The First Week in Saint Mark Monastery

The First Week in Saint Mark Monastery
The First Week in Saint Mark Monastery
The First Week in Saint Mark Monastery
The First Week in Saint Mark Monastery

With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Irinej, the first week of camp was held at St. Mark Monastery in Sheffield, Ohio from July 9-16 to the delight of 67 campers of all ages.

The lecturers this week were Protonamesnik Dragan Goronic, Dean of Cleveland, who was also responsible for ensuring the good-order of the camp; Rev. Sinisa Hrvacevic, parish priest from St. George in Lorain; Deacon Jovan Anicic, Director of Religious Education for the Eastern Diocese; Sister Anastasia from New Marcha Monastery; and Milan and Mira Damljanovic.

The theme of this year’s camp season was, “SLAVA: Its significance for our Orthodox Serbian people”. As the children enjoyed the lessons, the bilingual skills of Svetosavska Zvonce were utilized to ensure that all the children were able to learn and participate in the lessons. In addition to the curriculum, the students were able to enjoy lectures on miraculous icons by Sister Anastasia, as well as various topics from church and liturgical chant from Milan and Mira Damljanovic.  Deacon Jovan also spent time teaching campers about parts of the Holy Liturgy.

On Tuesday afternoon, the campers were blessed with a visit from His Grace Bishop Irinej, who offered a dynamic lecture at the church, teaching children and their parents about the meaning of our faith.  He drew everyone’s attention to the iconostasis, particularly to the icons of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Mother of God, where he explained to everyone the meaning of time and space. His Grace was able to explain such a weighty topic in such a comprehensible manner that the children were fully interested and eager to ask questions.

The following day, on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Bishop Irinej served Hierarchical Divine Liturgy together with those in the camp and community.  During his homily, he inspired the children and their parents by exalting the example set forth by the two great Apostles as a model for every-day life.

As the Hierarchical Liturgy proceeded, the faithful campers all approached the chalice to participate in the divine mystery.  During lunch on the day of the feast, Fr. Leontije, abbot of St. Mark Monastery, expressed heartfelt gratitude to his Grace Bishop Irinej for his visit, and for showing such affection for the camp and its young attendees. 

In addition to the aforementioned educators during week one, St. Mark Camp is planned, supported, and maintained through the hard work of many others, including:

Camp Director - Fr. Mioljub Matic, priest of St. Sava Church in Broadview Heights

Camp Secretaries - Jasmina Petrovic and Danica Novakovic

Education Director - Milos Markovic

Auxillary Educators - Gojko Majerle, Milan Markovic, Petar Petrovic, and Veljko Stojanovic 

Kitchen and Camp Care - Tijana Zarkovic, Jovana Zekanovic, Lana Vidic, Milica Prica, Aleksija Pretnjak, Bojana Vujovic, Milka Gvozdenovic and others who came and offered their time and talents.

Source: Eastern American Diocese