On May 9th, St. Thomas Sunday, St. George parishioners gathered with their bishop, His Grace Maxim, in Paschal joy to celebrate their patronal feast day.
Bishop Maxim served Matins and Divine Liturgy with concelebration of the parish priest, Protopresbyter Bratso Krsic, protodeacon Paul Germain and deacon Vladan Radovanovic.
In his Archpastoral homily, bishop Maxim said that after the Lord’s resurrection, every encounter with His disciples was another Eucharistic event, another continuation and affirmation of His presence. Apostle Thomas represents a man of this world; a man who wants to touch and see, then believe. There is nothing wrong with that. On the contrary, the church sings of Thomas’ unbelief as a blessed one. His unbelief led to the confirmation of the Lord’s resurrection in Whom we continue to live inseparably.
The procession with the cross, the banners, and the icon of St. George, with stops for prayer and intercessions for the protection and blessing of the faithful gathered, the church, the city, every city and countryside, parish founders, and benefactors, continued with a final stop at the entrance of the church. The blessing of the slava kolach and zito with the participation of all the faithful was concluded at the entrance of the church, and the faithful continued the fellowship with His Grace and each other in the social hall.
With the blessing of His Grace Bishop Maxim, the Parish Council members on behalf of the parish gifted Fr. Bratso with a pectoral cross, which His Grace presented to him right before the procession around the church. Fr. Bratso has served in the Serbian Orthodox Church for 25 years. In addition to his dedicated pastoral work at St. George and his former parish of Holy Trinity in Butte, Montana, he has been serving on several diocesan and central church committees. His work has been recognized by the blessing of His Grace Maxim to wear a pectoral cross and the new title protopresbyter-stavrophor.
The Kumovi for this year’s Slava were protodeacon Paul and Natalia Germain with their daughters, Oksana and Kaija. The program during the banquet was opened by the Sunday school students who sang Hristos Voskrese, written by St. Nikolai Velimirovic; Milanka Lehman directed the children’s choir. A heartfelt thanks go to the Kolo Sisters, the Kumovi and all participants and faithful stewards of St. George parish.
Fr. Milovan Katanic from St. Petka parish, San Marcos, with a few of his parishioners joined the banquet and the celebration.
May God grant many years to His Grace Bishop Maxim for his Archpastoral care and paternal love.