NEWS AND EVENTS - Thursday, April 6, 2017
ТHE TENTH ANNUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE
DIOCESE OF NEW GRACANICA-MIDWEST AMERICA
WAS HELD AT NEW GRACANICA MONASTERY
March 31 - April 1, 2017
Prior to the Diocesan Annual Assembly clergy confession was held for all Diocesan clergy.
The monastery brethren, led by Iguman Fr. Seraphim (Baltic), served the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. Clergy sang the responses. His Grace Bishop Longin and His Grace Bishop Sava, retired bishop of Slavonia were present. A number of laypersons and delegates also attended the liturgy, together with clergy wives and youth taking part in the oratorical festival. Most of those present partook of Holy Communion.
Following the Divine Liturgy breakfast was served which was immediately followed by the clergy seminar. In his introductory remarks HIs Grace Bishop Longin addressed the gathered clergy, thanking them for attending and he offered his pastoral message. After this a number of clergy pointed to significant moments from their pastoral service, which are of a teaching character, showing how one should act in certain situations in the pastoral life.
"How many Serbs are in the Chicago area and generally in America? Many are asking the question and speculating the answer, but we will know for sure on the 14th, 15th and 16th of July, how many will show up for the celebration of the first Serbian Bishop in America." - Marko Bojovic- priest
Three things Bishop Longin concentrated on reminding us: 1. God can do everything except one thing - make us love Him. 2. The greatest miracles of the church are: love and freedom. 3. The Holy Spirit still comes down every Divine liturgy as ones on the apostles in the sign of the fiery tongues. This is awesome, and if we were only to witness fully the greatness of this reality, it is very possible that we could not bare it – this is such a dramatic reality that we would probably fall down and remain fallen, not able to even continue the divine liturgy. We need to be aware of this awesome gift and experience we partake of every time we gather for Liturgy.
The assembly was absolutely excellent. Truly an event to look forward in being part of. Every parish was represented and we were all together for two days.
The clergy served liturgy on Friday morning after which everyone was treated to a delicious breakfast and great fellowship as usual.
Having fed the soul and the body, the bishop opened up the clergy retreat with specific instructions for the clergy in how to serve the faithful and and take care of themselves and their families. He also committed much time in speaking about the importance of everyone's participation in the celebration of Saint Mardarije in the middle of July 2017.
Following, the clergy talked about problems they are confronted with, interesting activity in the parish and things which help them in their ministry. Sharing these things was very educational for all.
The vigil started at 4 PM at which the clergy had confession and it was again crowned with a delicious meal our dear sisters prepared.
The business part of the meetings started at 7 PM on Friday and ended on Saturday by lunch. The crown and the highlight of both days was the fact that on Saturday morning almost all the clergy and laity took communion together. Many wonderful presentations, much discussion on many topics, and the Oratorical Festival by the youth.
The upper mention quote was from a presentation of Priest Marko of Jackson California who exclaimed those words at the end of his presentation. Truly, how many people will be at this historic event in July will show how many of us are there in reality. Plan to be there for this awesome weekend hosted by Bishop Longin of the Midwest Diocese and lead by the Serbian patriarch Irinej together with many Serbian bishops, monastics, clergy and faithful.