NEWS AND EVENTS - Wednesday, March 2, 2011
V. REV. STAVROPHOR BRANKO SKALJAC
V. Rev. Branko Skaljac, retired priest of the Serbian Orthodox Church, fell asleep in the Lord in the afternoon hours of Sunday, February 27, 2011.
Fr. Branko Skaljac was born in Banski Moravci, Yugoslavia and in 1929
came to Hamilton, Ontario as an infant. After graduation from Hamilton
public schools in 1944, he was one of six young men from North America
to be aided in their theological studies by the Serb National
Federation. Their training began at an Episcopalian seminary in
Wisconsin,and was completed at St. Sava Seminary and Monastery in
On graduation in 1949 he married Helene Tepavac of
Midland, Pennsylvania and was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. His first
parish was St. Basil of Ostrog Church in Chisholm, Minnesota. In the
early 1950's he was asked to help the fledgling parish of St. George in
Masontown, Pennsylvania organize and become established. Under his
leadership and energy the community built a church, hall, parish home,
picnic grounds, cemetery and athletic field.
In 1964 Fr. Branko
was appointed pastor of St. Sava Cathedral in Cleveland, during a very
difficult time in the life of the parish. His leadership under harsh
circumstances bore fruit in a continuation of spiritual life and growth
in areas such as youth work.
Fr. Branko served St. George Church
in Farrell, Pennsylvania for two years before coming to Lorain where he
served eleven years until his retirement. In 1989 he was awarded the
right to wear the pectoral cross by the Holy Synod of Bishops, the
highest honor bestowed to a married priest in the Serbian Orthodox
Fr. Branko's talents in music and sports naturally led
him into working with the young people of the Church. In Masontown he
directed the Fayette County Male Chorus and the St. George Church Choir,
and helped organize the Tri-State Serbian Little League program. In
Cleveland he founded the youth orchestra, dancers and singers, taught
Serbian language classes for children, and also took on directorship of
the Njegosh Choir. He was also active with the Kosovo Men's Choir and
worked with the children's church camp program
A Pomen service
will be served at the St. Sava Cathedral in Parma on Wendesday, March 2
at 7pm and the Funeral Liturgy on Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 9am. His
Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America will officiate.
May Prota Branko's memory be eternal.