the Serbian Orthodox Church
September 9, 2004
PAVLE AWARDED ORDER OF NEMANJA OF FIRST DEGREE
Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle has received the highest award
of the state union of Serbia and Montenegro, the Order of Nemanja
of the First Degree. Serbia and Montenegro President Svetozar
Marovic presented the top award on September 9, 2004 after nomination
by Republic of Serbia Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica on the
occasion of Patriarch Pavle’s ninetieth birthday.
presenting this high state honor to the head of the Serbian Orthodox
Church, President Marovic emphasized that it was “a gift from
the heart” recognizing Patriarch Pavle’s achievements in building
confidence and understanding among the people and nations living
in this region. In a brief response Patriarch Pavle expressed
his thanks for the honor bestowed upon him emphasizing that he
was honored to be a recipient. “I accept this award with the awareness
that today we represent our people. One day when we stand before
our ancestors, we should not be ashamed nor should they be ashamed
very important event was attended by Republic of Serbia Prime
Minister Vojislav Kostunica, as well as by His Eminence Metropolitan
Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral, His Grace Bishop Irinej
of Backa, His Grace Bishop Vasilije of Srem, His Grace Bishop
Fotije of Dalmatia, His Grace Bishop Gerasim of Gornji Karlovac,
His Grace Bishop Profirije of Jegar, His Grace Bishop Milutin
of Australia, and His Grace Bishop Lukijan of Osijek Polje and
Holiness Patriarch Pavle is the only church dignitary to receive
the highest award of the state.
MINISTER KOSTUNICA VISITS DIOCESE OF BACKA
part of his visit to Temerin and Subotica, where he met with representatives
of provincial and local government Republic of Serbia Prime Minister
Vojislav Kostunica also met with representatives of all traditional
Christian churches in Vojvodina: Bishop Irinej of Backa and Bishop
Porfirije of Jegar of the Serbian Orthodox Church; Bishop Ivan
Penzes of the Roman Catholic Church; Bishop Istvan Cete-Semesi
of the Reform Christian Church, Bishop Samuel Vrbovski of the
Slovak Evangelical Church, and Superintendent Arpad Dolinski of
the Evangelical Christian Church.
his return from Subotica, Prime Minister Kostunica and his delegation
visited the Orthodox Diocese of Backa in Novi Sad and Their Graces
Bishop Irinej of Backa and Vicar Bishop Porfirije of Jegar. A
meeting was held in the Bishop’s residence in Novi Sad, where
Bishop Irinej presented the honored guests with gifts and invited
them to stop by again in the future whenever they find themselves
in Novi Sad, the Athens of Serbia.
SERBS HELP CHILANDAR
city of Cleveland in the U.S. is a true oasis and sanctuary where
several thousand Serbs who were forced to leave their Homeland
after World War II found a new home. Others who left their native
land much earlier but never forgot it warmly received them there.
Gathered around their church, they opened their brotherly arms
in Christian fashion to the new arrivals.
and industrious, the Serbs of Cleveland knew that “hope places
its faith in no one but God and one’s own hands” and they got
down to work. In Cleveland the Serbian Orthodox Church and the
local parish were the center where Serbs gathered long before
the war, and after the war they continued to work and progress
there as well, not for the wealth of any individual but for the
good of the community.
Djuro Majerle told us about the Serbs of his parish in Broadview
Heights, a suburb of Cleveland. He said that the Cleveland parish
is one of the largest in number of believers in the U.S. This
parish also warmly received a large number of refugees who arrived
during the 1990s because of the war in this region. It helped
them to adjust to their new surroundings and now many of these
new arrivals are themselves in a position to help others.
news broke in faraway Cleveland of the fire in Chilandar Monastery,
no heart remained indifferent and no eye failed to shed a tear.
They resolved to help as they had already done so many times in
the past, and responded to a brotherly appeal. Recently their
priest, elderly and dear Father Djuro, brought 10,000 dollars
to help Chilandar. The Serbs from Cleveland have not forgotten
their brothers and sisters in Kosovo and Metohija nor in other
asked whether it was difficult to remain a Serb in the United
States, Father Djuro replied that it was necessary to preserve
one’s faith, mother tongue and traditions. This cannot be learned
in school because it is something that is passed on by families.
church of St. Sava in Cleveland is the spiritual heart of the
city. Recently a holiday was celebrated there which has been celebrated
for many years. Njegos Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in
the month of September on the same day as the U.S. holiday of
Labor Day. After Liturgy a memorial service is held near a monument
to Njegos, which is now in front of the church. In 1934 it was
located in the Yugoslav garden in Cleveland’s Rockefeller Park.
Every year on Njegos Day the late Holy Bishop Nikolaj of Ochrid
and Zica would come and serve the memorial service for Njegos.
church of St. Sava in Cleveland is one of the few in the United
States where Liturgy is served in the Serbian language. The didactic
parts of the service and some prayers are also in English to facilitate
understanding by non-Serbian spouses.
parish can truly serve as a model for others in gathering the
flock, preserving the traditions of our people, and diligently
working for the benefit and glory of God and one’s people. At
the same time, parishioners are model citizens in their new homeland.
HUMANITARIAN AND FAMILIARIZATION VISIT TO BANJA LUKA AND NORTHWEST
Wednesday, September 1, 2004 a group of 14 Orthodox Christians
from the United States of America arrived in Banja Luka to see
the humanitarian work of the International Orthodox Christian
Charities in action. The guests from the U.S. were welcomed on
behalf of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Pavle and the Holy Assembly
of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox church by Hieromonk Irinej
Dobrijevic, who will accompany the delegation during the six days
they will be spending in the northwest part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Princess Linda Karadjordjevic also joined the group.
delegation from the U.S. includes five Orthodox members of the
clergy and four members of the main board of the International
Orthodox Christian Charities, which is based in Baltimore. The
director of this international humanitarian organization, Mr.
Konstantin Trandafil, heads the group. IOCC has been very active
in the region of ex-Yugoslavia since 1992 and since then has given
assistance over 80 million dollars in assistance to refugees and
those expelled from their centuries-old homes. This humanitarian
organization opened its office in Banja Luka in 1995. Since then
with their assistance repairs have been made on devastated homes
and infrastructure has been improved. People of good will from
the U.S. are helping so that all those who lived difficult lives
during the war can renew agriculture, the economy and social activities
throughout the region. These Orthodox philanthropists are working
in the building of fundraising capacities of all local Orthodox
September 1, 2004 the group from the U.S. visited returnees in
Mrkonjic Grad, Cadjavica and the Majdan area, as well as the monastery
of Krupa on the Vrbas. The following day, on September 2, 2004
they visited the NGO Prvi Osmijeh (First Smile) and Zastite Me
(Protect Me) in Banja Luka, the Cathedral and the Bishop’s residence
in Bosanski Petrovac, where His Grace Bishop Hrizostom of Bihac
and Petrovac received them. They went on to visit Krnjeusa and
the cooperative in Vrtoc. On September 3, 2004 this group visited
returnees in Novi Grad, Rudici, Mala Krupska Ruiska and Agrojapgra
in Donji Agici, the NGO Svetionik (Lighthouse) in Prijedor, and
a school in Trnopolje. Their travels continued on September 4,
2004 with visits to the NGO Ekologika (Ecologica) and Forum NGO,
as well as the Association of Beekeepers in Derventa, and a school
Sunday, September 5, the guests from the U.S. took part in Holy
Liturgy in Banja Luka’s Holy Trinity Cathedral with guest U.S.
clergy concelebrating with local priests and deacons with the
blessing of His Grace Bishop Jefrem of Banja Luka. In the afternoon
they visited the monastery of Liplje, the endowment of St. Sava,
which was renewed by the Holy King Dragutin. On the last day,
September 6, 2004 they visited the Ethno-cooperative Duga (Rainbow)
and the Circle of Serbian Sisters in Banja Luka, where a farewell
luncheon was held prior to their departure for the United States.
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