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 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.

Persecuted, he had to change his place of his residence. In June 1945, he went to Monastery “Vojlovica” near Pancevo (Serbia). Meanwhile the monastery was occupied by the government’s “Red education center” for children and remained therefore without possibilities of supporting many clergymen. With others he was compelled to make a living as a factorial laborer in a mill, holding the Sunday-service in the monastery church. After passing the course and examination of bookkeeping and statistics he succeeded to the post of a bookkeeper at the “Pančevački parni mlin” ltd”, Pančevo. In 1947, as in accordance with the new reorganization, the mill in Pančevo was taken by the state completely. He went to Rijeka on duty of a bookkeeper statistician at the factory Antonic Vezzil, Fuime. Soon he escaped to Italy on the August 26, 1949.

After the war, he served in various parishes in the United States. In 1957, he was awarded the rank of Archimandrite by the Holy Synod on the recommendation of Bishop Dionisije. When elected Bishop, he was a parish priest in Youngwood, Pennsylvania.

Since the West was distant from the See of the Diocese it was somehow neglected. It took a little while to organize the parishes and put church life in a certain spiritual perspective. The Diocese was small in size, less than a half the size of the Eastern and Midwestern Dioceses. That region was governed more by the Bishop’s deputies than by the Bishop himself. Now Bishop Grigorije had his hands full of work to be done. Due to its financial strength the St. Steven’s Parish in Alhambra supported the Diocese and it was able to function and carry out its work. The St. Steven parish provided the facilities for a Diocesan office and extended office help.

Bishop Grigorije left behind a beautiful legacy, and was deeply missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. Bishop Grigorije was not only a distinguished hierarch, but a prominent scholar and theologian. His love for the Church and serving the Lord was the focus of his entire life, and he was always eager to share his knowledge with others to bring them closer to the fullness of Christ.

Beyond his intellectuality, Bishop Grigorije was truly a hierarch of the Lord. Priests were thankful for his demeanor while serving and his tolerance level for minor “glitches”. His kind and silent guidance to the priests and other servers enabled them to serve and experience the Liturgy to the fullest without stress or tension.

In the person of Bishop Grigorije, people were able to see what is the nature of hierarchy for a bishop. It is not so much governance, rule, or authority, the usual and daily exercises of our ecclesiastical leaders. It is the recognition of his place in the divine order and his willful, intelligent, faith-filled exercise of his symbolical role and function.

Bishop Grigorije fell asleep in the Lord in 1985. He was interred at the Serbian Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA.


SA

 

People Directory

Marina Arsenijević

Marina Arsenijevic (arson-nee-vitch) is the international award-winning pianist and composer, star of the Emmy-nominated Public Television program, “Marina at West Point: Unity through Diversity” which has been broadcast to more than 160 Million viewers with over 350 airings by PBS Stations all across the country. Marina created the program and performed with the 120 member joint ensemble of the West Point Band and West Point Cadet Glee Club. The Concert was recorded LIVE at West Point’s historic Eisenhower Hall and will be broadcast all across the country through 2014.

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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."