Monthly Archives

March 2016

St. Sava prepares to host Second Annual Intercultural Dance Festival – Save-the-Date – Saturday, May 7

By | Folklore Groups, General Information/News | No Comments

Mark your calendars for the Second Annual Intercultural Dance Festival as Srbadija Folklore plays host to ethnic dance groups from around the region Saturday, May 7 at St. Sava Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN.

Srbadija Folklore, the youth folklore dance group at St. Sava, is diligently confirming dance groups who will be performing in this special showcase of dance from different cultures and delight all with Serbian cuisine and the famous bake sale available during the event.

The inaugural Intercultural Festival hosted last year in May 2015 took place in the new Pavilion at St. Sava and drew more than 400 people.

This year there will be some familiar dance groups from the inaugural festival and some new additions to the lineup. In the coming weeks Srbadija will announce the names of the groups performing and some background about what you can expect to experience.

Last year groups represented different regions of Serbia, Mexico, Greece, Ireland, and India in the performance. Several of the Serbian troupes traveled from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Canada.

Please save the Saturday, May 7 date to join us for the Second Annual Intercultural Festival, hosted by Srbadija Folklore, at St. Sava Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, IN 46410.

Vesper Service with His Grace Bishop Login, visiting Clergy, and dinner at St. Sava – Saturday, Apr. 2

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You are cordially invited to attend the Lenten Vesper Service Of the Chicago Deanery With His Grace Bishop Longin, visiting Clergy, and V. Rev. Radovan Jakovljevic taking place Saturday, April 2 at 6:00 p.m. at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana.

Following the Vesper Service a Lenten dinner will be served.

lenten-vesperGuest speaker will be Deacon Jovan Anicic.

Anicic completed his studies at Saint Sava Seminary and the Theological Faculty in Belgrade.

He received his Masters of Divinity degree at the Gregorian University in Rome and submitted his doctoral dissertation for a PhD in Dogmatics at Aristotle University in Thessalonica.

Youth essay submission could earn up to $500 in Midwest Diocese – Wednesday, Mar. 30

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Youth share selected essays at the Oratorical Festival of the Midwest Diocese.

The deadline for confirming participation and requesting information for “Oratorical Festival 2016” will be Wednesday, March 30.

Writing an essay could be awarded up to $500.

The written essay for the festival isn’t due March 30, simply the request-for-information deadline is taking place Wednesday.

This special opportunity to submit an essay is available to high school students of the Midwest Diocese where students have an opportunity to write an essay about the theme “Not being afraid of being a Christian.”

Only 7 essays will be accepted, of which 3 will be chosen to be presented at the Diocesan Assembly at New Gracanica Monastery taking place April 16, 2016 around 10:00 a.m.

Essays should be approximately 3 to 7 minutes in length when read aloud.

For more specific information and to confirm your participation call or text Fr. Dragan 317-374-3414 or email:

Must call by March 30, 2016.

Adult Folklore Sessions Continue at St. Sava – Open Group – Monday, Mar. 28

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With more than 30 people attending the successful recent launch of the Adult Folklore Dance Sessions, the group will meet this evening Monday March 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Pavilion at St. Sava in Merrillville, Indiana.

The open group is newly forming this year at St. Sava, seeking to gather people interested in learning traditional Serbian Kolo dances and to just have fun. The group also welcomes people who learned the traditional dances growing up in youth folklore groups and want to keep dancing with friends in an adult environment.

Everyone is welcome to attend – men and women, members of St. Sava, members of other churches throughout Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland, and anyone in the community who simply wants to learn about the culture and the fun, circle dance called the Kolo (no more sitting on the sidelines during Serb Fest 2016 which takes place August 5, 6, and 7 – you will be dancing like a pro by the time the fest rolls around).

The dance sessions each Monday evening will start at 7:00 p.m. and end by 9:00 p.m. Each session will begin with some dance instruction and review by Miloš Drljević Djakovac, the dance instructor for St. Sava’s youth folklore group named Srbadija.

The focus of the dance sessions will be fun, so don’t worry if you don’t have “opanke” in your closet. Wear your tennis shoes and comfortable clothes because dancing the kolo can be a serious workout!

Magda Serdar, organizer of the dance sessions, explains her reasons for wanting to help form such a group. “I just love folklore. You are never too old to dance. A lot of people have talked about forming such a group and there are so many people who have danced in the past when younger, now is the time to do it,” Serdar said.

Dance sessions begin at 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings at St. Sava and will take place in either the South Wing Social Center or the Pavilion, depending on group size and room availability. A small fee of $5 per week will be collected and used to support the church, children’s folklore, and children’s choir.

For more questions or more information, please call Magda Serdar at (440) 954-2039.

Summer Camp at New Gracanica Monastery offers unique experience for youth

By | Children's Choir, Folklore Groups, General Information/News, Sunday School | No Comments

With the blessing of his Grace Vladika Longin the Federation of Serbian Sisters Circles, in charge of operating the camps at the monastery in the name of the Diocese of New Gracanica and Midwestern America, announces camp registration for summer 2016.

There are four, separate, week-long summer camps suitable for specific grades and ages that will begin June 26, 2016. Applications will be due before May 23, 2016 and pre-registration will be due before May 6, 2016.

  • Week 1 – June 26 through July 2
  • Week 2 – July 3 through July July 9
  • Week 3 – July 10 through July 16
  • Week 4 – July 17 through July 23

Refer to the website for the specific grades/ages, most up-to-date information, download application forms, and learn contact information for camp representatives.

About Summer Camp at Gracanica Monastery

Campers enjoy good meals, religious lessons, arts and crafts activities, Serbian language sessions, church services, and music as they live in the dormitories at the monastery during the camp. In addition there are special treats like the picnic, Great America excursion, Candlelight dinner, talent show and guest speakers.

The Federation of Serbian Sisters Circles operates the camps in the name of the Diocese. The Midwest Region Kolo maintains the Camp at New Gracanica. Through a Camp Committee, the Sisters upgrade the facilities, coordinate the staff and plan the camp season. They also care for the children as if they were their own.

Modern Camp facilities are located in the Administration Building ,where dormitory rooms, dining facilities and classrooms are available. Besides the Camp Director appointed by the Bishop, there is a Camp Priest each week who attends to the spiritual needs of the children. Counselors and workers provide daily supervision. The atmosphere of the monastery grounds provides an ideal atmosphere for the variety of religious, sports, social and cultural activities that occur at camp.

Summer Camp Activities at New Gracanica Monastery include:

  • Religion and heritage classes
  • Serbian language classes
  • Arts and crafts
  • Community service event
  • Bonfire with ćevap picnic
  • A day at the pool
  • Great America
  • Candle Light dinner with speakers
  • Talent show, and lots more!

Guiding Principles of Summer Camp at New Gracanica Monastery

  • Integrate the child into the life of the Church through the life of the camp;
  • Instill into the hearts and minds of our Serbian children, the religion, heritage and traditions of our Serbian Orthodox Church;
  • Learn how to apply this faith to their lives and to practice it within the fellowship of community living;
  • See God’s world as a beautiful gift, to be appreciated and used in a good way;
  • Enable campers to meet children from other church school communities and learn how to get along;
  • Promote good health habits such as cleanliness, enough rest, proper diet, safety, wholesome exercise and respect for the body as God’s;
  • Instruct that one is responsible for one’s own decisions; to teach effective leadership skills.

Eli Jovich – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

By | General Information/News, Obituaries & Memorials | No Comments

Eli-Jovich-1458654324The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Eli Jovich. Memory eternal.

Eli Jovich (July 29, 1927 – March 19, 2016), age 88 of Merrillville, passed away March 19, 2016.

He was born in Gary where he attended Froebel High School. He was a proud Army Veteran of WWII where he served in the occupation of Japan.

Eli retired from U.S. Steel, Gary Works after 40 years. He enjoyed gardening and golf and barbecuing lamb in the back yard. Eli’s family was always his highest priority.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Milos and Mary; sisters, Donna Hrnjak and Violet Ruzity.

Eli is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Ann (nee Buchko); son, Michael Jovich and daughter, Linda (Glenn) Bettens.

Funeral Service will take place Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. directly at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi St, Merrillville, IN, V. Rev Marko Matic officiating. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery.

Friends may visit with Eli’s family Monday, March 28, 2016 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Burns Funeral Home, 10101 Broadway, Crown Point, IN. Pomen service at 5:30 p.m.

Donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Association on behalf of Eli Jovich’s memory.

See more at:!/Obituary

Friday Fish Frys continue at St. Sava Merrillville – Friday, Mar. 25

By | Athletics, Fundraising, General Information/News | No Comments

The legendary “Friday Fish Frys” continue at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana throughout the Orthodox Lenten season. Everyone is welcome to join us for a delicious meal!

The Friday Fish Frys will take place every Friday evening between March 18 and April 22 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Pavilion at St. Sava Church 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, Indiana.

Fish fry choices this week include Ocean Perch, Cod, Butterfly Shrimp 6 piece, or Bakalar served with bean soup, coleslaw, French Fries, and Serbian style green beans. Salad bar option also available. Beverages also available for purchase.

This week’s Fish Fry Sponsor is the NWI Obilic Legends Soccer Team of St. Sava Church. Learn more about the soccer team on our website.

Friday Fish Frys will take place throughout the Orthodox Lenten season. These dinners are open to the general public and with Serbian Orthodox Easter taking place place May 1 this year, just over a month after Easter is celebrated March 27 on the Western Calendar, it gives everyone in Northwest Indiana a few extra weeks of delicious Fish Frys!

Volunteers still needed

Volunteers are needed to help in the kitchens, serving, and cleaning up. Salad bar and dessert items from members are also appreciated. Please call the church office at 219-736-9191 to volunteer.

2016 Fish Fry Dates at St. Sava Church – Merrillville, Indiana

We look forward to seeing you at one of our many Friday Fish Fry Dates:

  • March 18
  • March 25
  • April 1
  • April 8
  • April 15
  • April 22

Presanctified Liturgy takes place at St. Sava during Great Lent – Wednesdays at 9:00 a.m.

By | General Information/News, Religious Observances | No Comments

The next Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts service will take place Wednesday, March 23 at 9:00 a.m. at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana.

These services take place every Wednesday morning at St. Sava Church during Great Lent wherein communion is received from Gifts (the Body and Blood of Christ) that are sanctified (consecrated) in advance, hence the name Presanctified Liturgy; this Divine Liturgy has no anaphora (eucharistic prayer).

The Presanctified Liturgy is used on the weekdays of Great Lent, a season of repentance, fasting, and intensified prayer when the more frequent reception of communion is desirable; however, the full Divine Liturgy having a joyful character is not in keeping with the somberness of the season of repentance (Eucharist literally means “thanksgiving”) and so the Presanctified Liturgy is substituted.

Although this service may be performed on any weekday (Monday through Friday) of Great Lent, common parish practice at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church is to celebrate it on Wednesdays.

Find out all spiritual and other events taking place at St. Sava by visiting on the church website.

Mildred Erakovich – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

By | General Information/News, Obituaries & Memorials | No Comments

The Clergy, Executive Board, and Members of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church express condolences to the family of Mildred Erakovich. Memory eternal.

Mildred (nee Rigich) Erakovich, age 97 of Portage passed away at her home Saturday, March 19, 2016.

Mildred was born in Gary, IN and a lifelong member of St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church. A long dedicated member of its Ladies Auxiliary – Circle of Serbian Sisters “Kolo Sestara.”

Mildred is preceded in death by her husband Emil, daughter JoAnn Erakovich-Andonov, grandson Buck Snider.

She is survived by her four loving daughters; Cindy (John) Rongers, Debbie (Dan) Balcerak, Carol (Paul) Klein, Emily Erakovich; son-in-law Donche Adonov; beloved grandchildren, Jody (Harry) Rippe, Geoffrey Erakovich- Andonov, Jennifer (Aaron) Noel, Sara (Dave) Schultz, Daniel Balcerak, Spencer Klein, Rob (Carrie) Rongers, Ryan Rongers, Jeanne Balcerak, Julie (Chris) Smith; cherished great grandchildren¸Harry Jr and Jimmy Rippe, Antonio and Alex Noel, Allie Snider, Maddie and Kaylee Rongers, Hailee, Braden and Jase Schultz, Madilyn and Mallory Smith.

Visitation will take place Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel, 7535 Taft St, Merrilville, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

A Pomen Service will be offered at 7:00 p.m. Funeral Services will take place Wednesday directly at 11:00 a.m. at St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi St, Merrillvile with V. Rev Marko Matic, officiating. Interment Calumet Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to Harbor Lights Hospice, 1841 East Summit St, Crown Point, IN 46307 (219) 641-3221, or St Sava Serbian Circle of Sister “Kolo Sestara” 9191 Mississippi St, Merrillville, IN 46410.

Karageorge Choir at St. Sava meets for weekly evening practice – Tuesday, March 22

By | General Information/News, Karageorge Choir | No Comments

Weekly practices are now taking place for the Karageorge Choir at St. Sava Church. The next practice will take place Tuesday, Mar. 22 at 6:30 p.m. in the North Wing Conference Room at St. Sava Church, 9191 Mississippi Street, Merrillville, Indiana.

All current members of the Karageorge Choir are urged to attend practices, as well as anyone wishing to learn more about the choir and sing with group.

Practice Dates

Practices take place most Tuesdays during March and April beginning at 6:30 p.m. with some exceptions. Please look to the online calendar at regularly to confirm.

  • March 22
  • April 5
  • April 12
  • April 19

About the Karageorge Choir

The Karageorge Choir at St. Sava Church provides the liturgical responses for the Divine Liturgy every Sunday morning and at various events and special services throughout the year. The choir also participates regularly in the annual Serbian Orthodox Choral Association (SOCA) Festivals.

The Karageorge Choir at St. Sava Church is a unique organization within the church. It is one of the few organizations where every member of a family can participate together at the exact same time – moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, kumovi, young people are all able to share their love of singing and their faith together through the gifts of their voices.

Anyone is welcome to join the Karageorge Choir for the weekly open practices taking place at St. Sava Church.

50th Anniversary of the SOCA Festival – Save-the-Date – June 17, 18, 19

This year will be the 50th anniversary of the Serbian Orthodox Choral Association (SOCA) Festivals and you are invited to celebrate this historic milestone the weekend of June 17, 18, and 19 along with the Karageorge Choir of St. Sava Church as the group travels to participate in this special event at Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

The first ever SOCA Festival took place in St. Louis 50 years ago and in honor of this historic event, the festival this year returns to the city where it all began. Be sure to block out your calendars and spread the word to your choirs, friends, family, and kumovi!

More details about the 50th Anniversary SOCA Festival and Karageorge Choir at St. Sava will be available in the coming weeks. Check back to the St. Sava website at and the St. Sava Facebook Page for more information.

Learn more about SOCA and follow their Facebook Page at: