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Serbian bishop visits South African monastic sites

22 October 2008

Bishop Atanasije of Serbia visited some South African monastic sites yesterday, together with Father Miodrag, the editor of the Serbian Orthodox Church journal, and Deacon Stevan.

They first visited the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, which was founded by Hieromonk Nazarius (Pribojan).

The entrance to the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit

The entrance to the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit

Father Nazarius formerly Fr Nikodim, was a parish priest in Florida, USA, but had a vision for mission in Africa, and came and founded the monastery in 2002.

The buildings of the Monaster of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, with the small chapel in the background

The buildings of the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, with the small chapel in the background

Since the death of Father Nazarius at the beginning of the year there have been no monks at the monastery, but it is hoped that it will be able to reopen as a female monastery.

The main monastery church

The main monastery church

At the moment there is a caretaker staying at the monastery, and occasional visitors who come for retreats.

Bishop Atnasije, Fr Athos Pappas, Archimandrite Pantelejmon and Fr Elias in the monastery church

Bishop Atanasije, Fr Athos Pappas, Archimandrite Pantelejmon and Fr Elias in the monastery church

The Serbian visitors then went to the nearby orphanage at Atteridgeville, near Pretoria. Fr Frumentius Taubatla and his wife Evgenia look after 20 orphan children at the edge of the informal settlement of Brazzaville, which was the scene of xenophobic violence earlier this year.

The orphanage in Atteridgeville West

The orphanage in Atteridgeville West

Between the Monastery of the Descent of the Holy Spirit and Atteridgeville is the Skete of St Andrew, where there is one monk, Hierodeacon Nektarius, who recently had an operation, and so was not able to receive visitors.

Brazzaville informal settlement in Atteridgeville West

Brazzaville informal settlement in Atteridgeville West

Some people from Brazzaville attend Orthodox services at the orphanage, where there is no church yet, through the foundations for one have been marked out.

The Serbian visitors also went to the monastery site of St Nektarius, about 15 lilometres away. The monk who was staying there, Hieromonk Seraphim, has been taking care of the parish for Klerksdorp for the last few months.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Carl permalink
    22 October 2008 5:35 pm

    Hi, Steve – why would Father Nazarius be formerly known as Fr Nikodim?

    • Maria Yatsko permalink
      1 August 2011 6:21 am

      My brother, Fr. Nazarius, was born Nickolas and after becoming a monk at the age of 19 was tonsured with the name Nikodim while at Monastery Krka in Dalmacia, Jugoslavija. Much later in his life he was given the name Nazarius but I cannot remember the circumstances behind it.

  2. Macrina permalink
    22 October 2008 6:43 pm

    Thanks for posting these!

  3. 22 October 2008 8:10 pm

    Carl,

    He probably took or was given the name Nazarius when he became a monk.

  4. Carl permalink
    27 October 2008 9:31 am

    Excuse my ignorance, Steve – but I take it the given name (e.g. ‘Seraphim’) has no second name / surname?

  5. 27 October 2008 1:01 pm

    Carl,

    Surnames are not usually mentioned, unless necessary for identification or for “worldly” purposes, like driving licences or bank accounts. Perhaps a bit like Assemblies of God members addressing each other as “Bru”.

    The surname is sometimes put in brackets, so Bishop Atanasije (Rahita), Fr Pantelejmon (Jovanovic), Fr Nazarius (Pribojan), Fr Elias (Palmos).

  6. Suzan Lush permalink
    13 March 2010 5:02 am

    In response to Carl’s question Fr. Nazarius was born with the Christian name Nickolas Richard. He was tonsured a monk in 1970 in Dalmatia and took the name Nikodim and was known by that name until he was raised to the rank of Archimandrite in the year 2000 and took a new name Nazarius. Therefore, he is properly referred to as of 2000 as Archimandrite Nazarius (Pribojan). I give you this as a proud sister of Fr. Nazarius and although he would have never been concerned of his “title” as first and foremost he was a monk and ultimately became an Abbot in order to run the monastery he and Fr. Elias built

    • 13 March 2010 6:07 am

      Thanks very much for that clarification.

      I should perhaps also mention, in answer to Carl’s question, that Fr Seraphim’s name “in the world” was Matthew van Niekerk, and Fr Elias was John Palmos.

  7. Miki permalink
    31 January 2013 5:46 pm

    Can someone send me the fathers Ilija telephone number on: mm_hts@yahoo.com

Trackbacks

  1. Serbian bishop visits South African monastic sites and the Orthodox Catechetical School in Yeoville, Johannesburg « Orthodox Mission-Ορθόδοξη Ιεραποστολή
  2. A new beginning, a new hope « Khanya

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