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

Bishop Mardarije (Uskokovic)

The First Serbian Bishop of America and Canada
Bishop Mardarije was born in Podgorica on December 22, 1889, his father, Pero, being a tribal captain and mother Jela, nee Bozovic. He finished elementary school in Cetinje where he started high school, continuing in Belgrade. Leaving high school in his fifth year, he went to Studenica Monastery. In 1906, with the blessing of Bishop Sava (Barac) of Zica, he took monastic vows and was ordained a deacon. He graduated from the Seminary in Kisenjev where a collection of his sermons was published. From here he went to St. Petersburg, graduating from the Theological Academy in 1916.

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As a theological student Hieromonk Mardarije, at the behest of the Holy prisoners' camps in Siberia, Turkestan and Bukhara. On this journey he delivered lectures and talked to prisoners of Slav extraction from Austro-Hungary.

In 1917 the Russian Orthodox Church sent Synkell Mardarije to America to organize the Serbian Orthodox Church. Here he served as head of the Serbian Mission, and at the Cleveland Conference of the Russian Metropolitanate he was elected the Serbian Bishop. But Archimandrite Mardarije did not wish to accept episcopal consecration without the knowledge and approval of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the Homeland. Instead, he returned to his country and became head of Rakovica Monastery and Rector of its Monastic School. Here he remained until early 1923 when he returned to America as Administrator of the American-Canadian Diocese, holding this office until elected the first Serbian Bishop of America and Canada.

The election of Archimandrite Mardarije as Bishop of America and Canada occurred when he was in fairly poor health, so that he could not travel to Belgrade.

Archimandrite Mardarije was consecrated Bishop in the Orthodox Cathedral in Belgrade on April 25, 1926 by Patriarch Dimitrije and the Bishop Danilo of Dalmatia and Istria and Bishop Serafim of Zletovo and Strumica. Also present at the Consecration and Liturgy was Gordon Paddock, Charge d'Affaires at the American Embassy in Belgrade.

Bishop Mardarije arrived in his Diocese in New York on July l/14, notifying Patriarch Dimitrije of this by telegram, and sent his first Report to the patriarch in early September, 1926.

In his first hierarchic message to the clergy and people Bishop Mardarije acknowledged all, including the deceased, "who had worked for the welfare of the Serbian Church in America."

A wide range of activities awaited the first Serbian bishop in America and Canada. Bishop Mardarije did not spare himself nor did he fear work, though he knew he was gravely ill. Bishop Mardarije convened the first National Church Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox American-Canadian Diocese with his Fourth Archpastoral Message for September l, 192 7 at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, on the basis of the Resolution adopted at the National Assembly in Chicago on May 29, 1927.

Bishop Mardarije died on December 12, 1935 and was buried on December 18, 1935 at St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville, which, together with the Serbian people, he had built at great sacrifice and superhuman effort.

Source: Bishop Sava of Sumadija, History of the Serbian Orthodoc Church in America and Canada: 1891-1941, Kragujevac 1998.


People Directory

Mele "Mel" Vojvodich

Mele Vojvodich Jr. was born of Serbian ancestry on March 28, 1929 in Steubenville, Ohio. He went on to become Major-General in the USAF. For his bravery he was awarded the Legion of Merit.

Looking back at the career, Vojvodich received his pilot wings in 1950 from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. Six years later, he graduated from Squadron Officer School at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. During 1971, he completed his studies at National War College Fort Lesley J. McNair in Washington DC.

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Publishing

Serbian Americans: History—Culture—Press

by Krinka Vidaković-Petrov, translated from Serbian by Milina Jovanović

Learned, lucid, and deeply perceptive, SERBIAN AMERICANS is an immensely rewarding and readable book, which will give historians invaluable new insights, and general readers exciting new ways to approach the history​ of Serbian printed media. Serbian immigration to the U.S. started dates from the first few decades of 19th c. The first papers were published in San Francisco starting in 1893. During the years of the most intense politicization of the Serbian American community, the Serbian printed media developed quickly with a growing number of daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications. Newspapers were published in Serbian print shops, while the development of printing presses was a precondition for the growth of publishing in general. Among them were various kinds of books: classical Serbian literature, folksong collections, political pamphlets, works of the earliest Serbian American writers in America (poetry, prose and plays), first translations from English to Serbian, books about Serb immigrants, dictionaries, textbooks, primers, etc.

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