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

Exciting News from the Old Serbian Cemetery in Jackson

...I advise you then, to go to cemetery when others go. There are beautifully arranged Serbian cemeteries in America. They were arranged by the Serbian natives who considered cemeteries – as they should be considered – the holiest places after God's holy church. You should know how beautiful Serbian tombstones are at the monastery of St. Sava in Libertyville, then the two cemeteries in Pittsburg, St. Sava and St. George, then thecemetery that is the most known among Orthodox people in San Francisco (Serbian Benevolent Society), then that olden one in Jackson, in Los Angeles and other places.
Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich

This is a part of an answer written by the Holy Bishop Nikolai to a greiving mother who had lost her husband and children and does not know where they are burried. This entire answer is published in the American Srbobran. This advice of bishop Nikolai serves well as an introduction to this story about the cemetery in Jackson, California. Why? Jackson residents had a rare opportunity this summer to meet and host two religious education school teachers, from Serbia who spontaneously decided to dedicate their private visit to cousins in America, and their free time to the old cemetery in Jackson.Through the intensive and dedicated two-week work and their own action, they fullfilled and reminded all of us about these words of the Holy Bishop of blessed memory.

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Saint Sava Cemetery in Jackson, California

The history of the oldest Serbian cemetery in America is related to the construction of the first Serbian Church on American soil and the important role of Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich

St. Sava Church in Jackson, California, is recognized as the first consecrated Serbian Orthodox Church and cemetery on the North American continent. Serbian miners and their families were drawn to the Mother Lode and Amador County during the California Gold Rush 1849 seeking fortune and a new life. They would later found the parish in 1894.

In the mid 1860s the number of Serbian Orthodox in the area had grown significantly. In 1886 they formed the St. Sava Benevolent Society and purchased an acre of land on North Main Street in Jackson for a cemetery. This land was used as a cemetery for the Serbian people.

Meanwhile in San Francisco, the young Sebastian Dabovich (born Jovan Dabovich), an American born of Serbian parents, was ordained to the priesthood by the local Russian Orthodox bishop. Father Sebastian often journeyed to Jackson to baptize children and perform marriages. In 1893 he urged the faithful to organize and build a Church. Within one year, the building was complete. Bishop Nikolai of Aleutians and Alaska officiated at the consecration of the temple. The Russians donated the bell for the church which was cast in Jackson. It still peals in the belfry today.

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Из једног одговора владике Николаја ожалошћеној мајци

У једном одговору у Американском Србобрану ожалошћеној мајци која се сахранила мужа и децу и не зна где су им гробови, владика Николај је написао следеће:

...Саветујем ти, дакле, иди на гробље кад и други иду. Има дивно уређених српских гробља у Америци. Уредили су их Срби староседиоци који су гробље сматрали – како и треба сматрати – најсветијим местом после храма Божјег. Да знаш како су красна српска гробља у манастиру Св. Саве, па у Питсбургу два, Св. Саве и Св. Ђорђа, па оно чувено међу свим православним народима у Сан Франциску (српског добротворног друштва) па оно прастаро у Џексону, у Лос Анђелесу, и на другим местима.

Но чуј да ти нешто испричам, што ти може послужити примером. Једних задушница ја сам ходио по огромном и величанственом гробљу београдском. Свуда око мене докле очима видиш блистале су хиљаде и хиљаде свећа као најлепше цвеће које људи могу посадити у земљу. У тим пламеновима ја сам читао радост умрлих који као тихо певаху: живи смо, живи смо! На крају гробља видех једну познату ми госпођу. Стајала је над неким занемареним гробовима са нечитким споменицима и хумкама без икаквих споменика. Над тим гробовима она беше запалила читаву руковет свећа. Она је скрушено гледала у те свеће и у њиховом треперењу читала радост оних под земљом. И плакала је. Упитах је, ко је од њених ту сахрањен? Нико, одговори она. Муж ми је, вели, скоро премештен у Београд, а сви наши покојници погребени су у месту његовог ранијег службовања. Ја, вели, не могу да одем тамо, далеко је, па сам ето дошла овде на ове непознате гробове и запуштене, да учиним другима што не могу својима. Ваљда ће Благи Бог примити ово и за моје. – Хоће, госпођо, хоће посигурно, рекох и удаљих се размишљајући: Боже, паметна народа! Шта све може човек научити од народа, наученог од Бога!...

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Крсна знамења запостављена на гробљима

Рајко Д. Блажић, професор за уметност и консервацију СПЦ, и др Предраг Ристић, професор на Академији СПЦ, израдили типологију надгробних крсних знамења.

У доба комунизма, разбијена је и сама помисао о васкрсењу, а народ истеран из Цркве. Али, хтели не хтели, опет су на гробљу морали да се сретну и они који верујуи они који не верују. Они који су смело веровали, знали су како се моли и шта је део њихове молитве. Неверни су, уместо цркве добили „спомен-лопату” и празне речи пропаганде у често трагикомичним посмртним говорима и раштимовану плех музику.

Ово је теза верујућих: Рајка Д. Блажића, професора за уметности и консервацију СПЦ, и др Предрага Ристића, архитекте и професора на Академији СПЦ. Професори су, после бројних истраживања, одлучили да представе десет типова надгробних споменика, ликовно решених на основу историјске традиције црквених уметника и мајстора са наших простора, кроз векове уназад, али и у нашем времену. Њихов покушај је вредан пажње: они желе да бар покушају да спрече да гробља, као вечна коначишта, често изгледају као – дивља насеља живих.

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People Directory

Rastko Petrović

Rastko Petrović (Belgrade, 1898 – Washington, D.C., 1949), poet, novelist, travel writer, essayist, etnographer, giffted sketcher, camerman and photographer. He graduated law in France, and on his return to Yugoslavia he worked as an art and literary critic. After this he was employed in the diplomatic service and posted to Italy and the USA. He is considered to be one of the most important and most influential Serbian writers in the period between the two world wars.

Major works: The Burlesque of Lord Perun the God of Thunder (Burleska Gospodina Peruna Boga Groma, 1921, fiction), Revelation (Otkrovenje, 1922, poems), Africa (Afrika, 1930, travel book), People Talk (Ljudi govore, 1931, fiction), Day the Sixth (Dan šesti, 1961, novel).

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Publishing

Notes on ecumenism

Written in 1972 by St. Abba Justin Popovich, edited by Bishop Athanasius Yevtich, translated from Serbian by Aleksandra Stojanovich, and proofread by Fr Miroljub Ruzich

Abba Justin’s manuscript legacy (on which Bishop Athanasius have been working for a couple of years preparing an edition of The Complete Works ), also includes a parcel of sheets/small sheets of paper (in the 1/4 A4 size) with the notes on Ecumenism (written in pencil and dating from the period when he was working on his book “The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism”; there are also references to the writings of St. Bishop Nikolai [Velimirovich], short excerpts copied from his Sermons, some of which were quoted in the book).

The editor presents the Notes authentically, as he has found them in the manuscripts (his words inserted in the text, as clarification, are put between the slashes /…/; all the footnotes are ours).—In the appendix are present the facsimiles of the majority of Abba’s Notes which were supposed to be included in his book On Ecumenism (written in haste then, but now significantly supplemented with these Notes. The Notes make evident the full extent of Justin’s profundity as a theologian and ecclesiologist of the authentic Orthodoxy).—The real Justin is present in these Notes: by his original language, style, literature, polemics, philosophy, theology, and above all by his confession of the God-man Christ and His Church. He confesses his faith, tradition, experience and his perspective on man, on the world and on Europe—invariably in the Church and from the Church, in the God-man Christ and from Him, just as he did in all of his writings and in his entire life and theologizing.

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