In Memoriam: Archpriest-Stavrophor Nedeljko Lunich

Archpriest-Stavrofor Nedeljko “Ned” Lunich Reposed in the Lord

Ignited with a profound love for God’s people, Fr. Nedeljko devoted his life to priesthood, a calling blessed with the charisma to guide the perplexed world towards the Kingdom of God. The tradition of married priesthood in the Orthodox Church, an apostolic heritage, stands as a cherished divine gift, symbolizing the harmony between the celestial and the terrestrial. It exemplifies the symbiosis of nature and grace while accentuating the spiritual essence of matrimony.

Throughout their service, Orthodox priests like Fr. Nedeljko have been steadfast stewards of faith. Week by week, month by month, year by year, they have stood at the Holy Altar, conducting the Divine Liturgy in Serbian Orthodox parishes. They have consistently proclaimed the Gospel, listened to confessions, and administered the Precious Body and Blood to the faithful. These years, transforming into decades, saw Fr. Nedeljko, arriving young from the former Yugoslavia, embracing his calling as an Orthodox priest in new lands.

Born on January 23, 1938, in Drnis, Dalmacija, former Yugoslavia, he graduated from the School of Orthodox Theology in Beograd, Serbia, and moved to the USA in 1963. Ordained as a priest in 1965, he furthered his education with a master’s degree from The University of Detroit, Michigan, in 1967. His dedicated service spanned several locations, including Detroit, Michigan; East Chicago-Schererville, Indiana; and Joliet, Illinois, where he served from 1974 until his retirement in 2014.

Rev. Lunich began his American journey as a seminarian and was appointed assistant priest at St. Lazarus “Ravanica” Church in Detroit, Michigan. There, he contributed to the construction of the new St. Lazarus Church. He later became the parish priest of St. George Church in Indiana Harbor, continuing the work of Hieromonk Chrysostom Stolic. In Schererville, Indiana, he played a crucial role in purchasing land and establishing a building fund for a new church. His final parish assignment was in Joliet, Illinois, where he oversaw the construction of a church hall, church, and parish house. Throughout his career, Rev. Lunich held various significant roles in the Serbian Orthodox Church – Midwest Metropolitanate, including being awarded the Protopresbyter Stavrophore rank and decorated with the St. Sava Order of the Second Degree.

The Very Reverend Archpriest-Stavrofor Nedeljko "Ned" Lunich passed away at the age of 85 on January 12, 2024, in Joliet, Illinois. He is preceded in death by his parents Dusan and Anica (Besevic) Lunich and his sisters Milka and Jelka. He is survived by his son Stevan, daughter Neda, grandchildren Gabriella, Aleksandra, Stella, and Michael, and sisters Dara, Stana, and Danica, along with numerous nieces and nephews in the USA and former Yugoslavia.

May the Lord grant to him eternal rest and a place in His Kingdom.


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