Parastos in Memory of Metropolitan +Christopher of Blessed Repose

A two year parastos was given by Mrs. Valerie Backo and family on Saturday, August 18, 2012 in memory of her father Metropolitan +Christopher of blessed memory.

Metropolitan Christopher, who served as bishop of the Diocese of Eastern America for over a decade, passed away on the eve of Transfiguration at his episcopal residence in Libertyville in 2010.

May the Lord grant him memory eternal.

Born in Galveston, Texas, and baptized Velimir Kovacevich, the future Metropolitan Christopher was the ninth of twelve children of Serbian immigrant parents. After graduation from high school, he attended Nashotah House and graduated from St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Seminary in Libertyville, Illinois. After marriage, he was ordained to the Diaconate and Priesthood. Continuing his education, he earned a B.A. (Philosophy), Master of Letters (History) at the University of Pittsburgh; the Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, and completed courses and examinations for the doctorate at the Chicago Theological Seminary.

Father Velimir ministered to parishes in Pennsylvania and in Chicago, also serving as chaplain to four universities. He assisted his parishes to become bilingual in their worship and education programs. As a priest, he served as spiritual father, counselor, youth worker, administrator, educator, and, above all, in priestly ministry at the Holy Altar. Widowed in 1970, he is the father of four, as well as the grandfather of nine.

Elevated to the episcopate in 1978 by the Assembly of Bishops in Belgrade and tonsured with the monastic name of Christopher, he became the first American-born bishop to serve a diocese of his church in North America. As Bishop of Eastern America and Canada, he soon developed a diocesan-wide program in religious education. Active also in ecumenism, he has served on the joint commission of Orthodox and Roman Catholic bishops and on the Orthodox-Lutheran dialogue, and has represented his church at high levels in both the National and World Councils of Churches. In 1991, he was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan, thereby becoming Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the U.S. and Canada.May the Lord our God grant blessed repose and eternal rest to His Eminence Metropolitan Christopher.