the Serbian Orthodox Church
June 22, 2004
ORTHODOX CHILDREN FROM KNIN AND BENKOVAC VISIT
His Grace Bishop Fotije of Dalmatia served Holy Hierarchal Liturgy
in Krka Monastery on Sunday, June 20, 2004, which was attended
by all the Orthodox religious instruction students in Knin and
Benkovac, who also took communion. This event in Krka Monastery
confirms the words of the Gospel: “O Lord, whose glory is chanted
by the mouth of babes and infants” and represents the hope and
future of Orthodoxy in Dalmatia.
RELIGION STUDENTS FROM LJUBLJANA AND ZAGREB VISIT LEPAVINA MONASTERY
On Saturday, June 19, 2004, when our Holy Church celebrates
the Venerable Bessarion and the Venerable Hilarion the New, His
Eminence Metropolitan Jovan of Zagreb and Ljubljana served Holy
Hierarchal Liturgy in the church of the Entry of the Mother of
God into the Temple in Lepavina Monastery with the concelebration
of the Most Venerable Archimandrite Gavrilo, Abbot of Lepavina
Monastery, Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Peran Boskovic from Ljubljana,
Presbyters Savo Kosojevic and Dalibor Djukic from Zagreb, and
Hierodeacon Vasilije, one of the monastery brothers.
Six buses of pilgrims arrived on the pilgrimage to the Lepavina
holy family, including three buses with children receiving religious
instruction and their parents from Ljubljana, led by Protopresbyter-Stavrophor
Peran Boskovic; one bus with children receiving religious instruction
and their parents from Zagreb, led by Presbyter Savo Kosojevic
and Presbyter Dalibor Djukic; and two buses of pilgrims from
Vienna, led by Mr. Aleksandar-Aleksa Jovanovic and his wife,
During the liturgy Metropolitan Jovan delivered a sermon on
the importance of religious instruction in Christian life, addressing
words of praise the religion students from Ljubljana, Zagreb
and Veliki Poganac who enhanced the service by their chanting.
In his sermon His Eminence also addressed some of the problems
of the modern world, comparing the words of the Gospel with today’s
lifestyle and explaining, “that only those who carry out the
words of the Gospel win the Kingdom of Heaven and become a part
of the community of heavenly joy and peace in this world and
life. To win the peace of Christ and the joy of the angels should
be the inextinguishable and every person so that we can celebrate
the Triune God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit together
and thus build a place in our souls full of the love and joy
experienced by the Holy Apostles when Christ experienced Transfiguration”.
At the conclusion of the liturgy, nafora (blessed bread) was
distributed to the faithful who came Lepavina Monastery on pilgrimage.
After a short rest the faithful again gathered in front of the
miracle-working icon of the Most Holy Mother of God of Lepavina
where Fr. Gavrilo read prayers of healing, and then invited all
present to partake in the luncheon prepared by the industrious
hands of faithful Christian women.
visit to Lepavina enriches us with new prayer experiences,”
wrote Metropolitan Jovan among his comments in the book of impressions.
ORTHODOX IN CROATIA STRICKEN BY POVERTY
More than 50 percent of Orthodox faithful in Croatia live in
poverty as a result of unemployment, which exceeds 50 percent
among the Orthodox population, warned Protopresbyter Milenko
Popovic, the parish priest in Zagreb.
The Serbian Orthodox Church collected these alarming statistics
regarding the social status of its faithful on the basis of reports
from the parishes. According to the same source, between 35 to
50 percent of the Orthodox “live in average social circumstances”
while only 10 percent described their living conditions as good.
The situation is most difficult for returning Serbs whose property
has not yet been returned, who have no jobs and who are barely
managing to survive, said Father Milenko. He said that a meeting
of representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Croatia
and members of government of premier Sanader are scheduled to
meet at the beginning of July to discuss the difficult social
position of Orthodox Serbs in Croatia.
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