Western American Diocese - His Grace Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan, Vicar to Bishop Artemije of Ras and Prizren arrived at the Los Angeles airport on Friday, June 13, 2008 where he was welcomed by host bishop, Bishop Maxim of Western America. A Doxology was served at the St. Stevan's Cathedral in Alhambra, after which a dinner was served in the church hall. Welcoming the bishop, who was accompanied by Hieromonk Serapion, the abbot of Monastery Dechani, were Diocesan clergy Fathers: Milan Vukovic, Petar Jovanovic, Nikola Ceko, Bratislav Krsic, Blasko Paraklis, Hieromonk Jovan and Deacon Nenad Radakovic. Bishop Teodosije's visit to the diocese brought much joy to the faithful of this Diocese.
During the thirteen day visit the two bishops will visit in south California: Los Angeles, Alhambra, San Gabriel, San Markos, Sretenje Monastery in Escondido and San Diego; in Arizona they will visit: Pheonix, Safford and Florence. They will also visit in northern California: Sacramento, San Francisco, Redding, Platina and Saratoga.
On the first day after his arrival, the two bishops served on Soul Saturday at the St. Sava Church at the Los Angeles Cemetery (the oldest Orthodox church in southern California), and on that occasion served the Parastos /Memorial/ service for all deceased faithful, mentioning among the first the first bishop of Western America, Bishop +Gregory (Udicki) of blessed memory. Following the service Bishop Maxim welcomed Bishop Teodosije who thanked his Grace, the bishop, for the kind welcome and delivered a homily. Following this was the blessing of the graves and a luncheon served in front of the church.
On Pentecost, Sunday June 15, 2008, the Holy Trinity parish in Butte, Montana celebrated their church Slava. His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America made a pastoral visit to the parish where he officiated at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, assisted by Fr. Russell Radojcic and deacon Theophan Wiese.
His Grace Bishop Teodosije served at the Cathedral Church in Alhambra on Pentecost, assisted by Frs Nikola Ceko, Norman Kosanovic, hieromonk Jovan and deacon Nenad Radakovic.
The kneeling Pentecost prayers during the Vespers, which followed immediately after liturgy, were read in the overfilled church. A luncheon was served afterwards during which Bishop Teodosije awarded the best Church School students of the past school year.
On the fourth day of Bishop Teodosije's visit to the Diocese of Western America the bishop officiated at the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, served at the Sretenje Monastery in Escondido. Assisting the bishop were, Bishop Maxim of Western America, V. Rev. Stavrophor Milan Vukovic, Hieromonks Nektarije (Abbot of the monastery) and Jovan, V. Rev. Bratislav Krsic and Deacon Nenad Radakovic. The birds in the picturesque setting joined in the pious singing during the holy liturgy.
After the Liturgy Bishop Maxim welcomed visiting Bishop Teodosije who delivered a homily on the significance of monasticism and monasteries in the life of the Church of God. A lunch followed.
The Sretenje Monastery in Escondido is the first Orthodox monastery in South California.
That afternoon the bishops visited the San Diego parish.
The bishops arrived in Pheonix that evening where they were welcomed by the local clergy and faithful. At the St. Sava Church in Pheonix Bishop Teodosije spoke to some 100 parishioners who had gathered there, about the state of the church and people in Kosovo and Metohija. In the late hours they arrived at the women's Monastery of St. Paisius in Safford.
The next morning the bishops served the Divine Liturgy. In the trpeza Bishop Teodosije gave Mother Mihaila and the sisterhood of the monastery his thoughts on the significance of suffering, especially in light of the Kosovo Testament. That afternoon the bishops visited St. Anthony's Monastery in Florence where they were welcomed by Elder Ephraim and Fr. Paisius, the abbot of the monastery together with the brethren of the monastery.
At seven o'clock that evening a larger group gathered at the Church in Sacramento California to listen to Bishop Teodosije's account of the suffering in Kosovo. The following day Bishop Teodosije visited the St. Sava Church in Jackson (the oldest Serbian Church in America), the St. Basil Church in Angels Camp in Columbia and afterwards to the Monastery in Platina.
Accompanying the bishops were Professor Bosko Bojovic from Paris, hieromonk Jovan and deacon Nenad Radakovic.
On the same day, in the afternoon, the bishops visited the Russian Cathedral Joy of All Who Sorrow where they venerated the relics of St. John (Maximovitch) of Shangai and San Francisco.