On Palm Sunday His Grace Bishop Irinej made his first canonical visit to Holy Trinity Cathedral in Pittsburgh, where he was enthroned this past October. In addition to leading the faithful in the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy Service that morning, Pittsburgh was blessed to have His Grace participate in the vesper service later that evening.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral parishioners greeted His Grace on that beautiful spring day with not only flowers but with spiritual excitement that our Diocesan Bishop will lead them in celebrating the very important holiday, Palm Sunday.
His Grace gave a stirring homily about Palm Sunday and Lazarus Saturday in both English and Serbian. He discussed Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem on a donkey, and the significance of Palm Sunday, which precedes the Crucifixion and Resurrection.
After the liturgy our “Deda Vladika”, as he likes the children to call him, spoke to the Sunday school students. He taught them about the meaning of Palm Sunday, along with a spirited Serbian language lesson where the children learned that vrbica is the Serbian word for pussy willow and Isus Hristos means Jesus Christ, in addition to explaining what the letters designate in the bishop’s blessing of his flock.
Later that evening, the last Sunday Lenten vesper service was held at HTC. Along with His Grace Bishop Irinej, in attendance were Cathedral Dean Very Rev. Stavrophor Rajko Kosic, Very Rev. Stavrophor Dragoljub Malic, Dean of the Pittsburgh deanery Very Rev. Stavrophor Rade Merrick, Very Rev. Stavrophor Stevo Rocknage, Very Rev. Stavrophor Rodney Torbic, Very Rev. Rumen Stoychev, Very Rev. George Veselinovic, Rev. Branislav Golic and Rev. Dejan Barac. Father Stevo Rocknage spoke very eloquently on the theme, “What We Gain in Attending Holy Week Services”. After dinner there was a discussion session where the faithful were able to ask questions regarding Father Stevo’s homily. His Grace had a chance to answer questions and discuss some of his future plans for the diocese, including the appointment of a cleric who will be in charge of religious education for the diocese.
We thank His Grace Bishop Irinej, our new spiritual leader, for blessing us with his visit and expressing his fatherly love for his spiritual children. We look forward to His Grace’s next visit in June for our church Slava, Pentecost.