the Serbian Orthodox Church
June 23, 2004
PATRIARCH BARTHLOMEW VISITS AUSTRIA
His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew visited Austria
on June 16-22, 2004. His itinerary during his stay was exceptionally
rich and the highest Austrian church and state representatives
honored the Patriarch of Constantinople. The reason for the Ecumenical
Patriarch’s visit was the 200-year anniversary of the Greek church
of St. George, as well as the 200-year anniversary of the Greek
national school in Vienna.
His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met in the
Austrian capital with Austrian president Thomas Klestil, chancellor
Wolfgang Schuessel, foreign affairs minister Benito Ferrero-Waldner,
parliament speaker Andreas Kohl, and several ministers and ambassadors.
The newly elected Austrian president Heinz Fischer, who will
be assuming office in the near future, also received him. The
Patriarch visited the Pro Oriente Foundation, the Greek and Turkish
embassies and signed in the Golden Book of the City of Vienna
in the city hall. He received an honorary doctorate (honoris
causa) in law at the University.
Attending the reception organized in his honor by Cardinal Christof
Schoenborn were senior church officials from various confessions
and, of course, representatives of all Orthodox Churches in Austria.
On Sunday, June 19, 2004, Patriarch Bartholomew served Holy
Hierarchal Liturgy in the Greek Holy Trinity Cathedral in Vienna
in the presence of Greek president Konstantinos Stefanopoulos,
who read the Symbol of Faith and Our Father. In the evening His
All-Holiness and his escort together with representatives of
the Orthodox Churches attended evening services served by cardinal
Senborn in the Roman Catholic St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.
His Eminence Metropolitan Michael of Vienna delivered the Patriarch’s
During the course of his visit to Austria, His All-Holiness
Patriarch Bartholomew received an honorary doctorate in theology
in Graz prior to visiting Innsbruck and Salzburg.
Text and photo: Miodrag Mecanovic
INCREASING NUMBERS OF FRENCH INTERESTED IN ORTHODOXY
The parish church of St. Sava in Paris is located in the north
of the city on Simplon Street. The church was built in 1905 by
Protestants and turned over to the Orthodox Church for its use
in 1965. In 1980 the Diocese of Western Europe finally became
The church was completely refurbished and adapted to the needs
of religious services of the Orthodox Church. It is decorated
by a beautiful iconostasis created in 1989 by the nuns of the
monastery of Celije. The grand chandelier was a gift to the church
from the Greek family of Arnopoulos. Major works are currently
in progress to rebuild the official space according to the latest
European Union standards (ramp and elevator for mobility impaired,
heating, etc.) Once completed, the parishioners will have facilities
for many activities.
The number of the faithful is constantly increasing. According
to the senior priest of the church, Father Jovan, about a hundred
parishioners, as well as increasing numbers of French attend
Sunday Holy Liturgy. Father Jovan says that the French are increasingly
receptive to Orthodoxy and that classes of religious instruction
are offered for them, as well as for Serbs, every Thursday.
The church of St. Sava includes a charitable organization that
has been especially active during the most recent difficult years
but still sends medicine and needed items to people in the homeland.
The extent of the French interest in Orthodoxy is best attested
to by the fact that this year’s calendar of the Diocese of Western
Europe is printed in both Serbian and French.
VIDOVDAN ASSEMBLY IN BRUSSELS
On Sunday, June 27, the Serbian Orthodox parish of St. Sava
in Brussels will celebrate St. Vitus Day (Vidovdan) and the feast
of the Holy Prince Lazarus and all martyrs who perished for the
Holy Cross and golden freedom.
On this day the first Holy Liturgy will be served in the church,
which the Roman Catholic Church has turned over for the permanent
use of the Orthodox Serbs in Belgium.
The church and courtyard cover a surface area of 750 square
meters. The church itself is a three-nave basilica turned over
to our Church out of Christian love after great efforts on the
part of Father Jakov Markovic of Brussels.
The Belgian cardinal Godfried Danneels personally confirmed
an agreement between the two church parishes and allowed the
church to be furbished in accordance with regulations of our
mother Church. The monks of the monastery of Tvrdos in Herzegovina
are busy creating an iconostasis in oak with reliefs and icons,
which, God willing, will be installed on Christmas Eve 2005.
For the first time in Brussels bells from our church will announce
the beginning of Holy Liturgy at 10:30 a.m. and call on all Orthodox
Serbs and people of goodwill to honor this prayerful celebration
by their presence. Officiating at the service alongside the church
priest, Jakov Markovic, will be the Bishop’s deputy, Protopresbyter-Stavrophor
Nikola Skrbic from Paris, with chanting by the diocesal choir
of St. Simeon the Myrrh-gusher from Paris.
Upon the conclusion of Holy Liturgy at 12:15 p.m., a Belgian
trio (three students from the Academy of Music in Antwerp) will
hold a concert of Central European music of Slavic origin in
the church with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Luka of Western
Europe. The performers will donate all proceeds from the concert
toward the cost of the iconostasis.
The address of the church is:
Rue des etangs noirs 110
1080 Bruxelles (Molenbeek – Saint Jean)
Tel & fax : ( 32 ) 02 - 203 - 75 - 93
gsm: ( 32 ) 04 - 78 - 53 - 96 - 19
ZORAN STOSIC VRANJSKI HONORED
His Grace Bishop Irinej of Backa and His Grace Bishop Pahomije
of Vranje proposed Sombor painter Zoran Stosic Vranjski to the
Holy Assembly of Bishops for the Medal of St. Sava.
This high honor was accorded to the artist for many years of
creative work inspired by faith and for his thematic exhibitions
“Portraits of Spiritual Leaders” held in Sombor and Vranje. Mr.
Stosic received the Medal of St. Sava in Vranje on the occasion
of the consecration of the renewed home of Father Justin Popovich
of blessed memory.
EXHIBITION OF ICONS OPENED IN ARMY CULTURAL HALL
On June 22, 2004, His Grace Bishop Ignjatije of Branicevo opened
an exhibition of icons in the small auditorium of the Army Cultural
Hall. The exhibition was organized by the Christian Cultural
Center and all proceeds from sales will be donated to help the
suffering people in Kosovo and Metohija and the Chilandar Monastery.
At the opening of this very important exhibition, Bishop Ignjatije
emphasized that it is no coincidence that money is being collected
for the suffering people in Kosovo and Metohija by the sale of
icons for icons are representations of the Kingdom of Heaven,
not of this earth.
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