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Serbian Bishop Irinej to preach at Pan-Orthodox Liturgy marking 125th Anniversary of Orthodox Christianity in Chicago


CHICAGO, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — His Grace, Bishop Irinej [Dobrijevic] of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America will deliver the homily at the Hierarchical Pan-Orthodox Divine Liturgy on September 30, 2017 marking the 125th Anniversary of Orthodox Christianity in Chicago.

Serbian Bishop Irinej to preach at Pan-Orthodox Liturgy marking 125th Anniversary of Orthodox Christianity in ChicagoThe historic Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. at the Lane Tech Auditorium, 2501 West Addision at Western, Chicago.  His Grace, Bishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest will be among the Chicago-area hierarchs, clergy and faithful slated to participate in the celebration.

A native of Cleveland, OH, Bishop Irinej is well acquainted with Orthodoxy in the upper Midwest.  A graduate of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA and Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY, he served as the Director of Education at Chicago’s Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral prior to his ordination to the priesthood and consecration to the episcopacy.  He also lectured at Loyola University in Chicago and the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade, and for many years served as co-editor of The Path of Orthodoxy, the official publication of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada.  Ordained to the diaconate at Holy Resurrection Cathedral, Chicago, on January 15, 1994, he was tonsured to monastic rank at Saint Sava Monastery, Libertyville, IL on January 18, 1995 and ordained to the priesthood nine days later at Saint Sava Cathedral, Parma, OH.  On June 18, 2006, he was elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite.  On July 15 of the same year, he was consecrated to the episcopacy in Belgrade, and on October 21 he was enthroned as Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.  On May 25, 2016, the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church elected him by acclamation to the Throne of Bishops of Eastern America, succeeding His Grace, Bishop Mitrophan.

The Pan-Orthodox Choir of Greater Chicago will sing the responses at the historic Liturgy, which is being sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association of Greater Chicago [OCCA].  Father Nicholas Dahdal, Pastor of Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Cicero, IL, serves as the celebration’s Chairman, assisted by Gordana Trbuhovich.

Serbian Bishop Irinej to preach at Pan-Orthodox Liturgy marking 125th Anniversary of Orthodox Christianity in Chicago
Gordana Trbuhovich, left, leads Pan-Orthodox Choir rehearsal at Chicago’s historic Holy Trinity Cathedral on September 2.

An Anniversary Banquet will follow the Liturgy at 2:30 p.m. at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare, 8535 West Higgins Road, Chicago.

History reveals that the Orthodox Christian presence in Chicago began in the late 1800s with the establishment of the “Greco Slavonic Brotherhood,” which included immigrants primarily from Sparta and Corfu, Greece; Montenegro and Hercegovina, in Serbia; and Carpatho-Russians and Galicians from what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  After petitioning the ecclesiastical centers in their respective homelands, priests were sent in 1892 to serve the faithful under the existing Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska.  This marked the establishment of Saint Vladimir Church [today’s Holy Trinity OCA Cathedral], Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, and Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church.  Today, there are nearly 80 parishes in the greater Chicagoland area.

“A Pan-Orthodox committee representing 20 parishes is working on producing this grand event,” said Ms. Trbuhovich.  “We welcome additional volunteers, and especially singers for the choir.”

Parish youth are especially invited to participate in the processional.  Contact Presbytera Georgia Alikakos at yeoria@att.net for details.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting 125orthodoxchicago@gmail.com or by calling Father Nicholas Dahdal at 708-656-2927 or Gordana Trbuhovich at 773-619-8755.  On-line updates will be available through September 30.

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