The Sunday, 20 July 2014, was a special day for the Serbs and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Vienna. The first time in history the new Diocese founded by the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops got the Diocesan Bishop, who is going to take care about Church and spiritual life of his congregation in this Diocese.
Since the early morning guests and pious people were arriving to the churchyard of the Resurrection church to welcome His Holines Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, with Their Eminences Metropolitans and Their Graces Bishops from the homeland. Both priests and monks, all gathered in one Spirit, today occupied the church yard and the church of the Resurrection of Christ.
On Saturday, 19 July 2014, on the eve of the enthronement of the first Bishop of the Diocese of Austria-Switzerland Andrej, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Irinej arrived in the evening hours to the capital of Austria.
A large number of the faithful people from the Diocese of Austria-Switzerland and eminent invitees who will participate in the enthronement, guests and friends of the Serbian Church, welcomed Serbian Patriarch. His Holiness was welcomed by Bishop Irinej of Backa, administrator of the Diocese of Austria-Switzerland; newly elected Bishop Andrej of Austria-Switzerland, Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana, as well as by Bishops: Ignjatije of Pozarevac-Branicevo, Lukijan of Budim, Teodosije of Raska-Prizren, Gerasim of Gornji Karlovac, Pahomije of Vranje, retired Bishop Vasilije of Zvornik-Tuzla, Bishop electus Sergije of Middle Europe, Bishop David of Stobi, abbot of the Chilandar Monastery Fr. Metodije…
New Elected Bishop Jovan (Culibrk) was born on April 16, 1965 in Zenica. He finished a high school and the grammar school in (Bosanska) Gradiska. He studied South-Slavic languages and literatures at the universities in Banja Luka and Zagreb, where he graduated at the Department for stylestics with a work on Milos Crnjanski for which he received the Branko Award of Matica Srpska in 1991 (today this work is within the book Black Sun, and a circle around it - Stvaranje, Podgorica, 2001 - it is being used at posdgraduate studies).
He studied theology at Faculties of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade and Srbinje, where he graduated with a work on Nikon the Jerusalemite. He attended postgraduate studies on Jewish culture at the Yad Vashem Memorial and at the Jewish University in Jerusalem; he was the winner of the 2004 Golda Meir Award. He defended his master thesis at Dr David Bankier, the chief of the International Institute for holocaust research at Yad Vashem. He is preparing now a PhD thesis on the same subject together with Dr Yoav Gelber. He speaks English, Russian and Hebrew, also knows German, Greek and several Slavic languages.
The enthronement of the new-elected Bishop Andrej of Austria-Switzerland in Vienna in the church of the Resurrection of Christ will be performed on 20 July 2014 after the Divine Liturgy which will be served by His Holiness Irinej, Arcbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovac and Serbian Patriarch. Many bishops of the Serbian Church and other sister Local Churches, as well as priests and monks will concelebrate during this service.
The highest representatives of the Catholic Church of Austria, state authorities, many church organizations from the world, as well as prominent people from Serbia, Republic of Srpska, Greece, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany... monks from the Athonite monastic communities, professors of the Orthodox Institute at the Munich University, representatives of the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches will attend the enthronement.
Biography of newly-elected Bishop Andrej (Cilerdzic) of Austria-Switzerland
Bishop Andrej (Cilerdzic) was born on 21.08.1961 in Osnabrück (Germany), as a second son of protopresbyter-staurophor Dobrivoje Cilerdzic and mother Marijana.The primary school and a grammar school he finished in Dusseldorf (Germany), and after the final examination he spent a year on Mount Athos (1980-1981).He enrolled to the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade in September 1981 and graduated on March 25, 1986. In the monastery of Decani on January 7, 1987 his spiritual elder made him a monk, then hieromonk, and now Bishop Irinej of Backa. He was ordained a hierodeacon on March 8, 1987 in the church of St. Sava in Dusseldorf (Germany), by in that time competent Bishop Lavrentije of Western Europe.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, on the request of Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral - Administrator of the Diocese of Buenos-Aires, received on 16 July 2014 a group of believers from the Argentinian province of Chaco, led by presbyter Branko Stanisic.
Serbian Patriarch Irinej greeted fourty believers of the parish of Saint Nicholas the Mirracle-worker in the town of Machagai, among which one third are descendants of the former immigrants from Montenegro. The guests thanked the Patriarch for the warm welcome.
Yesterday, on 14 July 2014, new Metropolitan Dr Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana received Chief Rabbi of the Jewish Community “Bet Israel” of Croatia Dr. Kotel Da-Don and Chief Rabbi of Serbia Mr. Isaak Asiel in his residence in Zagreb.
This was the first official audience given by the new Metropolitan of Zagreb-Ljubljana and it was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere. His Grace Bishop Dr. Irinej of Backa also participated in conversations. Since Metropolitan Porfirije and Bishop Irinej had fostered and closely worked with Rabbi of Serbia Mr. Asiel for many years, it was agreed to continue the existing projects and that the Jewish Community “Bet Israel” be involved into the new ones. Mr. Kotel was pleased to hear information about good inter-religious relations in Serbia, as well as about a series of activities which traditional Churches and religious communities have undertaken together.