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.
Decani Monastery Relief Fund Report for October-December 2004
By Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
President of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund USA
The Decani Monastery Relief Fund (DMRF) is a completely non-profit organization. Information regarding the Fund's financial operations may be viewed by going to the following web site: http://www.serfes.org/missionary/charter.htm
All donations made to the DMRF are forwarded as quickly as possible to volunteers in Serbia who immediately use this cash resource to distribute financial and/or material aid to persons in need of assistance. No portion of any donation is used for administrative or overhead costs-- 100% of every donation is dispersed to aid recipients. Volunteers in both Serbia and in the USA donate their own funds, as well as their time, to assure that your donations in their entirety are used to address the needs the DMRF exists to alleviate.
Note also that the name "Reverend Demetrios Serfes" has been changed to "Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes." Both names pertain to the same person; the change is simply a result of this individual's recent elevation in status relative to his position and duties within the Greek Orthodox Church.
We are greatly pleased to submit to you our Decani Monastery Relief Fund Report for the quarter just ended. We humbly thank God and each of you for the many great blessings offered to the Fund through your loving donations.
Because of your generosity, many persons living in Kosovo and Metohija will be blessed with further assistance to obtain food, fuel and firewood to heat their homes, and medical assistance. We are now able to assist both children and elderly. The Decani Monastery has also provided donations for the youth and the elderly, and continues to provide food and firewood to those in desperate circumstances. In addition, Decani Fund has contributed towards the reconstruction of two other Serbian
We are also pleased to report that funds designated by the donors to be used in assisting the elderly nuns of Devic Monastery were distributed and, as of December 15, 2004, the nuns were able to move out of the metal containers they had lived in for nine months and into reconstructed living quarters more suitable for spending the winter. We are especially grateful for the donors' great Christian love for these elderly nuns, and also for the DMRF's assistance with rapid reconstruction of the convent. We are of course also very pleased with Bishop Aretemije's assistance. He has worked with the DMRF to assure reconstruction of the buildings of St. Archangels' Monastery. These monks had been living in two large tents since Holy Week in April of 2004. The monks were able to move into their reconstructed monastery just as the winter began.
Again we offer our deep and humble thanks to all who with love and Christian charity made donations to assist those who are suffering in the regions of Kosovo and Metohija. All of these donations have now been dispersed and the fund is back to zero. Because, unfortunately, the needs persist, we also must continue our appeals for additional monetary support so that we can keep on helping those still in dire need in this region of the world. Their very survival, both as individuals and as a Christian population, depends on the solidarity of support they receive on a continuing basis from their brothers and sisters in Christ who live
in America, Europe, and elsewhere.
Since 29 December, several districts throughout Kosovo have been without electricity. The privately owned power companies are putting pressure on the homes of both Serbs and Albanians to pay the electric bill, which is beyond the means of these citizens. The Decani Monastery continues its appeals for assistance on behalf of the many families whose homes are without electricity. We made earlier appeals to have the power restored for humanitarian reasons, even though the recipients are out of work and currently unable to pay. The darkness remains in many districts despite "official" reports to the contrary. Evidently only a small percentage of areas have had their power restored. We appeal to those in authority to restore electric power everywhere it has been turned off, at least during these harsh winter months when people must cope with short, cold days. We will continue to pray to God to alleviate the hardships faced by the citizens of Kosovo and Metohija.
This fund must continue to assist those in greatest need, especially children and elderly, by providing at least basic food and fuel assistance, and essential medical care. Of course, we would also like to see the more then 140 destroyed churches and the ten or more ruined cemetries repaired and restored. People "do not live by bread alone." The entire culture and society of Christian Kosovo is under siege and is in danger of extinction at the hands of those who oppose it and aim to eradicate it through "ethnic cleansing." While we must prioritize assistance to individual persons and families, assuring that people do not starve or freeze to death, we shouldn't forget that this whole Christian community, this entire unique ethnic population, is under attack. As fellow Christians, we have an obligation to join with our Serbian brothers and sisters in standing firm against those who seek to wipe out the entire Orthodox Christian culture of the region. Let us stand with them by assisting them to return to and remain in their homes and to rebuild those homes and churches and other Christian institutions and edifices that the enemy has damaged or destroyed. Let us work together to restore Kosovo's Christian community and defend Christian principals and the Christian way of life we hold in common.
The following is a listing of the good and loving souls who made donations to the Decani Monastery Relief Fund during the last quarter of 2004. This is the longest list yet, and one of the kindest offerings we have seen since the founding of the fund back in October of 1998. We extend our sincerest thanks to the following and offer our humble prayers on their behalf:
Decani Monastery Relief
Contributions for October-December 2004
Michael & Katherine Cook
Anonymous -one person
Gary & Carol McFarland
Anonymous -two persons
Peter and Marie Eliades
Anonymous -three persons (Reconstruction of Devic Monastery)
St. Anne Orthodox Church, Oak Ride, TN. (Children’s Fund)
Thomas & Martha Wiswell
Walter & Mila Nolan
Pauline G. Kefalas
Reverend Miland & Lindsay Zobenica
Tom & Connie Best
Reverend George & Iris Brooks
All Saints of North America Orthodox Church DE Queen, AR.
Gary & Carol McFarland
Ksassiani & John Billo
P & J Gruicic
Jeffrey & Lana Entringer
Roger & Martha Dage
Robert & Rosann Vranes
Nicholas R. Dopuch
Arnold & Patricia Powell
Tom Athanasios Bouras
Christie L. Miller
John & Catherine Diveris
Reverend Demetrios Carellas
Anonymous -one person
Jeanette Sikirica Czubak
Milan & Joyce Visnick
Pavele & Christina Pirocanac
Steven & Gisela Oluic
St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, Serbian Orthodox Church, Platina, CA.
Christianity Today International
Serbian National Federation a three day event for donations conducted by His Grace, Bishop Artemije
SNF –Sally Stone
SNF –Catherine A. Sostaric
SNF –Desanka Mamula
SNF –George & Mrs. Matich
SNF –Silvia & Peter Bonaccl
SNF –Mildred V. Stojakovic
SNF –Dan Pyevich & Donna
SNF –Joann Opacic
SNF –Pin Point Computer System
SNF –Peter & Michelle Dokmanovich
SNF –Dushan (Daniel) Rebich
SNF –Louis & Mildred Popovich
SNF –Mark & Mary Zivkovich
Grant Helen Clay Frick Foundation (Devic Monastery Reconstruction)
Clayton & Kanela Wright
Ralph & Charmaine Masterjohn
Chalese & Sophia Budaker
Paul & Carol Adams
Neia Pale Logos –Rhodoes, Greece
Anonymous –four persons
Daniel Liewen (OPF Match Fund)
Daniel Liewen –second donation
Gariella & Bill Nikolin
Darla & Brent Buhler
Serbian Orthodox Church of Holy Ascension
Jeffrey & Lana Entringer –second donation
Lazar & Milka Raskovich
John & Christine Heuer
St. John the Baptist Serbian Orthodox Church, Paterson, N.J.
St. Luke Serbian Orthodox Church -Lafayette, Colorado
Alexander & Cvjeta Blagojeic (Reconstruction –Gracnica)
Milan & Joyce Visnick
Ivan Vidojkovic (from Japan)
Steven & Constance Ross
Anonymous –one person
SNF –Mary & Alex Miskov
Total for October-December 2004
Previous Balance as of September 2004
Grand Total as of December 31, 2004
Based on requests from donors, the utilization of funds is as follows:
1. Reconstruction of Devic Monastery's basic living facilities.
2. Distribution of assistance for needy children and elderly.
3. Distribution of assistance to children and elderly in Decani Monastery area.
Humbly submitted by
Also included is the reconstruction of the Archangel Serbian Orthodox Monastery and the Serbian Orthodox Monastery for women (Convent) in Devic.
We humbly ask you all to please continue your support for the Decani Monastery Relief Fund so further assistance can be offered to the desperate people of Kosovo and Metohija. We refer for your review the photos of destroyed churches and monasteries on this website : http://www.kosovo.net/news/archive/2004/April_28/1.html
We were pleased to learn that Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Theological Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts, offered a $5,000.00 donation to the IOCC (International Orthdoox Christian Charities) to help with repairs to the Serbian Orthodox Theological Seminary in Prizren. There is now also a need to help with the reconstruction of Bishop Artemije's residence and that of the caretaker. Let us consider helping the Bishop with the repair of his home, along with the chapel of the Archangels, and continuing support for the Serbian Orthodox Theological Seminary. Knowing Bishop Artemije, he is no doubt far more concerned with the reconstruction of the Seminary and all the other destroyed churches than with the repair of his own residence. Nonetheless, his diocesan center needs to be repaired too.
We now have a fund for the Serbian Orthdoox Theological Seminary through the efforts of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund. Please, now, let's all help with the reconstruction of this Seminary.
We were also pleased to learn of the ongoing support and assistance the IOCC is giving in Kosovo and Metohija. The DMRF has learned that on the weekend of January 14-16, 2005, the Greek Orthodox Church in Salt Lake City, Utah, under the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver, and of His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah, will hold a Basketball and Orthodox Youth Retreat. All the children attending will offer a donation that will subsequently be distributed through the efforts and kindness of His Grace, Bishop Longin, to assist children in Kosovo and Metohija… We say to the children in Salt Lake City: God bless you for your love for the children of Kosovo and Metohija!
Every effort offered, whether it's the DMRF, or the IOCC, or such as the fundraiser in Salt Lake City, gives some relief to those in desperate need. But so many still suffer and struggle in Kosovo and Metohija. Thus we continue to make our humble appeals and to ceaselessly pray that the children will be happier and more secure, that the hours of darkness will end and the light of hope and brotherhood will prevail. Please continue to donate and lend your support to the Decani Monastery Relief Fund.
Let us relate the good news that assistance will continue because of your solidarity with, and Christian charity toward those who continue to need assistance. Please send your donations to the following:
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.
God bless you for your great love! Be assured that we will remember you in prayer.
Thank you kindly for your loving donations.
Peace to your soul, and God always bless you!
Your Ever-memorable Brothers In Christ Our Lord, +Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes, President
His Grace, Bishop Teodosije, Abbot of Decani Monastery, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes