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.

.

As a reminder, the Serbian immigration to America is connected with the town of Jackson California, Amador county California, and Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich who was born in San Francisco. Many immigrants came to Jackson where they worked in the underground hard rock mines searching for the precious metal, gold; among them were great numbers of Serbs. This is how the first Serbian Orthodox Church, dedicated to Saint Sava the first Archbishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church, was built back in 1894. On the consecrated ground surrounding this first Serbian Orthodox Church, the cemetery was established for the burial of Serbian immigrants.

Religious teachers, Stanislav Budisavljevic and Dragana Masic, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Maxim of the Western American Diocese, and with great joy of Jackson's Serbs, made an effort to bring one noble thought into a concrete act. Their idea was to photograph and catalog all tombstones and to create a unique new photo archive with a registrar of each individual buried in the cemetery.

According to the parish records from 2013 which they obtained from the cemetery office, in the Jackson cemetery there are 344 graves. Some of them are family graves, meaning that more than one person has been buried there.

The main guiding post for Stanislav and Dragana was the plot map of the cemetery produced in 1983. This map over the years has seen many changes and new additions. However, because of irregular updating, it proved to be deficient considering the methodical and diligent research being undertaken by Stanislav and Dragana.

The second guiding post was the two metrical books of baptisms and burials. These two books proved to be great aids in clearing up some doubts and ambiguities of the records. Stanislav and Dragana's determination in finding answers to some questions led them to discover a very old book recorded by Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovic in 1896. Jovan Dabovic, Sebastian in monasticism, was the first Serbian apostle and missionary on the American continent. The Western American diocese celebrates two hundred years of his birth this year. On January 11, 1894, Father Sebastian received a blessing to build the first Serbian Orthodox Church on the American continent in Jackson, where as mentioned earlier, there lived a large group of Serbs. The building of the church was completed on December 4th, 1894, whenit was consecrated by Biship Nikolai of Alaska, and Aleuts who for this occasion gifted the church with the bell. Archimandrite Sebastian died at the monastery Zicha in 1940. His funeral was served by Saint Nikolai of Zicha (Velimirovic). With the decision of His Grace Bishop Chrisostom of Zicha, and with initiatives of the Jackson clergy and parishioners and the efforts of our Bishop Maxim, Father Sebastian’s earthly remains were transferred from the monastery Zicha into Saint Sava Church in Jackson during the summer of 2007.

A big help with researching the archieval details about the people buried in the cemetery was provided by the Amador County Administration Center. This was especially important since the church burial records hadsome information gaps that needed to be filled.

More help was alsoreceived from Daneri Mortuary in Jackson in obtaining missing information for three unmarked graves with only last names marked on the cemetery map. The mortuary aided with the records research by showing us their records of death certificates going back to the days of the gold rush eraresulting in the discovery of missing data.We all felt this warm connection to these names of those brothers and sisters when such missing data was found, thus reminding us of the words of Saint Nikolai's story. Upon seeing the death certificate of one young Serbian miner George Sredanovic confirming his missing date of death, there also was revealed the word 'none' entered for 'next of kin', arousing in us the deeper, contemplative spiritual aspect, and purpose of this work.

At the cemetery, all graves have been photographed and recorded, all epitaphs written in the Cyrilic alphabet have been read and interpreted. Among them there are many beautiful tombstones. Some are damaged, some of them are missing a cross. There is a plan, with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Maxim, to repair all the damaged tombstones and facilitate preservation of the really old ones.

The oldest grave, if we look at the year of death as recorded on the tombstone, is the grave of three year old Marko, son of Simo and Nina Dragomanovic, who died in 1887. The Dragomanovic's were founding members of Saint Sava Church in Jackson.

In this cemetery there are several graves of Orthodox Americans of recent times who were a part of the Saint Sava Liturgical community of Jackson.

As observed by Stanislav and Dragana, tombstones indicate that the greatest number of people came from Herzegovina, Crna Gora and Boka, and from this observation came their idea that there should also be a geographical registry, in addition to an index with last names and first names of the buried that will be recorded. The website, eserbia.org/graveyards has the results of Stanislav’s and Dragana’s work, who wish to be referred to as Orthodox Christian education teachers.

With this story about the Jackson cemetery and the exceptional work of our dear guests from Serbia who have inspired us and awakened within us the sensibility and awareness of the meaning of the preservation of every grave, we will finish by quoting the entire answer of Bishop Nikolai to the grieving mother that we started at the beginning of this article.

Lo, hear me now, as I tell you this story, which can serve to you as an example. One Soul Saturday, I was walking through the enormous and magnificent Belgrade cemetery. All around me, as far as you can see, thousands and thousands of candles were shining as the most beautiful flowers that people can plant into earth. In those flames I was reading joy of departed who as if quietly were singing: we’re alive, we’re alive! At the end of the cemetery I saw one lady known to me. She was standing above some forgotten graves and illegible tombstones and burial mounds without any markings. Above those graves she lit several dozens of candles. She watched those candles with a contrite heart and in their flickering read the joy of those under the ground. She cried. I asked her who from her family is buried there. No one, she answered. My husband, she said, was moved recently to Belgrade, and all of our departed loved ones were buried in the place of his former duty assignment. I, she said, cannot go there since it is too far, so I came to these neglected and forgotten graves, to do for others what I cannot do for my departed family members. My hope is that the Loving God will receive this for my family as well.

-He will, madam, He will for sure, I said thinking to myself as I walked away: Lord, how smart these people are! How much a man can learn from people taught by God!

Dragan Stojanovich
Jackson, California

 


People Directory

Aleksandar Petrov

Aleksandar Petrov, born in Nis (Yugoslavia) 1938, received his Ph.D. at the University of Zagreb. For many years he was Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Literature and Art in Belgrade and Director of the History of Literature Department.

As an outstanding poet and novelist, Aleksandar Petrol is featured in the Dictionary of Literary Biography (v. 181, 242-250 p.p., Washington D.C. and London 1997) as one of the most important Serbian writers of the post World War II period. He has served as President of the Writers’ Association of Serbia and Acting President of the Writers’ Association of the former Yugoslavia. Petrov is a member of the International P.E.N. and several other literary and academic associations.

He has taught at over ten universities in the U.S.A. and has lectured extensively in many countries of the world. Since 1993, he is affiliated with The University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, U.S.A.  Petrov has published 8 books of poems in Serbia and translations of his books were published – in Britain, France, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Poland, Israel, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan and the U.S.A. His poems were translated into 29 languages and included in anthologies of World, European, Yugoslav and Serbian poetry.

.

Read more ...

Publishing

Савремени еклисиолошки подсетник о Дијаспори

Историја и анализа тзв. „Америчког раскола“ (1963-1992) и предлози за његово превазилажење

Епископ Атанасије (Јевтић)

У издању Севастијан преса из Лос Анђелеса и Братства Св. Симона Мироточивог из Врњачке Бање, недавно је изашла нова књига Атанасија (Јевтића), умировљеног Владике херцеговачког, Савремени еклисиолошки подсетник о Дијаспори - Историја и анализа тзв. „Америчког раскола“ (1963-1992) и предлози за његово превазилажење.

Текст ове књиге је написан сада већ далеке 1990.године, и до данас био необјављен будући да је само за Синодске Оце Архијереје био намењен ради превазилажења тзв. „Америчког раскола“. Данас, када је тај српски раскол литургијски и административно превазиђен, сасвим је разумљиво и пожељно било да се овај текст предочи јавности.

На молбу Светог Архијерејског Синода, ондашњи јеромонах Атанасије је сва питања везана за болни раскол у српској дијаспори ставио под светлост православне Еклисиологије и Предања, што је био једини начин за њихово суочавање како би се дошло што ближе до зацељивања раскола. Читалац ће приметити како је он савесно и непристрасно проанализирао цело питање раскола и дао целисходне икономијске предлоге за његово решење. Ова књига је резултат његовог савесног христољубивог и црквољубивог рада.

Конкретан резултат Атанасијевог еклисиолошког предлога била је обнова евхаристијског општења и помирења које је постигнуто на празник Сретења Господњег, 15. фебруара 1992. године у Саборној Цркви у Београду, када су Српски Патријарх Павле и чланови Светог Архијерејског Сабора служили са Митрополитом Иринејем (Ковачевићем), дотадашњим епископом у расколу. Коначно, 21. маја 2009. године, Свети Архијерејски Сабор је донео одлуку и о коначном административном јединству Српске Цркве у Северној и Јужној Америци.

Истовремено, ова књига осветљава битно питање Дијаспоре. Дијаспора је пред Православну Цркву поставила два битна проблема: питање провере исправности нашег схватања Цркве, оног које се у последњим вековима код многих од нас усталило, и питање мисије Цркве у свету.

Књига је изашла са благословом Епископа новограчаничког и средњезападноамеричког Лонгина и Епископа западноамеричког Максима.

Књигу можете наручити по цени од $15 код:
Western American Diocese
1621 West Garvey Avenue Alhambra CA, 91803
847 571-3600, 626 289 9061, 626 284 1484 (fax), Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Visit our online store at http://westsrbdio.org/en/sebastian-press/sebastian-press-publications


Contemporary Ecclesiological Reminderon the Diaspora:
History and analysis of so called “American schism” (1963-1992) and recommendations for its overcoming

by Bishop Athanasius (Yevtich)

Recently, a new book by Athanasius (Yevtich), retired Bishop of Herzegovina, was published in Serbian by Sebastian Press of Los Angeles in cooperation with St. Simeon the Myrrh-streaming of Vrnjacka Banja.

This book was written in a now already distant year of 1990. This is its first publishing since the original intent was to have it available only for the hierarchs of the Holy Synod for the purpose of overcoming the so-called “American schism” within the Serbian diaspora. Presently, as the Serbian schism has been liturgically and administratively vanquished, it is understandable and desirable to have this valuable research available to the public.

At the request of the Holy Synod, back then hieromonk Atanasije acceded to collect all relevant documents in reference to painful schism in Serbian Diaspora, placing them in the light of Orthodox Ecclesiology and Holy Tradition, which was the only way to face it properly and bring it closer to healing.The readers will notice how Bishop Atanasije analyzed responsibly, and impartially the whole question of schism, and at the same time provided comprehensive, integral and thorough ecclesial economy, recomendations for solutions.This book is the result of his Christ-loving and Church-loving labor.

A tangible result of Atanasije's ecclesiological recommendation was the Eucharistic renewal, communion, and reconciliation which was established on the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple, February 15, 1992. At the Cathedral in Belgrade, His Holiness Patriarch Paul and hierarchs of the Holy Episcopal Assembly celebrated for the first time together since the schism, with Metropolitan Iriney (Kovacevic), up until then, schismatic bishop in Diaspora.Finally, on May 21, 2009, the Holy Assembly made a decission about conclusive administrative unity of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North and South America.

In the same time this book reveals crucial question regarding Diaspora, because ecclesial organization of the Orthodox Church abroad presents itself with at least two problems: a) a check-up of our interpretation and comprehension of the Church, especifically of the last couple of centuries existing convictions, and b) a question of the Church mission in the World.

This book is published with the blessings of His Grace, Bishop Longin of New Gracanica - Midwestern America, and His Grace, Bishop Maxim of Western American Diocese, of the Serbian Orthodox Church for North and South America.

Price $15

Call us today with your order!
Western American Diocese
1621West Garvey Avenue Alhambra CA, 91803
847 571-3600, 626 289 9061, 626 284 1484 (fax), Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Visit our online store at http://westsrbdio.org/en/sebastian-press/sebastian-press-publications