Information Service of
the Serbian Orthodox Church

June 30, 2004


Unknown perpetrators have destroyed the newly destroyed Orthodox Christian church of the Holy Trinity in the village of Potpec near Srebrenik in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tuzla canton police confirmed yesterday. The vandals stoned the church and the parish home nearby on Sunday night, shattering all the doors and windows. The Orthodox church of the Holy Trinity was rebuilt after the war and was to have been consecrated on July 18, 2004.

Source: Dan daily, Podgorica, June 29, 2004


His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral served Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the monastery of Podlastva and after Liturgy he served a memorial service (panykhida) for all those who perished for the Holy Cross. Metropolitan Amfilohije then consecrated the grave of 80 residents of Grbalj, Maine and Budva who were executed the night of November 24, 1944 in Stari Bar (Old Bar). On that occasion the Metropolitan said: “Today we remember the Great Martyrs Lazarus of Kosovo and Milos Obilic, knights of Kosovo who dedicated themselves to a kingdom not of this, knowing that the earthly kingdom is here today, gone tomorrow. They dedicated themselves and they chose the Kingdom of Heaven. Their names remain inscribed in holy letters in the history of the human race.”


If there is one day during the course of the year that Serbs dedicate to their holy ancestors, then without doubt that day is St. Vitus Day (Vidovdan). This year once more the Serbs of South Africa commemorated the holy victims (of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389) as well as the most recent innocent victims who in our times fell for the Holy Cross and golden freedom, for their Serbian name and Orthodox faith.

The St. Vitus Day evening in Africa began with a memorial service (panykhida) for our ancestors who gave their lives for their homeland from the Battle of Kosovo to today. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Serafim of Johannesburg and Pretoria, who was present, the memorial service was served by the Serbian spiritual leader in Johannesburg, Hieromonk Pantelejmon, and a representative of the Romanian Patriarchate in Africa, Father Michael Korpodyn.

At the beginning of the St. Vitus Day program, children in Serbian folk costume recited poems from the Kosovo cycle. After the children’s performance, parts of the documentary film “Crucified Kosovo” were shown and Father Pantelejmon spoke to those in attendance regarding the present situation in Kosovo and Metohija. The gathered guests also had an opportunity to view an exhibition of photographs taken during Fr. Pantejmon’s recent visit to Kosovo and delivery of significant material assistance. This charitable work continued and approximately 1,000 U.S. dollars were collected.

His Eminence Metropolitan Serafim then addressed the gathering, saying: “We pray that all who fled return to their homes and it is our duty to fight for the protection of human rights.” Serbia and Montenegro ambassador Srdjan Hofman and Bosnia and Herzegovina ambassador Dragan Bozanic also addressed the guests.


The feast of the Holy Martyr Prince Lazarus – St. Vitus Day was formally celebrated on June 28, 2004 in the church of the Holy Great Martyr George in Veliki Poganac. Holy Liturgy was served by the Most Venerable Archimandrite Gavrilo (Gabriel), the Abbot of Lepavina Monastery, with the concelebration of Presbyter Zoran from Bosanska Dubica and Hierodeacon Vasilije, a brother of the monastery of Lepavina. Responding to chants were children receiving religious instruction in the district school in Veliki Poganac under the instruction of their teacher, Syncellus Makarije Mandic.

At the end of the liturgy a memorial service (panykhida) was served for all who perished in Kosovo. All faithful who came on pilgrimage to the miracle-working icon of the Holy Mother of God in Lepavina Monastery then took part in a religious procession around the church.


On Saturday, June 26, 2004 the Diocese of Milesevo once again held its traditional mowing event and haymaking contest. Nine mowers took part in the competition and the first to finish his parcel was Zoran Despotovic, just ahead of Vitomir Potpara and Jovan Cakarevic. The winner received a hand-made scythe produced by one renowned smithies in Mrkonjic Grad as a prize.

Source: Politika Ekspres daily, Belgrade, June 30, 2004


St. Steven’s Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, located in the Los Angeles area city of Alhambra, has already existed for 52 years (it was built in 1952). Since its founding, the church has had a Council for Serbian Culture and Tradition. The extent to which it is important for Serb residents of the greater Los Angeles area to preserve this Serbian roots and accurately introduce younger generations to the basics of their Orthodox faith, culture and tradition is best attested to by the fact that an entire building has been set aside for the instructional activities. We spoke about the work of the Council with Dr. Miodrag Tasic and his wife, Darija Cejovic-Tasic, during their visit to the Old Country. The work of the Council was enhanced a few months ago to ensure it receives information in a more timely and effective manner and that members of the emigrant community receive quality, prompt and accurate information.

A unique feature of this Serbian spiritual and cultural center is the fact that religious instruction and various other courses are not only attended by Serbs but also by U.S. nationals whose husbands and wives are of Serbian origin. They are offered the opportunity to learn more about our faith, rich history and culture, and to learn the Serbian language. The extent to which those who have no knowledge of Serbian because they are third- or fourth-generation Serbs in the United States have ties to the country of their origin and their roots, the extent of their love toward their people and their endeavors in Orthodox education is best exemplified by Mrs. Darija Cejovic-Tasic, a third-generation Serb whose predecessors set out from Montenegro for the United States many years ago. Although she speaks very little Serbian, she is a true Serb and Orthodox woman. She teaches the history of the Serbian Orthodox Church from Sts. Cyril and Methodius to the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 at the St. Steven’s Cathedral school.

Education at this school is very seriously organized and it has an excellent plan of instruction adapted to various children’s levels from ages three to 18 years.

The essence of the instructional program is – Christ. Presently some 100 boys and girls attend Liturgy every Sunday with their parents. The children then go to class while the parents either socialize or themselves attend one of the many courses offered. Dr. Miodrag Tasic informed us that courses in various fields are in preparation, such as iconography, folklore dancing, ethnology, instruction in Serbian language and literature, etc. The best teachers in the U.S., as well as from Serbia and Montenegro, will be hired to teach.

Throughout our discussion with this wonderful couple, Dr. and Mrs. Tesic constantly spoke of their priest, Father Nikola Ceko, who has obviously devoted much effort and love to working with his parish in Los Angeles. Mrs. Tesic said she hopes her students will compete in the Holy Nemanjices contest to be organized by “Svetosavsko Zvonce” (St. Sava’s Little Bell – the children’s magazine of the Serbian Orthodox Church) starting in September. Every work by our children on the other side of the ocean will serve as proof that although we may speak different languages, we are the same people and issues from the same Serbian root.

[Serbian Translation Services]

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