August 12, 2014

Longin-the Church is keeping our identity
Report: Frankfurtske vesti
On the American national day, 4th of July, the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of New Gracanica – Midwestern America organized a traditional picnic in the port of the New Gracanica monastery in Libertyville, about 40 miles from Chicago. On a nice and sunny day several thousand Serbs gathered. The picnic commenced by the holy liturgy on 10 a.m., which was served by the Bishop Longin.

The host of the picnic were the church municipalities of St. George from Eastern Chicago, St. Archangel Michael from Lansing, St. Nicholas from Brookfield, St. Stefan of Decani from Lelan, St. Sava from Milwaukee and Holy Resurrection from Chicago. The honorable guest of the picnic was Vojislav Mihajlovic from Belgrade, a grandson of Draza Mihajlovic.

People came from Illinois and Wisconsin. The adults were talking, while the children enjoyed in sport activities. The homemade food was served at the picnic. Local merchants offered their goods, and among the most sold were the books on Serbian language, by Serbian authors, and icons.

The official part of the programe commenced by intonation the American and Serbian anthems. The priest Savo Bosanac reminded of the tragic events in Serbia, and called upon the guests to help our people by donations. Slavko Panovic, longtime president of the Serbian National Defense, welcomed the guests, spoke about Draza Mihajlovic and greeted Draza's grandson.

Representatives of the Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia from Chicago, headed by the Vice consul Milenko Spica collected the donations.

After them, the guests were greeted by His Grace, Bishop Longin, who called upon all the guests to pray together for our people no matter where it lived. He said that the Church and Orthodox faith kept the Serbian identity – cross with three fingers, cyrilic, love towards the Church, poems and customs. Church is consisted of people rather than buildings. The Bishop said it was important to maintain churches, bring the children to religious education, keep the customs and be grateful to God, priests and the others who engage themselves around churches.

He thanked those who built New Gracanica monastery and the monastery of St. Sava, because the Serbs who came later had somewhere to come.

The flooded ones are not forgotten

The most people gathered around the stand of the Charity organization Serbs for Serbs. SfS members offered T-shirts and set the donation box for the flooded areas and the families in difficult conditions.

Petko Petrovic, marketing director of SfS in USA says that they collect money on the stand every year.

All the money is being immediately sent to Serbia and used for the reconstruction of the houses to the families with many children. But, after the floods, SfS started helping the people who were hit by it. After that work is finished, SfS will go back to the standard way of helping the families. The families receive agricultural equipment, household appliances, cattle and other necessities. The organization doesn't give the money, because it cannot control it. After meeting the family, making an interview and informing of their needs, SfS provides the necessities. Everything is 100% transparent, and the donations, bills, reports and pictures are put on the website. Since 2005 the organization has helped about 350 families. During the floods many people addressed SfS for help.  

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