Milton, Ontario - The Slava of the only Serbian monastery in Canada was solemnly celebrated on Sunday, the feast day of the Tranfiguration of the Lord.
A large number of Orthodox faithful, perhaps the largest to date, Serbs, Russian, Ukrainians, Romanians, attended the Slava of this holy site at the monastery grounds in Milton, a suburb of Toronto. Before over five hundred faithful, the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was served in the over filled church, officiated by His Grace Bishop Georgije of Canada, with the concelebration of ten priests and two deacons. The magnificent atmosphere of this prayerful gathering was enhanced through the voices of the diocesan choir, “Kyr Stephan the Serb” from Toronto.
During the liturgy Fr. Dusan Gnjatic, parish priest of the Western Kitchener Parish, was elevated to the rank of Protojerej. A parastos was served in memory of the victims brutally killed in the Neretva Valley in Hercegovina, as well those who suffered in Krajina during the last war, under “Operation Storm” and “Operation Flash”.
V. Rev. Dusan Nikcevic, guest and retired priest from the Diocese of Banat, spoke wisely of the significance of the day's feast.
The host of the Slava, the bishop of Canada, spoke with words of gratitude particularly mentioning the “Kyr Stephan the Serb” Choir whose members recently returned from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On behalf of the choir, Mrs. Jasmina Vucurovic presented to her bishop gifts from their trip: a jeweled Cross and an icon of St. George.
The beautiful church service, the Litiya around the church, blessing of the grapes, cutting of the Slava Kolach – in a most solemn manner marked this special day for our faithful in Canada. The beautiful atmosphere was carried after the service to the monastery pavilion, where the Federation Kolo Sestara prepared a tasty lenten lunch.
The monastery Slava celebration began already the prior evening with the Vigil service at the monastery church. Joining Bishop Georgije at the service was Bishop Ioan Casian, vicar bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Canada, always a dear guest on this day; all eighteen Serbian priests from Ontario served, as well as clergy from the Romanian and Ukrainian churches in Canada.
The kumovi for this year's Slava were Simo and Ljiljana Rogan from Milton. The honor of being kumovi from next year belong to Dragoslav Bogicevic from Mississauga.