NEWS AND EVENTS - Wednesday, February 10, 2016
SERBIAN PATRIARCH IRINEJ VISITED RICHMOND HILL
Richmond Hill, Ontario - On Sunday, February 7, 2016, during his visit to the Diocese of Canada, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej visited the St. Archangel Gabriel parish in Richmond Hill.
Parishioners began arriving early where their parish priest, Prota Vasilije Tomic, was waiting for them. His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej served the holy service in the parish chapel. Accompanying His Holiness and concelebrating with him were Dean for the East Canadian Deanery V. Rev. Stavrophor Zivorad Subotic and Dean for the Western Canada V. Rev. Stavrophor Obrad Filipovic. Also concelebrating were the local clergy: V. Rev. Stavrophor Prvoslav Puric from Mississauga and Protonamesnik Aleksandar Crnogorac. Protodeacon Damjan Bozic also concelebrated.
During the patriarchal Liturgy the faithful sang, lifting the prayers, all of them as if one voice. Many of the faithful took communion. The Patriarch preached beautifully. In the church where Fr. Vasilije Tomic is the homilist, the faithful are used to hearing many beautiful sermons. But, it's interesting how His Holiness took note of how the people are the church and how in our small chapel he felt that, and he expressed his wishes that a church be built here. The Patriarch also stressed that our church reminded him of the early churches that were once underground and didn't have choirs but all the people sang, just as we were singing.
Afterward, Fr. Vasilije, as the host, thanked His Holiness for his visit and the beautiful service, explaining that in the last few years there were a number of administrative obstacles in receiving building permits, however on February 29, 2016 as many as came today should meet at the town hall of Richmond Hill to demonstrate to the civil leaders our great desire and need to build an Orthodox Church.
Our church school teachers noticed an interesting detail: when His Holiness was being vested, helping him was Strahinja Djogo who only seven days prior to that masterfully played the role of St. Sava in the play "Why we celebrate St. Sava", which our teachers presented to our parishioners at the St. Sava celebration.
This exceptional event in our parish ended with a luncheon prepared by our Kolo Sestara. Attending the lucheon were all those who accompanied His Holiness, as well as the president of the St. Simeon church school congregation in Calgary, Bratoljub Blagojevic. Also attending were board members as well as guests from neighboring parishes and the parishioners from Richmond Hill.