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

Vlade Divac

A first round pick of the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1989 NBA draft, Vlade Divac went on to become one of the first European players to have an impact on the NBA.

In 1985, Vlade Divac was one of 15 young boys from Slovenia, Bosna, Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Macedonia that won the gold medal in the University Games. This would prove to be a basketball team that is considered among the best ever assembled. They went on to win a gold medal at the European Junior Championships in 1986, a gold medal at the FIB A World Junior Championships in Bormio, Italy in 1987 (defeating Team USA twice in that tournament), and a silver medal representing Yugoslavia at the 1988 Olympics.

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After being drafted by the Lakers in 1989, Divac went on to enjoy a 16 year tenure as one of the game's best centers. A highly popular figure on and off the court, he put together an impressive resume playing for the Lakers, the Charlotte Hornets and the Sacramento Kings.

He started his career by being named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and he finished it having joined Hakeem Olajuwon and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar as the only players in NBA history to amass 13,000 points, 9,000 rebounds, 3,000 assists and 1,500 blocked shots.

Along the way he also managed to lead Yugoslavia's teams to a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, gold medals at the 1990 and 2002 FIBA World Championships, and gold medals at the 1989, 1991 and 1995 European Championships.

In the early morning hours on September 16th, 2005 a truck driven by Divac arrived at an emergency response center hosted by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Houston, Texas. The truck contained items collected by volunteers in Sacramento, various items such as paper plates, paper towels, toilet paper, baby diapers, wipes, baby formula, baby food, school supplies and toys; donations which would provide a little comfort and normalcy to children and families who had traveled far from their homes in search of safety.

But Vlade Divac was no ordinary volunteer. In conjunction with an organization he helped found, he put together the collection effort in Sacramento. That organization is Group Seven, a Children's Foundation that provides care for children who suffer from isolation, poverty and displacement. The founding members of Group 7 include: Vlade Divac, Predrag Danilovic, Aleksandar Djordjevic, Zarko Paspalj, Zeljko Rebraca, Dejan Bodiroga, and Zoran Savic. These athletes have joined together to offer care and comfort to children suffering from the isolation, poverty and displacement inherent to the break-up of Yugoslavia. 

He has also worked on projects for the International Orthodox Christian Charities, another organizer of the Sacramento volunteer efforts. He has helped the IOCC provide half a million dollars in humanitarian assistance to his homeland since 1997. For his years of distinguished service in support of the humanitarian mission of IOCC, he received their Good Samaritan Award.

Divac also created a fund through the St. John Foundation to help raise money for children affected by the war in Yugoslavia. 

He and his wife have four children, two of which are war orphans, from Bosnia and Kosovo.


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

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."