with Baba Mim....
Check out my other websites too:
Not Retired From Learning! http://www.notretiredfromlearning.com
Bizic Education Enterprises.
"The Power of Three"--> www.mimbizic.com
And the Moon Township Historical Society website:
“Spasi Boze ljudi tvoje. O-oh Lord, save thy people, and bless Thine inheritance! In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”
Will all the children, our young people here, stand up for a moment? You are our future! Will you help us all say that in Serbian? Here we go, trojcas made: “Vo ime Oca, Sina, I Svetoga Duha, AMIN!”)
Thank you, wonderful ones!
How overjoyed I am standing here and looking out over our St. Elijah hall and seeing this most wonderful array of gathered PRECIOUS family members, Kumovi and dear friends, many who traveled so far to be with us today!
Jocelyn, where do you live? (answer: TEXAS)
Amelia, where do you live? (answer: VIRGINIA)
Young Kum Milan, where do you live? (Maryland)
Ako Bog da, Milan’s work will allow him to be transferred back to Pittsburgh, and he’s immediately going to join our CHOIR! His Kuma has it all planned out already, even though his bosses haven’t said a word yet!They say if you can envision it, you can make it happen. “I see it, I see it!”
When thinking about this morning’s services with all of us following our priest, Fr. Stepanov, together with our candles and church flags and banners all paying tribute to our St. Elijah for whom our beloved church was named, and even though it was raining, I can’t help but sing with SO MUCH JOY in my heart, “Oh what a beautiful morning!” or better yet, “Joi, kakva naj lepsa jutro, Joi, ka-ko naj divno dan!”
Together, all of you and I honored the SAINT who from the very first day in his cradle was blessed according to St. Bishop +Nikolai Velimirovich and the Bible; the SAINT who performed many miracles; the SAINT who was present as a witness at Christ’s Transfiguration along with Moses, and the Saint who was carried off into Heaven ALIVE in a fiery chariot of fiery horses! This is our St. Elijah, who, according to the Bible, is scheduled to come again, to break the power of the Evil One, the Anti-Christ. And the way things are going, it might be any day now! ☺
All kidding aside, let’s pause for a moment to remember our ancestors, poor immigrants for the most part, but who loved the Lord so much with all their hearts and souls, and who built the St. Elijah Church for all of us. What do we have because of their many individual sacrifices? One of the MOST BEAUTIFULLY SERVED LITURGIES in the world every Sunday, with an incredibly dedicated choir answering Fr. Stepanov’s invocations and prayers, that’s what! And I’m willing to bet there aren’t many churches who start not only on time, but maybe even a few minutes before our scheduled 10:00 service, all dressed in their best clothes, because we know we’re meeting with the Lord, our God. You don’t see that everywhere!
And just imagine what God must think when he sees our self-disciplined altar boys….. They make those moves and formations in sync better than any football team! Stand up boys…. So we can give you a well-deserved round of applause. We’re all so proud of all of them! AND, our Tutors, our Mother’s Club, Men’s Club, our KSS Kolo Ladies, our Sunday School teachers, Kathy Loverich and her Saturday Vespers Dinner Committee, and Dan Baron and his Sunday Banquet Committee. And thank you also to Bisa, and daughters Stephanie and Nada Kovachevich for making the Kolach and Koljivo for us for the past 40 years!
Our far-sighted pioneers gave us a magnificent house of worship, filled with many precious altar items, icons and embroideries. And although some churches may have more ornate, more finely carved pieces of furniture than we do, none could have been more lovingly given than what my father-in-law, Pete and Uncle Joe Bizic, donated. Not rich by any means, but talented enough for the times they lived it, they created the Main Altar Table and Hristos’ Grob (Christ’s Tomb) in honor of their parents, and also, the small altar table where we kiss the St. Elijah icon donated in memory of our dear Gus Bizic, each Sunday after nafora.
May I see the hands of the people who were married in St. Elijah’s Church?Great! Now keep them up if you got married in 1963 or after….. that’s 49 years and up…..
Well, then, you too, took your first footsteps together as husband and wife, King and Queen of your own households, following in the footsteps of Christ, led by our devoted parish priests, around the small altar table my father-in-law and Uncle Joe made in memory of St. Bishop Nikolai and of Proto Tomich’s second son, Milosh who had been killed in WWII. Inside, where the crowns are kept, is the date 6/9/63, the day Gus and I became man and wife here at 3:30 PM. Pete and Joe didn’t deliver it to the church until 3:00, to make sure we were the first to use it. It has ALWAYS had such SPECIAL meaning to me.
I want to take the time to point out that on October 5, Nick and Dana Bizic will be celebrating their 10th anniversary! Time sure does fly! They mark the 3rd and possibly the 4th generation of Bizics to get married in St. Elijah’s, as we know Pete and Dorothy Bizic were married in St. Elijah’s on May 18, 1930, but aren’t sure whether the earlier relatives were married here, at home by a visiting priest, or in the old country.
But while on the subject of Bizics and anniversaries, I know you’ll join me in wishing “Congratulations!” to Pete and Danica Bizic who recently celebrated their 50th anniversary a few weeks ago down in Washington, DC at Peter and Colleen’s lovely home. Unfortunately, due to some health setbacks since, are unable to be here today.
Part 2: Continued
And since we’re celebrating grand moments, I have to tell you how proud I am to be here with both high school graduates, Jessica Brnjilovic Osman and Nemanja Tomic. Nemanja is named in honor of St. Stevan Nemanja and graduated with honors from Montour High School.
Honored Graduate Jessica Osman needs no introduction. I’m sure to all of you who belong to St. Elijah. She’s a tireless worker, like her brother Alex, Mom Georgette, and Djedo Tundy and her late grandmother, Billie Brnilovich!
We’re so lucky to have her in our parish! Jessica made a cookbook for her H.S. Senior Project, and I told her I wanted 10 copies! Here you go, Jessica, my side of the bargain! I remember Jessica standing in front of the small altar table as she and her brother Alex shared KUMOVI honors for St. Elijah’s St. Sava’s Day.
And as I look around, I see some more young couples who will ALSO be walking around the small altar table someday….. Just think of how it will be when you have the royal crowns on your heads, with your hands tied together, and your St. Elijah choir sings for you and God, “Slava tebe Hriste Boze!” Oh my gosh, we’re all looking forward to it! Who’s going to be next?
I was reading the Commemorative booklet dedicated to Fr. Stepanov for his 25 years at St. Elijah, and 35 years of his Ordination to the priesthood. From 1973 until 1998, Father had 292 weddings, 534 Baptisms, and 179 conversions. I hesitate to mention the 775 funerals. Those numbers would soar in all areas if we added in the last 14 years…..During that time period, over the course of those 25 years, with God’s grace, Proto Stevan hadn’t missed ONE liturgical Sunday because of ill health. May he always enjoy the best of health and continue to bring the MAGIC to our church EACH and EVERY SUNDAY! I’m not being irreverent when I say that, because I’m sure so many of us feel that SOARING uplift when we leave each Sunday, filled with the Holy Spirit!
I’ll end with this little secret…. It was St. Sava’s Day and I was panicking, trying to make sure the audio-visual equipment worked so we could show a few slides of our church for St. Sava’s Day that I had concocted. Right before the program started, Father said he wanted to talk to me about something… “Joi,” I thought, “what did I do now?” “Well, is it good or bad news?” I asked sheepishly. “Oh, it’s hard to say. It’s something we have to talk about when we have more time.” “Tell me now,” I pleaded like a little kid even though the program was about to start with that slideshow. I wanted to hear my “punishment” and get it over with…. “I’m coming to bless your house in three weeks. We can talk then.” JOI, JOI, JOI! For three weeks I held my breath. “What on earth did I do so wrong?” I kept asking myself. I knew it could have been 100 things….
Finally after Fr. Stevan blessed our house… and I say “ours,” because I still believe Gus and my Mom who lived in it are still there in spirit, and it IS the Pittsburgh home of my Nick, Dana and Jocey, Father sat me down in the dining room and asked me to be KUMA!
What a great and TOTALLY unexpected honor. I immediately began telling him I knew so many people so much more deserving….and I started to name them… all of you out there who do so much work for the church! He assured me, “All in due time. This is YOUR time, that is, if I have the blessings of the Board.”
So, thank you Board, thank you wonderful Parishioners for this humbling, very surprising honor. Never, EVER in a million years would I have expected to be here before you. I hope I can continue to do whatever I can for our church in as many ways as possible.
Thank you for the sacred trust you have placed in me. My entire extended family of Bizics, Klaichs, Mamulas, Karlos, and beloved Markovich, Stipanovich, Ignatovic, Bruich, and Sparcie Kumovi gathered here today, and I, especially, appreciate it sincerely. “Ziveli and “Mnogaja Ljeta!” Many more successful and beautiful years, St. Elijah!
Much happiness/luck, love and peace I wish for all of you, from the bottom of my heart!