Ohio Military Chaplain concelebrates with Serbian Military Bishop
LAZAREVAC, SERBIA [MW Diocese Communications] — During a recent visit to Serbia, Father James Sizemore, CH (LTC), a US Army Reserve chaplain based in Ohio, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with His Grace, Bishop Jovan, the Serbian Orthodox Church’s Military Hierarch, and Serbian military chaplains at the Church of the Great Martyr Dimitri in Lazarevac, Serbia in conjunction with the State Partnership Program the Ohio National Guard [ONG] maintains with Serbia.
“The Chaplain Corps has offered guidance to the Serbian Armed Forces [SAF] since 2010 on the development of a chaplain corps within the SAF,” explained Father James. “There were no chaplains in the SAF during the communist era. In 2013, the SAF military academy graduated its first class of chaplains. The ONG was present for this occasion. Since then, the ONG has traveled to Serbia twice to offer assistance and the SAF chaplains have traveled to Ohio once.”
Father James went on to explain that “during these times, training is offered to the SAF chaplains on functions of the chaplains and chaplain assistants within the military.
“During the Liturgy, members of the American military and Serbian soldiers who served during the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia worshiped together,” Father James added. “This is another sign of the strengthening partnership between the two nations.”