Communiqué of the Eastern American Diocese - Fire at Saint Sava in NYC

To all Diocesan Clergy, Church-School Congregation Boards and Faithful
Dear Very Reverend and Reverend Clergy and our dear Serbian Orthodox faithful,

Christ is Risen!

As you certainly all know, our entire Diocese, and indeed our entire Serbian Orthodox Church, suffered a terrible and tragic loss on the very day of the Holy Pascha of our Lord with the destruction of our cathedral church of St. Sava in New York City. While the church building is a total loss, we rejoice and thank God that there were no serious injuries or loss of life. The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the New York Fire Department, and we await their findings.

Nonetheless, our Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters in the New York area have lost their spiritual home, the heart of their religious and national life. Their loss is personal for them, deeply emotional and truly tragic. Yet, even as the embers of the temple still smoldered, the community expressed its determination to continue its church life there. The building is gone, but the living church remains, and its members need our prayers and our support, both spiritual and financial.

Their loss is also our loss. Our Diocese has lost its cathedral church, the seat of our Diocesan Bishop. In addition to being a parish church, it has been a landmark proclaiming the presence of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the center of our nation's greatest city. As such, it has national and even international significance for all of us.

For all these reasons, and above all because of the Christian love and charity we all are called by our Lord to have for each other, we turn to you, our dear Serbian Orthodox people, not only in our Diocese but throughout our country and the world, as well as to our Orthodox brothers and sisters and to all people of good will, to open your hearts and to contribute generously to aid in the resurrection of our New York Cathedral Church.

The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America has established a St. Sava New York Cathedral Building Fund to aid in this difficult but God-pleasing work. Our clergy and congregations are urged to undertake actions in each of our parish communities to further this initiative.

Donations should be sent to the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America at 9 Friar Tuck Court, Warren NJ 07059, earmarked for the St. Sava Cathedral Building Fund.

The Diocese will collect and keep an accounting of all donations and forward them on to the Cathedral as building plans develop.

In this holy Paschal season, may the Light of the Risen Christ illumine us all, and may our hearts burn within us as they did in the disciples on the Road to Emmaus as the Lord made Himself known to them. May that zeal be expressed in our concrete acts of love towards our brothers and sisters in New York at this time of their critical need.

With Paschal greetings and Archpastoral blessings, 

His Grace Dr +Mitrophan, Bishop of Eastern America

Source: Eastern American Diocese of the SOC