Diocesan News

Diocesan Kolo Srpskih Sestara Celebrates Slava

SKSS Slava 2016 038

 On Sunday, December 4, 2016, at the Cathedral of Saint Steven in Alhambra, California, the Kolo Srpskih Sestara of the Western American Diocese celebrated their Krsna Slava, the Feast of the Entrance into the Temple of the Most Holy Theotokos. 

His Grace Bishop Maxim celebrated the Divine Liturgy with V. Rev. Nicholas Ceko, Cathedral Dean, Rev. Norman Kosanovich, Cathedral Assistant Priest, and  V. Rev. Ilija Dajkovic, together with the members of the Diocesan SKSS from throughout the Diocese and many parishioners of the Cathedral and neighboring parishes.  

SKSS Slava 2016 040Following the Divine Liturgy, V. Rev. Predrag Bojovic, SKSS spiritual father and priest at the St. Sava Church in San Gabriel, joined in the Slava Service held in the Cathedral hall just prior to the Slava Banquet, which was perpared by the Saint Steven's Cathedral Women's Auxiliary.  

The honored Slava Kuma was Protinica Radmila Vasiljevic, the mother of His Grace Bishop Maxim. In the absence of the SKSS president, Ana Velickovich, 1st Vice President, and Bernadette Polich, Financial Secretary extended a warm welcome and greetings to all who attended. Ana in her remarks stressed the importance of the ministry of the Diocesan Circle of Serbian Sisters and encouraged support of the many events and fundraisers held by the Diocesan KSS. 

The Ministry of the Circle of Serbian SistersFor more information about the Diocesan Kolo Srpskih Sestara, the St. Sebastian Orthodox Press of the Western American Diocese has published a beautifully illustrated brochure entitled, "The Ministry of the Circle of Serbian Sisters - Kolo Srpskih Sestara" which gives a history of the contributions of the Women's Organizations throughout our Western American Diocese and describes the important ministry of the Diocesan Kolo Srpskih Sestara in the Life of our Church. This book is available from our Sebastian Press Bookstore.


St. Sava Jackson Celebrates Feast of St. Sebastian

    2016 11 26 jackson 0034On November 26th and 27th, the faithful of St. Sava Jackson gathered to commemorate the founders of the parish and the Feast of St. Sebastian of Jackson and San Francisco.
    The two-day event began with Great Vespers on Saturday evening.  At the invitation of His Grace Bishop Maxim, His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin (OCA, San Francisco) attended the service which was led by Fr. Stephen Tumbas.  Following vespers, the clergy with their wives and the bishops dined at the National Hotel.
    Sunday morning, his Grace Bishop Maxim led the local clergy in a Matins service at 8:30 am.  His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin, Very Rev. William Weir (Holy Assumption S.O.C., Fair Oaks) and Rev. Andrew Jacobs (Elevation of the Holy Cross, OCA, Sacramento) joined Bishop Maxim and the local clergy, Fr. Steve, Protodeacon Triva Paul and Deacon Dragan Stojanovich, for the Divine Liturgy at 9:30 am.
    Archbishop Benjamin delivered the homily, reminding everyone to use the Advent season to focus on personal introspection in order to renew our spiritual relationship with God the Father and our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Gospel reading for the day described the man who called himself “Legion”, one possessed by many demons. His Eminence urged each of us to work to restore the image and likeness of God that we were given at birth.  He told us that we must cast away our own demons just as Christ cast out the demons from Legion.  His Eminence also commented on the unique Orthodox spirit of St. Sebastian.  St. Sebastian reached out to all the Orthodox in every community that he visited.  He unified people of many nationalities to worship together. This enabled them to found parishes throughout the western states, many of which still exist today in both the Serbian Western American Diocese and the Orthodox Church in America.
    After the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Grace Bishop Maxim, led a memorial service for the departed members of the Saraba family.  Ever since the passing of Cedo Saraba, the entire Saraba family has gathered on this day to honor their relatives and have the family grave blessed.  Lazar Saraba also graciously underwrites the expense of the Founders Day luncheon.

    Our K.S.S. St. Petka prepared a traditional bakalar meal under the guidance of Dorothy (Danica) Milosovich.  All who attended enjoyed a day of unity and fellowship in the presence of the two hierarchs.  ​The entire Parish eagerly awaits the arrival of its new priest Fr Marko and his wife Biljana Bojovic. ​

 Please mark your calendars to join us again next year--Sunday, November 26, 2017.




Pan-Orthodox Clergy Retreat in Alhambra

2016 11 17 clergy retreat alhambra 016Saint Steven's Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of the Western American Diocese was honored to host the Orthodox Christian bishops and priests from the West Coast for the annual Pan-Orthodox Clergy Conference held November 16-17, 2016.  As 2016 was the year of the historic Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church which was held on the island of Crete in June, the bishops, priests and deacons gathered to reflect on the importance of the conciliar nature of the Church and the meaningful contributions of the Holy Councils and their implications in the life of the Church.  It was a great blessing for us to host this important gathering which brought the Orthodox clergy on the West Coast together in brotherly love and energized them in their ministry of service to God and His faithful people entrusted to their pastoral care.

Visit to San Francisco

2016 11 13 san francisco 017An Orthodox community had formed in San Francisco in 1858, called the “Greek-Russian Slavonian Eastern Church and Benevolent Society.” The community consisted of Russians, Serbs, Greeks, and Syrians who had come to California in the first years of the Gold Rush. Today, the city of San Francisco, the leading financial and cultural center of Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area, has many Orthodox Parishes. The dawn of the history of the Serbian Parish of Saint John the Baptist begins with the arrival of the late Right Reverend Father Archimandrite George Kodzic in San Francisco in February of 1919.

On November 13, 2016, His Grace Bishop Maxim served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in our Cathedral. After the Matins, and prior to the Divine Liturgy, Luka Erceg, dedicated parishioner and church council member was honored to receive the first degree order, by being tonsured a reader (čtec) by His Grace. The tonsuring occurred following the Great Doxology. Luka was led by Father Djurica and Deacon Vladan to the center of the solea in front of the Bishop. Following three prostrations toward the Holy Altar and one prostration before His Grace Bishop Maxim.  His Grace then laid his hand on Luka’s head and both the Deacon and His Grace led the prayers of the tonsuring. Luka has been assisting Fr. Djurica in the Altar since he moved to San Francisco few years ago. Many parishioners were present along with Luka’s family. The ordination or tonsuring of a reader (čtec) is a first degree order.  It is a commitment by the new reader to continue learning and reading of our Lord Jesus Christ with the goal of serving our Lord, His Church, and the community.  It is not an accolade, rather a commitment to even more service to our Lord.  The ordination may continue to further ministry, or not.  As always, we seek to follow to the lessons of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this is another path.

His Grace Bishop Maxim delivered a sermon, explaining our Lord’s story of the sower and the seed, from Sunday's Gospel reading according to St. Luke. It was a pleasurable day for all, and was completely unexpected as His Grace was not scheduled to be in San Francisco that day. He said that as Orthodox we live the mystery of the new creation in a totally different way: we are in another world, a different atmosphere, and way of thinking.

Following the Divine Liturgy His Grace Bishop Maxim, along with clergy and all faithful gathered in church hall for lunch prepared by parish board president Stan Grgich. Bishop Maxim, also, thrilled and delighted the children with his famous “candy rain”!


San Francisco KSS Helps 4 Families in Kosovo and Metohija

2016 10 24 sf kss helps 4 families1Kolo srpskih sestara iz San Franciska poslalo je pomoć za četiri porodice iz Velikog Ropotova i Pančela u kosovskom pomoravlju.

Monahinja Irina iz manastira Gračanice, koja vodi Humanitarnu organizaciju „Sveti Jovan Milostivi“ uručila je novčanu pomoć i igračke deci porodica Slavoljuba Naskovića, Dejanović Srđana i Bobana Nikolića iz Ropotova i Ivana Aksića iz Pančela.

Porodica Nikolić je u posebno teškoj situaciji jer domaćin Boban mora tri puta nedeljno da odlazi u Vranje na lečenje i dijalizu.

Kolo srpskih sestara iz San Franciska i Eparhija zapadno-američka sa svojim episkopom Maksimom redovno pomažu mnogočlane i materijalno ugrožene porodice na Kosovu i Metohiji.




Church Slava in San Marcos, CA

2016 10 23 san marcos slava 01San Marcos, CA - His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Western American Diocese made a canonical visit to the faithful of St. Petka Serbian Orthodox Church in San Marcos, California on Sunday, October 23, 2016 the 18th Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. It was on this Sunday that the parishioners of St. Petka festively celebrated their Church Slava. Concelebrating with His Grace at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy were Protopresbyter Stavrophor Milan Vukovic, retired priest from the San Marcos parish and Protopresbyter Milovan Katanic, parish priest. Also serving were Deacon Vladan Radovanovic, the diocesan deacon and Deacon David-John Williams from the neighboring Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos parish in Orange County. Following the Slava Litiya His Grace blessed the Slava kolach and koljivo with this year's kumovi Momcilo and Emilija Curcic. A festive Slava banquet followed in the church hall.

On Thursday, October 27, on the feast day of the Venerable Mother Paraskeva, St. Petka, even though a weekday, the church was almost full with the many parishioners who attended the Divine Liturgy. Parishioners who were unable to attend in the morning came to church throughout the day to light a candle and offer their prayers to St. Petka. May God, through her prayers, send His blessings to this parish and all its parishioners now and for generations to come.




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