Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

June 2, 2004

The Holy Chilandar Monastery Foundation is issuing the following official communique with the approval of the Holy Chilandar Monastery Administrative Body:

Following public concern resulting from the press conference of the Republic of Serbia's Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments regarding problems in the restoration of Holy Chilandar Monastery after catastrophic fire, we wish to inform the public that work on the monastery has begun and is unfolding according to plan. Taking into account the huge extent of the damage, extremely demanding restoration work and the fact that work is being done under highly specific conditions, namely, on the Holy Mountain, certain challenges have presented themselves which are in the process of being surmounted through the good will of all who are seeking to assist and support the restoration effort. At this time work is being done on clearing the debris from the collapsed residential quarters and building housing for the construction workers of the huge Chilandar site. The next phase will involve continued preparation of infrastructure and completion of the detailed restoration plan.

During Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica's recent visit to Holy Chilandar Monastery there was discussion regarding the Serbian Government's capabilities for long-term support in the monastery's restoration and agreement was reached regarding ways of making this assistance as effective as possible. An agreement regarding the support the monastery is receiving directly from the Serbian Orthodox Church has already been reached. In addition to assistance from their patrimony, the Chilandar monks are receiving and expect further support from appropriate institutions of the Hellenic Republic (Greece) as well as from all segments of the international community.

We interpreted the views expressed during the above mentioned press conference as expressions of concern by experts for the restoration of our medieval holy shrine; however, we believe the hasty conclusions to be the consequence of insufficient information. In the interest of truth, it is our responsibility to report that so far the joint efforts of the Serbian Government and the Serbian Orthodox Church in cooperation with the Holy Chilandar Monastery Administrative Body have yielded a total of about 2.5 million euros available to Holy Chilandar Monastery for the implementation of the restoration program.

In the hope that we will all unite to accomplish a task as monumental and important as the restoration of Chilandar and that we will not succumb to the many temptations of our time, we wish to first thank all people of good will for their support and concern shown on the very first morning after the fire which continues undiminished to this day. On the basis of the earlier decision of its founder, the Holy Chilandar Monastery Foundation will keep the public informed regarding all concrete work on the restoration and related activities. We regret that we are forced to issue this communique prior to the completion of the regular report.

Foundation director
Milivoj Randjic

NEW WORKERS IN THE MEADOW OF GOD

His Grace Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia served Holy Hierarchal Liturgy on June 1, 2004, the second day of the Holy Spirit, in Krka Monastery. On that occasion seminary graduate Dragan Mihajlovic was ordained as deacon, and deacon Sasa Drca was ordained as presvyter.

In his homily Bishop Fotije wished the new workers in the vineyard of the Lord the blessing of God in their responsible service in the Diocese of Dalmatia which needs to be renewed through their efforts as well.

RESTORATION OF SASE MONASTERY NEAR SREBRENICA

In the 14th century monastery called Sase near Srebrenica, the endowment of the Emperor Uros, work is in progress on the restoration of this medieval holy shrine. Recently a roof and facade was put on the church; the earth slide is being cleared, the foundations are being made and two prefabricated buildings have also been installed.

Father Metohije says that the church is 21 meters long and seven meters wide and that it will take considerable additional effort and time for the church to be restored to its former glory; however, will Godís help, work is expected to be completed on schedule.

Source: Vecernje Novosti daily, Belgrade, June 2, 2004

[Serbian Translation Services]


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