Eparchial (Diocesan) News
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.
They ‘cast shame on themselves’ Serbs in Lake county offer prayers of ‘crisis’ over new Kosovo indepedance24. February 2008 - 11:26
While many in Lake County might look at events in southeastern Europe and wonder what to make of it, John Plavsic of Grayslake was among those who headed out to the New Gracanica Monastery on Thursday night to participate in moleban, a prayer service offered in the Serbian Orthodox church in times of crisis."It is a prayer in a time of need, or for health, usually for someone in dire straits," Plavsic explained. "Tonight it is intended particularly for the Kosovo situation, and generally for Serbians who live in Serbia right now, because of the tense situation there."
We are expecting the upcoming days with uncertainty – the days of more and more frequent announcements on behalf of the Kosovo Albanians and international officials of an imminent declaration of independence. Should this act of declaring independence and recognizing Kosovo and Metohija on behalf of other states take place, we will consider it an illegitimate and violent act. Today, we have no other choice but to remain at our sacred sites, and this is the message we send to our people! To remain in these sacred spaces and endure till the end! – says Bishop Teodosije, abbey of the Decani Monastery for the “Novosti“ newspaper, describing the current position the Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija.