Cathedral Timeline

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The following is a brief synopsis of historical events that have occurred and impacted Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral over the last 100 years. More detailed information may be found in the official history book available in our Cathedral bookstore.

1872 – On July 5, the first known Serbian settler, Ivan Vucetich, arrives in Chicago.

1878 – On September 19, the first Serbian organization “Obilich” is founded, with the purpose of “Slavic Unity” in response to the Russo-Turkish war.

1881 – The Serbian-Montenegrin Charitable Institution is organized.

1892 – Archimandrite Firmilian Drazich, later to become Metropolitan of Skoplje, visits Chicago from April until September. Fr. Drazich has the distinction of being the first Serbian Orthodox priest to serve the Orthodox liturgy in Chicago (in a rented hall). Three Cathedrals in Chicago — Annunciation Greek, Holy Trinity Russian and Holy Resurrection Serbian—herald their beginnings from this common chapel.

1893 – Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich visits Chicago for the first time. Fr. Dabovich serves the first liturgy exclusively for Serbians in a rented hall on Milwaukee Avenue . He organizes a church board, finds a house and converts it to a chapel. He again returns in 1903, 1904 and 1905. Also in the same year, the Columbian Exposition is held in Chicago , and for the first time, Chicago Serbs parade flags on Michigan Avenue .

1894 – On October 17, The Serbian-Montenegrin Charitable Institution is reorganized under the name “Jedinstvo”.

1905- On July 4, the consecration of Holy Resurrection Serbian Church occurs at the newly-created chapel, located at 8 Fowler Street . Fr. Sebastian Dabovich officiates. In the same year, Jedinstvo turns over vestments and a chalice entrusted by Archimandrite Firmilian Drazich to the new church. Also, on September 23, the voluntary society “Obilich” is founded.

1906 – On October 14, The Serbian Singing Society “Branko Radichevich” is formally established. In the same year, the first Serbian tamburitza orchestra, “Srbadija”, comprised of the youth of our parish, is organized.

1908 – Archimandrite Nikifor Simonovich arrives in Chicago as parish priest. Later in the same year, Rev. Sava Vojvodich replaces Archimandrite Nikifor, and remains at Holy Resurrection until 1918.

1909 – Under president Ivan Vucetich, Holy Resurrection buys cemetery plots at Montrose Cemetary for its members.

1910 – On February 10, the Serbian Benevolent Society “St. George” is formed.

1913 – The Serbs in Chicago organize a humanitarian group called “Prosvete”, sending aid to Sarajevo for Serbs during the Balkan Wars. In the same year, on November 13, the first convention of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America is held at our church.

1914 – The parish observes a formal Vidovdan celebration. Chicago newspapers cover the Vidovdan parade, which re-enacts the Battle of Kosovo.

World War I – The Serbian National Defense is organized, headed by Michael Pupin.

1915 – The Servian Sisters Society is issued a charter by the State of Illinois . This charter is the first issued to a Serbian women's organization in America .

1916 – The first North American Orthodox Church Assembly is held on October 5.

1917 – Reverend Mardarije Uskokovic arrives in America .

1918 - Reverend Mardarije becomes parish priest at Holy Resurrection. In September, 52% of the male Serbian population is lost for the allied cause at the Salonika front as World War I comes to a close. In the same year, Corporal Jake Allex Mandusich, of Holy Resurrection parish, is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

1919 – On November 22, Proto Savo Vojvodich dies in Chicago , Illinois at the age of 51.

1921 – Bishop Nikolaj (Velimirovich) serves the first Hierarchical Liturgy at our church.

1923 –Archimandrite Mardarije establishes the Serbian Orthodox American-Canadian diocese, with Chicago as its see. Also in the same year, 33 acres of land are purchased in Libertyville , Illinois , and dedicated on September 9.

1924 – The S.S.S. Branko Radichevich has a concert commemorating the 100 th anniversary of the birth of its patron, with proceeds to be sent to Belgrade for rebuilding of a monument to Branko Radichevich.

1926 – On April 15, Arch. Mardarije is elevated to the rank of Bishop in Belgrade .

1927 – The Servian Sisters Society is reorganized, at the urging of parish priest Fr. Zivojin Ristanovich, under the name Circle of Serbian Sisters, securing the original charter issued to them in 1915.

1930 – The Junior Order of the United Serbian Society “Jedinstvo” is organized by Nada Rashovich. The first elder is Rade Govedarica. One of the earliest presidents is Desanka Tarailo Mamula, the first Serbian woman to be admitted to the American Bar Association.

1931 – On March 29, the Serbian Singing Federation of America is founded. The S.S.S. Branko Radichevich has the distinction of being the first of the charter members of the new society. Bishop Mardarije serves the last liturgy at the chapel that has served Holy Resurrection parishioners since 1905. In the same year, Protojerej Petar O. Stijacich was elected as permanent priest at the annual assembly. Also, the St. Sava Monastery church is consecrated on September 6.

1932 – In February, the parishioners and board decide to build a new church on the same property. A newspaper reports that the City of Chicago awarded the corner plat of land to our church. The neighbors oppose this, ensuing in a court case. Alderman Ruskovski comes to the defense of the church, and our parish is awarded the land. On August 1 of the same year, ground is broken for the new church. On September 25, 1932, the cornerstone of the new church is consecrated. Kumovi are John R. Palandech and Novak Rashovich. A Chicago Tribune article states that only two buildings are being built at this time, during the Great Depression. One is the Post Office and the other is Holy Resurrection Church .

1933 – On January 1, the first social event in the new church hall is held. Our eldest parishioner, Ivan Vucetich, leads the first kolo. On March 26, the iconastis is consecrated. On Easter Sunday, the first hierarchical liturgy is served in the new church by Bishop Mardarije. On June 25, the new Holy Resurrection Church is consecrated. A full-page ad in the consecration spomenica costs $15.00. On July 2, the Yugoslav World's Fair celebration is held at Soldier Field, with John R. Palandech serving as chairman. In fall of the same year, the parish Serbian school is organized.

1934 – Sunday school is organized at Holy Resurrection, administered by Mrs. Nada Rashovich. On May 27, the 90-bulb chandelier in the dome of the church is consecrated. It was donated by the Serbian youth of Holy Resurrection. On October 9 of the same year, King Aleksandar I is assassinated in Marseilles , France .

1935 – On July 4, Holy Resurrection Church observes its 30 th anniversary, with a program and celebration. In the same year, the S.S.S. Jugovic merges with the S.S.S. Branko Radichevich. On December 12, Bishop Mardarije passes away. His earthly remains lie in our church for three days and three nights prior to his funeral service and burial. Christmas donations to our church total $310.63.

1936 – The S.S.S. Branko Radichevich wins the esteemed Pupin Cup for outstanding choral singing at the Serbian Singing Federation Festival in Akron , Ohio .

Late 1936-Early 1937 – The street address of Holy Resurrection Church changes from 8 Fowler Street to 1905 West Schiller Street .

1937 - Bishop Irinej Djordjevic, administrator of the diocese after the death of Bishop Mardarije, serves his first Hierarchical liturgy in America .

1938 – In the autumn, Bishop Dr. Damaskin, who replaced Bishop Irinej as diocesan administrator and went on to become Metropolitan of Zagreb , serves his first Hierarchical liturgy at Holy Resurrection.

1939 – Our oldest pioneer, Ivan Vucetich, dies on August 11 at the age of 85.

1940 – On April 15, Bishop Dionisije Milivojevich becomes bishop of the American diocese, and on Palm Sunday, he serves his first Hierarchical liturgy at our church. On June 22, Holy Resurrection Church observes its 35 th anniversary with a banquet and program. Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich, first American-born Serbian priest, passes away.

1941 – On April 6, the German Nazis begin bombing Belgrade , inflicting 20,000 deaths and leading to the occupation of Yugoslavia . In May, General Dragoljub “Draza” Mihailovic establishes the first resistance movement of WWII on Ravna Gora mountain in central Serbia and begins the Serbian fight for the Allied cause. In August, over 750,000 people mostly Serbs, Jews and gypsies, are murdered at the Jasenovac extermination camp established by the Ustasa regime of the independent state of Croatia . On November 13, the Serbian National Defense Council is reactivated jointly by the Serbian church and the SNF in our church hall. Led by Proto Petar Stijacich, almost every member of the church joins.

1942 – The first summer camp at St. Sava Monastery opens. Registration is limited to boys.

1944 – The Allies bomb Belgrade on Easter Sunday, April 16, inflicting thousands of deaths. Patriarch Gavrilo and Bishop Nikolaj are imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, and subsequently liberated by American troops in May, 1945. Also, the first summer camp at St. Sava Monastery for girls opens.

1945 – The American Federation of Circles of Serbian Sisters (Kolo Savez) is organized. Nada Rashovich becomes founding president of the new organization. On December 24, Proto Petar O. Stijacich passes away. In the same year, Archimandrite Firmilian Ocokoljich becomes parish priest. Also, Josip Broz Tito assumes power in Yugoslavia , resulting in a wave of emigration for those opposed to the Communist regime, and for those who flee for their very lives. Hundreds of Serbians begin arriving in Chicago , the wave of which continues for the next several years.

1946 – General Dragoljub “Draza” Mihailovic, together with 8 other Serbian Chetniks, is murdered on July 17. In November, executive board purchases pews for the church, at the cost of $2,346.00, including tax. In the same year, the Chicago Serbs mens' basketball team wins the championship for the first time at the Serb National Federation tournament in Cleveland, Ohio .

1947 – Kolo sponsors the first Christmas/Detinci party for church school children in January.

1948 – Holy Resurrection acquires property next door. The church hall is enlarged, and a kitchen and bar is installed at the cost of $40,000. King Petar II makes his first visit to our church. Archimandrite Firmilian leaves Holy Resurrection to serve in the Pittsburgh parish. He is replaced by Fr. Milan Gruncich, followed by Rev. Nikola Stojsavljevich and Father Zivan Gavrilovich. Bato Govedarica, basketball star at DePaul University, wins the Most Valuable Player award at the SNF basketball tournament. A new camp building, built at St. Sava Monastery, is dedicated.

1949 – The S.S.S. Branko Radichevich makes history as the first choir to travel by airplane, chartering a flight to Johnstown , PA , as guests of the St. Nicholas choir.

1950 – King Petar II attends our church for Vidovdan.

1951 – Fr. Dusan Popovich is elected as permanent priest.

1952 – The church pays off the debt assumed by the hall expansion and renovation of the building. In October, Kolo hosts the first Halloween party for church school children. On November 10, Kolo celebrates its 25 th anniversary.

1953 – In the summer, our parish hosts the SNF golf tournament for the first time.

1955 – With the need to once again expand church facilities, the S.S.S. Branko Radichevich gives the first donation of $1,000 toward a new building fund. In the same year, Dusan J. Ljubenko is elected church president, with the distinction of being the youngest (age 27) and first American-born to serve as president. Holy Resurrection hosts the SNF basketball tournament for the first time.

1956 – Bishop Nikolaj passes away on March 18.

1959 –- 6.7 acres of land on Redwood Drive is purchased, at the cost of $184,400. On September 14, John R. Palandech, a founder of Holy Resurrection, its first president and one of two kums of the consecration of the church in 1933, passes away. On August 28, Corporal Mandusich, WWI Congressional Medal of Honor awardee, passes away. Also, the beloved director of the S.S.S. Branko Radichevich, Alexander Savine, passes away.

1960 – On November 4, 5, and 6, Holy Resurrection hosts the SNF bowling tournament for the first time.

1962 – The parish folklore group “SOKO” is organized, with Dragan Jordanovic as choreographer. Several members of our parish leave to form St. Stevan of Decani Serbian Orthodox Church for an English-speaking liturgy. In October, the parish celebrates the burning of the mortgage of the purchase of the land on Redwood Drive .

1963 – Bishop Dionisije is defrocked by the Holy Synod of Bishops. Our diocese is divided into three separate dioceses. These events create a split within the Serbian Orthodox Church. Archimandrite Firmilian is elevated to the rank of bishop on July 27 and assumes authority of the Midwestern Diocese. In the same year, Kolo Kum Trifko Bosnjak passes away. Also, Holy Resurrection hosts the 24 th annual SNF basketball tournament.

1964 – On February 9, our church is elevated to the title of Cathedral. At the annual assembly held at Lane Technical High School , the membership elects to remain with the Mother Church in Belgrade . Church membership dues in 1964 are $13 per year.

1965 – Nada Rashovich, founder of parish Serbian and church schools, founding member of the Kolo Savez, honorary president of the Circle of Serbian Sisters and former choir director, passes away on February 12 at the age of 56. On May 9 of the same year, the St. George SNF Lodge #195 celebrates its 55 th anniversary with a banquet.

1966 – On November 7, the groundbreaking ceremony for our new parish hall is held on our new property. The Kum for the groundbreaking of the parish hall is George Luburich. Also, during the summer, Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia visits Chicago for the first time.

1967 – The Branko Radichevich junior choir, under the direction of Mrs. Vera Monson, appears at the first National Junior Choir Festival at the John Marsh School in South Chicago , Illinois .

1968 – On October 20, our newly-constructed church hall at 5701 North Redwood Drive is dedicated. The Kum of the new church hall is Robert Luburich.

1969 – Rev. Uros Ocokoljich comes to Holy Resurrection as assistant pastor. The year also marks the 750 th anniversary of autocephaly of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Also, Holy Resurrection hosts the SNF basketball tournament.

1970 – The Redwood Tammies, our parish tamburitza orchestra, is organized by Milan Potrebic and directed by Martin Kapugi. The S.S.S. Branko Radichevich hosts the annual Serbian Singing Federation Festival in May.

1971 – On November 3, King Petar II passes away. His remains are interred in the St. Sava Monastery church; King Petar is believed to be the only monarch buried on American soil. Also, Kolo Kum Bozo Milojevich passes away on October 7. In the same year, a special assembly makes the decision to sell the church property on Schiller Street .

1972 – At the March 5 annual assembly, the parish decides to build a new church on Redwood Drive . On May 28, Fr. Uros serves the last liturgy at the Schiller Street church. On June 20, Fr. Dusan Popovich passes away at 9:30 AM after a long illness. On December 10 of the same year, the blessing of the ground for the new Cathedral occurs. The Kum for the groundblessing of the new church is Robert Luburich.

1973 – On July 29, the parish celebrates the blessing of the church foundation. Our parish hosts the SNF Golf tournament in July. In September of the same year, Fr. Uros Ocokoljich is elected permanent priest.

1974 – In May, the five crosses atop the church are blessed. In the same year, Elizabeth Neskow becomes choir director of the S.S.S. Branko Radichevich.

1975 – On January 7, Bishop Firmilian celebrates the Lesser Consecration of the new Cathedral church. On June 14, 1975, Bishops Firmilian and Gregory consecrate our new Cathedral. Church membership dues are $50 per year.

1976 – On March 21, the road north of the Cathedral is officially named Serbian Road . In the summer, the Midwestern Diocese hosts a grand bicentennial celebration at Orchestra hall, with Crown Prince Aleksandar and many other dignitaries in attendance.

1977 – On September 27, Vladimir M. Lugonja, originator of the first Serbian tamburitza group in the United States , Srbadija, youngest member to join the S.S.S. Branko Radichevich and founder of the Serbian Singing Federation of America , passes away.

1979 – The St. Sava Monastery is returned to the Midwestern Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, after years of court litigation. The monastery is added to the name of the Register of National Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

1981 – On November 8, the newly-constructed parish home is blessed by Bishop Dr. Firmilian. On October 17, the United Serbian Society “Jedinstvo” celebrates its centennial. In the same year, Holy Resurrection hosts the 42 nd SNF basketball tournament. Church membership dues are $100 per year.

1982 – On September 7, the restored St. Sava Monastery church is consecrated. Our parish banquet hall is redecorated as a gift from Kolo. In November, a banquet is held honoring the burning of the mortgage of our banquet hall.

1983 – Holy Resurrection hosts the 44 th annual SNF basketball tournament. St. Sava Monastery acquires an additional 30 acres of property. Natalia Rashovich Solaja is elected to the presidency of the Federation of Circles of Serbian Sisters of the Midwest Metropolitanate. Mileva Ruvarac is elected as president of the Serbian Singing Federation of America . Also, construction is begun on an Episcopal residence.

1984 – The oldest living member of our parish, who supervised the renovation of the old church, Dusan Stanojevich, passes away at age 100.

1986 – The St. Sava Theological School opens at the St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville . On April 25, church Kum Robert Luburich passes away.

1987 – Mirko Dobrijevic arrives in Chicago as the Director of Christian Education, working under the guidance of Fr. Uros Ocokoljich.

1988 – On May 7, a testimonial banquet honoring Bishop Dr. Firmilian is held. Also in the same year, the painting of frescos within the Cathedral church commences. On October 7-9, our parish hosts the 43rd SNF bowling tournament.

1989 – Holy Resurrection Cathedral becomes a major contributor for the St. Sava Church at Vracar in Belgrade . On May 27-29, the S.S.S. Branko Radichevich hosts the 44 th SSF Choral Festival. On November 25, our parish hosts a banquet honoring Fr. Uros for 25 years in the priesthood and 20 years of service at our parish. 1989 marks the commemoration of the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Kosovo.

1990 – On August 5, Holy Resurrection hosts the first SerbFest picnic. On September 25, the Circle of Serbian Sisters celebrates its 75 th anniversary. In, December Pavle, Archbishop of Rasko-Prizren, is elected Patriarch at the Assembly of Holy Bishops, as Patriarch German becomes further incapacitated by illness. A piece of rock from Christ's tomb, gifted by Bishop Nicephorus of Jerusalem , is presented to Fr. Ocokoljich for our church. The priceless artifact is enclosed in the tomb displayed during Holy Week. Also, the 300 th anniversary of the migration of the Serbs is commemorated.

1991 –On April 24, Bishop Nikolaj's remains are disinterred from St. Sava Monastery cemetery and are transferred to Lelic , Serbia , according to his wishes. In May, the Midwest Diocese is elevated to the status of Metropolitanate. On September 29, Bishop Christopher receives the First Rite of Investiture to the throne of Metropolitan at our Cathedral. Also in the same year, the Bishops' Throne is installed in our church. The banquet hall is renovated at the cost of $110,260.41. Violence against Serbs in Croatia leads to fighting and the eventual complete breakup of Yugoslavia . Initiated by Marko Vucenovic and Nenad Madzarac, our parish begins countless numbers of relief drives and fundraisers for humanitarian aid to our brothers and sisters in our homeland. By November, our parish raises over $1 million in humanitarian aid. A bust of Bishop Nikolaj is purchased and installed on the parish grounds. The frescos within the church and altar are completed at a cost of $54,500. Patriarch German passes away on August 27, 1991.

1992 – On February 2, a step towards reconciliation of the Serbian Orthodox Church schism of 1963 was begun via Eucharistic unity in Belgrade . The celebration of 100 years of Orthodoxy is celebrated at Navy Pier in October. In May, Fr. Uros Ocokoljich resigns after 23 years of service at our parish. On November 2, Bishop Dr . Firmilian passes away. On October 10, Patriarch Pavle serves the Patriarchal Divine Liturgy at Holy Resurrection. On December 19 of the same year, Fr. Dennis Pavichevich serves his first liturgy at our church. Also in the same year, Holy Resurrection hosts the 53 rd SNF basketball tournament.

1993 – On March 3, Natalia “Beba” Rashovich Solaja, Executive Board member, Kolo Kuma and former president of the Kolo Savez, passes away. Her remains lie in state at our Cathedral. On May 16, the parish holds a welcome banquet for Fr. Dennis Pavichevich. In November, Fr. Dennis is elected as permanent priest and Dean of Holy Resurrection Cathedral by Metropolitan Christopher, following a unanimous vote by the congregation.

1994 – On January 15, former Director of Christian Education, Mirko Dobrijevic, is ordained into the Holy Diaconate by Metropolitan Christopher. On March 1, basketball star Vlade Divac visits our parish, raising funds for orphans and children in need in Serbia . Fr. Dennis Pavichevich introduces a second liturgy, in English. The Chicago Serbs women's team for the first time wins the SNF basketball tournament in Milwaukee . The Chicago Serbs pee-wees beat the Milwaukee pee-wees at a game refereed by Vlade Divac. The year marks the 400 th anniversary of the burning of the relics of St. Sava.

1995 – On January 18, Deacon Mirko Dobrijevic is tonsured at St. Sava Cathedral, Cleveland , Ohio , taking the monastic name Irinej. Our parish cancels its annual SerbFest picnic, mourning the fall of Krajina. On November 4 and 5, Holy Resurrection celebrates its 90 th anniversary. The new bell tower, holding the bell from the original church on Fowler Street , is blessed during the anniversary festivities. The Order of St. Sava is bestowed upon Walter Vukovich. Momcilo Savatic receives a gramata for his tireless work for our church.

1996 – In November, the S.S.S. Branko Radichevich celebrates its 90 th anniversary with a gala concert. On July 6, the Yugoslav Olympic basketball team attends our parish for humanitarian relief. At the Easter banquet, Zarija Perovic receives a gramata for his longstanding work for our church.

1997 – On February 7, Holy Resurrection sponsors the parish's first Kumovi Sunday. Momcilo Despinich is elected to the presidency of the Serbian Singing Federation. The S.S.S. Branko Radichevich hosts the 56 th annual Serbian Singing Federation festival Memorial Day weekend.

1998 – Holy Resurrection hosts a banquet honoring Fr. Dennis Pavichevich, celebrating 25 years of service in the priesthood.

1999 – Executive Board president Nenad Madzarac dies in office, the first president believed to have done so. He is replaced by first vice president Marko Vucenovic. Dusan J. Ljubenko is elected to the presidency of the Serb National Federation. The womens' washroom is renovated, following a $10,000 donation from the Circle of Serbian Sisters.

2000 – On September 24, Vojislav Kostunica unseats Slobodan Milosevic as president of Serbia , effectively ending 55 years of Communist rule. The parish bookstore opens. In the same year, the lounge area of our hall is renovated. Also, SerbFest expands to two days due to its vast popularity.

2001 – On February 11, a welcome banquet is held for Fr. Djuro Krosnjar, appointed to our parish on January 10 by Metropolitan Christopher. The first Vacation Bible School is held in August. In September, the Socrates-St. Sava Academy for preschool and elementary students opens its doors at our parish. In August, Fr. Djuro celebrates his 25 th anniversary in the priesthood. On November 1, Metropolitan Christopher celebrates his 50 th anniversary in the priesthood. Also in the same year, the Mens' Club dissolves after thirty years of assistance to our church. At the 2001 annual assembly, membership dues are increased to $140/year, effective in 2002.

2003 – On May 19, Bishop Nikolaj (Velimirovich) is canonized as a saint. On April 4, Momcilo Savatic, pojac for over 50 years at Holy Resurrection, passes away. Mr. Savatic arranged his work schedule in order that he never missed a church service.

2004 – On February 22, a banquet welcoming Fr. Darko Spasojevic and Deacon Damjan Bozic to our parish is held. In the same year the kitchen is renovated with the addition of a new floor and freezer, enabled by private donations and a gift from Kolo of $10,000.

2005 – On March 29, the Legion of Merit Award, bestowed posthumously to Chetnik General Dragoljub “Draza” Mihailovich by President Harry S. Truman for the rescue of American servicemen, is presented to his daughter Gordana in Belgrade . In June, a new children's playground is installed on the parish property. Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral celebrates its 100 th anniversary on October 14-16.

Prepared by
Sandra Luburich
and Dr. Vera Dragisich