Fashion to benefit frescos

Fashion to benefit frescos

When Orthodox Serbs who fled the communist regime during World War II established St. Elijah Parish and built the cathedral in Merrillville at 8700 Taft St., they did so to provide a place of worship for their children and a gathering place for all Orthodox Serbs.

Today, the next generation is continuing that legacy by raising funds to paint the interior walls of the cathedral with religious frescos.

The women's auxiliary, referred to as The Circle of Serbian Sisters, has commissioned the painting of the church dome. The sisters are organizing an inaugural fashion show, "Fashions for Frescos," on Thursday at St. Elijah Serbian American Hall on the cathedral campus.

The show will feature fashions by Beyond Pink and Elizabeth Fashions. There will be a silent auction and boutique shopping at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 and the style show.

In addition, a "Guys Night Out" will take place simultaneously in the West Lounge of the hall, where men can enjoy a steak dinner, appetizers, wine tasting and silent auction.

Tickets for both events are $40 each, and are available only by advance reservations. Call (224) 422-6298 or email for tickets.

All proceeds will benefit the fresco project that St. Elijah Parish began in 2010 under the guidance of the Rev. Father Aleksandar Novakovic.

The dome of the church already has been painted. Novakovic and the parishioners invite all who appreciate the beauty of religious art to visit the church on Sundays to view the Byzantine fresco style paintings.

"As you walk towards the middle of the church, a tall and large dome invites you to look up. At the center of the dome, portrayed against a field of gold suggestive of heaven and eternity, Christ Pantocrator, the almighty, looks down upon his church and the admiring viewer," Novakovic said.

"Below him, extending towards the drum of the dome, are angels and prophets, His attendants and witnesses. In the same level as the angels is the birth-giver of God, Virgin Mary, placed there as the link between heaven and earth.

"At the bottom of the dome are the 12 apostles, and right below them are the four evangelists. The Orthodox Church holds the use of images to be an apostolic practice, and it attributes the earliest icons of the Virgin and Christ to St. Luke."

The interior walls of the cathedral will eventually be covered in frescos depicting major scenes from the life of Christ, icons devoted to the Mother of God and the saints, and frescos depicting Old Testament stories about Prophet Elijah.

The Circle of Serbian Sisters are hoping that Thursday's "Fashions For Frescos" will bring them closer to completing the legacy of preserving Serbian faith and culture.