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Donald M. Pujo – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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

Donald M. Pujo, age 79, of Crown Point, IN, passed away on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

Donald is survived by his sisters: Ann Marie Pujo, Angeline (the late Rudolph) Rujevcan, Ruth (the late Milan) Radjen; brother, Ned (the late Kim) Pujo; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and kumovi.

Donald was preceded in death by his parents: Milosh and Bosiljka Pujo; three brothers: Risto Pujo, baby Risto Pujo, Rodomer Pujo; and sisters; Radmila (Alex) Jackovich and Joan (Leonard) Springer.

Don retired from US Steel Sheet and Tin Warehouse #7 with over 36 years of service. He is alumnus of Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN. Donald was a part of Local Union 1066, life long member of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, and a supporting member of Karageorge. He belonged to S.N.F. Lodge #16 and was a gold card member of Gary Sportsman Club.

Donald was a generous philanthropist with a kind heart. He was always looking for ways to help others. He left a mark in the village of Gomiljani where he rebuilt St. George Church. During the time of rebuilding, Donald wrote this poem:

“Enter the gates of Salvation, The Path ahead will cleanse your soul. It is the one our Lord has provided, if redemption is your goal. Each and every one of us one day will hear the Lord’s calling. If we comprehend His message, while we are praying, we will appreciate specifically what He is saying, about the church. Enter the gate of redemption and salvation of one’s soul. Ahead awaits the sunrise of our Lord’s Presence and forgiveness. The path chosen, only He and you will know. Divert to the left all of us once born will feel the pain of the roses thorn. Beyond lies our final home here on earth. Our Lord will determine what we are worth. Pursue the path’s beauty while you are here. To secure His sacred love for He is near. Be aware of the lemon trees that greet you, tempting as they are, their fruit bitter, reminding us of life on earth. We are not far. Enter the threshold, His kingdom calls. Not all are worthy, and some will fall. Who will enjoy the comfort of this divine retreat? Only those worthy of our Lord will worship at His feet. Those of us who answer His call will find solace within, from God above and become recipients of His everlasting Love. Thank you Lord for revealing the way to the path I have chosen today. I pray I will be worthy of Thy Grace. And enable me entrance to Thy Heavenly Place. Grant this O Lord I pray with this prayer of redemption, the salvation of my soul one day, and exemption.”

Friends may visit with the family Wednesday, April 21, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services at 11:00 a.m. directly at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi St., Merrillville, IN 46410. Interment to follow at Calumet Park Cemetery in Merrillville, IN. Arrangements entrusted to GEISEN FUNERAL AND CREMATION SERVICES in Merrillville, IN.

For the health and safety of the Pujo Family, we kindly ask that masks be worn while attending visitation or funeral services. Thank you.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Donald’s name to St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church and Pavilion Fund.

His Grace Bishop Longin serves at St. Sava Merrillville for Holy Annunciation at 9:00 a.m. – Wednesday, April 7

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His Grace Bishop Longin will be serving at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church – Merrillville, Indiana for Holy Annunciation beginning at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

The special visit by His Grace Bishop Longin is among the many he makes to parishes throughout the Diocese throughout the year.

About The Annunciation of our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

There are two main components to the Annunciation: the message itself, and the response of the Virgin. The message fulfills God’s promise to send a Redeemer (Genesis 3:15): “I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed; he shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for his heel.” The Fathers of the Church understand “her seed” to refer to Christ. The prophets hinted at His coming, which they saw dimly, but the Archangel Gabriel now proclaims that the promise is about to be fulfilled.

We see this echoed in the Liturgy of Saint Basil, as well: “When man disobeyed Thee, the only true God who had created him, and was deceived by the guile of the serpent, becoming subject to death by his own transgressions, Thou, O God, in Thy righteous judgment, didst send him forth from Paradise into this world, returning him to the earth from which he was taken, yet providing for him the salvation of regeneration in Thy Christ Himself.”

The Archangel Gabriel was sent by God to Nazareth in Galilee. There he spoke to the undefiled Virgin who was betrothed to Saint Joseph: “Hail, thou who art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

In contrast to Eve, who was readily deceived by the serpent, the Virgin did not immediately accept the Angel’s message. In her humility, she did not think she was deserving of such words, but was actually troubled by them. The fact that she asked for an explanation reveals her sobriety and prudence. She did not disbelieve the words of the angel, but could not understand how they would be fulfilled, for they spoke of something which was beyond nature.

Then said Mary unto the angel, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” “And the angel answered and said unto her, ‘The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: therefore also that which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ And the angel departed from her.” (Luke 1: 35-38) The Annunciation falls during Lent, but it is always celebrated with great joy.

The Liturgy of Saint Basil or Saint John Chrysostom is served, even on the weekdays of Lent. It is one of the two days of Great Lent on which the fast is relaxed and fish is permitted (Palm Sunday is the other).

Miodrag Djordjevic – Memory Eternal ✝ Vjecnaja Pamjat

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

Photo of Miodrag Djordjevic

Miodrag Djordjevic

Miodrag Djordjevic, age 78 of Portage, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Thursday, March 25. 2021. He was a lifelong member of St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, and a long time member of it’s Historical Society.  He was an engineer by profession, a historian by passion and visionary by nature.

He was retired from Hefter Industries after many years of service. There was little that Mike couldn’t figure out how to fix or build. He enjoyed helping the Historical Society at St Sava, tinkering around the house and spending time with friends and family. He was always willing to lend a helping hand, including taking his grandchildren to their various activities where he could often be seen with a cooler of snacks waiting on the sidelines.

He was known as Visko, Tata, Deda, Prijatelj (Friend). His wisdom, strength and sage advice will be sorely missed. May his memory be eternal. Mir Boziji.

Miodrag is preceded in death by his parents Predrag and Ljubica Djordjevic, and his beloved son Viseslav.

He is survived by his loving wife Gordana Djordjevic, cherished daughter Ljubica (Dragutin) Popovich,  precious grandchildren, Savka, Mila and Mihailo Popovich; brother Slobodan Djordjevic, many other Kumovi, relatives and friends.

Funeral Services will take place Monday, March 29, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. St Sava Serbian Orthodox Church, 9191 Mississippi St, Merrillville with V Rev Marko Matic officiating. Visitation will be at church at 9:00 a.m. at the church until the time of service. Interment Graceland Cemetery. For further information please call Mileva Savich or David Semplinski at Calumet Park Funeral Chapel (219) 736-5840.

Strudel, Nutroll, and Sarma Sale at St. Sava Church – Merrillville, Indiana

By | Fundraising, General Information/News, Kolo Sisters | No Comments

The Kolo Sisters at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana have been busy preparing for the spring Strudel and Nutroll bake sale with the special addition of Sarma available for pre-order through March 29.

Orders placed by March 29 will be available for pick-up Saturday, April 3 between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.

Limited quantities available while they last. See the order form for prices and information about placing your order.

Click Here to View and Download the Flyer – Strudel & Nutroll Sale Order Form in Adobe .PDF Format

Daily services throughout Lent at St. Sava Church – Merrillville, Indiana

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During Lent there are services taking place every day at St. Sava Church in Merrillville, Indiana. A complete schedule with daily times is listed below.

During the past year there has been much disruption in daily life schedules and routines. We encourage members, parishioners, and community members to continue following health guidelines.

Please join us during this season of reflection and preparation before the celebrations of Easter at the daily services offered below:

  • Mondays 6:00 p.m. – Akathist
  • Tuesdays, 6:00 p.m. – Akathist
  • Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. – Presanctified Holy Liturgy
  • Thursdays, 6:00 p.m. – Akathist
  • Fridays, 9:00 a.m. – Presanctified Liturgy
  • Fridays, 6:00 p.m. – Akathist
  • Saturdays, 6:00 p.m. – Canon of Repentance to Our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Sundays, 10:00 a.m. – Divine Liturgy

Menu and Prices, Fish Frys Begin March 19 at St. Sava in Merrillville, Indiana

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Fish Fry Fridays will begin at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana beginning Friday, March 19 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Pavilion.

Social distance dining will be available along with carry-out options.

  • Soup – $2.00
  • Fries – $2.00
  • All dinners include Soup bread coleslaw and Fries
  • Perch dinner – $13
  • Cod dinner – $13
  • Combo: Perch/Cod $13
  • Shrimp dinner – $14
  • Combo: Cod or Perch w/ Shrimp – $14
  • Combo: Cod/Perch & shrimp – $16
  • Desserts priced by item

Check back to or the church Facebook Page for more updates.

No pre-sale tickets. Cash only for food, in-person ordering only available at this time.

Fish Frys begin March 19 at St. Sava in Merrillville, Indiana

By | Fundraising, General Information/News | No Comments

Fish Fry Fridays will begin at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Merrillville, Indiana beginning Friday, March 19 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. in the Pavilion.

Social distance dining will be available along with carry-out options.

A full menu and pricing will be announced in the coming days. Check back to or the church Facebook Page for more updates.

No pre-sale tickets. Cash only for food, in-person ordering only available at this time.

Lenten Schedule: March 14 – 19 at St. Sava in Merrillville, IN

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This is updated schedule of services for the upcoming week:
  • Sunday night 3/14 – 6:00 p.m. – Sunday of Forgiveness, First Lenten Vesper service
  • Monday night 3/15 – 6:00 p.m. – Canon to St.. Andrew
  • Tuesday night 3/16 – 6:00 p.m. – Canon to St. Andrew
  • Wednesday night 3/17 – 6:00 p.m. – Presanctified Divine Liturgy
  • Thursday night 3/18 – 6:00 p.m. – Canon to St. Andrew
  • Friday morning 3/19 – 9:00 a.m. – Presanctified Liturgy
  • Friday night 3/19 – 6:00 p.m. – Canon to St. Andrew

Sunday of Forgiveness: First service of Great Lent – 6:00 p.m. Sunday, March 14 at St. Sava Merrillville

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Join us for the Sunday of Forgiveness, the first service of Great Lent taking place at 6:00 p.m. Sunday, March 14 at St. Sava Church in Merrillville, IN. Divine Liturgy also takes place earlier on Sunday morning at the regular 10:00 a.m. start time.

The Sunday of Forgiveness is the last Sunday prior to the commencement of Great Lent. On the Sunday of Forgiveness focus is placed on the exile of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, an event that shows us how far we have fallen in sin and separated ourselves from God. At the onset of Great Lent and a period of intense fasting, this Sunday reminds us of our need for God’s forgiveness and guides our hearts, minds, and spiritual efforts on returning to Him in repentance.

Biblical Story

The Sunday of Forgiveness, the last of the preparatory Sundays before Great Lent, has two themes: it commemorates Adam’s expulsion from Paradise, and it accentuates our need for forgiveness. There are obvious reasons why these two things should be brought to our attention as we stand on the threshold of Great Lent. One of the primary images in the Triodion is that of the return to Paradise.

Lent is a time when we weep with Adam and Eve before the closed gate of Eden, repenting with them for the sins that have deprived us of our free communion with God. But Lent is also a time when we are preparing to celebrate the saving event of Christ’s death and rising, which has reopened Paradise to us once more (Luke 23:43). So sorrow for our exile in sin is tempered by hope of our re-entry into Paradise.

The second theme, that of forgiveness, is emphasized in the Gospel reading for this Sunday (Matthew 6:14-21) and in the special ceremony of mutual forgiveness at the end of the Vespers on Sunday evening. Before we enter the Lenten fast, we are reminded that there can be no true fast, no genuine repentance, no reconciliation with God, unless we are at the same time reconciled with one another. A fast without mutual love is the fast of demons. We do not travel the road of Lent as isolated individuals but as members of a family. Our asceticism and fasting should not separate us from others, but should link us to them with ever-stronger bonds.

The Sunday of Forgiveness also directs us to see that Great Lent is a journey of liberation from our enslavement to sin. The Gospel lesson sets the conditions for this liberation. The first one is fasting—the refusal to accept the desires and urges of our fallen nature as normal, the effort to free ourselves from the dictatorship of the flesh and matter over the spirit. To be effective, however, our fast must not be hypocritical, a “showing off.” We must “appear not unto men to fast but to our Father who is in secret” (vv. 16-18).

The second condition is forgiveness—“If you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you” (vv. 14-15). The triumph of sin, the main sign of its rule over the world, is division, opposition, separation, hatred.

Therefore, the first break through this fortress of sin is forgiveness—the return to unity, solidarity, love. To forgive is to put between me and my “enemy” the radiant forgiveness of God Himself. To forgive is to reject the hopeless “dead-ends” of human relations and to refer them to Christ. Forgiveness is truly a “breakthrough” of the Kingdom into this sinful and fallen world.

Icon of the Feast

The icon of the Sunday of the Last Judgment incorporates all of the elements of the parable from Matthew 25:31-46. Christ sits on the throne and before him the Last Judgment takes place. He is extending his hands in blessing upon the Theotokos on his right, and John the Baptist on his left. Seated on smaller thrones are the Apostles, represented by Peter and Paul, a depiction of the words of Christ in Matthew 19:28. (1.)

Prior to their descent into sin through disobedience, Adam and Eve were blessed with a beautiful relationship of communion and fellowship with God. However, they were tempted by the devil appearing in the form of a serpent to disobey God and eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17).

When they took of the fruit and sinned, they realized that they were naked. Further, when “they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden”…they hid themselves “from the presence of the Lord” (3:8). The icon shows Adam and Eve attempting to cover themselves with fig leaves as they try to hide, and yet they stand ashamed before the Lord.

Because of their disobedience the Lord expelled them from the garden. The icon shows the Archangel of the Lord directing them out of Paradise, through the gate of Eden where God placed “the cherubim and a sword flaming and guarding the way to the tree of life” (3:23-24). Adam and Eve are dressed in the garments of skins made for them by God (3:20).

Orthodox Christian Celebration of the Sunday of Forgiveness

The Sunday of Forgiveness is also known as Cheesefare Sunday. This is the last day that dairy products can be eaten before the Lenten fast. The full fast begins the following day on Clean Monday, the first day of Great Lent. On the evening of the Sunday of Forgiveness the Church conducts the first service of Great Lent, the Vespers of Forgiveness, a service that directs us further on the path of repentance and helps us to acknowledge our need for forgiveness from God and to seek forgiveness from our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the first time that the Lenten prayer of St. Ephraim accompanied by prostrations is read. At the end of the service all the faithful approach the priest and one another asking for mutual forgiveness.

Orthodox Christians are encouraged to enter Great Lent in repentance and confession by attending these services, coming for the Sacrament of Confession, and dedicating themselves to worship, prayer, and fasting throughout the Lenten period. The first day of Lent, Clean Monday, signifies the beginning of a period of cleansing and purification of sins through repentance.

Serb Fest Annual Cash Raffle – Tickets Now Available at St. Sava, Merrillville, IN

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Don’t miss out on the upcoming “Early Bird” drawings for the Serb Fest Annual Cash Raffle! We’ll pick a $1,000 winner on May 30 and another $1,000 winner on June 27!

Winners are still eligible for the $15,000 Grand Prize picked the last day of SerbFest 2021.

$100 donation per ticket, only 700 tickets sold. Winner need not be present.

Call the church office at 219-736-9191 to find out how to get your tickets.