saint of Rice family. The local deputy sheriff with his whole family was baptized and christmated (he was given name Miloš by his godfather Lazar) earlier this year by the holy relics of Saint Sebastian and therefore he decided to start celebrating his feast day as his Family Slava. As far as we know, this is the first family that celebrates Saint Sebastian of Jackson and San Francisco as their family’s patron saint.

The gathering continued in the church hall, where the Kolo sisters and Rice family prepared and served a delicious lenten meal. Peace and joy in the Holy Spirit were in the hearts of all, as well as gratitude to God for granting us such a saint and gratitude to the saint for all his sacrifices endured for us and our salvation and for all his gifts to us, including this unforgettable, wondrous day, which reminded us of the Day that is coming, and now is, and has no end. The meal was concluded with prayer and presentation of gifts to everybody. Special gifts were presented to Protopresbyter-stavrophor Stephen Tumbas and Protodeacon Triva Pavlov for their special merits in maintaining and developing the church in Jackson in last years and decades.

Before their return to Los Angeles, per Bishop Maxim’s blessing, a large group of pilgrims from the Saint Sava Church in San Gabriel, led by their priest, Prota Predrag Bojović, received with tears in their eyes a particle of the holy relics of Saint Sebastian. The relics were placed into a beautiful, hand-made wooden reliquary and so Saint Sebastian went back to the first Serbian Orthodox community in Los Angeles, which he founded in 1911 and served it as its first priest.     

As Abbot Damascene wrote about the whole event: „A glorious celebration of the feast at St Sava's in Jackson… The whole day passed with joy, made full by the grace of God, Who is wondrous in His Saints… Thanks be to God that we have a new local saint, a new place of pilgrimage, and a new annual feast-day tradition, where the faithful are given yet another opportunity to connect with a Heaven.”

Finally, on Sunday, December 3 / November 20, the parish in Jackson celebrated its traditional, annual Founders’ Day. On Saturday, a memorial service was done for the founders as well as all the subsequent generations that invested themselves into this church. The Divine Liturgy and Eucharistic gathering around the holy chalice proved that the commemoration of the Founders’ Day is not merely a remembrance of the past, but also a look at the future – that it is not a mere history lesson, but also an uninterrupted fellowship with our fathers and predecessors in the mystery of the Body and Blood of Christ, in which we are continually gathered and united and by which we live. It started with baptism and chrismation of two little Russian girls and was crowned with holy communion. It certainly made glad both Saint Sebastian and Russian bishop Nikolai (Ziorov), who consecrated the church around this day 123 years ago, as well as all the members of this historic community, for so are the past and the future of the parish gathered together in Him who is the Beginning and the End. At the liturgy after liturgy, in the church hall that has a big flag with the emblem of King Nikola I Petrović of Montenegro on one of its walls, the special bakalar meal (codfish) was served, prepared according to an old recipe of Milosović family from the Bay of Kotor.

This was a very blessed week in Jackson, glory to God. He is wonderful in His saints, He who has revealed himself to us and who visits us, He who reminds us through His saints of our true identity and calling, of our true dignity and beauty, wherever and whenever we may live. O Holy Father Sebastian, pray to God for us!     


Празник Светог Севастијана Џексонског и Санфранциског, равноапостолног просветитеља Америке, торжествено је прослављен у Цркви Светога Саве у Џексону, у Калифорнији, САД, 30./17. новембра 2017. лета Господег. У овом питомом градићу од око пет хиљада житеља, који је настао у близини два рудника злата (која су затворена за време Другог светског рата) у брдовитом, живописном делу Калифорније и у коме Срби уживају углед и поштовање, Свети Севастијан је подигао ову прелепу црквицу 1894. године заједно са српским рударима из Херцеговине и Боке Которске. Била је то прва православна црква коју су Срби изградили на северноамеричком континенту и посветили је своме првом архиепископу, а Свети Севастијан је упамћен као први православни монах и свештеник рођен у САД.

Овогодишња прослава почела је вечерњом службом, на коју је из свог епископског седишта у Лос Анђелесу дошао епархијски архијереј, Његово Преосвештенство г. Максим Западноамерички. Он и лосанђелески прота Предраг Бојовић појали су за двема певницама, прота Стеван Тумбас је служио у олтару, а на литији са петохлебницом, којом је началствовао владика Максим, придружили су им се и игуман Манастира Светога Германа Аљаског Архимандрит Дамаскин, који је у Џексон дошао са још двојицом платинских монаха, Севастијаном и Андрејем, као и прота Василије Цвијановић из Мораге, у близини Сан Франциска. Скромна, а неодољива лепота џексонске богомоље, која је израсла не из изобиља и раскоши него из жртвене љубави џексонских тежака, као и древност и красота богослужења испуњена благодатним присуством светих моштију џексонског покровитеља, које су верни још дуго по служби целивали, оставила је на неколицину поклоника и мноштво житеља овога краја, који су цркву сасвим испунили, дубок и неизбрисив траг. Стога су многи касније за вечером коментарисали да им је то била једна од најлепших служби којој су присуствовали и да су се осећали као да су у неком древном светогорском манастиру или некој од наших немањићких светиња у Староме Крају, како овде обично називају свој породични завичај, попут Дечана или Студенице. Након вечере, коју је са љубављу приредило Коло српских сестара, изведен је и краћи сплет верских песама, а затим су присутни уживали и у изложби уметничких дела (слика, фотографија, рукодеља) надахнутих џексонском Светосавском црквом. За ову белу лепотицу, не само Срби и не само православни житељи Џексона кажу да, када њу угледају враћајући се из даљине, срце им заигра и каже: „Weareathome“ (стигли смо кући). Пред одлазак на њихов починак, Владика је честитао свима празник, прозборио о значају и блаженом, молитвеном присуству Светог Севастијана у нашим животима и делатностима, те их благословио и упутио се у нашу другу велику светињу, најстарији српски манастир на овом континенту, Светога Саве у Либертивилу крај Чикага, на сабрање српских епископа у Северној и Јужној Америци.

У четвртак, на сам празник, Господ нам је подарио још један диван јесењи дан. По благослову Владике Максима, Платински игуман Дамаскин, који је написао прво житије Светог Севастијана, служио је јутарњу службу, док су за певницом певали санфранциски прота Ђурица Гордић и лосанђелески прота Предраг Бојовић, а затим је началствовао и светом литургијом. Литургију је  служило девет свештеника и два ђакона, а молитвено је присуствовао протођакон Трива Павлов, један од иницијатора идеје о преносу моштију архимандрита Севастијана из Жиче у Џексон, који је умировљен од активне парохијске службе, али и даље пребива у Џексону. Међу свештеницима био је ту прота Стеван Тумбас. Наспрам њега стајао је прота Дане Поповић из Цркве Успења Пресвете Богородице у Сакраменту. Служили су и проте Василије Цвијановић из Цркве Свете Тројице у Мораги и Ђурица Гордић из Саборног храма северног дела простране Западноамеричке епархије Светога Јована Крститеља у самом Сан Франциску (који је био благословен да присуствује откривењу моштију Светога Севастијана у Жичи пре десет година). Својим доласком и служењем донели су радост и гостујући свештеници АндрејЏејкобс, из Цркве Воздвижења Часнога Крста (Православне Цркве у Америци), и ПавелВолменски, из Цркве Вазнесења Господњег (Руске Заграничне Цркве), обојица из Сакрамента. Са о. Павелом дошло је двадесет и пет парохијана. Коначно, били су ту и већ поменути прота Предраг Бојовић и његов презимењак, домаћи парох, као и монах Игњатије, из Манастира Светог Силуана Атонског (Руске Заграничне Цркве) у Сонори (око сат времена вожње југоисточно од Џексона). Црква је била још више испуњена народом него претходне вечери, овај пут претежно поклоницима, који су дошли из свих крајева Калифорније. Толико људи окупи се и толико причесника у џексонској цркви има само о највећим празницима. Имајући у виду чињеницу да је био радни дан и колико је висок проценат запослености (неколицина је узела неплаћене слободне дане са посла), било је то право мало чудо Божије и Светога Севастијана и доказ да ништа као светиња не окупља и не сабира људе.

После заамвоне молитве, прота Дане и прота Предраг пресекли су два славска хлеба, један у част црквене ктиторске славе, а други у част крсне славе породице Рајс локалног заменика шерифа, који се са целом својом породицом ове године крстио и миропомазао (добивши име Милош од свога кума Лазара) у џексонској, светосавској цркви, код моштију Светога Севастијана, те је одлучио да почне да слави Светога Севастијана као крсну славу. Колико нам је познато, то је први случај слављења Светога Севастијана Џексонског и Санфранциског као крсне славе.

Сабрање је настављено у црквеној сали, где су диван, посни славски ручак припремили и послужили Коло сестара и свечари породице Рајс. Мир и радост у Духу Светоме били су у срцима свих, као и осећај благодарности: Богу, што нам је подарио таквога светитеља, и светитељу, за све његове подвиге и жртве ради нас и нашег спасења, па и за тај незабораван, чудесан дан, тако налик оном Дану што долази и већ је настао, а не пролази.Трпеза љубави окончана је молитвом и дељењем дарова свима присутнима.Посебни дарови, као израз посебне благодарности, уручени су протојереју-ставрофору Стевану Тумбасу и протођакону Триви Павлову за изузетан и низмеран допринос Цркви Светог Саве у Џексону.

Коначно, пред повратак у Лос Анђелес, повећа група поклоника из Цркве Светог Саве, предвођена својим свештеником, протојерејем Предрагом Бојовићем, преузела је, по благослову Преосвештеног епископа Максима, делић светих моштију Светога Севастијана са сузама у очима. Мошти су похрањене у леп, ручно рађен дрвени кивот, те је тако Свети Севастијан кренуо ка својој заједници у највећем граду Калифорније, коју је основао 1911. године и служио јој као њен први свештеник.      

Да обележавање Дана оснивача није само сећање на прошлост, већ и поглед у будућност, да није само час историје, већ и непрекинуто заједништво са оснивачима и претходним поколењима наше цркве у светој тајни Тела и Крви Христове, у којој се непрестано сабирамо и сједињавамо и којом живимо, показала је и овогодишња света божанска литургија и сабрање око светога путира. Оно је почело крштењем и миропомазањем две малене девојчице, Рускиње, и крунисано светим причешћем, а на радост и Светог Севастијана и руског владике Николаја (Зиорова) који су цркву освештали, као и свих чланова ове заједнице, јер се тако и прошлост и будућност ове парохије сабирају у Ономе који је Почетак и Крај. На литургији после литургије, у црквеној сали коју краси велика застава са грбом краља Николе I Петровића и ове године послужен је бакалар по древном бокељском рецепту породице Милосовић.

Тако се навршила ова благословена и блажена седмица у светосавастијановском Џексону. Диван је Бог у светима својим, Бог који нам се објавио и који нас походи, и који нас кроз свете своје подсећа на наш истински идентитет и призвање, на наше истинско достојанство и лепоту, ма где и ма када живели. Свети оче Севастијане, моли Бога за нас!   

Great Vespers with Bishop Maxim


Divine Litirugy with Fr. Damascene from St. Herman's Monastery in Platina, CA


Relics of St. Sebastian presentation to Fr. Bojovic from St. Sava in San Gabriel




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