Why we don’t fast during the week of the Publican and Pharisee, and other questions

Question: Hello Father! Why don’t we observe the Wednesday and Friday fast during the week of the Publican and the Pharisee? Thank you! Respectfully, Olga.

Answer by Hieromonk Job (Gumerov):

The parable of the publican and the Pharisee gives an image of the spiritual truth that God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble (Js. 4:6). The Pharisees were representatives of the social-religious trend in Judea during the second century B.C. Their distinguishing characteristic was an intense zeal for observing the Law of Moses. Religious life requires that a person be attentive to himself, that he have moral sensitivity, humility, and pure intentions. If he doesn’t have these, a hardness of heart gradually creeps in on him. Then a pseudo-spirituality inevitably comes. The result is spiritual death. If instead of humility there is self-opinion and pride, instead of sacrificial love there is spiritual egoism, then it is not hard for the devil to take over such a person and make him an accomplice in his evil deeds. People who are unbelieving or spiritually inattentive do not even know or guess how often they do just what the enemy of our salvation wants them to do.

Parish Slava and St. Sava Celebration in Lackawanna

Parish Slava and St. Sava Celebration in Lackawanna
Parish Slava and St. Sava Celebration in Lackawanna
Parish Slava and St. Sava Celebration in Lackawanna
Parish Slava and St. Sava Celebration in Lackawanna

As has been the custom for many years at the parish of St. Stephen the Archdeacon and First Martyr in Lackawanna, New York, on January 13 and 14, 2018, the faithful celebrated, with their Hierarch and Father, Bishop Irinej, the commemoration of two heavenly protectors: St. Stephen, the patron saint of the parish, and St. Sava, the patron saint of all Serbian schools and children. Sladjan and Ruza Petrovic and family were the kumovi for the parish slava.

The festal services began with vespers on Saturday evening at which the parish priest, Economos Vladislav Golic, served with Protodeacon Milos Zdralic under the omophorion of Bishop Irinej, who officiated from the Episcopal Throne. The devoted faithful were in attendance, singing the responses together with guest reader and chanter Nemanja Jovanovic, student of Theology from the University of Belgrade.

Audience at the Serbian Patriarchate - 24 January 2018

Audience at the Serbian Patriarchate - 24 January 2018
Audience at the Serbian Patriarchate - 24 January 2018
Audience at the Serbian Patriarchate - 24 January 2018
Audience at the Serbian Patriarchate - 24 January 2018

His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch received Mr. Mladen Grujicic, president of the Municipality of Srebrenica, accompanied by abbot of the Karno monastery Archimandrite Luka (Babic) at the Serbian Patriarchate on 24 January 2018.

St. Martyrs Ermil (Ermilus) and Stratonicus

St. Martyrs Ermil (Ermilus) and Stratonicus
St. Martyrs Ermil (Ermilus) and Stratonicus
St. Martyrs Ermil (Ermilus) and Stratonicus
St. Martyrs Ermil (Ermilus) and Stratonicus

The Martyr Saints Ermil and Stratonicus, in Greek ῞Ερμυλος and Στρατόνικος, or in Serbian Свети мученици, Eрмил и Cтратонjк бэлгрaдски (Sts. Martyrs Ermil and Stratonic of Belgrade) lived in 3rd – 4th centuries in the Roman province Illyricum, located on the middle course of the Danube, and received their martyrdom at Singidunum (the today Belgrade), being celebrated on January 13, their day of passage to the Lord.

Bishop Maxim visited Portland, Oregon

Bishop Maxim visited Portland, Oregon
Bishop Maxim visited Portland, Oregon
Bishop Maxim visited Portland, Oregon
Bishop Maxim visited Portland, Oregon

The past weekend of 13th and 14th January 2018 at the St. Stephens Archdeacon and Protomartyr Serbian Orthodox Church in Portland, Oregon was very blessed.

 Our Diocesan Bishop His Grace Bishop Maxim visited our Portland parish to join and conduct the celebration of our Parish Slava, which began with a delicious lunch at the house of this year Slava sponsor Momcilo and Ruzica Djurdjevic who hosted our beloved Bishop Maxim. At the evening Fr. Vidoslav the host priest and Episcopal Dean of the Butte Deanery served the Vesper joined by His Grace Bp. Maxim and a lot of parishioners.

Swimming for the Precious Cross in Ada Ciganlija

Swimming for the Precious Cross in Ada Ciganlija
Swimming for the Precious Cross in Ada Ciganlija
Swimming for the Precious Cross in Ada Ciganlija
Swimming for the Precious Cross in Ada Ciganlija

With the blessing of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej, His Grace Bishop Antonije of Moravica, vicar Bishop of the Patriarch, officiated the Holy Hierarchal Liturgy in the church of Holy Great Martyr George in the Cukarica district of Belgrade.

The Bishop was concelebrated by protoprosbyter-staurophors Caslav Marinkovic and BrankoMitrovic, protopresbyter Vitomir Kostic and some other clergimen. After the rite of the Great blessing of water in the church itself, Bishop Antonije held a sermon.