On March 31st, the 3rd Sunday Of Great and Holy Lent, The Sunday of the Cross, His Grace, Bishop IRINEJ, took the time out of his busy schedule to make his first-ever visit to our Parish. He was welcomed by our beloved Prota Stevo Rocknage.
He was greeted by our two beautiful Serbian “devojke” – Olivia Eremic and Mila O’Brion with flowers, and entered the Church to the singing of “All of Creation rejoices in you, O Full of Grace…” by our St. Sava Choir under the capable direction of Nicholas Medich.
As the Matins service proceeded, His Grace led us in the Solemn Procession of the Holy and Precious Cross at the end of the Great Doxology, and after venerating the Cross, (beautifully adorned with flowers), joyfully began the Hierarchical Liturgy. During the Holy Liturgy, there was a palpable sense of solemnity and holiness in the manner that His Grace led us in prayer, culminating in his magnificent Homily on the Place of the Cross in our lives – and how we must respond to it. It was readily apparent to all of the faithful listening to his homily that our Bishop is truly gifted with the ability to Preach the Word of God, and all of us were so thankful for this blessing!
After the Dismissal at the Liturgy, Prota Stevo welcomed His Grace into our midst, and expressed both gratitude and joy that God had again reunited the two of them (as in their Seminary years) to be in this moment together, in the midst of the faithful.
His Grace was able to join us for the Luncheon after the Liturgy, prepared and served by our talented women, led by our Vice-President , Dee-Dee Baskot, and our Protinica JoAnn, with a variety of Lenten dishes that His Grace marveled at! As the festivities drew to a close, His Grace thanked all of us and Prota Stevo closed the luncheon with prayer and His Grace with His Arch-Pastoral Blessing.
It goes without saying that a parish tries to do all it can to prepare for a visit from its Hierarch, from the various Parish Groups doing their respective duties, and helping to clean the Church, to the Choir diligently rehearsing for the services, and the Altar Servers going over the rubrics of how to serve with the Bishop – that one can state without hesitation that our St. Sava Community showed its love and affection for our beloved Bishop, and look forward to his being back with us in the future!