Eparchial (Diocesan) News
On Sunday, 13 April 2008, His Grace Bishop Irinej, Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Australia and New Zealand, for the first time since being enthroned in late 2006 in Sydney, visited his faithful in Wodonga. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Serbian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter and Paul on High Street. Assisting the bishop were the Very Rev. Lazar Caran of St. Sava Monastery in Elaine, the Very Rev. Dragolyub Pantelich of Ballarat, and the Very Rev. Protodeacon Sasha Colich of Sydney.
The church yard was crowded well before the beginning of services and a white runner strewn with fragrant herbs was set out before the bishop. Traditional gifts of bread and salt were offered to welcome the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia. Lovingly greeted by excited children donned in national folkloric costumes, they lined up to receive his blessing. Many received Holy Communion on that day from the hand of their archpastor.
WELLINGTON (19 March 2008) In a letter of the same date addressed to the Right Honourable Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilochios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitanate of New Zealand and Exarchate of Oceana, applauded the decision of the Government of New Zealand not to recognize the unilateral declaration of Kosovo independence.
Stressing the ever-important message of a visible unity of the Canonical Orthodox Christian jurisdictions in North America, the four Canonical Orthodox Christian Bishops of the West Coast, have joyously announced an expanded schedule of events to foster this unity for the Sunday of Orthodoxy weekend celebrations in Los Angeles on March 15 and 16, 2008. It was perhaps the greatest liturgical celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy southern California had ever seen. More than 1,000 Orthodox Christians commemorated the restoration of the holy icons without paying attention to jurisdictional background, restoringв”if only temporarily”a union given from God on high to His Holy Church between Him, His saints depicted in the icons and His people on earth. Four canonical Orthodox Christian bishops concelebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with each other for the first time ever: His Eminence, Metropolitan GERASIMOS of the Greek Orthodox Christian Metropolis of San Francisco and the West; His Grace, Bishop JOSEPH of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Los Angeles and the West; His Grace, Bishop MAXIM of the Serbian Orthodox Christian Diocese of Western America; and His Grace, Bishop BENJAMIN of the Orthodox Church in America Diocese of the West. Joining them were their southern California cathedral deans, the Very Rev. Fathers John Bakas (host priest), Michel Najim, Nicholas Ceko and Michael Senyo. They served in brotherly fellowship around the holy altar, rising above cultural, linguistic or any other man-made divisions.
The faithful of the Metropolis of San Francisco, especially those in the greater Los Angeles area, are encouraged to attend a truly historic celebration of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 16, 2008 at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles. This will be the first annual Pan-Orthodox Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with presiding bishops: His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco (Greek Orthodox), His Grace Bishop Joseph of Los Angeles and the West (Antiochian Orthodox), His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America (Serbian Orthodox), and His Grace Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West (OCA Orthodox).
This all-English service will begin with Matins at 8:30 a.m., and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m., followed by the Procession of Icons.
Unknown perpetrators have written threatening graffiti of neo-nazi and ustasha contents on the Orthodox Diocese in Sibenik (Croatia).
Threatening messages such as "Hang the Serbs'', "NDH ''(Nezavisna Drzava Hrvatska = Independent State of Croatia during WWII, translator's note), "Vukovar'', as well as the letter "U'' (for ustasha, t. n.) and swastikas appeared on approx. 10 meters of the stone wall located in front of the Diocese's yard.
According to a statement released to Tanjug, Mr. Vladimir Todorovic, Head of the Serbian Government Directorate for Property Restitution, the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren will soon be delivered a decision on the restitution of 5,300 hectares of land it had been deprived of by the agrarian reforms and the nationalization in 1945. He explained that, in order to have the ownership registered, the requests for the implementation of the final and enforceable decisions should be filed by the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren to the competent local authorities, i.e.land registers located in all municipalities of Kosovo and Metohia.