On the eve of the Annunciation (April 6, 2019), with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Longin and an invitation from the Nativity of the Mother of God Monastery sisterhood, the 2019 Benefit Dinner for the Monastery took place at the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago. All proceeds will benefit the reconstruction and maintenance projects at the Monastery.
The evening started with a Vespers service at the cathedral, which was followed by a cocktail hour, a festive dinner, and an artistic and cultural program. There were over 300 people in attendance.
The dinner started with a prayer and an introduction by the masters of ceremony Mr. Dragan Arsić and Ms. Gordana Božidarević Anastasov. What followed was a presentation of the building fund finances, future projects, and a vivid overview of all the activities that took place at the Monastery in 2018. The presentation was given by the representatives of the Monastery Friends St. Mardarije Fellowhip, Mr. Ivan Tašić, and of the St. Helen of Anjou Fellowhip, Ms. Ivana Đukić. They both emphasized the importance of financial support and invited the guests to visit the Monastery more often and offer their time and skills whenever they can. In doing so, they would support not only the Monastery but, even more importantly, gain a token in the Heaven for their souls.
As the donors were enjoying their dinner and a mountain of Serbian-style cookies, many performers made the evening special:
- Children’s choir Brankići, led by their director Ms. Jelena Stojaković, sang “Govori Gospode“ and “Mi smo deca neba“
- The Children of the Monastery performed a piece written by Ms. Danijela Mrdak about the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia
- Sandra Glišić recited “Prkosna pesma” by Dobrica Erić
- A world-renowned gusle performer Ms. Bojana Peković played and sang Luča Mikrokozma by Petar II Petrović Njegoš, “Hajte, braćo, beloj crkvi” by St. Nikolaj (Velimirović), and “Junaci sa Košara” by Milutin Popadić
- A quintet “St. John the Damascene” from the St. Stefan Prvovenčani parish sang Psalm 32
- The drama club performed the piece “Rastko” written by Vojislav Ilić
- St. Helen of Anjou Fellowship sisters read a selection of texts written by St. Nikolaj (Velimirović)
- All performers sang together “Ljudi, likujte” written by St. Nikolaj (Velimirović)
His Grace Bishop Longin addressed the guests and emphasized the value of having three holy monasteries in the vicinity of Chicago. In his inspiring speech he invited all to take care of their spiritual wellbeing by helping the monasteries and their brotherhoods and sisterhood.
The benefit dinner concluded with a prayer and was an especially successful event. May God reward you ten-fold for your generosity.
Until next year…