His Grace Irinej Visits U.S. On Behalf of IOCC
Over 200 people, from various jurisdictions, gathered together on Sunday, November 16 Minneapolis for the annual IOCC Benefit Dinner. His Grace Bishop IRINEJ of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand was the featured speaker and shared his personal experiences about working with IOCC. Also addressing the audience was IOCC Board Vice-chair Dr. Frank Cerra. A special musical presentation was made by music professor and composer Chris Granias and vocalist Emily Rakes. Granias composed a hymn titled "The IOCC Anthem" which was performed by Ms. Rakes.
Almost 150 people from various jurisdictions gathered together on Saturday November 22 for the 2nd Annual Orthodox Taste of Seattle at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Assumption. His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand was the featured speaker and shared his personal experiences about working with IOCC in various locations around the world. Before his ordination, the Bishop was an IOCC staff member, and while a priest served on the IOCC Board. The event was a great success and had almost three times the attendance from the event held last year. Over $10,000 was raised in support of IOCC.
On Sunday, November 23, 2008 over 300 people from various jurisdictions came together to learn more about IOCC and hear a keynote address by His Grace Bishop Irinej (Dobrijevic) of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. The event raised over $35,000 in support of IOCC.
On November 29th and 30th His Grace IRINEJ, the Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Australia and New Zealand, with the blessing of His Eminence CHRISTOPHER, Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan of the Mid West, visited the Detroit Area on behalf of IOCC. His Grace, well known and highly respected not in the Serbian and Detroit Orthodox community, spoke on Saturday evening at the Serbian Memorial Center of the St. Lazarus Ravanica Cathedral regarding the relevance and need of supporting IOCC. On Sunday, a hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated at Ravanica by His Grace along with the host priests and Father Dusan Koprivica of Saint Demetrius Orthodox Church. His Grace's sermon enthralled over several hundred believers who were in attendance.
At a November Vespers service at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Steelton, Pennsylvania, his Grace Bishop Irinej (of Australia and New Zealand of the Serbian Orthodox Church) reminded parishioners of the words of St. John Chrysostom that "Feeding the hungry is a greater miracle than raising the dead." His Grace had been on a tour of U.S. churches on behalf of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) for which he has had a long and special association.
IOCC Board Member Dr. Beverly Yanich said that as his Grace entered the church and made his way to the altar, that several parishioners were moved to tears. "We certainly remembered his prior visits, beginning with when his Grace was a seminarian at St. Vladimir's Seminary and later, when he was a hieromonk and we followed his career when he was an IOCC staff member and as he directed the Office of External Affairs for the Serbian Orthodox Church in Washington, DC," says Yanich.