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Highlights of the 60th Anniversary

The Feast of St. Sava, the Great Archbishop, Enlightener, and Teacher, was celebrated at St. John the Baptist Cathedral on Sunday, January 29, 2017. The day's festivities began with the Divine Liturgy followed by the Blessing of the Festal Bread, a Slava Banquet, and a program of poem recitations and musical presentations by the children of the Cathedral.

2016 11 13 san francisco 002An Orthodox community had formed in San Francisco in 1858, called the “Greek-Russian Slavonian Eastern Church and Benevolent Society.” The community consisted of Russians, Serbs, Greeks, and Syrians who had come to California in the first years of the Gold Rush. Today, the city of San Francisco, the leading financial and cultural center of Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area, has many Orthodox Parishes. The dawn of the history of the Serbian Parish of Saint John the Baptist begins with the arrival of the late Right Reverend Father Archimandrite George Kodzic in San Francisco in February of 1919.

On November 13, 2016, His Grace Bishop Maxim served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in our Cathedral. After the Matins, and prior to the Divine Liturgy, Luka Erceg, dedicated parishioner and church council member was honored to receive the first degree order, by being tonsured a reader (čtec) by His Grace. The tonsuring occurred following the Great Doxology. Luka was led by Father Djurica and Deacon Vladan to the center of the solea in front of the Bishop. Following three prostrations toward the Holy Altar and one prostration before His Grace Bishop Maxim.  His Grace then laid his hand on Luka’s head and both the Deacon and His Grace led the prayers of the tonsuring. Luka has been assisting Fr. Djurica in the Altar since he moved to San Francisco few years ago. Many parishioners were present along with Luka’s family. The ordination or tonsuring of a reader (čtec) is a first degree order.  It is a commitment by the new reader to continue learning and reading of our Lord Jesus Christ with the goal of serving our Lord, His Church, and the community.  It is not an accolade, rather a commitment to even more service to our Lord.  The ordination may continue to further ministry, or not.  As always, we seek to follow to the lessons of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this is another path.

His Grace Bishop Maxim delivered a sermon, explaining our Lord’s story of the sower and the seed, from Sunday's Gospel reading according to St. Luke. It was a pleasurable day for all, and was completely unexpected as His Grace was not scheduled to be in San Francisco that day. He said that as Orthodox we live the mystery of the new creation in a totally different way: we are in another world, a different atmosphere, and way of thinking.

Following the Divine Liturgy His Grace Bishop Maxim, along with clergy and all faithful gathered in church hall for lunch prepared by parish board president Stan Grgich. Bishop Maxim, also, thrilled and delighted the children with his famous “candy rain”!


stjohntheologianSeptember 26/October 9 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic: 
John was the son of Zebedee the fisherman and Salome the daughter of Joseph, the betrothed of the Holy Theotokos. Called by the Lord Jesus, John immediately left his father and his fishermen’s nets and, with his brother James, followed Christ. From then on, he was not separated from his Lord until the end. With Peter and James, he was present at the raising of Jairus’s daughter and the Transfiguration of the Lord. At the Last Supper, he inclined his head on Jesus’ breast. When all the other apostles had abandoned the crucified Lord, John and the Holy Mother of God remained beneath the Cross. In obedience to the Lord, he was as a son to the Holy Virgin Mary, and carefully served and watched over her until her Dormition. After her Dormition, John took his disciple Prochorus to preach the Gospel in Asia Minor. He lived and labored mostly in Ephesus. By his inspired preaching and miracles he converted many to Christianity and shook paganism to its foundation. The embittered pagans bound him and sent him to Rome, to face Emperor Dometian. Dometian had him tortured and flogged, but neither the bitterest poison he was given to drink, nor the boiling oil into which he was thrown, did him any harm. This terrified the emperor and, thinking him immortal, Dometian sent him into exile to the island of Patmos. There St. John converted many to Christianity by words and miracles, and confirmed well the Church of God. He also wrote his Gospel and Revelation on Patmos. In the time of Emperor Nero, who granted freedom to all prisoners, John returned to Ephesus, where he lived for some time, confirming the work he had begun earlier. He was over one hundred years old when he went to the Lord. When his disciples later opened his grave, they did not find his body. On May 8 of every year, a fine dust, fragrant and healing, rose from his grave. After a long, laborious and fruitful life on earth, this beloved disciple of Christ, a true pillar of the Church, took up his habitation in the joy of His Lord.


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St. John the Baptist 
Serbian Orthodox Cathedral
900 Baker Street, San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone:(415) 567-5869
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