100 years since the repose of St. St. Mokranjac


If you have ever attended a choral festival on this continent, you probably heard at least one of his compositions. If you have ever attended a Divine Liturgy responded to by a choir, you have probably heard one of his arrangements during the service. Even if you attended liturgy responded to by a single chanter, they probably sang a traditional church hymn notated by Stevan Stojanovic Mokranjac, one of the most significant composers in Serbian history.

The Serbian Singing Society Branko Radichevich and the Serbian Singing Federation will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of Stevan Mokranjac this coming October 3rd through 5th and on the following Sunday, October 12th, 2014 in a three-part event entitled “Osu se nebo zvezdama/The Sky Was Filled with Stars.” October 3rd and 4th will consist of a symposium and choral workshop centered on Mokranjac compositions of sacred and secular folk music. A concert will take place at 5pm on Sunday October 5th and will feature a presentation by Prof. Dr. Danica Petrovic, musicologist from Belgrade, an expert in the life and work of Stevan Mokranjac. On the following Sunday the 12th, there will be a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, followed by a Parastos (memorial service) in the composer’s memory. The S.S.S. Branko Radichevich will host a commemorative banquet featuring a short performance by the choir during the program.

The choral workshop and symposium and concert will feature presentations by His Grace Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand , Professor Dr. Danica Petrovic, Dr. Nikola Resanovich, Dr. Peter Jermihov, Rev. Dr. Vasilije Vranic, Elizabeth Neskow and Jelena Vranic. The Brankies are in intense rehearsals where they are polishing up Mokranjac music they already know, learning new folk compositions and liturgical hymns to prepare to sing all responses to the Liturgy and Opelo using Mokranjac arrangements only. A musically-centered Serbian event of this magnitude consisting of academic, musical and spiritual facets has never taken place on this continent until now. All events will be held at the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago.

by David Sekicky

Event brochure in pdf format…>>>

Abbot Methodije of Hilandar Visits New Gracanica

On Sunday, September 7, 2014, a beautiful sunny day, Abbot Metodije of Hilandar visited New Gracanica Monastery. The joyous spiritually uplifting day began with Hierarchical Divine Liturgy concelebrated by His Grace Bishop Longin, His Grace Bishop Mitrofan of the Eastern Diocese, Abbot Methodius and Hieromonk Alexei Altshul, Protojerej Marko Todorovic, Protojerej Milorad Loncar, Hieromonk Seraphim Baltic, Father Miroslav Obretkovic, Father Nikolaj Kostur, Father Sinisa Hrvacevic, Hierodeacon Sergei Puskar, Protodeacon Milovan Gogic, and Deacon Nenad Jakovljevic.
The Liturgy with antiphonal singing by the Episcopal choir and seminarians was followed by the prayer for the beginning of the school year at the seminary (prayer of the invocation of the Holy Spirit) read by Bishop Mitrofan and then memorial prayers for newly departed monk +Fr. Atanasije, the youngest monk of Hilandar, who lost his life recently in an accident while assisting others.
Following the Divine Liturgy there was a welcoming luncheon and words from the Clergy. Bishop Longin exclaimed that Archimandrite Metodije’s presence was both a blessing and a gift for New Gracanica Monastery. Iguman Metodije provided an update on the renovation progress at Hilandar Monastery and also inspired the faithful by describing a miracle. He spoke of a woman that was healed of an illness through the intercession of the Virgin Mary (‘Trojerucica’) who appeared to her. Fr. Metodije encouraged everyone to pray to the Virgin Mary at the icon of the ‘Trojerucica’ for all needs and confidently told the crowd that she will help all who ask for her intercession. Both Archimandrite Metodije and Bishop Mitrofan greeted the 2014-2015 seminary students and bless them as they study and prepare to serve the Church. Also present at the luncheon was Hieromonk Alexei Altschul who recently lived at Hilandar Monastery and now with the blessing of Bishop Longin is leading a new community of monks called Holy Archangel Michael and All Angels Skete located in northwest Missouri (see their site www.archangelmichaelskete.org) for more information.
Sunday, September 7th was a meaningful day of fellowship for the clergy, students, visitors and church faithful. It was a special gathering that provided spiritual enrichment, encouragement and a call to an increased prayer life for all of us.

Labor Day Liturgy

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it, [Proverbs 22:6]. This is the mission statement of the St. George Serbian Orthodox Children’s Choir of Schererville, IN. who traveled to New Gracanica Monastery on Labor Day, Monday, September 1, 2014 to sing responses at Divine Liturgy antiphonally with the Episcopal choir. V. Rev. Dobrivoje Milunovic and Protinica Jelena along with choir director and teacher, Tijana Samardzija have organized and developed a youth choir that responds at Divine Liturgy and concerts. They have worked tirelessly to recruit singers and educate them in the faith. The group of approximately 25 children traveled by bus along with their parents and other parishioners from St. George, Schererville arriving early for Liturgy at New Gracanica.

Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on this day [Holy Martyr Andrew Stratelates/Dormition Feast] was served by Bishop Longin, Fr. Marko Todorovich, Fr. Luka Lukic, Fr. Zivko Kajevic, Fr. Serafim Baltic and Deacon Milovan Gogic. The Children’s choir assembled themselves in front of the ‘Trojerucica’ icon and from the first to the last ‘Amen’ just sang beautifully – smoothly – prayerfully and enthusiastically. The Epistles were read in both English and Serbian by Ana Zanza and Anastasija Andjelic who clearly chanted and were able to communicate every word of the text to the congregation. At the end of the Liturgy Vladika Longin thanked the children, remarking that it was easy to serve the Liturgy in concert with such wonderfully sung responses. He also expressed appreciation to director Tijana Samardzija for all of her work with the children, noting that she learned well from her father, +Proto Milan Bajich. We thank the junior choir from St. George Schererville whose participation in the Divine Liturgy sets an example for all in the Diocese. It was a great day and we hope they visit again and wish them success and many years!



О помоћи поплављеним подручјима

Епархија новограчаничко-средњезападноамеричка прикупља прилоге за Србе угрожене поплавама у Србији и Српској. До 14. јула 2014. године прикупљена је сума од 273,942.78 долара и послата преко фонда “Патријар Павле”. Паре су послате електронским путем. Објављујемо акт Епископа Лонгина о томе трансферу као и упутство како да се распореди послати новац.
Свим појединцима, црквеним општинама и парохијама као и националним и хуманитарним организацијама на територији наше Епархије благодаримо на овој акцији и молимо да њихово ангажовање на овоме плану не престане.
Из епархијске канцеларије

On the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI

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On July 28, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson gave the following message to the American people. It was read in churches throughout the country and published in virtually all major newspapers. The Serbian flag was raised over the White House and all public buildings in the nation’s capital. The message read:

To the People of the United States:

On Sunday, 28th of this present month, will occur the fourth anniversary of the day when the gallant people of Serbia, rather than submit to the studied and ignoble exactions of a prearranged foe, were called upon by the war declaration of Austria-Hungary to defend their territory and their homes against an enemy bent on their destruction. Nobly did they respond. So valiantly and courageously did they oppose the forces of a country ten times greater in population and resources that it was only after they had thrice driven the Austrians back and Germany and Bulgaria had come to the aid of Austria that they were compelled to retreat into Albania. While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken. Though overwhelmed by superior forces, their love of freedom remains unabated. Brutal force has left unaffected their firm determination to sacrifice everything for liberty and independence.

It is fitting that the people of the United States, dedicated to the self-evident truth that is the right of the people of all nations, small as well as great, to live their own lives and choose their own Government, and remembering that the principles for which Serbia has so nobly fought and suffered are those for which the United States is fighting, should on the occasion of this anniversary manifest in an appropriate manner their war sympathy with this oppressed people who have so heroically resisted the aims of the Germanic nations to master the world. At the same time, we should not forget the kindred people of the Great Slavic race–the Poles, the Czechs and Jugo-Slavs, who, now dominated and oppressed by alien races yearn for independence and national unity.

This can be done in a manner no more appropriate than in our churches.

I, therefore, appeal to the people of the United States of all faiths and creeds to assemble in their several places of worship on Sunday July 28, for the purpose of giving expression to their sympathy with this subjugated people and their oppressed and dominated kindred on other lands, and to invoke the blessings of Almighty God upon them and upon the cause to which they are pledged.

Woodrow Wilson, President
The White House, July 1918


And a comment from this day and age…>>>

Видовдан у Новој Грачаници

У Манастиру Нова Грачаница прослављен је Видовдан, дан Светог Кнеза Лазара, свих Косовских Мученика и свих српских мученика пострадалих за Православну веру, од Косова до данашњег дана. Храм је био пун народа на светој литургији. Служио је Епископ Лонгин заједно са 14 свештеника и 3 ђакона. Посебан гост на литургији је био Г. Војислав Михаиловић, унук Генерала Драже Михаиловића.

Ђакон Александар Петровић је на литургији рукоположен у чин свештеника.

Diocesan Days and Annual Diocesan Assembly conclude at New Gracanica

From June 12th to June 15th Diocesan Days and Annual Diocesan Assembly were held at the New Gracanica Monastery. Guest speaker at the assembly was Fr Michael Oyer from Santa Rosa, CA. During the assembly, oratorical festival was held where two of our youth presented their essays on the topic “The greater the struggle, the more glorious the triumph”. Congratulations to Jovana and Natalia who are going to represent us at the national oratorical contest in California this August. Also at this year’s assembly the first-ever meeting of youth delegates was held and a youth board elected. In the future we are hoping that every parish will be able to send at least one delegate so that the voice of our youth can be heard clearly at this most important body of our church life.

Diocesan days were also enriched by an exhibit of old books and icons which was made possible through a donation of a philanthropist from our area.


Обраћање Епископа Лонгина Епархијској скупштини…>>>

Address of Bishop Longin to the Diocesan Assembly…>>>

Резолуција Епархијске скупштине…>>>

Resolution of the Diocesan assembly…>>>


Lecture of Fr Michael Oyer:

Pre-wedding seminar at St George church in East Chicago

Last weekend my fiancée and I with five other couples attended the first held pre-wedding seminar at the church. Father Aleksandar Savic hosted the event with special guests and presenters Dr. Milena Tatic-Bajich and Father Ilija Balach.
To begin with, the first presentation by Dr. Milena Tatic-Bajich was a careful yet promising presentation on the ups and downs of marriages. While each married relationship is unique, Dr. Tatic-Bajich focused on the seven habits of healthy positive relationships or as I perceived it as the foundations of a positive relationship. What was great about Dr. Tatic-Bajich’s presentation was that it was not only well organized, but a presentation from the heart and a person who knows and understands marriages not only as a wife and mother, but also a therapist. For example, she related to us about her marriage and some funny stories about her husband. She also shared many common issues that arise amongst couples who have struggled and unfortunately many of them that end in divorce. There was a lot of information, while also allowing for reflection in the packets she gave to all.
After Dr. Tatic-Bajich’s presentation and discussion, Father Ilija Balach spoke about marriage reinforcing points that Dr. Tatic-Bajich discussed, but also adding the Orthodox viewpoint of marriage. It was very interesting to hear Father Ilija talk about the meaning of love and how it is overused and misused today. One of the best and light hearted moments was when Father Ilija asked the group, “What do you do?” Unfortunately, no one could answer the appropriate answer Father Ilija was looking for, which is love your spouse. Another interesting point Father Ilija made was in marriage we put so much preparation into the wedding day, but not a lot of preparation for after that day and the rest of our lives. That caused for a moment of reflection. Another great question posed to the group was why are you getting married? In this case, he referred to the Orthodox path to salvation, which is marriage man and woman becoming one, or through monasticism; married to the Lord. Finally, one of the things my fiancée loved was his reinforcement of the importance of sacrifice throughout marriage.
Once the two major presentations were concluded there was time for a lunch together with some of the Board members who also stressed the importance of being an active member in your church and community. The Pre-Wedding Seminar was concluded with a visit in the church followed by a detailed explanation of the wedding ceremony given by Father Aleksandar and Father Ilija.
Overall, I think I can speak for the group that this was a wonderful experience. The topics discussed during the seminar are ones every couple can benefit even after marriage.

Ilija Sisarica