Diocesan News

Bishop Maxim visits St. Herman Monastery and St. Xenia Skete for Feast of Transfiguration

33Good to celebrate the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. His Grace had made an episcopal visit to the monastery and skete less than a month earlier, on July 26-27, and it was a joy for the monks and nuns to welcome him back so soon.

In the evening of Friday, August 5/18, 2017, the eve of the Feast, His Grace arrived at the St. Herman Monastery together with Sr. Irina of Gracanica Monastery in Kosovo. After a brief meal, everyone—the monks of the monastery, the sisters of St. Xenia Skete, and the pilgrims—gathered in front of the catholicon. From there they began the procession to the places where, according to local tradition, the beginning of Transfiguration Vigil is celebrated: the men to the “Transfiguration Skete” atop Mount St. Herman, and the women to “St. Elias Skete,” which lies to the west of the monastery, atop Noble Ridge.

During the Vespers services atop Mount St. Herman, the monks sang the services while Abbot Damascene served and Bishop Maxim pronounced the blessings. At the Aposticha, both the men and the women went in procession from their respective “Sketes” to one of the crosses that overlooks Beegum Gorge. Each of the processions was accompanied by the singing of hymns.

In the old days, it had been a tradition of the monastery that, when the men and women had gathered at the cross at this point the service, Fr. Seraphim (Rose) would give a sermon on the Transfiguration. Two of these sermons of Fr. Seraphim had been partially recorded: one, in 1974, by Fr. Seraphim himself, in his Chronicle of the St. Herman Brotherhood, and another, shortly before his repose in 1982, by a sister of St. Xenia Skete. It has become a more recent tradition of the monastery to read aloud these recorded sermons of Fr. Seraphim at this point in the service.

That is what we did this year. As everyone gathered to listen around the cross, Fr. Damascene read the sermons from Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works. The procession then continued back to the monastery catholicon, where Vespers was concluded. Bishop Maxim, vested in an omophorion and an epitrachelion, celebrated the Litya together with the monastery priests, blessing the loaves, wheat, wine and oil at the end. Before distributing the blessed bread with wine, he congratulated the faithful with the Feast. It was beautiful, he said, to go up the mountain for the beginning of the service. It has been a practice from the early days of Christianity to go up to a high place to celebrate the Feast of Transfiguration. This, the Bishop said, can also can be seen as a prayer that we be lifted up spiritually.

The Vigil concluded with Matins and First Hour.

The next morning, the hierarchical Liturgy for the Transfiguration was held in the outdoor chapel at St. Xenia Skete. The monks from St. Herman Monastery, Fr. George Elliott, Deacon Philip Mayer and parishioners from the St. Andrew Serbian Orthodox Church in Anderson, California; Archpriest Christopher Stanton, Matushka Mary Sara, and their six children from the St. Innocent Cathedral (OCA) in Wasilla, Alaska; and other pilgrims came for the celebration. His Grace celebrated the Liturgy together with Abbot Damascene, Hieromonk Paisius, Fr. Christopher, Fr. George, and Deacon Philip.

In his sermon, Vladika said that not only the Lord but also the disciples were illumined by the Transfiguration; that’s how they could behold Him in His transfigured state. Speaking of the Uncreated Energies revealed as Light at the Transfiguration, Vladika noted that the Energies can never be separated from the Person of God, or from the experience of God as Person. His Grace stressed how the Feast of Transfiguration is important for all Christians in their striving to transfigure their entire lives in the light of Christ; it has become especially significant for monastics in their striving toward the Kingdom.

After the Liturgy, His Grace read the Prayer for the Blessing of Fruits, according to the tradition for this day, and the blessed grapes were distributed to the faithful along with antidoron.

At an outdoor gathering afterwards, the young pilgrims presented musical offerings. Fr. George’s son John, dressed in traditional Scottish attire, played several melodies on the bagpipe, ending with “Amazing Grace.” Fr. Christopher’s children sang Native Alaskan songs in the original language, accompanied by traditional dance.

Fr. George, who had recently returned from Scotland with John and his touring bagpipe band, presented Bishop Maxim with a gift: a Scottish “clergy tartan.”

His Grace presented a gift copy of the new English edition of the Prologue of Ohrid to the St. Herman Monastery, whose monks had helped to edit the book. Gratefully receiving it, Fr. Damascene told the gathered faithful about the features of the new edition, which includes a host of saints glorified by the Church since the publication of the first edition in 1928.

A meal was served in the Skete trapeza, after which Abbess Dorothea asked Sr. Irina of Gracanica speak about her monastery and life in Kosovo. Sr. Irina gave a moving account of the history of Gracanica, and of the adversities and present condition of the Serbs living in Kosovo. Bishop Maxim and Dr. Jelena, who was also visiting at the time, added to the account. His Grace told of his experience of being in Kosovo with Bishop Atanasije as a hierodeacon during the harrowing year of 1999. The talk was deeply edifying and also very informative in bringing us up-to-date about our brothers and sisters in suffering Kosovo.

The brothers of St. Herman Monastery and the sisters of St. Xenia Skete give thanks to Christ the Giver of Light for this unforgettable celebration of His Transfiguration.

--Iguman Damascene

 

 

A weekend full of joy and blessing - Bishop Maxim visited his flock in Portland, OR

20170813 111913Дани празничне радости и благослова - Епископ Максим посетио Портланд ​ ​ поводом летње храмовне славе Преноса моштију Св. архиђакона и првомученика Стефана.

Парохија Св. првомученика и Архиђакона Стефана у Портланду, савезна држава Орегон, прославила је свечано своју летњу храмовну славу, ​ ​ дочекавши свог драгог Архијереја Еп. Максима ​.​
У суботу 12. августа у поподневним часовима су млади чланови наше парохије окупљени око Игора Машића ​,​ који је својим чамцем приредио крстарење на реци Виламете која пролази кроз Портланд. После овог разгледања града са реке је Епископ у пратњи надлежног пароха дочекан у порти Храма од председника Небојше Мучибабића и већег броја парохијана и великог броја деце која су се обрадовала своме Владици који је свако дете и све присутне срдачно поздравио и благословио. Посебну захвалност дугујемо родитељима који су приредили деци разне игре и награде које је Владика поделио деци. Председница Кола српских сестара Славица Мучибабић се пожртвовано потрудила са чланицама и вредним парохијнкама да угосте најдражег госта и све присутне. Лепо и радосно дружење је завршено заједничком вечерњом службом, коју је служио надлежни парох. После вечерње службе је Епископ одржао састанак са Управом ове ЦШО упознавши се са предстојећим плановима за унапређење парохије и њене мисије.

Сутрадан у недељу ​,​ сабрали су се благочестиви верници са децом портландске парохије испред храма да дочекају свог Архипастира.
​На ​ Свет ​ој Литругиј ​и ​пастиреначалнику су саслуж ​ивали о. Серафим Бел, парох из Јуџина, Видослав Вујасин, надлежн ​и​ парох и Арх. намесник Бјутск ​и​ и протођакон Стивен Дајер из Јуџина. Свету Литургију су својим дивним појањем улепшали хорови из Јуџина и Портланда.
После прочитаног Јеванђеља, је о. Серафим ​произнео беседу на енглеском језику. Светој тајни причешћа су приступила сва деца и мноштво верника.
Кумови храмовне Славе су били Владимир и Сањ ​а Драшковић са њиховим кћеркама Еленом, Аном и новорођеним сином Луком. После благосиљања Славског колача су изабрани кумови за идућу годину, Паја и Надица Агатоновић.
Епископ је благословио благочестиви верни народ ове парохије пожелевши изобиље Божије милости ​,​ похваливши ревност парохијана.
На самом крају је презвитер Видослав Вујасин поздравио и захвалио, најпре Архијереју на љубави и пажњи коју указује својим парохијама, и свим свештеним саслужитељима и верном народу и кумовима на њиховом доласку и учешћу на храмовној Слави и позвао на свечану трпезу љубави која је припремљена добротом кумова и чланица Кола Српских сестара са својом председницом.
На свечани и изврсни ручак у пуној сали Храма су стигли и протојереј-ставрофор Метју Тејт као и протојереј Тимоти Павлатос.
Деца парохије су обрадовала ​с вог Владику са песмом о Патријарху Павлу, док их је Владика изненадио слаткишима које је Епископ у виду кише поделио деци, јер више од 50 дана није падала киша у Портланду. За време обеда је Владика Максим презентовао капиталну Монографију о Косову и Метохију, као и најновију књигу Еп. захумскохерцеговачког Григорија ”Преко прага” које су изашле у издању Епархијске издавачке куће Себастијан Прес (www.sebastianpress.org).
Благодарни Богу на свему већ сад се радујемо следећој посети нашег драгог Архијереја који радошћу долази да посети виноград Господњи у Орегону.

A weekend full of joy and blessing - Bishop Maxim visited his flock in Portland, OR

20170813 110825The past weekend of 12th and 13th August 2017 at the St. Stephens Archdeacon and Protomartyr Serbian Orthodox Church in Portland, Oregon was very blessed because our Diocesan Bishop His Grace Bishop Maxim visited our Portland parish. The reason of His visit was the celebration of our Parish Slava, which began with a joyful gathering on saturday afternoon when a lot of parish children full of joy and happiness welcomed His Grace at our beautiful Church property in Portland. Bishop Maxim blessed all the children and people who came to this gathering. After a delicious barbecue and childrens playing and talks we concluded the beautiful afternoon with a Vesper served by Fr. Vidoslav Vujasin the host priest in the presence of his Grace and the faithful followed by a brief meeting with the Board members who presented the Diocesan Bishop their plans for improvement and development of future projects on our Church property in Portland.

On Sunday His Grace Bishop Maxim served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy together with the concelebrants, Fr. Rev. Seraphim Bell, from the St. John Maximovitch parish in Eugene, Fr. Rev. Vidoslav Vujasin, Episcopal Dean, Portland, Protodeacon Rev. Stephen Dyer, Eugene and many parishioners and guests.

The sermon based on the Gospel reading was given by Fr. Seraphim Bell. After the Holy Liturgy the Slava bread cutting ceremony took place with the Kums Vladimir and Sanja Draskovic with their daughters Elena, Ana and the new baby born son Luka. Our parishioners Paja and Nadica Agatonovic overtook the Slava for the next year.

A delicious luncheon followed, which was prepared by the Kums and the Circle of Serbian sisters under the presidency of Slavica Mucibabic. After services held in their parishes Fr. Rev. Matthew Tate, Rector of the OCA Annunciation parish in Milwaukie, OR and Fr. Rev. Timothy Pavlatos, St. Johns Greek Orthodox Church, Beaverton, OR arrived and joined us for the festive meal.

During the lunch there was a short performance with the lovely children from the Portland parish who sang a song for the Bishop and all guests. As a special blessing after more than 50 days without measurable rain Bishop Maxim let fall His famous Candy rain over the children who had much fun getting some of this sweet rain. After the lunch followed a book presentation by His Grace Bp. Maxim who presented the new issued capital Monography about the Heritage of our Church in Kosovo and Metohija and the newest book from Bishop Grigorije "Preko Praga", and the Biography of St. Mardarije which are all published by the Diocesan Publishing House Sebastian Press (www.sebastianpress.org).

We are grateful for these many blessings and looking forward to the next visit of His Grace Bishop Maxim, who is always very welcome in our Portland parish.

Fr. Rev. Vidoslav Vujasin

 

 

Bishop Maxim Ordains Reader Nektari Rodrequez to the Deaconate

2017 07 30 reno 005St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church in Reno, Nevada, celebrated the elevation of one of its own beloved members to the diaconate on Sunday, July 30. 

The parish celebrated the ordination of Nektari Rodriquez to the diaconate with calls of “Axios.” Deacon Nektari was previously a reader, tonsured in 2012. 

His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America made his archpastoral visit to the Reno parish over the weekend accompanied by Deacon Dragan Stojanovich and his wife Victoria from St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Jackson, California. Bishop Maxim conferred the ordination during the hierarchical Divine Liturgy. After the ordination, His Grace reminded those in attendance that in the Byzantine iconographic tradition deacons have long been compared to the angels who perfectly carry out God’s will and that becoming a member of the clergy is not an individualistic achievement or attainment for the one being ordained, but is a part of the communal life of the church, for the benefit of that communal life. 

Deacon Nektari, in addition to being a reader and altar server, has also been integral to the parish’s ministry to prisoners at the Lovelock Correctional Center, a state prison in the desert about an hour to the west of Reno. He and Fr. James Barfield make monthly visits to a growing group of prisoners, some of whom have been baptized in recent years. 

After the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Maxim joined St. John’s parish members and visitors for a barbecue feast. The festivities included songs from several different people, including a beautiful selection from the bishop. 

Deacon Nektari spoke during the feast, expressing love toward everyone gathered and thanking them for their support. He also introduced his two sisters, who he met for the first time only a few months earlier and who came from California to witness the special event.

 

 

Camp Saint Sava 2017 in Jackson, CA

 

2017 07 21 campstsava 01The Diocesan Summer Camp continues to operate at full capacity!! Large numbers of parents and counselors have volunteered to serve each week. We have had some notable new members of our Diocesan clergy who have attended this year’s camp. Rev. Fr. Stephen Tumbas also did great job!

 

 

Our Holy Hierarch, Father Mardarije, pray unto God for us!

mardarije glorification 7 16Hierarchal Liturgy and Vigil service on the occasion of the celebration of Saint Mardarije of Libertyville and All-America was held on 15 July 2017.

Photo Gallery

PATRIARCH IRINEJ VISITS SAINT SAVA CATHEDRAL SITE IN NEW YORK

patriarch stsava ny jul152017 01

His Holiness Patriarch Irinej, head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, while on a stopover in New York on his way the canonization of St. Mardarije in Libertyville, visited the site of Saint Sava Cathedral which was devastated in a fire on Pascha last year.

The Serbian Patriarch was met at the Cathedral site by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of America.

His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America, the diocesan hierarch, accompanied the Patriarch and Archbishop, and briefed them on reconstruction plans during the visit.

Clergy and representatives of the local parish community were also present to greet the Patriarch.

Photos Credit: Dimitrios Panagos - Greek Orthodox Archdiocese

 

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