On Sunday February 12, on the feast of the Three Holy Hierarchs, the Diocese of Canada celebrated the patron saints of the monastery chapel in Milton. Holy Hierarchical Liturgy served by His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej, was concelebrated by their Graces Bishops Longin of New Gracanica, Irinej of Eastern America, and Dr. Mitrofan of Canada, with clergy from Ontario. The responses were sung by Kir Stefan the Serb Choir of Toronto. Several hundred faithful prayed at the Holy Liturgy, even though the weather was very inclement.
Having blessed the slava bread His Holiness appealed to all believers in Canada to look upon the wonderful saints of the Church of God and by mirroring their life to draw ourselves closer to God. Greeting the host His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrofan, His Holiness accentuated that the Holy Assembly of Bishops sent a wise and experience bishop to guide the ship of the Church in Canada, and that he is exceedingly glad that such a large number of Serbs are gathered around their Church.
His Holiness especially expressed his gratitude to the great benefactor of the Serbian Orthodox Church Ms. Rebecca MacDonald, who bears the Order of St. Sava for her contribution to the renovation of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Toronto, for her efforts, love, and financial support of the monastery. Ms. MacDonald, alongside her complete staff, worked tirelessly, and alone financed, the entire renovation of the monastery rectory, and the Diocesan headquarters. At the ceremonial banquet, prepared by the kuma in honour of the slava and His Holiness, His Grace Bishop Mitrofan said it best recalling that everything we have God has given us and it belongs to all of God’s creation equally – just like God spreads loves all of His creation equally.
Particularly touching were the words of Ms. MacDonald, who recounted her upringing in a household where her mother gave special attention to prayer and the Orthodox faith. Being moved to tears, she expressed pious favour and gratitude upon being proclaimed a ktitor of the monastery. Alongside the kuma, many others who toiled in the renovation project, were awarded certificated of gratitude from His Grace Bishop Mitrofan and the Diocese of Canada. The honour of being kum for next year’s slava was granted to Mr. Rajko Djurdjevic, long-time president of St. Nicholas Church in Hamilton (Barton).
priest Jovan B. Marjanac, Diocesan Secretary
photographs: Vladimir Cicarevic