Serbica Americana

Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich

Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich
SERBIAN ORTHODOX APOSTLE TO AMERICA
by Hieromonk Damascene (Christensen)
St. Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina, California

 

 

1. An Apostle of Universal Significance

Born during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich has the distinction of being the first person born in the United States of America to be ordained as an Orthodox priest,[1] and also the first native-born American to be tonsured as an Orthodox monk. His greatest distinction, however, lies in the tremendous apostolic, pastoral, and literary work that he accomplished during the forty-eight years of his priestly ministry. Known as the "Father of Serbian Orthodoxy in America,"[2] he was responsible for the founding of the first Serbian churches in the NewWorld. This, however, was only one part of his life's work, for he tirelessly and zealously sought to spread the Orthodox Faith to all peoples, wherever he was called. He was an Orthodox apostle of universal significance.

Describing the vast scope of Fr. Sebastian's missionary activity, Bishop Irinej (Dobrijevic) of Australia and New Zealand has written:

"Without any outside funding or organizational support, he carried the gospel of peace from country to country.... Concentrating much of his work in the United States, he ceaselessly traveled back and forth across the American continent, using every available mode of transportation—from stagecoach to railroad to foot. His wider ministry stretched from the Aleutian Peninsula of Alaska, to Russia and Japan, to small Balkan towns on the coasts of the Black and Adriatic Seas."[3] It is said that Fr. Sebastian baptized more people than any other Serbian priest of theWestern Hemisphere.[4] St. Nicholai (Velimirovich)[5]of Zhicha, Serbia, who buried Fr. Sebastian at the ZhichaMonastery when the latter reposed there in 1940, called him "a viceless man" and fittingly designated him "the greatest Serbian missionary of modern times."[6]

---
[1] Alaskan-born priests were ordained before Fr. Sebastian, but this was when Alaska was still part of Russia.
[2] Mirko Dobrijevic (later Irinej, Bishop of Australia and New Zealand), "The First American Serbian Apostle—Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich," Again, vol. 16, no. 4 (December 1993), pp. 13–14.
[3] Ibid., p. 13.
[4] John R. Palandech, Commemorative Book of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Chicago, 1905–1955. Quoted in Mirko Dobrijevic (Bishop Irinej), p. 15.
[5] In this article we have spelled St. Nicholai's given (first) name in the way that he himself spelled it when writing in English.
[6] Bishop Nicholai (Velimirovich), "Father Sebastian Dabovich," in Serb National Federation Commemorative Book, 1951.

His Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrofan

His Grace Bishop Mitrophan of Eastern America Mitrophan (Kodic) was born in 1951 in the village of Ljusa, in Bosna. His elementary studies he completed in 1966 and the Seminary at Monastery Krka in 1971. He received the monastic tonsure on the eve of the feast of the Entrance of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple in 1970 and on the following day was ordained as a hierodeacon by Bishop Stefan (Boca) of blessed memory. He completed the Theological Faculty in Bucharest, Romania in 1975. In 1977, after completing his studies, he was assigned as supplent of the Seminary of the Holy Three Hierarchs in Monastery Krka. He passed his professorship exam in 1979 and was assigned as assistant Rector of the Seminary at Monastery Krka in 1980 and as Rector in 1987. Read more...

Savatije Sava Ljubicic

Savatije Sava Ljubicic [Savatije Sava Ljubičić, Саватије Сава Љубичић], highly acclaimed Yugoslav composer, was born in 1931, in Cacak, Serbia. He comes from a well known family of musicians with Savatije Ljubicic being the only family member to be a composer. His first musical training began at the age of three when he was at his father’s music school. While listening to the Serbian country songs and dances, he was taught how to play the accordion. His father Miloje Ljubicic, also known as one of Serbia’s best flute builders, opened the music school in Cacak in order to teach farmers’ young children how to be able to play, appreciate and enjoy the Serbian country music its rich folklore The school was opened in 1933, the year when Ljubicic’s father as a singer and accordion player wins the highest award given to outstanding vocalists and musicians in former Yugoslavia.

Read more...
You are here: Home PEOPLE Prosopography Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich