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NEWS AND EVENTS - Sunday, November 6, 2014



Joliet, IL - After fifty years of priestly service and forty years as parish priest of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Joliet, Illinois, the parishioners of V. Rev. Stavrophor Nedeljko Lunich gave their parish priest a beautiful send off on Sunday, November 9, 2014. The Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was officiated by His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwestern America with the concelebration of: Archimandrite Thomas Kazich, V. Rev. Stavrophor Petar Milosevich, the Dean of the St. Louis Deanery, V. Rev. Marko Todorovic, Episcopal Deputy, V. Rev. Stavrophor Stevan Stepanov, retired priest from St. Elijah Serbian Church in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, V. Rev. Lazar Kostur, retired priest from St. Elijah Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Merrillville, Indiana, Rev. Dr. Vasilije Vranic, parish priest at Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Chicago, Fr. Nikolaj Kostur, Secretary for Bishop Longin, V. Rev. Stavrophor Nedeljko Lunich, host priest, Protodeacon Milovan Gogic and Deacon Nenad Jakovljevic; also helping in the Altar were Readers, guests and parishioners.

In his homily on the morning's reading from the Gospel, His Grace reflected on the many years of the priestly service of Prota Nedeljko, stressing his sacrificial work and consistency in all aspects of service and order of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Prota Nedeljko thanked His Grace for his holy prayers and blessing as well as the concelebrating priests. He then recognized parishioners from St. George's for their contribution for the success of this parish.  By his recommendation to His Grace, Bishop Longin issued the Episcopal Gramata to the following parishioners: Darlene Jovanovich, Gayle Shimek, Alexandra Starcevich, Kathy Petkovich, Nancy Cora, Vicki P. Dorsey, Sophie Anderson, David Laketa, Ryan Dorsey, Bonnie Dauer, Josephine Orlovich, Ely Grubisich, Steve Malinovich, Mary Lou Suitca, Martha Seemann, Nancy Jovanovich and Richard Jovanovich.

At the recommendation of His Grace to the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Dr. Howard Grundy, church board president and Nick Malinovic, church board vice president, were awarded the Order of St. Sava in the Third Degree. After the Divine Liturgy and refreshments in the lower level of the church hall, the banquet was held at the main church hall.

The program ran smoothly. Darlene Jovanovic, church board president, greeted the Bishop and clergy and welcomed all the guests. She spoke of the work of Prota Nedeljka during his forty years as parish priest at St. George's in Joliet. Ryan Dorsey emceed the program, he introduced the representatives of church and social groups, the clergy, presidents of church boards from neighboring parishes and distinguished guests. Representatives from the Diocesan Kolo Sestara, the Serbian Singing Federation, Serbian National Federation and Movement of Serbian Chetniks "Ravne Gore", all greeted Fr. Nedeljko and wished him a healty, peaceful and long life. Speakers were: Prota Dobrivoje Milunovic, President of the Clergy Brotherhood, V. Rev. Stavrophor Uros Ocokoljic, former Joliet parish priest and family kum, V. Rev. Stavrophor Marko Todorovic, Episcopal Deputy and V. Rev. Stavrophor Stevan Stepanov, Fr. Nedeljko's classmate. 

Then, Fr. Nedeljko's son, Stevan, greeted his father on behalf of the family, wishing that God grant him health, a long and peaceful life and thanked him for his fatherly love and care.

The main speaker was His Grace Bishop Longin. He spoke of the dignity of the priestly service, stressing the fruitful service of Prota Nedeljko, as well as his work in national and charitable areas. In the end, in his own reflection, Prota Nedeljko thanked His Grace, the clergy, representatives from the organizations, national and local, his family, immediate and extended, kumovi, friends and all present at this formal gathering. Present were, Prota's son Stevan with daughters Gabriella and Aleksandra, daughter Neda with husband Michael, and daughters Stella and Michael; Prota's sister Dara Krasic with her family and Danica Vukovic with her family. Darlene Jovanovic headed the retirement banquet preperation committee; the committee did an excellent job in preparing this event. Thanks goes to the church board for their decision to have a fiting retirement banquet for Prota Nedeljko, and to all those that helped.

May the Lord reward all of them for the respect they showed to an honorable and worthy servant at the Lord's altar.

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