An American Apostle, Sebastian Dabovic
Missionary and Visionary
This DVD is an historical video presentation on the life and work of Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovic, a man referred to by St. Nicholai (Velimirovic) of Zhicha, Serbia, as "the greatest Serbian Missionar of modern times."
We encourage every Orthodox Christian family to purchase a copy of this DVD to share with their children, family, and friends so we remember the first american-born Serbian Orthodox Apostle to America, Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovic.
An Apostle of Universal Significance
by Hieromonk Damascene
Taken from the 2007 Annual, Dedicated to the Life, Work and Legacy of Archimandirte Sebstian.
Born during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich has the distinction of being the first person born in the United States of America to be ordained as an Orthodox priest,1 and also the first native-born American to be tonsured as an Orthodox monk. His greatest distinction, however, lies in the tremendous apostolic, pastoral, and literary work that he accomplished during the forty-eight years of his priestly ministry. Known as the “Father of Serbian Orthodoxy in America,”2 he was responsible for the founding of the first Serbian churches in the New World. This, however, was only one part of his life’s work, for he tirelessly and zealously sought to spread the Orthodox Faith to all peoples, wherever he was called. He was an Orthodox apostle of universal significance.
Describing the vast scope of Fr. Sebastian’s missionary activity, Bishop Irinej (Dobrijevic) of Australia and New Zealand has written: “Without any outside funding or organizational support, he carried the gospel of peace from country to country…. Concentrating much of his work in the United States, he ceaselessly traveled back and forth across the American continent, using every available mode of transportation— from stagecoach to railroad to foot. His wider ministry stretched from the Aleutian Peninsula of Alaska, to Russia and Japan, to small Balkan towns on the coasts of the Black and Adriatic Seas.”3
It is said that Fr. Sebastian baptized more people than any other Serbian priest of theWestern Hemisphere.4 St. Nicholai (Velimirovich) 5 of Zhicha, Serbia, who buried Fr. Sebastian at the Zhicha Monastery when the latter reposed there in 1940, called him “a viceless man” and fittingly designated him “the greatest Serbian missionary of modern times.”6
1 Alaskan-born priests were ordained before Fr. Sebastian, but this was when Alaska was still part of Russia.2 Mirko Dobrijevic (later Irinej, Bishop of Australia and New Zealand), “The First American Serbian Apostle—Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich,” Again, vol. 16, no. 4 (December 1993), pp. 13–14.4 St. Nicholai (Velimirovich) 5 of Zhicha, Serbia, who buried Fr. Sebastian at the ZhichaMonastery when the latter reposed there in 1940, called him “a viceless man” and fittingly designated him “the greatest Serbian missionary of modern times.”6