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

James Scully

James Scully is the author of 10 books of poetry, including Donatello’s Version (Curbstone Press/Northwestern University Press, 2007), four book-length translations, the seminal essay collection Line Break: Poetry as Social Practice (Curbstone Press/ Northwestern University Press, 1988/2005), and Vagabond Flags: Serbia & Kosovo: Journal, Scrapbook & Notes (Azul Editions, 2009). The founding editor of Art on the Line series (Curbstone Press, 1981-1986), he has been a key figure in the movement to radicalize the theory and practice of American poetry—in how it is lived as well as in how it is written.

Born in 1937 in New Haven, CT, Scully lives in Vermont with his wife, Arlene. They’ve been married since 1960 and have a son, John, and a daughter, Deirdre. His awards include a National Defense Fellowship 1959-1962; an Ingram Merrill Foundation Fellowship (Rome, Italy 1962-63); the Lamont Poetry Award 1967 for The Marches; the Jenny Taine Memorial Award 1971 for translation; a Guggenheim Fellowship (Santiago, Chile 1973-74); National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships 1976-77 and 1990; the Islands & Continents Translation Award 1980; and the Bookbuilders of Boston Award 1983 for book cover design.

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Publishing

My Brother's Keeper

by Fr. Radovan Bigovic

Rare are the books of Orthodox Christian authors that deal with the subject of politics in a comprehensive way. It is taken for granted that politics has to do with the secularized (legal) protection of human rights (a reproduction of the philosophy of the Enlightenment), within the political system of so-called "representative democracy", which is limited mostly to social utility or to the conventional rules of human relations. Most Christians look at politics and democracy as unrelated with their experience of the Church herself, which abides both in history and in the Kingdom, the eschaton. Today, the commercialization of politics—its submission to the laws of publicity and the brainwashing of the masses—has literally abolished the "representative" parliamentary system. So, why bother with politics when every citizen of so-called developed societies has a direct everyday experience of the rapid decline and alienation of the fundamental aspects of modernity?

In the Orthodox milieu, Christos Yannaras has highlighted the conception of the social and political event that is borne by the Orthodox ecclesiastical tradition, which entails a personalistic (assumes an infinite value of the human person as opposed to Western utilitarian individualism) and relational approach. Fr Radovan Bigovic follows this approach. In this book, the reader will find a faithful engagement with the liturgical and patristic traditions, with contemporary thinkers, Orthodox and non-Orthodox, all in conversation with political science and philosophy. As an excellent Orthodox theologian and a proponent of dialogue, rooted in the catholic (holistic) being of the Orthodox Church and of his Serbian people, Fr Radovan offers a methodology that encompasses the above-mentioned concerns and quests.