His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwestern America, new diocesan hierarch of Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, was formally welcomed on Sunday, June 12, 2011, as he led the liturgical celebration of the feast of Pentecost.
Chicago, IL - In a sermon on the festal Gospel lesson, His Grace Bishop Longin said, "…On this day, the fiftieth after Easter, we celebrate the Feast of Pentecost when the fullness of the Holy Trinity was revealed through the coming of the Holy Spirit. Christ taught disciples humility and purity of heart, and then when they were ready, He sent down from His Father the Holy Spirit. This humility and purity of heart, crowned by the Holy Spirit, is the key to understanding, it is Wisdom. Today we concelebrate the Feast with the Apostles and the Fathers, the Martyrs and the Confessors, of the past and the present age and of the age to come…"
Concelebrating the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with His Grace Bishop Longin were Protopresbyter-stavrophor Dennis Pavichevich, Presbyter Darko Spasojevic, Cathedral Dean, Presbyter VasilijeVranic, and Deacon Dr. Damjan S. Bozic.
Following the Vespers service and prayers for the feast day of Pentecost, Presbyter Darko Spasojevic, Cathedral dean of Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Chicago on behalf of the Cathedral clergy, Executive Board and parishioners officially welcomed the new diocesan bishop, His Grace Longin. Presbyter Darko said: “May the Holy Spirit come upon us and may the Lord grant us the spirit of wisdom, love and peace, so that we can work and prosper together at this church. The Holy Spirit makes the Son known in the Church and the world. May he grant us knowledge that we focus on Jesus Christ in all of our church activities. May the Holy Spirit grant us knowledge to recognizes that Bishops represent Christ, according to the fathers of the Church. Especially, as we welcome our new hierarch and diocesan bishop, His Grace Kyr Longin, whom I on behalf of theclergy, and the whole Cathedral community welcome.”
Choir responses were beautifully sung by Cathedral choir, Serbian Singing Society “Branko Radichevich” under the directorship of Miss Jelena Stojakovic.
Following the Liturgical celebration, a welcome luncheon was held in the Cathedral Hall in honor of the Cathedral's new hierarch. At the end of luncheon Presbyter Darko Spasojevic, Cathedral Dean, once again welcomed His Grace Bishop Longin. He said: “His Grace Bishop Longin certainly does not need introduction in this community. He is one of the most beloved hierarchs of the faithful. Once again we welcome you, and thank you for your blessings and prayers on this feast of Pentecost.” Miss Jelena Stojakovic, Vice President of the Executive Board, welcomed His Grace by saying: “...how genuinely pleased we are at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral by the wisdom exhibited by the Synod of bishops at the Sabor in May to appoint His Grace Bishop Longin as the Canonical Diocesan Bishop of the Chicago Cathedral. His Grace has been a welcome guest at our parish over the years and we have gotten to know and love him as our spiritual father. He has shown his support wholeheartedly especially over the past year. The Holy Resurrection Cathedral family welcomes His Grace and we look forward to working with him and collaborating towards a bright and successful future for our Cathedral parish and Serbian Orthodox Church as a whole.”
In response His Grace Bishop Longin said, "the Cathedral in Chicago has always been dear to me and here I feel as in my own home. This parish with young clergy and executive board members who love their Church and are loyal to her will serve as an example to our parishes in our God-protected diocese. You will bring a new energy to our diocese and only together, in the spirit of love and truth, can we progress as a Church."
The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church at its meeting in Belgrade added the widowed Metropolitanate of Libertyville and Chicago to the Diocese of New Gracanica and Midwestern America, with His Grace Bishop Longin as Archpastor of the united diocese.