Biography of newly-elected Serbian Orthodox Bishop Andrej (Cilerdzic) of Austria-Switzerland

by OCP on June 21, 2014

in Featured News, News

June 2014

Bishop Andrej (Cilebdzic) was born on 21.08.1961 in Osnabrück (Germany), as a second son of protopresbyter-staurophor Dobrivoje Cilerdzic and mother Marijana.

The primary school and a grammar school he finished in Dusseldorf (Germany), and after the final examination he spent a year on Mount Athos (1980-1981).

He enrolled to the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade in September 1981 and graduated on March 25, 1986.

In the monastery of Decani on January 7, 1987 his spiritual elder made him a monk, then hieromonk, and now Bishop Irinej of Backa. He was ordained a hierodeacon on March 8, 1987 in the church of St. Sava in Dusseldorf (Germany), by in that time competent Bishop Lavrentije of Western Europe.

He was in Thessaloniki (Greece) between 1987 and 1989 on postgraduate studies and served two years as a hierodeacon in the church of St. Sophia in the same city.

From 1989 to 1993 he served as a suplent at the Seminary in Prizren, where he was the conductor of the choir of theologians.

He was ordained a hieromonk on 21.11.1990 in the church of St. Sava in Dusseldorf (Germany) by then Bishop Irinej of Moravica who was also administrator of the Diocese of Backa.

From 1992 until the election of Bishop of Remesiana, he was brother of the brotherhood of the Monastery of St. Archangel in Kovilj in the Diocese of Backa.

From 1993 to 2005 he worked as a secretary of the Office for inter-church relations of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade.

He was ordained a protosyngellos on July 26, 1999 and became archimandrite on August 19, 2002.

In 2005/2006 he studied the French language in Beausoleil/Monte Carlo (France).

From 2006 until 2008 he worked as a docent for communication and employment adviser at the Economic Institute of the Ministry of Labour of Düsseldorf.

From 2008 as a PhD student and scientific associate, he was engaged in an Orthodox ecclesiology research at the Institute for Orthodox theology of the University of Munich. In May 2010, the Council of professors chose him as an assistant at the Department for Orthodox dogmatics. In Munich he served in the Greek Orthodox church of All Saints, as well as in the chapel of St. Nicholas of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad of the city of Munich.

For Vicar bishop of Serbian Patriarch, with a title of Bishop of Remesiana, he was elected at the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church held in Belgrade from May 16-27, 2011.

From 2011 until 2014 he was the head of the Office of His Holiness Serbian Patriarch at the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade.

The Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church elected him Bishop of the Diocese of Austria-Switzerland and Malta with the seat in Vienna, in Austria during its regular session on 24 May 2014.

The New Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church speaks a few foreign languages: German, Greek, Italian, English and French; knows Russian, Latin, Hebrew and Arabic. Known as one of the best connoisseurs of church singing, and the people is known as enthusiastic lecturer and an inspired preacher of Christ’s proclamation. On the internet, for a long time, his admirers publish articles on bilingual special website (www.cilerdzic.com).

During his long service in the Serbian Orthodox Church, he participated in many inter-church and international conferences, the theological dialogues and debates across Europe, Africa and Asia. He was envoy of the Serbian Orthodoc Church in the World Council of Churches and the Conference of the European Churches in Geneve. Also he was a member of the official delegation of the Serbian Church in Alexandria and Constantinople.

In May 2014, upon the invitation of his birth town of Osnabruck, he signed in the Golden Book of Osnabruck.

He is the member of many European peace initiatives and associations: Austrian Social Forum ” Way of Hope” in Graz, the Society of German-Serbian Friendship in Munich (German), the Greek musical association in Munich, Academy for social, national and cultural cooperation in Wuppertal (German) etc.

During the unfortunate civil war in former Yugoslavia from 1992 to 1995, and 1999 he was known among the people as the spiritual father to war orphans, war invalids and refugees, whom as the brother of the monastery of Kovilj and the clerk of the Serbian Patriarchate, and in cooperation with the ecclesiastical institutions in Greece, Germany, Austria, Italy and France, accepted and cared for.

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