His Holiness Patriarch Pavle, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac
His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, and the Synod
of Bishops of the Patriarchate
His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah, Presiding Hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Diocese
The Friends Of Mt. Athos (in America): The Hon. Sir Steven Runciman, C.H.
His Grace Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia.
During the evening of preparations for the celebration of Holy Pascha (4/10/04) an Orthodox Icon of the Mother of God wept at SS. Florus and Laurus Serbian Orthodox Church, in Lipilijan, Kosovo. Most holy Mother of God save us!
One can well imagine why the most holy Mother of God is weeping, as so many people have perished before the war, during the war, and after the war since March 17th, 2004, in the regions of Kosovo and Metohija. Citizens in the regions are weeping too, and are desperate for a loving hand, and hope. Sacred and Holy Serbian Orthodox Churches have been damaged, and everything in these churches, and as well as two Holy and Sacred Monasteries. A Serbian Orthodox Theological Seminary burned to the ground, and even the diocesan center as well as the residence and chapel of the Venerable Bishop Artemije destroyed. Have we ever heard of a homeless bishop? This Venerable loving Bishop rushes down the streets of Kosovo and Metohija unprotected to make sure all are safe, putting his own life on line.
Our Serbian Orthodox brothers and sisters in the region of Kosovo and Metohija have gone through a difficult time since 1999 and particularly since March 17 this year, which began a new wave of hate, killings, and destruction of the Serbian population in the these regions, so many people have perished, and so many continue to suffer from fright by the day. This is what has happened since March 17th:
One Serbian hospital destroyed
Two Serbian Orthodox Monasteries destroyed
Serbian Orthodox Churches destroyed thirty, which now brings the total to 143.
Countless number of apartments and homes destroyed
Citizens have been refused to return back home
19 people killed
More then 900 injured
The diocesan center and chapel of His Grace, Bishop Artemije destroyed
Decani Monastery attacked by 6 mortar grenades launched by Kosovo Albanian extremists. Thank God and the protection of the Holy King Stefan they all missed the target
Since March 17th the peace keeping forces in these regions in Kosovo and Metohija in many instances had ran away, others turned their heads away, and then again others have stood firm to protect the lives of it's citizens and holy places of prayer. On so many occasions the peacekeeping forces have told the monks at their monasteries, 'you must leave now we cannot protect you', yet the monks have remained with love in prayer for God and to continue to for fill their daily obedience's.
The destroyed churches, monastery, and seminary are now being called cultural centers, as the term Church, Monastery and Seminary is frightening words?
We have those currently who cannot return back to their apartments or homes after the destruction. Return denied! A Serbian Orthodox Monastery that was earlier destroyed and the monks where at first denied to return back to their monastery, as these monks where even willing to live in tents. After many appeals thanks are to God these monks are back in their loving monastery praying and doing their daily obedience's in tents.
Violence and hatred towards one another cannot be rewarded, and the path we all should take at this hour is to love one another, and to begin to understand that by living together we work together as free citizens. Stop destroying which we love our Churches and our Monasteries, and the homes of innocent people. Restore that which has been destroyed: our Churches, our Monasteries, our hospitals, our Seminary, and the residence and diocesan center of our loving Bishop. Let the violence towards all cease at this hour, and that hatred ends at this hour, because we still love you, and the beautiful land we live in Kosovo and Metohija. Father Sava well expressed the situation: they do not know what they are doing.
What we should be doing at this hour is to help the desperate needs of those who are truly suffering and struggling at this hour in Kosovo and Metohija, we need your kindness and help please. Please support the Decani Monastery Relief Fund.
We would like to share with you a letter that was recently written by Archimandrite Teosdosije, the Abbot of the Decani Monastery:
April 28, 2004
Dear Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios (Serfes) and Veljko Sikirica,
Christ Is Risen!
Greetings in our Risen Lord!
We at the Decani Monastery are ever pleased to learn of so many kind people who want to help us in assistance of those in great need at this hour, in our beloved Kosovo and Metohija, especially helping those who need shelter, food, and further medical assistance. We also desire to continue to assist both the youth and the elderly, who indeed need help at this time.
You can well imagine the situation in Kosovo and Metohija; we shall all remain ever faithful to prayer, and offer our humble prayers for you daily at our Holy and Sacred Monastery. We thank you too for your concern and your love for us all, especially for our much suffering brethren, as our hearts are always open to care for every individual in need.
We give thanks to our Risen Lord for your love and kindness.
Pray for us, as we humbly pray for you!
Our strength is our love for God and for all.
Humbly In Our Risen Lord,
Abbot of Visoki Decani Monastery
Archimandrite Teodosije (Sibalic)
Decani Monastery Relief
Contributions for January 2004 - April 2004
Chris Ann Mead
Carol & Alex Machaskee
St. Demetrios Hellenic Orthodox Church, Ware, Ohio
Robert & Rosean
Katherine & Alex Bizakis
Brent & Darla Buhler
George Gerovasilis (Australia)
Andreas Peter Panagopoulos
Nagib & Mona Khalifa
John T. Franklin
Glen & Susan Nelson
Robert & Christine Yannes
Philoptochos Society St. George Greek Orthodox Church Knoxville, TN.
May Lynn Demacopolou
St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, New York (For Kosovo Rebuild).
St. Sava Serbian N. Gracanic, New York (For Hospital Simoida)
Brent & Darla Buhler
Pauline G. Kefalas
Jay & Rachel Duke
Katherine & Alex Bizakis
Marion F. Combs
Gregory R. Karg
Adam A Garber
Fr. Paul Moses Jaroslaw
St. Symeon Orthodox Church, Birmingham, AL.
All Sts. Of America Antioch Orthodox Mission, Homer, AK.
Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Santa Fe, NM.
St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church Choir, LA. CA.
Greek Orthodox Church, Bayard, NE.
Katherine Vaporis Herron
Total for January - April 2004
Previous Balance as of December 31, 2003
Grand Total as of April 30th, 2004
Humbly submitted by
Humbly in Christ our Lord, we give each of you sincere thanks for your loving donations for the Decani Monastery Relief Fund, may our Risen Lord always bless you!
We ask you please help and support the Decani Monastery Relief Fund, as we can note from Archimandrite Teodosje letter in which he writes at this time: "Our strength is our love for God and for all." With love for those who continue to struggle and suffer in Kosovo and Metohija, we turn to you please let us all together reach out and help those who need us at this time, especially those who need food, shelter, and medical assistance, as well as the reconstruction of hospitals, homes, churches, seminary, and monasteries. Let us at the same time realize how much the elderly and the youth need us at this time.
As this report was being prepared we have learned that Archimandrite Teodosije has been elected Bishop, and more details about this blessing will be forthcoming: Axios!
For those who would like to make a donation to the fund, please send it to the following address to assure your donations do reach the Decani Monastery:
Decani Monastery Relief Fund
c/o Veljko Sikirica
5600 Beam Ct.
Bethesda, MD 20817
Your donation is tax deductible. If you would also like to have a tax deductible report for your donation, please indicate this when you send in your donation. When you make your donation, please make your check or money order out to the Decani Monastery Relief Fund, NOT to the name of any individual.
Pray for peace and good will among all men, and we humbly assure you of our Christ-loving prayers everyday.
Thank you kindly for your loving donations.
May you go in peace, and may the Mother of God protect you all!
Holy St. Sava, pray to God for us!
Peace to your soul, and God always bless you!
Your Ever-memorable Brothers In Christ Our Lord, +Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes, President
+Abbot Archimandrite Teodosije, First Vice President
+Hieromonk (Father) Sava, Second Vice President
Veljko Sikirica, Secretary-Treasure
Who pray for you, and we beg of your loving prayers.
Holy Saint Sava,
Pray Unto God For Us!
Holy New Martyrs Of Serbia,
Pray To God For Us!
GLORY BE TO GOD FOR ALL THINGS!
Content written/compiled by email@example.com.
(c)2004 Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes