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 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.