St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
Serbian Orthodox Church, Merrillville, IN, was established in 1914 in Gary, IN. Divine Liturgy Sundays 10am, Fr. Marko Matic officiating. Liturgical responses by Karageorge Choir. Sunday School starts after Holy Communion (around 11:15) until 12:15. Serbian School will be incorporated into Sunday School. Vespers served Tuesdays and Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. Join us, everyone welcome! Folklore dance group and choir always accepting new members. Attend Sunday Luncheons after Liturgy, hosted by families or organizations, serving delicious homemade food and desserts.
South Wing SOCIAL CENTER NOW AVAILABLE for hosting social events, newly renovated and tastefully decorated. Showers, graduation parties, business meetings, Skup Svatova, wedding receptions, baptisms, birthdays, and retirements can all be accommodated. For more info, call (219)736-9191.
Monday-Friday: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
St. Sava's Serbian Historical Society honored Poet Jovan Ducic on the 70th Anniversary of his death. Guest speaker Rade Pejovic told of the lyric poet's early days and accomplishments, talents, and styles. Rev. Marko Matic introduced Mr. Pejovic along with Simeon Vasic, Jelena Milinovic, and Miodrag Djordjevic, who recited several of Ducic's famous poems. April 7, 2013 was exactly 70 years to the date when Jovan Ducic passed away in Gary, Indiana. His funeral was held at St. Sava Church on 13th & Connecticut Street. Please stop by to view the exhibit through the month of April in the south wing during fish fry Fridays and Sunday Luncheons.
St. Sava's got talent! We all look forward to the St. Sava Day program each year. Please take a few minutes to watch highlights from this year's presentation of music and poetry. Thank you to all the parents and teachers who have encouraged the students to learn new songs arranged by Joanne Samardzija, who has spent many hours practicing with the children. Both Popadija Vesna Matic and Joanne worked on song selections and translations. Most of all, we're so proud of the students - they are the future leaders, teachers, and members of St. Sava Church. Looks like we're in good hands!
Please take the time to watch both videos. Send these videos to relatives who may have missed the program or live out of town.
We all look forward to the St. Sava Day program each year. Please take a few minutes to watch highlights from this year's presentation of music and poetry. Thank you to all the parents and teachers who have encouraged the students to learn new songs arranged by Joanne Samardzija, who has spent many hours practicing with the children. Both Popadija Vesna Matic and Joanne worked on song selections and translations. Most of all, we're so proud of the students - they are the future leaders, teachers, and members of St. Sava Church. Looks like we're in good hands!
At 99 years young, Blazo Dragic was honored by Dusan Matic reading this poem "Sveti Sava", written by Blazo in January of 1947 in a displaced persons camp in Eboli, Italy. Blazo wrote many beautiful poems during those years spent in Italy and Germany. Blazo's poems have been published and can be purchased through the church office (219) 736-9191 during office hours 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. "Zivot I Ja Unjemu - Life and Me in It" is priced at only $15 with entire purchase price donated to St. Sava Church.
Srbadija Folklore Group of St. Sava Church had the pleasure of hosting Talija International Folk Ensemble from Serbia this past October 20th. Folklore president Borka Grimsgard seized the opportunity to host the evening performance after Talija's afternoon show for Lifeline Chicago at The Murphy. Colorful costumes and precision dance routines were accompanied by a live orchestra on the stage of Valparaiso's Memorial Opera House. The evening ended with an invitation for audience members to join the dancers on stage for a kolo finale. If you ever have the opportunity to see Talija, you'll be sure to enjoy a memorable evening.
Please visit www.sight4hopeandfreedom.com
The Brkic triplets now have a website where you can donate for surgical expenses to restore sight for Nada and Slobodan. Their Serbian names Vera, Nada, and Slobodan translate to Faith, Hope, and Freedom. Two of the triplets were born blind as a result of overdose of oxygen in their incubator, by mistake of their doctors. Dr. De Juan will treat them at the University of San Francisco. Our prayers will help as will donations to help with medical and travel expenses.
Please give what you can. So far, the first surgery has been successful. You can use PayPal for credit card donations on the website or mail a check payable to Dragisa Brkic c/o
Rev. Marko Matic
St. Sava Church
9191 Mississippi St.
Merrillville, IN 46410
In Eastern Christianity the icon is generally a flat panel painting depicting a holy being or object such as Christ, Mary, saints, angels, or the cross. These religious works of art adorn our churches and homes. Icons may also be cast in metal, carved in stone, embroidered on cloth, painted on wood, done in mosaic or fresco work, printed on paper or metal, etc. Icons served many purposes in the Orthodox Church. A person can walk into an Orthodox Church and see the whole Bible story unfolded on its walls. Icons of Old and New Testament were used to teach the faithful about the Christian Faith. At this year's Serb Fest, the Serbian Historical Society presented an exhibit of unique Orthodox icons featuring the work of iconographer Drazen Dupor. Many individuals and local priests shared their personal favorites. Sisters from The Most Holy Mother of God Monastery in New Carlisle displayed their hand embroidered icons as well as a unique icon on silk from Japan. Young iconographer Steven Kozabarich showed a work-in-progress as well as a beautiful image of St. Demetrius. On the ceiling in the center of the room was an image of St. Elijah Cathedral's cupola (dome) that has recently been adorned with hand-painted frescoes. One part of the exhibit featured photos of all the Northwest Indiana Orthodox Churches as well as an icon on loan from each parish. Hundreds of Serb Fest guests enjoyed the exhibit daily. Special thanks to everyone who shared their precious icons; many of these were treasured family heirlooms. Sincere thanks also to Fr. Marko for his support and travels twice to Madison, Wisconsin to the Dupor Studio to pick up and return the large icons. Enjoy the video below: (To play in full screen, just start the video and click on the 4 arrows in the bottom right corner: click escape to return to this page at the end)
St. Sava's Srbadija Folklore Group performed Sunday afternoon for Serb Fest guests. The senior group gave their skilled routines, but the younger 2 groups had technical difficulty with their music CD and were unable to perform their rehearsed dances. Drina Tamburitza Orchestra stepped up and played live music for the kids to dance a casual kolo. Moms, Babas, and friends joined in to lend their support to the disappointed children and it all turned out well! Srbadija welcomes new members, so please contact Borka Grimsgard or the church office for details (219) 736-9191.
With amazing energy, young guests from Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland enjoyed three nights of kolo dancing at St. Sava's Serb Fest 2012. Musical entertainment for dancing was provided by Orchestra Sumadija, Maestro, and DJ Spaz. See if you can keep up!
This year's Serb Fest volunteers dealt with especially challenging situations: temperatures in the mid-90's and a dangerous thunderstorm that blew through late Saturday afternoon. Children were safely gathered into the basement of the church building, while others gathered at the back corners of the solid new Pavilion. Within 45 minutes of the 70 mph thundertorm, tables and chairs were re-set, cevap grills were running, and smiling Serbian faces were back in business for the evening rush. We lost some tents and signs, but thankfully no one was hurt! It all turned out well, thanks to the spirit of our great volunteers, many of whom worked for weeks cleaning, planning, baking, and preparing for the annual festival. Special Thanks also to friends from other church parishes who helped grill cevaps and roast lambs. Hvala and Ziveli!
Join us today for live music by Drina from 1 to 6 and DJ Spaz for dancing from 5 to 9 pm. Be sure to stop by the fantastic Serbian Bakery and view the art exhibit "Images of Faith" in the north wing. Folklore Dancers will perform at 2:00 pm in front of the new Pavilion. Buy a chance to wind the $25,000 Grand Prize - BIG CASH RAFFLE. Everyone is welcome!
The brand new 3 Season Pavilion will offer comfortable dining - rain or shine. Hope to see you there.
Last month, at the end of the Sunday School year, St. Sava students competed in a short Bible Jeopardy quiz game, testing their knowledge from previous lessons. Game show host Sandy Shinovich challenged the teams with questions about Old Testament stories. All participants took away prizes. Everyone wished little Vaso Matic a very Happy Birthday.
Our sincere thanks go out to Nancy Beric for sending this wonderful performance of "March Na Drina", on a New Year's Eve 1987 celebration by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. It's fantastic!
OK, Nole, the ball's in your court. Our kids challenge you to come to Lifeline Chicago's Fund Raiser.
You may recognize some of the dancers in this video, and of course, Mr. Personality himself, Lazo Knezic in a starring role. The challenge is for world tennis champ Novak Djokovic to attend Lifeline Chicago's October fund-raising gala. He would certainly draw a huge crowd of admirers, helping those children in Serbia's orphanages and hospitals. The video was made by folklore dance instructor Nenad Nikolic.
Please plan to attend this spiritual evening of prayer sponsored by the Orthodox Clergy Association of Northwest Indiana hosted by St. Archangel Michael in Lansing March 4th at 5:30 p.m. Video below is from last year's service at our St. Sava Church.
Fr. Marko celebrated Great Vespers on Christmas Eve with a church full of parishioners. At the end of the service, we were all anointed with Holy Oil from Christ's Tomb in Jerusalem. The special oil was a gift from Sister Serafima, Fr. Marko's dear friend who lived in Jerusalem for 15 years before returning to California. This year's balmy 45 degree weather was truly appreciated by those who remained for the blessing of the Badnjak outdoors. Lenten sandwiches, relish trays, and assorted fruit trays were served in the south wing, as well as the traditional hot tea and sljivo. Children of all ages had a great time with "Serbian Santa".
Our St. Sava Sunday school children presented a wonderful Christmas Nativity pageant after Great Vespers on Christmas Eve. A procession of angels lead the way to Bethlehem followed by shepherds. The bright star guided three Kings as they presented gifts to the Christ Child. Christmas hymns were sung by Karageorge choir. Thank you to Sunday school teachers, parents, and Joanne Samardzija for all your hard work.
St. Sava Church celebrated it's 97th Anniversary on Sunday, November 13, 2011. After Divine Liturgy, the procession of the faithful proceeded to the south lawn, where Father Marko held a memorial service for all departed church members and members of the military. Executive Board President Dennis Svilar and guest speaker Ljubisa Milicich laid wreaths at both memorial monuments. Once again, we dealt with the cold wind and gray skies.
Soloist and choir director Kathy Baroevich sings "Kol Slaven".
On Saturday, November 5, 2011, His Grace Bishop Longin blessed the construction grounds for St. Sava's new pavilion at the northeast end of the parking lot. He prayed for the safety of the construction crew and for many memorable events to be hosted in the new building. Also celebrating Divine Liturgy and the blessing were Protodeacon Milovan Gogic, Deacon Nikolaj Kostur, and our Very Rev. Marko Matic. The procession was led by flag bearers and clergy, followed by parishioners on a very blustery windy morning. A delicious luncheon was hosted by our Kolo Sisters in the south wing.
St. Sava's Srbadija senior folklore group was honored to perform for a huge crowd during St. George Schererville's 100th Anniversary Celebration program Saturday, October 22nd. The dancers proudly represented our church as they have in the past, and have reached new levels of skill, mastering lively steps and difficult routines. Congratulations to the dancers, who have matured under the direction of Nenad Nikolic. Please support all our folklore groups whenever possible. Children of all ages are encouraged to join our pee-wee, junior, and senior groups. Contact Borka (Barb) Grimsgard for information.
THE GENIUS SPARK OF NIKOLA TESLA, presented by The Chicago Council on Science and Technology in partnership with the Belgrade Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International, can be viewed daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Navy Pier. Staffed by volunteers, you'll have plenty to read in Serbian and English. Replicas of several inventions are also on display. Several members of St. Sava's Serbian Historical Society, along with Fr. Marko, made the short trip to Chicago to view this wonderful exhibit. Special Thanks to volunteers Jovan Ignjatovic and Tanja Barac for the demonstrations of several invention models. Thanks also to the many corporate and personal sponsors, among them Mr. & Mrs. Nicholas Chabraja, Kathy Fanslow and Lifeline Humanitarian Organization, and many others.
Visit http://www.teslaexhibitchicago.com for more info.
Serb Fest relies solely on the army of volunteers who spend months planning, organizing, selling tickets, baking, and preparing for the 3 day event. Some church members even take unpaid time off from work to help out. Many of these volunteers are not pictured below, but our sincere THANKS and appreciation goes out to anyone who helped in any capacity. Whether you're a palachinka princess, krofne queen, or lamb roaster, it seems that working for a common goal among your Serbian friends can be lots of fun.
Live background music is performed at Saturday's music tent by "Srpski Sinovi".
Thanks also to Borka Grimsgard for sharing some of the photos below.
Srbadija Folklore Groups - Pee Wee, Junior, and Senior - performed for the crowd at Serb Fest on Saturday, August 6th. Some of these children even worked the food line, kitchen, and Sunday School tent during the weekend. We applaud them for dressing and performing in full costume in 90 degree heat. Still don't know where they get their energy! Their instructor is Nenad Nikolic. Thanks to all the groups for sharing an important part of our Serbian Culture with the northwest Indiana community.
Chicagoland's DUNAV Orchestra has performed at St. Sava's Serb Fest for many years, as far back as we can remember, even at the old hall on 49th Avenue. The band members include Walter Pravica on violin, Frank Jovanovich on bugarija, John Miksich Sr. on brach, John Miksich Jr. on bass, and Mike Hairlich on brach.The original DUNAV Orchestra has had many different members over the last 50 plus years. The current band members have performed as a group for more than 10 years. Read more about Walter Pravica below.
To hire DUNAV Orchestra, call Walter at (773) 481-8375 or (847) 852-6167
As you may already know, most musicians have "real jobs". Walter Pravica, pictured below with his buddy Milan Opacich, is not only an accomplished violinist, but also is a Professor of Chemistry at Wilbur Wright College in Chicago, and Chair of their Physical Science Department. Walter also plays concert violin with the Northwest Symphony for over 20 years. Best of all, he's a really great Serb with a heart of gold!
Our sincere THANKS to everyone who visited our Serb Fest celebration this past weekend. We hope you enjoyed all the traditional food offerings and all the talented orchestras that performed non-stop music. Our culture is worth celebrating and very contagious!
Our folklore dance groups are fun to watch and remind us of how important it is to keep these traditions alive. The youth dance tent was filled with hundreds of teens and young adults dancing and singing the night away. It warms your heart to know that they still feel a connection and passion for our music and traditions.
"Tamburitza Spectacular", an exhibit of vintage string instruments was viewed by many, and may have inspired some future tamburasi, the brotherhood of musicians who seem to have a special bond and love for the music of the southern Slavs.
Once again, our sincere thanks to everyone who came to dine, enjoy the music, purchased baked goods, bought raffle tickets, sponsored our golf outing, and supported our main fund raiser. Please check back daily for many videos and photos from Serb Fest 2011, and always check the "Events" listing to see what's happening at St. Sava and other churches.
This video by Mike Paunovich is just a small sampling of the weekend events.
Just in time to get you in the mood for Serb Fest, Jay Leno kicks it off with guest Super Serb Novak Djokovich on Tuesday's Tonight Show. Novak Djokovich has been a positive representative and role model for all Serbs, and Jay Leno has taken a liking to our World Champion Tennis Player. Who would have imagined Serbian kolo dancing on the Tonight Show.........maybe Kolo Dancing with the Stars is in the near future?
This is your invitation to a memorable 3 day weekend of non-stop Serbian music, great food, dancing, and a whole lot of culture! Bring the family, co-workers, and friends to enjoy the sights and sounds of old country traditions. Take a few minutes to visit "Tambura Spectacular", a free exhibit of Milan Opacich's personal collection of 60 vintage tamburitza string instruments, photos, sheet music, and artifacts. Children will enjoy amusements on Saturday and Sunday. You can golf with your Serbian friends Friday. BIG CASH RAFFLE TICKETS will be sold for the $25,000 cash prize! Everyone's welcome!
Please copy and share the link below to this commercial with friends by email or facebook.
http://youtu.be/3CYaa5g4KQU Hope to see you there!
Novak Djokovic makes every Serb proud today, not only for defeating World Champion Rafael Nadal, but for his journey leading to this wonderful day. He has won over audiences and fans for his character, sense of humor, and poise both on and off the court.
At the end of the night, there were lots of clean kids. What's a thunderstorm among Serbs? Not enough to ruin their fun, obviously. Srbadija Folklore Group hosted their first ever "Luda Zurka" Foam Dance Party to mark the end of the Sunday School and Folklore event year. DJ Spaz entertained the teens outdoors while Danny Danilovich played for the adults indoors. Grillers served up hundreds of cevaps, and everyone had a great night of fun. Just ask Lazo!
Get your own cool Luda Zurka t-shirt. Contact Borka Grimsgard. Proceeds benefit Srbadija Folklore Dance group. Adult and children's sizes are $8 each, 2 for $15.
The "Niska Banja" craze is spreading to schools across the U.S. The song has been performed at several public schools, all recorded on YouTube. After receiving a last-minute invitation, several girls from St. Sava's Srbadija Senior Folklore Group volunteered to perform a casual interpretation of the gypsy dance "Niska Banja" with the 7th and 8th grade choir. Thomas Jefferson Middle School Choirs held their spring concert at Valparaiso High School's Auditorium on May 25th. A variety of songs were presented, including a medley from Fiddler on the Roof and several Beatles hits. Choir director Lynda Galbiati surely was proud of all who participated. The concert was delightful and showed all the hard work involved in preparation.
"Niska Banja" dancers were Sarah Jackovich, Jelena Djurdjevich, Sofia Grimsgard, Camille Sisk, Gorana Bilbija, Mia Vasiljevich, and Caitlyn Baroevich. Dusan Simic was percussionist, and students Dimitrije Simic and Andrew Flasch played piano quite well!
Congratulations to our Sunday School students for another fun year of learning about their church and religion. Betsy Kirby's 2nd and 3rd grade classes were joined by several other students who wanted to participate by keeping their own personal journals. Students shared their personal thoughts about sacraments, family, heaven, and marriage. You may be surprised at the depth and maturity of their thoughts. This short program was presented Sunday, May 22nd after Divine Liturgy. Thanks to Fr. Marko, Marie Baroevich, all teachers, and parents for another great year!
The Tennis Channel interviews Novak Djokovic. You won't believe what he's packing.
Fr. Marko Matic officiated this year's Easter Divine Liturgy Service, celebrating The Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. You can watch small clips from this service and children receiving eggs and Fr. Marko's blessing below.
Hristos Voskrese! Voistinu Voskrese!
Christ Is Risen! Indeed He Is Risen!
At the personal invitation from Portage Mayor Olga (Galich) Velazquez, St. Sava's Serbian Historical Society proudly participated in the first ever Portage Cultural Festival on Sunday, April 10th. Several countries were represented at the event hosted by the Portage Youth Commission. Samplings of art, national costumes, music, food, and culture were beautifully presented at the many booths. "First Mom" Tamara Galich showed off her Latvian roots and a collection of hand - decorated eggs that she decorated many years ago. Congratulations to the Portage Youth Commission for celebrating the diversity that is such an important part of Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland. The Serbian Historical Society was also invited to set up a traveling exhibit last October for Lifeline Humanitarian Organization's Gala Fundraiser at the Chicago Cultural Center. We're proud of our Mayor Olga for all she has accomplished and congratulate her on her recent re-election!
Congratulations to Mileva Savich and Nancy Samardzija for successfully organizing a blanket swap to benefit children in orphanages in Serbia. On Sunday, March 13th, blanket donors received one of 280 Gold Canyon Candles or one of 50 pieces of Lia Sophia Jewelry, donated by Mileva and Nancy. St. Elijah Church provided a spacious facility for the Sunday afternoon event. Donna Stojsavljevich Kennedy and Branka Manojlovich set up a bake sale with pastries baked by ladies from local parishes. Diane Gligich and friends are busy crocheting colorful slippers with a goal of 1400. To date, they have finished more than 400 pairs., made from donated yarn. Lifeline Humanitarian Organization will soon distribute the twin sized blankets to children in poorly furnished Serbian orphanages. Please support this valuable organization. Monetary donations are always welcome.
Thank you to all the hard working ladies of the Serbian Sisters Circles from St. Elijah and St. Sava, who jointly hosted this year's camp kick-off fund raiser luncheon. The event was a huge success and very well attended. This video is a reminder of all the fun and wonderful memories that our children take away from attending camp at Gracanica and St. Elijah's day camp, thanks to our Kolo ladies and very dedicated volunteers. Check back in about a week for the style show video.
St. Sava Church hosted this year's Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers Service, Restoration of the Icons, sponsored by the NWI Orthodox Clergy Association. Presiding the service was Chancellor of the Chicago Greek Orthodox Diocese, Archbishop Demetrios., assisted by Dean Kartsimas. Guest speaker was Rev. Ted Poteres of Sts. Constantine and Helen Cathedral. Also serving were Rev. James Greanias, Rev. Aleksandar Novakovich, Rev. Dobrivoje Milunovich, Rev. Peter Bodnar, Rev. David Hudson, Rev. Sergei Alexeyez, Rev. Luka Lukich, Rev Ioan Ionita, Rev. Aleksandar Savich, and our own Rev. Marko Matic. Also in attendance were Rev. Evagoras Constantinides and Rev. William Bass. Special Thanks to the combined choir from local Orthodox Churches under the direction of Gene Adamczyk from St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church in Chesterton for the beautiful responses.
The Sunday of Orthodoxy is the first Sunday of Great Lent. The dominant theme of this Sunday since 843 has been that of the victory of the icons. In that year the iconoclastic controversy, which had raged on and off since 726, was finally laid to rest, and icons and their veneration were restored on the first Sunday in Lent. Ever since, this Sunday has been commemorated as the "Triumph of Orthodoxy." Read more about this day.
Thanks to Lifeline Humanitarian Organization's efforts to inform us of the urgent and immediate needs of countless Serbian orphan children, there has been an aggressive campaign to gather necessary items to send to Serbia. St. Sava's choir, folklore group, Kolo, and Sunday school participated in crafting homemade twin-sized fleece blankets for the children to cozy up. What a wonderful way to show that someone far away cares about them. Beanie Babies, games, and new clothing will also be tucked into the blanket packs for an extra surprise! If you would like to help with Lifeline's continuing efforts, contact Melanie Sever or visit Lifeline's website for information or to DONATE.
Thanks to the following individuals who spent many Saturdays making blankets. Fabric was donated by Kolo - Serbian Sisters Circle, Srbadija Folklore Groups, S.S.S. Karageorge Choir, and St. Sava Sunday School. Special Thanks to Violette Kristoff, who also made many personal sized blankets and donated fabric.
Smilja Andric, The Baroevich's - Helen, Kathy, Marie, Lauren, & Caitlyn, Goran Bilbija, Ruth Ann Bjelopetrovich, The Gerbicks - David, Gordana, Sarah, Rachel, & Beki, Zorka Glumac, Borka & Sofia Grimsgard, Desa Halstead, Sarah Jackovich, Lela Jensen, Millie Kokotovich, Sonja Mancich, Dusan Matic, Radmila Milivojevic, Millie Moncilovich, Snezana, Marija, & Sasha Novakovich, The Orlich's - Vonnie, Millicent (Mimi), Nada, & Danilo, Dara Perry, Beba (Milena) Rudman, Violet Sekulich, Stana Sesto, Dawn Sisk, Florence Stefanovich, Dragica Trikich, Richard & Polly Vrtikapa, and many more.
Our talented Sunday School students once again worked hard to memorize their poems. In case you were unable to attend or couldn't see from the back of the room, you can watch it here. Send it to family and friends, or facebook it. Click on the movie itself to get the YouTube link, or send this entire blog (click the blog title, go to the top of the page, copy the URL, and send it in an email. Enjoy the show, and watch the other 2-part videos in the blog below to see the musical performances.
Thanks also to the older teens for reading stories about the Life of St. Sava and Life of St. Varnava. GREAT JOB!
Once again, the tradition of performing for parents, family, and friends is alive and well at St. Sava Church, as well as all other Serbian parishes. Joann Samardzija has spent the last 4 Sundays teaching, rehearsing, and accompanying the Sunday School students with their songs. Her original song about krofne is quite a catchy tune! Congratulations to soloists Savka Popovich, Rachel Gerbick, and Maya Radjenovich for their musical rendition of "Oj Moravo". Great job, girls! Even the little ones that can't even read yet were outstanding! Special Thanks go out to Deena Galich for making the "Autos" and "sugar - coated krofne" props.
Yes, St. Sava's got talent!
Great Vespers and Burning of the Badnjak (Yule Log) were celebrated on the evening of January 6, 2011 by Fr. Marko. S.S.S. Karageorge Choir sang the responses to a church full of parishioners. Sunday School children performed Christmas songs and were anointed with Holy Oil. All the traditional treats: Lenten sandwiches, fruit, figs, and vrucha rakija were served in the South Wing Social Center after burning of the Badnjak.
This has been an exciting year for our Srbadija Folklore Groups. All 3 groups performed for the church's 96th Anniversary. The Senior group recently visited Phoenix, Arizona for a dance festival and made new friendships as well as lifelong memories. President Borka Grimsgard keeps the dancers busy hosting luncheons and fundraisers, and concerts. They performed at Serb Fest and several Chicago area Serbian Churches. Under the direction of Nenad Nikolic, the dancers have excelled to a new level. We are always happy to watch them perform and are very proud of them. Somehow they maintain a balance between school, sports, and church activities. Congratulations to all the dancers!
St. Sava's parishioners celebrated 96 joyous years of church history on Sunday, November 14th on a very cold, windy day. Sts. Peter & Paul parish members, Fr. Sasa Nedic, and their Aleksa Shantich Choir came by bus from South Bend to help us celebrate this special day. We were honored by their participation and support. Also in attendance were Mother Antonina and Sister Marina from Nativity of the Mother of God Monastery in New Carlisle. After Divine Liturgy, the faithful joined the procession to the war memorial monument for a solemn Parastos and laying of a red, blue, and white wreath by guest speaker Desko Nikitovic. St. Elijah's Hall catering served a delicious meal, and we were all treated to a fabulous Kolo - style endless dessert table. Program highlights included a performance by the combined choirs of St. Sava and St. Elijah from Merrillville, and Sts. Peter & Paul from South Bend, and a lively dance performance by our own Srbadija Folklore Groups. Church President Dennis Svilar touched on his own personal memories of growing up at St. Sava, and guest speaker Desko Nikitovic inspired us to strive to stay in touch with our strong Serbian roots. Mismo Orchestra treated everyone to a sing - along before and during the meal, and they also accompanied the combined choirs. A slide show of old and new photos was played on 2 large screens. The photos honored the memory of deceased family members, the church on 13th & Connecticut, and recent events, perhaps to inspire us to recognize the responsibility we have to keep this church strong.
For many years we've enjoyed a sing - along with the guys from MISMO at our anniversary banquets. This year they also accompanied the combined choirs from St. Sava and St. Elijah in Merrillville and St. Peter & Paul from South Bend. Band members are Steve Baroevich, Mike Jaksich, Dan Orlich, and Mike Ticich, along with special guest musician Nick Sever. Enjoy the samplings in the video below.
Just for fun, enjoy watching this video of young people dancing in the streets of Beograd. Leave it to Mim Bizic (babamim.com) to find all the current events.
Enjoy the sights and sounds from this year's Serb Fest. Join us next year as we host another fun weekend. Thanks to "Prazna Flasa" for providing background music.
Thanks to Mim Bizic and Donna Suffoletta for sharing this moving rendition of one of the most beautiful songs as performed by the State Academic Cappella of Saint Petersbourg.
No wonder the food was so good.
Leave it to this group to make work so much fun that you'll want to work the food tent next year. They serve.......they sing.......they dance........who knew?
Three choirs from Merrillville and South Bend decided to join together and perform for this year's "One Love Serbian Song" Festival in Chicago during Memorial Day weekend. They had so much fun practicing and performing together, so they decided to stay together and continue performing as a group. The dining crowd at St. Sava's Serb Fest was treated to a casual performance. Milan Medich directs, and Nick Sever, Steve Baroevich, Dan Orlich, and Mike Jaksich have all volunteered their time for this choir. Many new friendships have resulted from this effort. Membership is open. Contact your church choir director for details.
Protodeacon Milovan Gogic has a special voice. He serves at Gracanica Monastery with His Grace Bishop Longin. After the combined choirs performance, he treated us to his rendition of "Kosovo" and "Tamo Daleko".
Kids of all ages enjoyed the train,the inflatables, the slide, and games at this year's Serb Fest. A few grandpas also enjoyed themselves as you will see.
He's only 3 years old and he's already comfortable playing his guitar with the seasoned band PRAZNA FLASA from Milwaukee. Lukie is the son of Adam and Beth Hayden, and grandson of Bato and Ljubi Hayden. He has also performed with DRINA Tamburitza Orchestra with his buddy George Ivancevich. "Aman" is one of Lukie's favorite songs.
Go Lukie! Go Lukie! Go Lukie!
It takes special skills to prepare, roast, and cut lamb and pig "just the way Serbs like it". Every year, we are fortunate to be able to offer roasted lamb at our Serb Fest, thanks to the hard working men who brave the heat for 3 full days, both outdoors and in the kitchen. Fathers and sons work together: this year the Knezic's, Tomich's, and Tatalovich's were represented by 2 generations. It's nice to see them take a break to sing for a while. Srecko Suvajac plays accordion for them every year. So why aren't these men in the choir?
Get ready for the MAIN EVENT: SERB FEST 2010. Let's use our social networking tools to help get the word out. Simply copy this link
to an email or post to your Facebook videos to help get the word out. Invite all your friends and family for a weekend of great food, music, dancing, and Serbian culture. Welcome to Serb Fest 2010!
ONE LOVE SERBIAN SONG - JEDNA LJUBAV SRPSKA PESMA Chorus performed their theme song flawlessly and set the tone for an incredible concert weekend. The combined choirs of S.S.S. Branko Radichevich and Stevan Stojanovic Mokranjac planned an event that will be remembered for years to come. With 30 choirs in attendance, everything from housing to the Ad Book was done in perfect detail. A casual idea of combining all the choirs and performing together became a dream come true for the organizers. It wasn't easy, but they made it happen by working together for 2 years. Congratulations to all volunteers, organizers, and singers for their outstanding efforts. Enjoy a sampling below, and as soon as the professionally edited complete Concert CD and DVD are available for sale, we'll let you know how to purchase these items.
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Young voices filled the room and our hearts with songs. The next generation of singers has reassured us that we will not lose our musical traditions. The junior choirs stole the show during the concert and brought many in the audience to cheers and tears. Congratulations to the Mass Junior Chorus and Junior Brankies for sharing their talents.
Below is just a sampling of the Sunday concert. As soon as they are available, we will let you know how to purchase the professionally produced complete Concert CD and DVD.
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Good things do come in three's; three choirs of course. Aleksa Shantich from South Bend, SSS St. Elijah and SSS Karageorge, both from Merrillville, were directed by Milan Medich of South Bend. We all know how much fun they had at practice, especially at Nick and Melanie Sever's house. The historic ONE LOVE SERBIAN SONG Festival did much more than unite choirs for 3 days of fabulous music to warm our hearts. It brought new friendships and hopes for future generations of singers as we witnessed the children's choirs. This event was so well planned and we congratulate both parishes for their hard work and hospitality.
Below is just a sampling of the Sunday concert. As soon as they are available, we will let you know how to purchase the professionally produced complete Concert CD and DVD.
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It was OCE NAS like you've never heard it before at the start of Saturday's concert and once again Sunday as performed by St. Elijah's Church Choir from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. Enjoy this sampling of the ONE LOVE SERBIAN SONG combined choir festival performances. Very soon we will let you know how to purchase the professionally edited CD and DVD. To share this blog, simply click on the blog title: it is a permanent link and will turn blue. Now copy and paste the URL from your address bar and send it in an email or link on your Facebook.
Sunday School classes ended with a memorable picnic on a warm, windy afternoon. Dads grilled and Moms danced to Vinko's selections as his groupies looked on. Vinko is everyone's favorite DJ, and this was definitely a dancing crowd. It's fun to watch him interact with the children; good thing he never grew up! Teta Borka set the pace on the dance floor - she's just like one of the kids, and they tried to keep up with her "Opa!" turns. The kids enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine by playing tag, relays, and climbing trees. Happy 9th Birthday to Maya Radjenovich as she celebrated her special day with friends! The background music is from an old Serbian children's song "Fijaker Stari", which translates to "old coach".
Once again St. Elijah of Merrillville hosted a great tournament. Their facility is spacious, the food was delicious, and The Fieldhouse was the perfect choice for games. Even the weather cooperated for a perfect weekend of fun. Final game scores and winning trophy details will be published in the next issue of the SRBOBRAN. (more videos and photos still coming)
"Dancing with the Serbs" last Saturday night - everyone earns a score of 10! Hundreds of young people made dancing look effortless, but where were the opanke? St. Elijah Cathedral parish was the perfect host for SNF's 71st Annual Basketball Tournament and dances. Check back for more videos and photos.
Lake Michigan's Ogden Dunes shore on a rainy Sunday afternoon - could this be choir practice? Nick and Melanie Sever opened their home and hearts once again to host a practice session for the combined choirs of Merrillville and South Bend, Indiana. Two different time zones and up to 90 minutes of travel can't discourage this group. St. Elijah Cathedral Choir, Aleksa Shantich Choir, and S.S.S. Karageorge will perform together for the first time at the upcoming "One Love" Choir Festival in Chicago. Two hours of intense practice were followed by a little kolo dancing, great food, and lots of hugs and kisses. Oh, yes, and John Japa's homemade goulash was incredible. New friendships are the best result of this combined effort. If you have the opportunity to participate next year, you certainly won't regret it.
Steve Baroevich, Dan Orlich, Mike Jaksich, and Nick Sever accompany the choir on their tamburas........Thanks, guys!
(Click photo to enlarge)
The doors of the Iconostasis and Church are left open during the entire Liturgy on Easter Sunday, proclaiming the "Light and Joy of the Resurrection". At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy the priest proclaims "Christ is Risen!" and the people respond "Indeed, He is Risen!". Also sung throughout the service is The Paschal Troparion, the Great Hymn of the Resurrection of Christ. This Great Hymn of Pascha will be sung repeatedly in the weeks to come. (Info from www.babamim.com and www.lasvegasorthodox.com)
The Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed is the Orthodox article of faith. It is spoken by all believers at each Divine Liturgy and outlines the core beliefs of the faithful.
The Nicene Creed was formally drawn up at the First Ecumenical Council (325 AD) and at the Second Ecumenical Council (381 AD) in order to address theological issues/questions that arose during the early years of Christianity.
The first council was called together by Constantine to discuss the nature of the Son of God, a direct response to the Arian controversy of that time. Arius claimed that the Son of God was a creature created by God the Father to serve a specific function (the salvation of mankind), and that Jesus Christ was not eternal.
The Nicene Creed developed at the first council was not immediately accepted in all Christian churches. In addition, the false teachings of Arius gained Roman support and the defenders of the Nicene faith were persecuted. In order to address these problems another council was called together, this time in Constantinople, at which time the original creed was reaffirmed and the Divinity of the Holy Spirit was proclaimed. (from www.ststevanofdechani.org)
About the soloist:
Paul Jancarich is an active member of SSS Karageorge for many years, and has created the choir's History Room adjacent to the choir loft. He is a founding Board Member of St. Sava's Serbian Historical Society. Paul is always there to help at any church function, looks in on the elderly, and is an all-around "really nice guy".
Once again, the children learned to recite lengthy poems for everyone's enjoyment, only two weeks after their Christmas program. The south wing was packed full of proud parents and grandparents, who also helped the children practice their poems. Great Job, Kids!
Videos below are from the January 7 Divine Liturgy Christmas Service. Singing with our own Karageorge choir was Diana Henery (Danica Chirich), who grew up in Gary and enjoyed a long professional career as a leading soprano with the Volksoper in Vienna, Austria.
Old Country customs and traditions are still celebrated each Christmas Eve and Christmas Day by Serbian Orthodox Christians. Once again, our Sunday School children treated us to a wonderful performance of a Serbian family's observance of Christmas. Thanks to all the teachers and Joanne Samardzija for their hard work preparing the play and rehearsing songs. Most of all, we Thank the children for this special gift.
His Holiness passed away Sunday morning. May he rest in peace and His memory be eternal.
The Northwest Indiana regional memorial service for Patriarch Pavle will be held tomorrow Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at St. George, 905 Joliet Road in Schererville. Father Marko is encouraging all parishioners to attend this memorial service.
Special Thanks to Mara Cucuz from Florida for sending us the link to this video.
Nicholas D. Chabraja and his lovely wife Eleanor honored us with their presence at St. Sava Church's historic 95th Anniversary. At the conclusion of his heartwarming speech, Mr. Chabraja was presented a plaque of appreciation from church president Dennis Svilar. Mr. Chabraja acknowledged his Sunday School teacher from many years ago, Miss Daisy Wuletich, also in attendance. "Thank You, Ziveli, and Mnogaja Ljeta!" to the Chabraja's for their support through the years and for making this Anniversary a very special memory.
This year's theme was "Immigrants, Serbs of Steel", telling the story of hard - working immigrants who labored in the dangerous steel mills from the early 1900's to the present day. The Serbian immigrants helped build Northwest Indiana's steel mills, industries, and towns. They brought their religion, language, music, customs, and traditions to America, and have maintained all these through the church. Some of the families featured have been in America for 4 generations. Others came as refugees after WWII, some as Chetniks forced to leave behind everything they fought to protect. Several members were born in post - WWII refugee camps. Many classic stories are told through photographs and keepsakes on display. If you've never been to a steel mill, you'll leave with a greater appreciation for the dangerous conditions and how hard our church members worked to earn the funds that built and financed our church. Also on display is a document that lists all the US Steel workers who lost their lives while at work. The graphic descriptions remind us of the risks taken by the steel workers. Many Serbs are among those listed in this document.
On Sunday, August 2nd, co - authors Stephen McShane and Gary Wilks (Steel Giants) shared their research about the early immigrants' contributions to northwest Indiana's steel industries. Nick Tarailo (Bronko's Restaurant) spoke of the stories his grandfather shared about the early days in Gary. This program was funded by the Indiana Humanities Council in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.
A memorial tribute to Karl Malden, St. Sava's own Mladen Sekulovich, is on display as well. He was the son of immigrants and worked in the steel mills for a short time. During his youth, he participated in church plays and was a member of the choir. He was very proud of his Serbian heritage and was a great benefactor of St. Sava Church.
You will be able to visit the exhibit every Sunday after church, or call ahead to arrange a special showing. Call the church office (219) 736-9191 or (219) 613-6133.
The Serbian Historical Society would like to THANK all the families who participated in this group effort. They loaned or donated special keepsakes, documents, and photographs for this exhibit. Thanks also to Fr. Marko, Dennis, and the Church Board for their continued support.
Enjoy the slide show video from last week's Serb Fest 2009. In a few days, check back to see the slide show video from this year's exhibit presented by the Serbian Historical Society. Thanks to Milan Opacich for sharing background music from the "ZORA Tamburitza from Old Gary" CD.
Serb Fest was the setting for a brief presentation to honor one of the most hard - working members of St. Sava Church. Gordon Gerbick received the Lifetime Achievement Award on Sunday, August 2nd. He has served his church for many years as church board president, on the Diocesan Board, as a delegate, and used to narrate radio broadcasts on Easter and Christmas holidays. He has supported every organization of the church. And of course, he has sold the most raffle tickets - must be that magical hat! In the video below, he's the Serbian version of Harry Carey. Thank You, Gordon Gerbick, for everything you do for your church!
This short clip from 1954 shows just how great an actor Karl Malden was. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for this performance.
Karl Malden has been a source of pride for Serbs from St. Sava Church in Gary. We all remember his humble beginnings: his father, Peter Sekulovich, sold candles on Sundays in church and held many plays on the stage at 1300 Connecticut Street. His mother, Minnie, was an active member of the Serbian Sisters Circle and lived to be over 100 years old. Karl was a member of Karageorge Choir and participated in plays at the old church.
Karl Malden never forgot his Serbian Gary roots. He was the greatest benefactor of St. Sava Church. He passed away Wednesday, July 1, 2009.
May his memory be eternal, Vecnaja Pamjat!
Last year, St. Sava Church presented a program in his honor at the Lake Shore Visitor's Center in Highland, where he was inducted to their Wall Of Legends.
Be sure to stop by and see all the wonderful pictures and collection of articles on display in the north wing Cultural Display Room. Four generations of Serbian weddings are displayed and you will see how little our traditions have changed. Danica Bikoff's satin gown from 1943 is on display as well as Manda Andrejich's bridal gown from 1952. George and Smelia Mitrovich's cake top from 1938 is also on loan from Paul and Xenia Jancarich. The room will be open Sundays from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. It's not too late to turn in photos because we'll be adding to our collection for next year's exhibit. If you would like to make special arrangements to see the exhibit at any other time, please call Dorothy at (219) 613-6133.
Sunday, July 5th is the last day for viewing this exhibit. The Serbian Historical Society will need some time to prepare the room for Serb Fest. This year's theme will be "Immigrants - Serbs in the Steel Mills".
Special Thanks to Orkestar Junaci from Pittsburgh for permission to use their music for our slide show video.
Perhaps a few raindrops were welcome, because they hid the tears during a solemn, respectful tribute honoring St. Sava's WWII Veterans. After 31 years of separation, the monument built in 1947 was standing next to St. Sava Church once again. It's even more beautiful than many remember, sitting alongside the monument donated by the late Mile and Ella Kosanovich, also dedicated to Serbs of all wars.
Several Veterans proudly attended the service and luncheon, and were "celebrities" for the day. Reporters and photographers were competing for their stories and photos. Remarks were made by Dennis Svilar, Desko Nikitovic, Portage Mayor Olga Velasquez, Lake County Police Chief Marco Kuyachich, and Korean War Veteran and Author Ted Erceg. Milan Opacich was recognized for writing many articles challenging someone to move the monument. His dream was realized on June 7, 2009. Enjoy the video below, and be sure to visit the Memorial Monument at it's new home.
Better make some popcorn, it's time to re-live Saturday night. Enjoy the slide show below with family, friends, other Serbs, and others who wish they were Serbs! More pictures coming in the next few days. Don't forget to send your own photos so we can share them.
Enjoy the 2-part video of the exciting finale to the 70th Annual Serb National Federation Basketball Tournament. St. Archangel Michael parrish hosted the 2-day event on May 15th and 16th. Championsip games were played at nearby Thornton Fractional South High. Men's final teams were Duquesne Princip (home) vs Cevap Amigos (guests). Equally matched, both teams played hard and well. Next year's games will be hosted by St. Elijah in Merrillville, Indiana. See you there!
(More photos and winners list will follow!)
Angels, shepherds, and Kings told the story of Christ's Birth on Badnje Vece at St. Sava Church. Our Sunday School children spoke and sang of the Christmas Story in a church full of parishioners. Special Thanks to Karageorge Choir, Dr. Kim (Bolan) Simic, Kathy Baroevich, and Betsy Kirby for all their talent and support. After the short program, the children Thanked Father Marko for all his Love and Support.
The Piedmont Choirs are comprised of talented students recruited from 96 San Francisco Bay area schools. The multiple choral groups include children ages 6 to 18. Under the direction of Mr. Robert Geary, the older students toured Serbia, Slovenia, and Croatia this year. The school offers a quality choral program as you will see upon viewing the movie found on Youtube. The children do justice to our music as they visited the Cathedral in Belgrade.
SSS Karageorge will be hosting SOCA Festival 2007. The festival will be held on June 1 -3, 2007. The Branko choir from Nis, Serbia will be our special guests. The concert will be Saturday afternoon, June 2, at the Merrillville High School Auditorium. A dinner banquet at our hall will be held following the Sunday June 3 Divine Liturgy. The Branko Choir will sing the Liturgy responses.
Choirs from the US and Canada will join us for the SOCA festival weekend, as we welcome them "Home to Indiana, the Crossroads of America". We encourage all singers to join our Karageorge Church Choir for this event and begin attending Tuesday evening practices.
Contact any choir member for more information. SOCA festival 2007 chairpersons are: Jolyn Rudman 219-464-3569 and John Derado 219-465-0171.You can also visit the Lake County Convention & Visitors Bureau for information on the schedule of events.
SERB FEST celebrates Serbian heritage and culture: three wonderful days of music, dancing, and delicious food. Highlights include a MLADA SRBADIJA reunion and Milan Opacich's retirement performance with DRINA. Join Milan for a narrated tour of this year's mini-museum, a display of musical instruments and historical artifacts.
DVDs can be ordered from St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church of Merrillville, IN by calling 219-736-9191 or mail in payment with this form.
2006, Color, Approx: 110 minutes, Widescreen, NTSC, Plays in All Regions
Video production by Symmetric Media
Be sure to rate our video and leave us a comment at YouTube.