Metropolitan Nikolaj of Dabar-Bosnia reposes in the Lord

Church of Serbia- 30/10/15

On October 14/27, 2015 in the evening, on the feast-day of the Venerable Mother Parascheva, His Eminence Metropolitan Nikolaj of Dabar-Bosnia reposed in the Lord at the University Hospital in Foca.

Upon his personal wish Metropolitan Nikolaj will be buried at the monastery of the Dormition of the Mother of God in Dobrun, Republic of Srpska. His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch will officiate the Funeral Liturgy on 30 October 2015 starting at 9 a.m. Following the Holy Liturgy a requiem for Metropolitan Nikolaj of Dabar-Bosnia of blessed repose will be officiated. The Metropolitan will be buried in the graveyard of the monastery at Dobrun.

He was born on 17 August 1927 in the village of Smoljani, a hamlet of Krnja Jela, near Bosanski Petrovac, by father Milan and mother Milica b. Kuburic.  His baptismal name was Gojko. After primary school in Smoljani and the maturity exam in Smederevska Palanka he enrolled the Theological Seminary, first in Belgrade, and later in Prizren, in 1946. During his education he served a two-year military service from 1949 until 1951.

He became a monk in 1953 at the Koporin Monastery and got the monastic name Nikolaj. The same year, on 30 September, Bishop Chrysostom of Branicevo ordained him as hierodeacon, and on 10 May 1961 as hieromonk by the then Serbian Patriarch.

After the Seminary, he enrolled the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Belgrade in 1953. He wanted to continue his education in Greece after his graduation, but the Yugoslav authorities did not issue him a passport. Instead of going to Greece, the Holy Synod of Bishops appointed him as teacher at the Seminary of Saint Sava in the monastery of Rakovica, Belgrade, where he stayed until 1964. Meanwhile, he acquired a teaching license in 1963.

In 1964 the Holy Synod of Bishops entrusted him with the restoration of the Seminary in Krka Monastery. Upon his arrival in Krka Monastery he served as principal of the two-year Seminary, abbot of the monastery and parish priest of the monastery parish. Upon the opening of the Theological Seminary he was appointed its principal.

He performed this duty until 1973 when he was elected Bishop of Australia-New Zealand. He was consecrated in the Cathedral church in Belgrade, on 8 September 1973, by Serbian Patriarch German.  Upon his arrival to Australia he organized diocesan bodies, ordained new priests, founded new parishes, built and consecrated new churches, bought properties where he would found church centers. On one of those lands he constructed Saint Sava Monastery, refractory and a nursery home. He founded a first Serbian cemetery in Australia. In New Zealand he founded a monastery of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God; that is the first Orthodox monastery in the history of New Zealand.

The Holy Assembly of Bishops elected him Bishop of Dalmatia in 1978. Besides his diocesan duties, he was for a while Principal of the Seminary at Krka Monastery. While he was Bishop of Dalmatia he built seven new churches and six church objects. He launched the magazine The Truth (Istina) in 1988. He administrated a restored Diocese of Bihac-Petrovac. He managed to organize the Diocese completely within a year and handed it to his successor Bishop Hrizostom.

During the regular session of the Holy Assembly of Bishops in 1992, Bishop Nikolaj was elected Metropolitan of Dabar-Bosnia with the historic residence in Sarajevo. He took over the Diocese when the war broke out in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During these difficult times he patiently worked on an implementation of the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops from 1967 – to open a Theological Academy. The government of Republic of Srpska granted school objects in Foca, so that the Theological Academy of Saint Basil of Ostrog started to function in 1994. At the Theological Academy Metropolitan Nikolaj acted as vice-principal and taught Church chanting.  In addition, owing to his efforts, within the premises of the Academy the displaced Seminary of Holy Three Hierarchs from Krka Monastery found its refuge. He taught the New Testament and performed a duty of a principal. After the restoration of the Seminary in Krka Monastery, Seminary in Foca was dedicated to Saint Peter, Metropolitan of Sarajevo. Starting from 1997 Metropolitan Nikolaj taught the  New Testament at the Music Academy of the University in Eastern Sarajevo, where, owing to his efforts, a Department for church music and chanting and the Chamber choir were founded.

Metropolitan Nikolaj wrote many text-books, primarily concerning the exegesis of the New Testament – 14 of them – with several collections of his sermons and addresses. During his episcopal ministry in the Diocese of Dabar-Bosnia a periodical called Dabaras a diocesan observer was founded, and the theological schools in Foca publish their periodicals as well.

He is Doctor Honoris Causa from the Belgrade Theological Faculty as well as Doctor Honoris Causa of the Theological Seminary of Petar of Dabar-Bosnia.

Metropolitanate of Dabar-Bosnia