To the clergy, monastics, Church-School Congregations, and the faithful of the Orthodox Diocese of Canada of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America
Dear in Christ reverend fathers, members of parish councils, and faithful people,
I write to you with the blessing of His Holiness Irinej, the Serbian Patriarch and administrator of the Canadian Diocese, to share with you the most God-pleasing and most important news of the establishment of new feast days in the Calendar of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The Holy Assembly of Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church during its regular session on May 29, 2015, added the names of Bishop Mardarije (Uskokovic) of Libertyville, and Archimandrite Sebastian (Dabovich) of San Francisco and Jackson, clergymen and preachers of the Gospel, God-pleasing servants of holy life, and inspirers of many missionaries, to the Dyptich of Saints (Calendar of Saints) of the Orthodox Church. Glory to God! Once again, through the lives of these two saints, we see our Orthodox Church as a faith that produces holy persons, “enriches the world with saints” and insists on an ethos of holiness.
This is a wonderful blessing for all of us Orthodox Christians in America, and for the whole Orthodox Church throughout the world. When one thinks of the tremendous sacrifices that these two holy apostles made, and the many sorrows that they endured, one is especially gratified that they are now universally recognized as being among the Church’s luminaries. The feast of Holy Hierarch Mardarije will be celebrated on November 29/December 12, while that of the Venerable Sebastian will be celebrated on November 17/30.
The Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America plans to celebrate their public and liturgical glorification at St Steven’s Cathedral in Alhambra, California, on September 5, 2015.
The Serbian Patriarch, His Holiness Irinej, is invited to lead the liturgical festivities, accompanied by the ruling hierarchs of the Orthodox Church in the USA, along with many civil dignitaries and special invited guests.
It is our honour, reverend fathers and faithful, to invite you to attend these festivities and prayerfully participate in this glorious occasion where we celebrate the lives of two Enlighteners of Orthodoxy in the New World.
The program for the festivities can be found on our Diocesan website on the event page at: http://www.westsrbdio.org/
We firmly believe that it is vital for us to live as one Church in North America, where the participation and involvement of the priests and the faithful of the Canadian Diocese will be more visible. This celebration in Los Angeles if the first opportunity for such cooperation.
With this official invitation we ask you for your presence at a most unique event celebrating these new Serbian American Saints, commemorating the lives of Holy Enlighteners and Apostles of the Church in America.
Please put this date in your calendar in order to be with us on this solemn and important day.
With love and esteem in Christ,
Bishop Maxim of the Serbian Western American Diocese
Los Angeles. July 2, 2015