On Saturday, September 10th 2016, His All-Holiness Bartholomew, Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch, accompanied by Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb-Ljubljana, visited the President of the Republic of Croatia Mrs. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic in her residence in Zagreb.
Madame President Grabar-Kitarovic pointed out that Jasenovac as the place of suffering, as well as other places of innocently suffered people, represent the black spots of people; however, she added that it was not good to manipulate with the number of victims and that one should look into the future by learning from the mistakes from history. By respecting and not forgetting the innocently suffered victims one should look into the future and do everything that people live in peace and mutual understanding.
The final day of the 20th Annual Diocesan Days celebration came on the Lord's Day, the 11th Sunday after Pentecost, the feast day of the Holy Martyr St. Agathonicus.
The clergy were vested early during Matins Sunday morning in preparation to welcome and piously receive the relics of St. Sebastian of San Francisco and Jackson who, during the course of Matins, was escorted into the makeshift church by His Grace Bishop Maxim and all the clergy of the Western American Diocese.
Chanting, the ancient melodies and hymns in glory and honor of the Holy Apostle Thaddeus whose memory the church commemorated on Saturday, 3 September, resonated through the crisp morning air. It came from the makeshift chapel under the tent at the St. Sava campgrounds and the morning Matins that prayerfully marked the start of the second day of this year’s Diocesan Days celebration. While the clergy filed in one by one, they received a blessing from their bishop and spiritual father, His Grace Maxim. During the course of the Matins service the clergy vested and gathered once more around their bishop for the start of the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. “The Kingdom of heaven is at hand,” His Grace stood before the altar and announced to the gathered faithful. “Whenever we celebrate one of the Apostles, as we do today, we remember that they went out to preach the gospel and they preached exactly this dimension of our salvation, that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, it is here with us in our Eucharistic gathering and celebration.”
Friday, September 2, 2016 - Nestled in the rolling hills of Amador County is the beautiful and historic St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in the small, quiet town of Jackson, California. It was the site of this year’s Diocesan Days celebration of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America, which takes place each year on Labor Day weekend.
Clergy and faithful of the Eastern American Diocese were already beginning to think about doing something to honor their Bishop Mitrophan on his 25th Anniversary as bishop of the Diocese. But a special urgency was added when word was received in late May that their long-time archpastor had been elected as Bishop of Canada, and would soon be leaving them.