HISTORIC DIOCESAN DAYS IN JACKSON, CA
The Return of the Bodily Remains
of the Venerable Archimandrite Fr. Sebasitan Dabovic
Jackson, CA – On Friday, August 31, 2007 a clergy conference opened the eleventh annual Diocesan Days of the Western Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the US and Canada. His Grace Bishop Dr. Porphyrius of Egra (Serbia) was the guest speaker. Present were Bishops Irinej of Australia and New Zealand and Maxim of Western America along with numerous clergy from the Western American Diocese.
That morning the bishops together with the clergy visited the St. Sava Church in Jackson (the oldest Serbian church in North America) where the earthly remains of Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovic are kept in a special reliquary and would be taken to the Divine Liturgy at the St. Sava Mission in Jackson and afterwards returned to the St. Sava Church where they would be interred. The bishops and priests served a small memorial service in memory of Fr. Sebastian.
The clergy conference began at 2:00 pm with a pastoral talk delivered by His Grace Bishop Porphyrius while in the second part of the conference a presentation was delivered on the life and activities in the Diocese of Western America (publications, liturgical wine, construction of the new Monastery of the Presentation of our Lord, etc.).
Vespers was served in the late hours of the afternoon followed by a dinner in the main hall for all the people and clergy. Metropolitan Christopher of Midwestern America, Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Bishop Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, Bishop Porphyrius of Egra and host hierarch Bishop Maxim answered questions during the evening’s program. The theme around which the majority of the questions were posed was the mission of Orthodoxy.
On Saturday, September 1, 2007, in conjunction with the Diocesan Days in Jackson, the Divine Liturgy was served with a parastos (memorial) service for Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovic. His Eminence Metropolitan Christopher of Midwestern America officiated at the liturgy, assisted by Metropolitan Joseph (Bulgarian Patriarchate), Archbishop Kyrill (Russian Church Abroad), Bishops: Irinej of Australia and New Zealand, Porphyrius of Egra and Maxim of Western America as well as numerous clergy from not only this diocese, but many other dioceses and Orthodox jurisdictions. At the liturgical celebration Deacon Triva Pavlov was elevated to the rank of protodeacon.
The solemn and very inspiring homily in honor of Fr. Sebastian was delivered by Bishop Irinej.
The liturgy was preceded by the welcoming of the earthly remains of Fr. Sebastian at the gates of the St. Sava Mission in Jackson, from where a procession was led to the tent under which the Divine Liturgy was served. Carrying the casket were those clergy from those parishes in which an entire century ago were founded by the greater Missionary and Apostle of Orthodoxy on the American continent (Fr. Stevan Tumbas from the St. Sava parish in Jackson, Fr. Petar Jovanovic from the parish of St. Sava in Los Angeles, Fr. Russell Radojcic from the parish of the Holy Trinity in Butte, Montana and Fr. Ilija Balach from the parish of St. Sava in Seattle, Washington).
The casket remained opened during the entire duration of the Divine Service and after the Parastos Service the honorable and faithful laity were given the opportunity to venerate the remains of Archimandrite Fr. Sebastian.
Afterwards, a small memorial service was served in the first Serbian Church on the American continent (1894), after which the remains were interred in a special grave inside the church. Bishop Maxim, on this occasion, greeted the hierarchs present, the clergy and people and expressed his gratitude to all of those who helped in preparing for this great event.
A small pomen (memorial) service was served at the St. Sava Mission for the benefactors Todor and Andja Polich.
In the afternoon Bishop Porphyrius gave a lecture entitled “Christ and children” in the framework of the conference’s theme “Family Life”. A dinner followed the Vespers for all those present.
On Sunday, September 2, 2007 the Divine Liturgy was officiated by Bishop Maxim of Western America, assisted by Metropolitan Christopher of Midwestern America and Bishop Porphyrius of Egra as well as many clergy. Metopolitan Christopher delivered the homily following the service.
Many people gathered at the eleventh annual Diocesan Days. The formal banquet was prepared in the main hall for 300 guests and the guests were greeted by Metropolitan Christopher and Bishop Maxim while Bishop Porphyrius delivered a lecture which was received excitedly by the public. The children also participated in the program with the songs “Ljudi likujte” which brought the audience to tears as well as the orchestra “Kumovi” with the traditional Serbian music.
Source: Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America