Hamilton, Ontario - The canonical visit to the Diocese of Canada of His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia continued on Saturday, April 21 at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamiilton, Barton Street, together with host hierarch, Bishop Georgije of Canada, Bishop Dositej of Brittan-Scandinavia, eleven priests and two deacons of the Diocesan Diocesan. The St. Nicholas choir sang the responses and some 200 faithful from Hamilton attended the morning's service.
In his homily the Serbian Patriarch thanked the Lord that here, the example of this parish, which up until the acceptance of the joint Ustav of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America, belonged to the New Gracanica Metropolitanate, shows that the painful schism in our church has been overcome. "Life in love and unity is the life of the Church, and it is felt here in your encounters with one another, your services and is seen in the fruit of your works," said the Patriarch.
The bishop of Canada, as proof of Patriarch's words and example of love and understanding, cited how the parishioners from this church-school congregation successfully hosted the Diocesan annual assembly in 2011, hosts of the Sunday of Orthodoxy, when representatives from all Orthodox church in Canada gathered in this church.
The St. Nicholas Church-School Congregation in Hamilton, is among the oldest of the churches in Canada (formed in 1913). With the schism in 1963, from one church became two with the same name. This one on Barton Street, separated from the Patriarchcate, while the one on Nash Road remained faithful to the Mother Church. The centennial of both of these churches will take place under the unified omophorion of the Bishop of Canada.
Praising the work of the parishioners, Patriarch Irinej awarded sister Milanka Zaric, a honorary president of the local Kolo Sestara, with the Order of St. Sava of the Third Degree, upon recommendation of the diocesan bishop, Bishop Georgije, she was awarded by decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops for half a century of sacrifice and love for her Church of St. Sava.
The canonical visit of the Patriarch to Canada continues on Sunday, when His Holiness will bless the frescoes in the largest Serbian Church in Canada where thousands of faithful are expected.
Fr. Milos Puric