To all Diocesan Clergy, Church-School Congregation Boards and Faithful
Dear Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy and our dear Serbian Orthodox faithful,
Christ is Risen!
As you certainly all know, our entire Diocese, and indeed our entire Serbian Orthodox Church, suffered a terrible and tragic loss on the very day of the Holy Pascha of our Lord with the destruction of our cathedral church of St. Sava in New York City. While the church building is a total loss, we rejoice and thank God that there were no serious injuries or loss of life. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the New York Fire Department, and we await their findings.
Nonetheless, our Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters in the New York area have lost their spiritual home, the heart of their religious and national life. Their loss is personal for them, deeply emotional and truly tragic. Yet, even as the embers of the temple still smoldered, the community expressed its determination to continue its church life there. The building is gone, but the living church remains, and its members need our prayers and our support, both spiritual and financial.
The Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava in New York City, an architectural treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places and a New York City landmark, was tragically destroyed by a fire on Sunday, May 1, 2016, on Easter, the holiest day for Eastern Orthodox Christians.
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America visited St. Sava Cathedral on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 to pray with and give support to the Serbian community in New York. He was visibly moved by the devastating scene left behind after the May 1st fire that destroyed the entire church building, and ajoining rooms. He prayed with those present by singing the paschal hymn 'Hristos Voskrese' and the troparion to St. Sava. The Serbian community of New York, the deanery, and throughout the Eastern Diocese thank His Eminence for his love and support!
His Grace Bishop Mitrophan made a pastoral visit to the St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church in Lackawanna, NY, on Friday, April 22-Saturday, April 23. The visit came after the Priests’ Confession, which was held in the St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Heritage, PA, on Friday. The two-day visit began with Small Vespers on the Eve of Lazarus Saturday, and continued with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Lazarus Saturday. The Kosta Manojlovich Choir sang the responses, as the liturgical texts echoed the Raising of Lazarus and the announcement of the Universal Resurrection. Many faithful from the parish community were in attendance, and a Lenten luncheon followed the service. A special honor for the faithful and the children of the parish was His Grace’s leading of our Vrbice Procession, followed by Great Vespers. Each of the faithful were anointed with the blessed oil by His Grace, and adults and children alike received a small prosfora. The children were delighted to wear the traditional bells during the Procession and Vesper service.
The Feast of Our Lady the Queen of Angels (Los Angeles) was celebrated for the second time on Bright Saturday, May 7, 2016, at the St. Steven’s Cathedral in Alhambra.
The Synaxarion: "On this day, the Saturday of Bright Week, we celebrate the Synaxis of our All-holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-virgin Mary, the Queen of all and Sovereign Lady of the Angels, protectress and unfailing intercessor of our holy diocese of Los Angeles."