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

Oakland 90th Anniversary Greeting 2016

Greeting from His Grace Bishop Maxim of Los Angeles and Western America

Oakland 90th Anniversary Greeting 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters, our beloved Children in the Lord,

This anniversary in Oakland coincides with the recent canonization of Archimandrite Sebastian (Dabovich) of San Francisco and Jackson, clergyman and preacher of the Gospel who inspired many missionaries. Once again, through the life of this Saint, we see a faith that produces holy persons, enriches the world with saints and insists on an ethos of holiness. 

Living in the Bay area, you might better understand how the life of the Church has the depth and breadth of the open ocean, such that great swells do not make the waters turbid, but release the “ozone” of health and courage which strengthens man in his struggle. When you live in the world that they have shaped and partake in the universal concelebration of heaven and earth which is celebrated in the Orthodox Church, you pulse with a vibration that reveals to you things unseen.

Many times Orthodox immigrants have gone to other countries and not lost our faith and our character, but have often rediscovered and lived them better. Our Orthodox manners and customs are liturgical, and our upbringing, ethos, and education are those of the Church. The axis of our tradition and our life is the God-man. The whole parish is one family, one Church. Its feast and festivals, the feasts of the Church. And the church feasts are the days for its holidays, festivities and songs. The folk songs, their words and their music, are related to the music (and the ethos) of the Church. 

In most cases, Church life in this part of the Serbian Church during the Great Depression survived, its organization preserved at both the diocesan and congregational level. There was even the case of Akron where people, though suffering hardship and destitution during the Depression, through the efforts of their priest Milan Popovic, built a new church dedicated to St. Demetrius. During this period of adversity our people united around their Church, which had also become impoverished, since it was the only place they could turn to and share what little they had in those sad times.

May this Jubilee which we commemorate in Oakland as well as the Commemorative Book marking the ninetieth anniversary of the establishment of the Serbian Orthodox Parish of Saint George, remind us all of the zeal of our ancestors and guide us to the sacred goal of unity in Christ and His Orthodox Church.

 


People Directory

Vladimir Pištalo

Vladimir Pištalo (Serbian Cyrillic: Владимир Пиштало) (born 1960 in Sarajevo) is a Serbian writer, most notably winning the 2008 NIN Prize for the year's best novel - Tesla, Portrait among Masks.

Vladimir Pištalo graduated from the University of Belgrade Faculty of Law and earned his doctorate at the University of New Hampshire under the theme of the identity of numerous Serbian immigrants. He now works at Becker College in Brewster, Massachusetts where he teaches World and US history.

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Publishing

The Hagia Sophia

The Mystical Light of the Great Church and its Architectural Dress

by Charalambos P. Stathakis

Dear reader, as you run like the rest of us along the dizzy main road, stop, stay aside for a while. Let the others be dizzy, and take the secret underground trail, which will lead you through the dewdrops of the leaves, the crystal smile of the sun, the city’s underground galler- ies, your knowledge, and your feelings, to the doorstep of the Hagia Sophia. Because all dew- drops, all sunrays, and all beauty lead there. That is what you will be told by my friend, the author, whom I am fond of and whom I send you to, Charalambos Stathakis: the doctor, the warm and humane researcher, the scientist devoted to his work and his patients, who has given a series of scientific papers, who, nevertheless, retains a nest of beauty untouched in his heart, which makes him outstanding—even though he is not a specialist in architecture, nor a historian, nor a theologian, nor a Byzantinist—it makes him stand out in all these together and in entirety.

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