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

Bishop Grigorije (Udicki)

(1963–1985)

As the son of Stevan Udicki, notary, and Anica Udicki Pavlovich, he was born on January 14, 1911, in Velika Kikinda, Banat. He finished the public and secondary school at Velika Kikinda and Timisoara (Romania), the Seminary in Sremski Karlovci (Yugoslavia) in 1930, when he entered the University of Belgrade and finished the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in June 1934.

After the military service in the Red Cross company in Bitola (Yugoslavia) in 1934/35, he became a teacher of the Seminary and gymnasium in Bitola on March 15, 1935. On November 14, he was ordained a priest, on special duty at the monastery church of St. John the Baptist in Bitola till 1938, when passed the examination of a Master degree.

He took monastic vows in the Monastery of Hilandar in 1936.

In September 1938 he went to the U.S.A., to Libertyville, Illinois, taking up there the job of a secretary of the Orthodox Diocese and later on duty of a priest at the Holy Trinity Church at Butte, Montana. In order to complete the studies necessary for getting the PhD degree, he went in 1939 to Athens (Greece), but soon returned to Yugoslavia because of the war between Greece and Italy. Having transferred studies to the University of Belgrade he passed the examination on June 11, 1940. Working on preparation of the dissertation he went to Petrovgrad, Banat (Yugoslavia), where he remained till 1945. During the wartime between Yugoslavia and Germany, he was just a manual worker, and later in 1943 he became again a teacher in Gymnasium and helped at the Church in Petrovgrad. In June 1945 he was forced by communists to leave because of his faith.

Persecuted, he had to change his place of his residence. In June 1945, he went to Monastery “Vojlovica” near Pancevo (Serbia). Meanwhile the monastery was occupied by the government’s “Red education center” for children and remained therefore without possibilities of supporting many clergymen. With others he was compelled to make a living as a factorial laborer in a mill, holding the Sunday-service in the monastery church. After passing the course and examination of bookkeeping and statistics he succeeded to the post of a bookkeeper at the “Pančevački parni mlin” ltd”, Pančevo. In 1947, as in accordance with the new reorganization, the mill in Pančevo was taken by the state completely. He went to Rijeka on duty of a bookkeeper statistician at the factory Antonic Vezzil, Fuime. Soon he escaped to Italy on the August 26, 1949.

After the war, he served in various parishes in the United States. In 1957, he was awarded the rank of Archimandrite by the Holy Synod on the recommendation of Bishop Dionisije. When elected Bishop, he was a parish priest in Youngwood, Pennsylvania.

Since the West was distant from the See of the Diocese it was somehow neglected. It took a little while to organize the parishes and put church life in a certain spiritual perspective. The Diocese was small in size, less than a half the size of the Eastern and Midwestern Dioceses. That region was governed more by the Bishop’s deputies than by the Bishop himself. Now Bishop Grigorije had his hands full of work to be done. Due to its financial strength the St. Steven’s Parish in Alhambra supported the Diocese and it was able to function and carry out its work. The St. Steven parish provided the facilities for a Diocesan office and extended office help.

Bishop Grigorije left behind a beautiful legacy, and was deeply missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing him. Bishop Grigorije was not only a distinguished hierarch, but a prominent scholar and theologian. His love for the Church and serving the Lord was the focus of his entire life, and he was always eager to share his knowledge with others to bring them closer to the fullness of Christ.

Beyond his intellectuality, Bishop Grigorije was truly a hierarch of the Lord. Priests were thankful for his demeanor while serving and his tolerance level for minor “glitches”. His kind and silent guidance to the priests and other servers enabled them to serve and experience the Liturgy to the fullest without stress or tension.

In the person of Bishop Grigorije, people were able to see what is the nature of hierarchy for a bishop. It is not so much governance, rule, or authority, the usual and daily exercises of our ecclesiastical leaders. It is the recognition of his place in the divine order and his willful, intelligent, faith-filled exercise of his symbolical role and function.

Bishop Grigorije fell asleep in the Lord in 1985. He was interred at the Serbian Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA.


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People Directory

Bishop Damaskin (Grdanički)

The vacant episcopal post of the American-Canadian Diocese was filled on June 22, 1938 at the Regular Session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Elected as its second Diocesan Hierarch was Bishop Dr. Damaskin (Grdanicki) of Mukachevo and Priashevo.

Bishop Damaskin was born in Leskovac in 1892. He graduated from the nine year St. Sava Seminary in Belgrade, while simultaneously attending the Belgrade Music School. After finishing the Seminary, he taught music at the First High School in Kragujevac. Received into the monastic order at Rakovica Monastery by Archimandrite Platon, later martyred as Bishop of Banja Luka, he studied at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy where he received a Master's Degree in Theology in 1917. He then went to Freiburg, Switzerland where he obtained a Ph.D. in Philosophy.

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Publishing

Sebastian Press Mission Statement

Welcome to the Sebastian Press Publishing House of the Western Diocese!

Founded in 2006 and named in honor of a first American born Orthodox priest, Fr. Sebastian Dabovic, a pioneer of the Orthodox Church in the West, Sebastian Press is one of the largest and most active publishers of Christian Orthodox publications on the West Coast.

Our hard working staff seeks to fruitfully enrich and deepen the faith of Christians from all over the world with a variety of titles, embracing a diversity of Orthodox Traditions, while also presenting the works of Serbian theologians.

Sebastian Press is building its reputation for promoting high quality theological, historical, ecclesiastical, spiritual, hagiographical, iconographical, philosophical and patristic writings in its repertoire. Also, due to growing demand, we are giving special attention to the publishing of new titles for children, teens, and families, including video and audio programs.

The primary mission of Sebastian Press is to motivate and inspire its readers to seek a deeper union with the God-Man, through the written word of Orthodox Christian material, both on the scholarly and popular level, and to give glory to the life-giving Trinity.

Sebastian Press is located in Los Angeles, at the headquarters of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church.