Eternal Memory, Metropolitan Christopher

Metropolitan Christopher was from Galveston, Texas, and was an alumnus of Nashotah House Seminary (see below).


AUGUST 23, 2010

– Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, 10:00 AM, Monday, August 23, 2010, at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, 5701 N. Redwood Drive, Chicago, IL 60631.

– Funeral Matins, 7:00 PM, Monday, August 23, 2010, at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, 5701 N. Redwood Drive, Chicago, IL 60631.

AUGUST 24, 2010

– Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Requiem Service, 9:00 AM, Tuesday, August 24, 2010, at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Monastery 32377 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville, IL 60048, followed by burial at the grave site on the south side of the church.

A memorial lunch will be served at Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, 5701 N. Redwood Drive, Chicago, IL 60631, following interment.

The following note is taken from Fr Milovan Katanic’s site, Again and Again:

His Eminence Metropolitan Christopher of Libertyville-Chicago passed away in the Lord [August 18th]. He was a married priest, ordained in 1951. His wife Milka passed away in 1970, leaving four children. During his parochial ministry he served Serbian parishes in Johnstown, Pittsburgh and Chicago. He was elected bishop of the Eastern American diocese in 1978 which he served until 1991 when the Holy Assembly of Bishops in Belgrade raised the status of the Midwest Diocese, upon its 70th anniversary, to that of a metropolitanate. Bishop Christopher was elevated to metropolitan making him the first metropolitan of the newly formed Metropolitanate of Midwestern America in 1991. It was in 2009, during the restructuring of the dioceses in the US and Canada, that the Metroplitanate of Midwestern America became the Metropolitanate of Libertyville-Chicago.

May the memory of Metropolitan Christopher be eternal!

Вечнаја памјат!

Born in Galveston, Texas, and baptized Velimir Kovacevich, the future Metropolitan Christopher was the ninth of twelve children of Serbian immigrant parents. After graduation from high school, he attended Nashotah House and graduated from St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Seminary in Libertyville, Illinois. After marriage, he was ordained to the Diaconate and Priesthood. Continuing his education, he earned a B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh, the Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, and completed courses and examinations for the doctorate at the Chicago Theological Seminary.

Father Velimir ministered to parishes in Pennsylvania and in Chicago, also serving as chaplain to four universities. He assisted his parishes to become bilingual in their worship and education programs, and at the same time he was active in the defense of unity and canonical order in his church during a period of schism. As a priest, he served as spiritual father, counselor, youth worker, administrator, educator, and, above all, in priestly ministry at the Holy Altar. Widowed in 1970, he is the father of four, as well as the grandfather of nine.

Elevated to the episcopate in 1978 by the Assembly of Bishops in Belgrade and tonsured with the monastic name of Christopher, he became the first American-born bishop to serve a diocese of his church in North America. As Bishop of Eastern America and Canada, he soon developed a diocesan-wide program in religious education. Active also in ecumenism, he has served on the joint commission of Orthodox and Roman Catholic bishops and on the Orthodox-Lutheran dialogue, and has represented his church at high levels in both the National and World Councils of Churches. In 1991, he was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan of the Midwestern Diocese of his church, thereby becoming also its Primate.

Doctor of Divinity

In recognition of his exemplary ministries as parish priest and diocesan bishop, his courageous support of education, ecumenism, and the monastic life, his championing of church unity, and his outstanding leadership of the Serbian Orthodox Church in this country, Nashotah House is proud to number Metropolitan Christopher among its former students. Continuing the tradition of this House in Anglican friendship with the Orthodox churches, of which the exemplar and patron is our honorary alumnus, St. Tikhon of Moscow and New York, it is with great joy that we confer upon his Eminence, Metropolitan Christopher, the degree Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa.


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