CHICAGOLAND ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS CELEBRATE 125 YEARS

 Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago – 22/9/17

On September 30, 2017, Chicago’s Greek, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Albanian, Arabic and American Orthodox Christians, will gather at 10:00 AM at Lane Tech Auditorium, 2501 West Addison Street for a Pan Orthodox liturgical worship service commemorating 125 years of the Orthodox Christian presence in greater Chicagoland. A procession of more than 100 bishops, clergy, and youth in national costume, will commence the worship service, which is open to the public. Choral responses will be sung in English by the Pan Orthodox Choir of Greater Chicago, and include music traditions of participating Orthodox jurisdictions.

Sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Clergy Association of Greater Chicago, an organization which represents 250,000 Orthodox Christians in Chicagoland, this service will feature guest homilist and historian, Rt. Rev. Bishop Irinej (Dobrijevic) of the Serbian Orthodox Eastern American Diocese. Recently assigned to the United States, following 10 years in the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, Bishop Irinej sits on the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, is a member of Columbia University’s Advisory Council for Serbian Studies and is on the editorial board of the Tesla Memorial Society. While residing in Chicago, as director of Christian Education for the Serbian Orthodox Church in the 1990s, he was also lecturer at Loyola University.

A celebration banquet, beginning with a procession of bishops at 2:15 pm, will take place at Chicago’s Marriott O’hare, 8535 West Higgins Road. The banquet will feature a historic slide presentation by the Hellenic Museum of Chicago, and conclude with a choral presentation by the Pan Orthodox Choir. A commemorative booklet with a historic overview of Chicago’s Orthodox Christian presence since 1892 is also being published.

History reveals that the Orthodox Christian presence in Chicago began in the late 1800’s with an organization called the “Greco Slavonic Brotherhood”, comprised of immigrants primarily from Greece, Serbia and Carpatho Russians (Galicians) from the then, Austro-Hungarian Empire. After petitioning the ecclesiastical centers in their respective homelands, in 1892, all three mother churches responded by sending a priest to serve the faithful. This was the beginning of Annunciation Greek, Holy Resurrection Serbian and St. Vladimir Russian (later renamed Holy Trinity) Orthodox parishes. Today there are nearly 80 Orthodox churches in greater Chicago. Early worship began in warehouses, meeting halls and house-chapels throughout Chicago’s Near North side.

For further information or reservations, contact Clergy Chairman, Rev. Nicholas Dahdal (St. George Antiochian Church, Cicero), (708) 656-2927 or Event Coordinator, Gordana Trbuhovich (708) 298-9770. Email: 125orthodoxchicago@gmail.com, www.facebook.com/chicagoOCCA.

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