A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

How Serbian Immigrants Made an Ohio Town the ‘Fried Chicken Capital of the World’

From Vojvodina, with lard.
by Luke Fater, January 30, 2020

You can only try pahovana piletina in two places. One is Vojvodina, Serbia, where the unique style of fried chicken was born. The other is Ohio, where “Barberton-style fried chicken,” as it’s known there, became one small town’s claim to fame. What started as a comforting meal for an immigrant family came to define a community, turning a humble Ohio town into the “Fried Chicken Capital of the World.”

Smiljka and Manojlo Topalsky weren’t the only Eastern Europeans to leave home for a burgeoning Ohio farm-town called Barberton in the early 1900s. Their grandson, Milos Papich, points out that one of the oldest Serbian social clubs in the country is there, an hour south of Akron. The emigrated family owned a successful 300-acre dairy farm for decades.

During the Great Depression, though, the Topalskys lost everything but the farmhouse. Luckily, Smiljka could still cook.

On July 4th, 1933, the Topalskys opened an eatery out of that farmhouse. They called it Belgrade Gardens, and sold soups, chillis, and sandwiches to their struggling neighbors. “But it wasn’t enough to raise a family,” Papich says over the phone. One day, the story goes, Smiljka was in the back cooking a classic Serbian chicken dish for her family that she’d learned from her mother. After it caught the nose of one outspoken bank-teller, says Papich, he demanded they sell it to their regulars—a mishmash of recently immigrated Eastern Europeans who longed for a taste of home.

Once they had a taste, they couldn’t get enough. The chicken became an overnight hit among town denizens, and love of Smiljka’s fried chicken wove itself into the fabric of the community. “It kind of fell into their lap,” says Papich. “My grandparents never would have dreamed that the food they grew up with would be so well-received.”

Within seven years of putting Serbian fried chicken on their farmhouse menu, the Topalskys were able to buy back 65 acres of land from the bank, says Papich, current owner of 87-year-old Belgrade Gardens. The restaurant stayed with the family as much as pahovana piletina stays with Barberton. And to the purists in this still chicken-smitten town, Smiljka’s original dish is all but scripture.

SA

 

People Directory

Bishop Hrizostom (Stolić)

(1988–2012)

After the death of Bishop Grigorije the Western Diocese was administered by Irinej, Bishop of Niš, from October 1985 until May 1986, and by Sava, Bishop of Šumadija, from July 1986 until May 1988.

The Holy Bishops’ Assembly at the regular session in May 1988 elected Archimandrite Hrizostom Stolić as a Bishop of the Western Diocese.

Bishop Hrizostom was born in 1939 in Ruma where he graduated from elementary school and middle school (High School). After High School he went to the Dečani Monastery where he took monastic vows. He was ordained to hierodeacon and hieromonk by Rt. Rev. Pavle, Bishop of Ras-Prizren. Soon afterwards he went to America to be at the service to his Church and people. He studied at the Seminary in the Russian Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville. He then came to Chicago and helped the pastor at Holy Resurrection Church with his duties. He was appointed temporary pastor of St. George Church in East Chicago, Indiana in 1967. He remained there until 1969. For two years he established firm spiritual roots in the community. He felt a higher calling and responded to it. In 1969 he went to the Hilandar Monastery at Mount Athos in Greece, where he remained for nineteen years. There he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite by the Patriarch of Constantinople, His Holiness Demitrius the First. At one time he was elected a Dean of Mount Athos. He was a librarian in the Hilandar Monastery. Along with the spiritual growth he advanced his intellectual dimensions. He published the Lives of the Holy Fathers in two volumes and the Liturgy of St. Apostle James, which he translated into the Serbian language.

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Publishing

On Divine Philanthropy

From Plato to John Chrysostom

by Bishop Danilo Krstic

This book describes the use of the notion of divine philanthropy from its first appearance in Aeschylos and Plato to the highly polyvalent use of it by John Chrysostom. Each page is marked by meticulous scholarship and great insight, lucidity of thought and expression. Bishop Danilo’s principal methodology in examining Chrysostom is a philological analysis of his works in order to grasp all the semantic shades of the concept of philanthropia throughout his vast literary output. The author overviews the observable development of the concept of philanthropia in a research that encompasses nearly seven centuries of literary sources. Peculiar theological connotations are studied in the uses of divine philanthropia both in the classical development from Aeschylos via Plutarch down to Libanius, Themistius of Byzantium and the Emperor Julian, as well as in the biblical development, especially from Philo and the New Testament through Origen and the Cappadocians to Chrysostom.

With this book, the author invites us to re-read Chrysostom’s golden pages on the ineffable philanthropy of God. "There is a modern ring in Chrysostom’s attempt to prove that we are loved—no matter who and where we are—and even infinitely loved, since our Friend and Lover is the infinite Triune God."

The victory of Chrysostom’s use of philanthropia meant the affirmation of ecclesial culture even at the level of Graeco-Roman culture. May we witness the same reality today in the modern techno-scientific world in which we live.