Steelton, PA - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN’s commitment to improving Christian education in the Eastern American Diocese was clearly demonstrated recently with the holding of four Deanery meetings since March 2010. All clergy and church school teachers within the Diocese had the opportunity to attend these meetings devoted exclusively to Christian education.
On Saturday June 19, 2010 the fourth in the series of meetings was held at the St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Steetlon-Oberlin, Pennsylvania. Dean Very Reverend Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich was the host priest. Father Jockovich has been a significant participant each of the twenty-three Washington Deanery meetings held since 1987.
His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN designated Very Reverend Father Aleksandar Vlajkovic as the featured speaker for the Washington Deanery meeting. Father Aleksandar spoke on the topic: “Saints as Role Models for Our Kids”. He said our homes need to have icons of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Mother of God and the family patron saint. In his presentation, Father Aleksandar said Christ completes each person. He spoke of the influence of contemporary saints of the Serbian Orthodox Church including St. Nikolai Velimirovic, St. Justin Popovich, and St. Varnava. Christ lives through the saints and our church schools need to take time during the year to teach about the saints. Father Aleksandar spoke about monks taking the name of a saint and then modeling their lives after the saint after whom they have been named.
Father Aleksandar said the saints were humans that God glorified. The Kingdom of God is most important in the lives of the saints as lived out in their earthly lives. Father Aleksandar emphasized the importance of the centrality of Christ for each life. Saints serve as models and intercessors. We communicate with the saints through prayer.
The discussion of Father Aleksandar Vlajkovic’s talk included references to books about the lives of saints that are available as well as discussion of the spiritual renewal inspired by St. Nikolai Velimirovic. Father Aleksandar Micich, a participant in the current meeting wrote his Master’s thesis on the spiritual movement entitled: Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic and The Bogomoljacki Pokret.
Diocesan clergy participating in the meeting in addition to those mentioned were: Very Reverend Stavrofor Predgrag Micic, Very Reverend Ivan Marjanovic,Protonamesnik Zoran Radovic, Reverend Father Milorad Orlic, Reverend Father Vladislav Radukovic. Church school teachers in attendance included Popadija Milena Orlic from Philadelphia and Nicholas Govelovich , Jevgenija
Radanovic, Arlene Barber, Cathy Bucharew and Andrea Gunther from Steelton. Miroslav Pantelich and Joseph Rahalewich were present representing the Holy Resurrection parish in Lebanon.
The Washington Deanery stretches from Maine to Washington D.C. and includes parishes in Portland, Maine; Boston, Massachusetts; New York, New York; and Paterson and Elizabeth(2-parishes), New Jersey. Pennsylvania parishes in the Deanery are in Philadelphia, Lebanon and Steelton. The parish of Washington D.C. completes the Deanery. Oral and written reports
were prepared and submitted from the participating parishes. The reports will be published in a booklet for dissemination.
During this meeting Nicholas Govelovich was recognized for his thirty four years of services to the church school in Steelton where he has served as teacher and Director. Mr. Govelovich is a tonsured reader and a former high school principal. His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN presented Mr. Govelovich with an icon in recognition of and appreciation for his service in Christian education. Jevgenija Radanovic succeeds Mr. Govelovich as the parish church school Director.
Proto Stavrofor Srboljub Jockovich and the St. Nicholas parish were gracious hosts for this Deanery meeting held in the newly renovated parish hall complex.
Father Rodney Torbic