On Sunday, March 12, 2017 10 priests from the Orthodox Clergy brotherhood of Tampa Bay gathered together with Orthodox Christians from St. Petersburg and all of Tampa Bay for the Lenten Mission Vespers celebrated by the Brotherhood during each Great Fast.
Sadly, the St. Petersburg Deanery is too vast for the Serbian Orthodox priests to gather together regularly, but we do have local brotherhoods which help to fill the void. Both Fr. Stephen Zaremba, from St. Sava in St. Petersburg and President of the Brotherhood, and Fr. Dragan Zarić, from St. George in Clearwater, are active in the brotherhood. Each parish hosts a vespers service on alternating years.
Elissa Bjeletich gave three very interesting, invigorating, lucid and exciting lectures, which inspired very lively and constructive discussions. Elissa was the main speaker of the Lenten retreat entitled “Living the Faith in Our Daily Lives,” which took place at St. Sava Mission in Jackson and at Elevation of the Holy Cross Church in Sacramento, California, on Saturday and Sunday, March 11 and 12. The retreat was organized very well by Protinica Betsy Tumbas and, although it used to be organized for years as a women’s retreat, this time was open to everyone.
His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej received on March 8, 2017 at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade a high state delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran, led by His Excellency Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
His Excellency Mr. Allaeddin Boroujerdi expressed gratitude to the Head the Serbian Orthodox Church for the warm and friendly reception during which they talked, among other matters, about the life of the members and representatives of religious minorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
His Grace Bishop Nikanor of Banat received in Vrsac on 11 March 2017 Mr. Mihail Bogdanov, deputy head of the Russian Foreign Minister and Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle East and Africa.
The reception was attended by His Excellency Aleksandar Chepurin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Serbia. Bishop Nikanor welcomed the guests and reminded them of the centuries-old ties between the Russian and Serbian peoples that have especially been cherished and respected in the Diocese of Banat.
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America - New York, March 5th 2017
His Eminence, Geron Archbishop Demetrios (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America-Ecumenical Patriarchate), Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America invited hierarchs of the Assemblyto concelebrate at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan.