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

Sanja Beštić

Sanja Bestic (Сања Бештић, Sanja Beštić) was born in Belgrade, Serbia on June 13, 1982. The civil war in the former Yugoslavia broke out when Sanja was ten (10) years old. She would continue to live through that war and the two (2) that followed. Sanja felt the greatest impact of the wars during the Belgrade bombings in 1999. Nonetheless, she attended the Zemunska Gimnazija for high school while simultaneously studying at the renowned theater studio and acting school run by Mika Aleksic, the famous theater arts professor.

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In 2001, Sanja applied to and was accepted by the Faculty of Dramatic Arts for their prestigious theater-directing program. The program receives on average four hundred (400) applications each year but only accepts four (4) students. There, Sanja studied under Professor Ivana Vujic. During her time as a student, Sanja was the assistant director to many famous directors of the former Yugoslavia and Serbia. She has worked with: Dusan Jovanovic, Ljubisa Ristic, Slobodan Umnkovski, Aleksandar Popovski, Filip Gajic, Gorcin Stojanovic, Egon Savin, Ivana Vujic and Jug Radivojevic . Her work as a student also included productions with the Association of Non-Verbal Theaters in Belgrade, Serbia. She was member of the Svan Theater, the only theater where non-verbal performances set to music were put on. There she performed and directed. One of her plays, the “Play Against Violence”, showcased the life and emotions of Serbians during the Belgrade bombings. Sanje Bestic explored different schools of acting. She was professionally trained in artistic coaching and theme building while doing a fellowship at the Moving Academy for Performing Arts in Amsterdam. She also did intensive work with the Theater of Shadows where she learned to move, act and express herself as a shadow behind a white screen. Simultaneously, she directed the artistic venture and was involved in all steps of the production at the Theater of Shadows. Sanja believes that one is not going to be a good director unless she has experienced all aspects of a production. Sanja also spent some time studying in the US. She studied at The Michael Chekhov Acting Studio in New York City. There she continued to study non-verbal theater expression with an emphasis on movement and the use of the body as an expressive instrument. She also studied acting at the Lee Strasburg Institute for Theater and Film. It was also in New York City that Sanja directed “Canary Soup,” her first professional production. “Canary Soup” played at The Kraine Theater, an off-Broadway theatre, located in New York City’s East Village. The story about male/female relationships and the dilemma of whether or not to marry played to sold-out audiences from October - November, 2004. In 2006, Sanja continued her success. She produced and directed the play “Two Fools in Love” at the Mata Milosevic Theater in Belgrade. The play was rich with the universal themes found in keeping the innocence of first love, relationships, suffering in the world today and continuing to be honest with oneself and everyone else.

In addition to her work as a theater director, Sanja has put her artistic ability to work in the corporate world. Her resume includes work for Serbian advertising and marketing companies. She has directed television commercials and short films. Her work included TV commercials for Henkel (a German company that is the equivalent of the US Proctor & Gamble), Societe Generale (a French bank), and Vegeta (Podravka) (a Coatian seasoning). In addition to that, she worked for Iteam Events, an international marketing agency, where she directed and produced stage events at various theaters, ballrooms and other venues.

Sanja takes the most pride, though, in her humanitarian work. She has worked with The Beogradski Igracki Center (BIC), a non-profit organization that provides an artistic setting to work with children having special needs. Sanja has also put her talent into action in the fight against breast cancer. Sanja worked together with Nebosa Babic, one of Serbia’s most acclaimed photographers, to produce a video for the “You are Unique Campaign,” a campaign dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness. The video showcased Serbian celebrities who survived breast cancer or were close to someone who suffered from breast cancer. The Weeping Game by Ben Akiba (aka Branislav Nusic) is Sanja’s third Off-Brodway production. Sanja also directed , Touch my Knees by David Albahari, The Government Inspector by Nikolai V. Gogol, Canary Soup by Milos Radovic, and Two Fools in Love by Dusko Radovic, and Painkillers by Neda Radulovic.

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People Directory

Bishop Grigorije (Udicki)

(1963–1985)

As the son of Stevan Udicki, notary, and Anica Udicki Pavlovich, he was born on January 14, 1911, in Velika Kikinda, Banat. He finished the public and secondary school at Velika Kikinda and Timisoara (Romania), the Seminary in Sremski Karlovci (Yugoslavia) in 1930, when he entered the University of Belgrade and finished the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in June 1934.

After the military service in the Red Cross company in Bitola (Yugoslavia) in 1934/35, he became a teacher of the Seminary and gymnasium in Bitola on March 15, 1935. On November 14, he was ordained a priest, on special duty at the monastery church of St. John the Baptist in Bitola till 1938, when passed the examination of a Master degree.

He took monastic vows in the Monastery of Hilandar in 1936.

In September 1938 he went to the U.S.A., to Libertyville, Illinois, taking up there the job of a secretary of the Orthodox Diocese and later on duty of a priest at the Holy Trinity Church at Butte, Montana. In order to complete the studies necessary for getting the PhD degree, he went in 1939 to Athens (Greece), but soon returned to Yugoslavia because of the war between Greece and Italy. Having transferred studies to the University of Belgrade he passed the examination on June 11, 1940. Working on preparation of the dissertation he went to Petrovgrad, Banat (Yugoslavia), where he remained till 1945. During the wartime between Yugoslavia and Germany, he was just a manual worker, and later in 1943 he became again a teacher in Gymnasium and helped at the Church in Petrovgrad. In June 1945 he was forced by communists to leave because of his faith.

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Publishing

Holy Emperor Constantine and the Edict of Milan

by Bishop Athanasius (Yevtich)

In 2013 Christian world celebrates 1700 years since the day when the Providence of God spoke through the holy Emperor Constantine and freedom was given to the Christian faith. Commemorating the 1700 years since the Edict of Milan of 313, Sebastian Press of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church published a book by Bishop Athanasius Yevtich, Holy Emperor Constantine and the Edict of Milan. The book has 72 pages and was translated by Popadija Aleksandra Petrovich. This excellent overview of the historical circumstances that lead to the conversion of the first Christian emperor and to the publication of a document that was called "Edict of Milan", was originally published in Serbian by the Brotherhood of St. Simeon the Myrrh-gusher, Vrnjci 2013. “The Edict of Milan” is calling on civil authorities everywhere to respect the right of believers to worship freely and to express their faith publicly.

The publication of this beautiful pocket-size, full-color, English-language book, has been compiled and designed by Bishop Athanasius Yevtich, a disciple of the great twentieth-century theologian Archimandrite Justin Popovich. Bishop Athanasius' thought combines adherence to the teachings of the Church Fathers with a vibrant faith, knowledge of history, and a profound experience of Christ in the Church.

In the conclusion of the book, the author states:"The era of St. Constantine and his mother St. Helena, marks the beginning of what history refers to as Roman, Christian Empire, which was named Byzantium only in recent times in the West. In fact, this was the conception of a Christian Europe. Christian Byzantine culture had a critical effect on Europe; Europe was its heir, and then consciously forgot it. Europe inherited many Byzantine treasures, but unfortunately, also robbed and plundered many others for its own treasuries and museums – not only during the Crusades, but during colonial rule in the Byzantine lands as well. We, the Orthodox Slavs, received a great heritage of the Orthodox Christian East from Byzantium. Primarily, Christ’s Gospel, His faith and His Church, and then, among other things, the Cyrillic alphabet, too."