Sixty years of Eucharistic and community life at St. George parish was marked with Divine Liturgy and Vespers Service on Saturday, May 5th, and a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy served by the diocesan bishop, His Grace Maxim, and the local Orthodox clergy on Sunday, May 6th, 2012.
Following the Divine Liturgy on Saturday, a Parastos (Memorial Service) was served for all the reposed in the Lord: founders, benefactors and parishioners. At six o’clock in the evening, the clergy welcomed His Grace Bishop Maxim and the Vespers service with artoclasia (blessing of the five loaves of bread; from the Greek words artos/άρτος = bread and klasis/κλάσις = breaking) was served in the church with a great number of faithful present.
Visiting clergy were: Hieromonk Jovan (Babic), diocesan chancellor; Fr. Velimir Petakovic, retired parish priest who was ministering at St. George when the church was being built; Fr. Bozidar Draskovic, retired parish priest; Fr. Ramon Merlos, Our Lady of Kazan Russian Orthodox Church; Fr. Jerome Cwiklinski, chaplain from Camp Pendleton (OCA); Fr. John Reimann, St. Anthony Antiochian Orthodox Church; Fr. Blasko Paraklis, Nativity of the Theotokos parish from Orange County; Fr. Andrew Cuneo, professor at St. Katherine Orthodox College and parish priest at mission parish in Encinitas, California,
and readers from the local Orthodox parishes. The host priest Fr. Bratso Krsic and the parish deacon, Paul Germain, and St. George parishioners were spiritually invigorated by the presence of parishioners and the local Orthodox clergy and faithful.
The program on Saturday evening was opened with the Pascha and St. George Feast Day Troparion and the performance by St. George choir and Morava Senior Folklore group. The music for dance and celebration was performed by Srbija orchestra from Phoenix, AZ.
On Sunday morning, the Matins and the Liturgy started at 9am with the Lytia and the blessing of the Slava Kolach. Since the Feast day of St. George fell before the
Feast Day of the Ascension of our Lord, the services had many hymns from the Pascha canon, making them a continuation of the resurrectional joy and radiant light from the Empty tomb.
St. George parishioners honored the following families and individuals as kumovi for the 60th anniversary and St. George Slava: Fr. Velimir Petakovic and Protinica Ljubinka, Predrag Mitrovich, Dusko Martinovich, Velimir and Mira Jovanovic, Alex and Seka Kinach, Dorothy Vukotich and Milanka Vlasovic. Among the many guests present at the Liturgy
and banquet was one of the first secretaries of the Church Board, Milica Millie Medigovich. Recognized for their exceptional example of zeal for the Orthodox Faith and ministries of St. George parish were, Mico Lukic, tutor of St. George parish of more than three decades and the children’s and adult choir director, Kate Thickstun. Both of them received the Episcopal Gramata from His Grace Bishop Maxim who congratulated the both of them asking them to continue their ministries at St. George with the hope that others would emulate their example.
Many parishioners spend countless hours working prior, during and after the celebration. Simona Trifunovich and her kitchen crew prepared delicious dinner and the banquet food. To all volunteers we express our heartfelt thanks.
The Church Board president, Vladan Trifunovic, in his greeting remarks congratulated everybody on the successful and most joyous celebration of the sixty years calling everybody to participate in the ongoing ministries of the church just as the founders of St. George parish did six decades ago. Fr. Bratso reiterated those same words adding that our goal is the same as that of the founders, that is to build the church; the founders built the church of bricks and mortar, and we today are called to build a living church, of souls and bodies.