2148 Michelson Dr, Irvine, CA 92612

Pascha

April 18, 2020 | Father Blasko, Highlight

Dear Broth­ers and Sis­ters,

About two thou­sand years ago, Chris­tian­i­ty con­quered the world with the joy of East­er, the res­ur­rec­tion. This joy was above all an answer to humanity’s per­pet­u­al ques­tion and grief about life‘s dual­i­ty, joy, and mor­tal­i­ty. It is only when we under­stand this that we can appre­ci­ate the great impor­tance the first Chris­tians attached to what might oth­er­wise appear to be an incon­se­quen­tial detail in the gospel account of the res­ur­rec­tion: Christ arose on the first day of the week, the day after the Sab­bath. The first day became “the day of res­ur­rec­tion.” Sun­day became the first day of that new time and of that new life which shone from the tomb. And over that life, as St. Paul wrote, “death no longer has domin­ion” (Rom. 6:9).

Chris­tian­i­ty intro­duced a con­cept of life in which life ceas­es to be the vic­tim of death. “O death, where is thy sting? O hell, where is thy vic­to­ry?” (1 Cor. 15:55). This new expe­ri­ence is the very heart of Chris­tian­i­ty and its fire. Death is over­thrown; no longer is death a hope­less divorce from life. A new day has arrived, the first day of a new cre­ation which over­comes the lim­its of time and brings eter­nal joy and eter­nal life. That expe­ri­ence is the Chris­t­ian basis for the cel­e­bra­tion of East­er. May this new expe­ri­ence of life through Christ’s res­ur­rec­tion become our expe­ri­ence in this Mil­len­ni­um and always!

For all of you who cel­e­brate our Lord’s Res­ur­rec­tion in the name of the Cru­ci­fied and Risen Christ, I pray from my heart for God’s bless­ings to be upon you and your fam­i­ly that you may con­tin­u­al­ly strive for spir­i­tu­al ful­fill­ment in your words, your actions and your thoughts. With such hopes, I greet you all humbly and sin­cere­ly with the vic­to­ri­ous East­er greet­ing:

Christ Is Risen!

With love in the Risen Lord,
Fr. Blasko Parak­lis


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Christmas Greeting

January 7, 2020 | Father Blasko, Highlight

Beloved in the God­child Christ broth­ers and sis­ters,

I wish you a most blessed feast of the Nativ­i­ty of our Lord Jesus Christ and I greet you with the most joy­ous greet­ing:

Peace of God! Christ is Born!

The sto­ry of Christ’s birth speaks to us about the mys­te­ri­ous ways of God. The Tri­une God acts in ways that we do not always expect! His ways are tru­ly won­der-filled. For cen­turies, the Ancient Israelites had expect­ed the Mes­si­ah. The prophets, espe­cial­ly Isa­iah and Jere­mi­ah, called the peo­ple to readi­ness and open­ness to God’s actions. Their mes­sage pro­vid­ed the peo­ple with indi­ca­tions about the com­ing Mes­si­ah.

Yet, when ‘the full­ness of time had come’ (Gal. 4:4), the Mes­si­ah did not arrive as a con­quer­ing hero in a gold­en char­i­ot with pomp and splen­dor. He was not robed in expen­sive cloth­ing. He did not appear in the cap­i­tal city. Throngs of ador­ing fol­low­ers did not accom­pa­ny him.

When the Mes­si­ah final­ly arrived, he came first as a baby. He was born to a young girl, Vir­gin Mary. The event occurred in the sim­ple vil­lage of Beth­le­hem. He was shel­tered in a place reserved for ani­mals because the inn was full. There, in such sim­ple cir­cum­stances, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth…” (Jn. 1: 14). This is the mys­te­ri­ous way of God’s rev­e­la­tion!

Through the Christ­mas sto­ry, Our Lord reveals that God acts in ways that we do not always expect. We can­not shape the mighty acts of God to our lim­it­ed under­stand­ing. The Tri­une God is greater than our lim­it­ed per­cep­tions of Him, yet He reveals Him­self through the incar­na­tion of the Sec­ond per­son of The  Holy Trin­i­ty  God-man Jesus Christ. He acts in mys­te­ri­ous and won­drous ways to draw us to Him and to one anoth­er in love.

I wish you a most blessed Christ­mas and Hap­py New 2020 Year!

With love in Christ,

Fr. Blasko Parak­lis


Easter Celebration & Schedule of Services

April 17, 2019 | Father Blasko

Dear Broth­ers and Sis­ters:

Please view the fly­er for East­er cel­e­bra­tion with reser­va­tion por­tion for the ban­quet. I kind­ly ask you to send in your reser­va­tions as soon as pos­si­ble. Here bel­low is the Sched­ule of ser­vices:

Also, please plan on com­ing & attend­ing the Annu­al meet­ing on Palm Sun­day April 21st!

THE SERVICES OF HOLY WEEK

Since the ear­ly days of the Church, there has been a cycle of ser­vices cel­e­brat­ed dur­ing Holy Week and Pascha.

April 20th Lazarus Sat­ur­day Div. Litur­gy at 9:00 AM

Ves­pers ser­vice and vrbica at 5 PM Please bring chil­dren @ 4:45 PM for pro­ces­sion with Vrbica and Bells

April 21stCVETI ENTRANCE OF OUR LORD INTO JERUSALEM:Divine Litur­gy at 10:00am: This litur­gy her­alds the end of the Great Fast and the begin­ning of Holy Week as Christ tri­umphant­ly enters into Jerusalem. The tra­di­tion, as the tropar states and the icon shows, is for a pro­ces­sion of palms led by the chil­dren. So begins our jour­ney into Holy Week. Dur­ing Holy Week, we fast from meat, poul­try, dairy prod­ucts, eggs, fish, wine and oil.

April 21st — Bride­groom Matins at fol­low­ing Annu­al meet­ing pm:Known in the Church as The End, the imagery here is about the Last Judg­ment. It relates the deep anguish of Christ as He pre­pares for His Pas­sion. The ser­vices tell us to be ever vig­i­lant for we do not know when God will come. These ser­vices are a tri­umph of the escha­to­log­i­cal (last days) imagery in the Church.

April 22nd — VelikiPoned­e­qak Great and Holy Mon­day Pre­sanc­ti­fied Litur­gy at 10:00am:
The read­ings from Exo­dus dur­ing these ser­vices tell of the Passover which pre­cedes the Passover (Pascha) of Christ.

April 22nd — Bride­groom Matins at 7:00 pm.

April 23rd — Velik­i­U­torak Great and Holy Tues­day Pre­sanc­ti­fied Litur­gy at 10:00 am

April 23rd — Bride­groom Matins at 7:00 pm

April 24th — VelikaSre­da Great and Holy Wednes­day Pre­sanc­ti­fied Litur­gy at 10:00 am

April 24th — VelikaSre­da Great and Holy Wednes­day Holy Unc­tion at 7pm, at St. Steven Ser­bian Ortho­dox Cathe­dral at 1621 West Gar­vey Ave., in Alham­bra. For Holy Unc­tion there should be more priests serv­ing, there­fore, all of us Ser­bian priests gath­er togeth­er at the Cathe­dral to per­form this Holy Sacra­ment for all the Faith­ful. This ser­vice relates to the event when the har­lot anoints Christ and is for­giv­en. On this day we cus­tom­ar­i­ly anoint the peo­ple with Holy Oil as a sign of heal­ing and remis­sion of sins.

April 25th — Veli­ki ^etvr­tak Great and Holy Thurs­day: Holy Ves­pers Litur­gy of Holy Thurs­day at 10:00am: This solemn Litur­gy com­mem­o­rates the First Eucharist also known as Red Thurs­day. The dark­ness of the week is bro­ken slight­ly because of the impor­tance of the Eucharis­tic event. Tra­di­tion­al­ly the priest pre­pares the reserve sacra­ment of the year. The pas­sion of Christ is now close.

April 25th — Veli­ki ^etvr­tak — Great and Holy Thurs­day Matins of Holy Fri­day Thurs­day evening at 7:00pm. The ser­vice, com­mon­ly known as “The Twelve Gospels“as the Church, remem­bers the betray­al and cru­ci­fix­ion of Christ by read­ing the twelve Gospel accounts. A cli­mat­ic point of Holy Week empha­siz­ing the real­i­ty of actions.

April 26th — VelikiPetak — Great and Holy Fri­day Roy­al Hours at 10:00am: Known as Roy­al because there is a Gospel read­ing and the Emper­or would attend this ser­vice. It recounts the entire Gospel and Pas­sion of Jesus Christ.

April 26th — Veli­ki Petak — Great and Holy Fri­day Ves­pers at 4:00pm: Remem­ber­ing the cru­ci­fix­ion and death of Christ. There is a solemn pro­ces­sion as the bur­ial shroud (plash­tan­i­ca) is brought out to the peo­ple. Christ is laid in the tomb and our vig­il of the Res­ur­rec­tion begins.

April 26th — Like every year, please bring chil­dren for col­or­ing of eggs from 5 — 7 PM

April 26th — Veli­ki Petak — Great and Holy Fri­day Matins of Holy Sat­ur­day on Fri­day evening at 7:00pm: Known as the Prais­es of the Lamen­ta­tions, the ser­vice begins the Sab­bath as Christ lays in rest in the tomb. Often seen as a funer­al ser­vice for Christ, in fact it is a com­mem­o­ra­tion of the law and love of God towards His peo­ple.

April 27th — Veli­ka Sub­o­ta — Great and Holy Sat­ur­day and The Annu­ci­a­tion Ves­per­al Litur­gy of Holy Sat­ur­day at 10:00am: The death of Christ is linked with the cre­ative acts of God. It is here that Christ descends into Hell and breaks the doors. The ser­vice inau­gu­rates the paschal cel­e­bra­tion as the ser­vice is bright and uplift­ing. The tomb is revealed as a place of life.

April 27th — Velika­Sub­o­ta Vaskrsno jutrewe- Great and Holy Saturday:The Ser­vices of the Great and Holy Pascha Sat­ur­day evening start­ing at 11:30pm: The Joy of Joys, Hol­i­day of Hol­i­days, cel­e­brat­ing Christ’s Res­ur­rec­tion. The ser­vice begins with noc­turn antic­i­pat­ing the Res­ur­rec­tion. The pro­ces­sion fol­lows at mid­night announc­ing the Res­ur­rec­tion to the world. We then cel­e­brate the Paschal matins.Baskets will be blessed after Ruser­recional Matins on Pascha night and again fol­low­ing Divine Litur­gy on Sun­day.

April 28th — “VASKRSEWE HRISTOVO” — PASCHA CELEBRATION, Divine Litur­gy at 10:00am at Parish Cen­ter, 2148 Michel­son Dr., Irvine. This is the Great and Joy­ous Litur­gy cel­e­brat­ing the Pascha of our Lord.The Parish cel­e­brates the Res­ur­rec­tion with a feast and events for the chil­dren and adults. Ban­quet will be held after the Divine Litur­gy at St. Mark Anti­ochi­an Church. See the detailed infor­ma­tion lat­er in this Newslet­ter. Ser­bian Music and enter­tain­ment will be pro­vid­ed by Pagani­ni Orches­tra.

April 29th — Vaskrsni poned­e­qak ‑Bright Week. The Divine Litur­gy will be held at 10:00 am.

April 30th — Vaskrsni utorak ‑Bright Week (on Tues­day ‑no Litur­gy here — there will be Litur­gy @ the Monastery in Escon­di­do) and on Mon­day, April 16th, the Divine Litur­gy will be held at 10:00 am.

Also, dear Broth­ers and Sis­ters: One Ser­bian Lady is look­ing for a domes­tic job to take care of an elder­ly per­son or chil­dren. If you know of any­one who needs such a work­er please let me know.

Wish­ing you all a blessed remain­der of Holy Great Lent,

With love in Christ,

Fr. Blasko


One Million Dollar Building Fund Matching Challenge Update

October 24, 2017 | Father Blasko

Dear Nativ­i­ty of the Most Holy Theotokos Ser­bian Ortho­dox Church Parish­ioners and Friends,

There are only five weeks remain­ing in the Mil­lion Dol­lar Match. Now is the time, before this great oppor­tu­ni­ty expires, to make a dona­tion to our Build­ing Fund that will be matched, i.e., dou­bled, by His Excel­len­cy Mr. Milan Pan­ic.

(more…)


Important Survey

May 21, 2017 | Father Blasko

Dear Parish­ioners,

On behalf of the board, I would like to give you an overview of three inter­wo­ven ini­tia­tives that are under­way to ensure the health and longevi­ty of our church com­mu­ni­ty. Many of you have been involved in sus­tain­ing our place of wor­ship, our com­mu­ni­ty, and our unique cul­tur­al lin­eages. Some of you have joined us recent­ly, and some of have per­se­vered since the incep­tion almost 19 years ago. We are grate­ful for all that each of you has done. The time has come, through the grace of God and gen­eros­i­ty of Mr. Milan Pan­ic, for us to make more sub­stan­tial progress toward ensur­ing that we, and those that fol­low, will have a per­ma­nent struc­ture in Orange Coun­ty to wor­ship togeth­er, to inter­act as a sup­port­ive com­mu­ni­ty, and to con­tin­ue the unique iden­ti­ties of our Ortho­dox Faith and our cul­tur­al lin­eages.

Along with man­ag­ing the day to day oper­a­tions of our parish, the three inter­laced ini­tia­tives include a sur­vey, the devel­op­ment of our purpose/vision/values guid­ing doc­u­ment, and the nec­es­sary fund­ing to secure a per­ma­nent struc­ture. This sur­vey will pro­vide cru­cial infor­ma­tion about our hopes and dreams for this parish. It will also pro­vide insight into what we envi­sion for this parish’s per­ma­nent struc­ture. The infor­ma­tion from the sur­vey will be foun­da­tion­al for the oth­er two ini­tia­tives and will guide our future actions on these ini­tia­tives. Please take the time to share your expe­ri­ences and views through this sur­vey. As you will see in the intro­duc­tion of the sur­vey, your indi­vid­ual respons­es will be held con­fi­den­tial. The com­piled data will first be shared with the board and then with the whole parish. Narand­ja Milanovich, BSME, MME, MA Coun­sel­ing, MA Psy­chol­o­gy, Ph.D. Psy­chol­o­gy along with her hus­band Gary Eagle­son, will com­pile the results of the sur­vey and present this data to the church board and parish.

The purpose/vision/values doc­u­ment will ini­tial­ly be draft­ed by a small­er group of parish­ioners, for prac­ti­cal pur­pos­es, fol­lowed by the engage­ment of the whole parish. For clar­i­ty, below are some thoughts on what this doc­u­ment is about.

Our pur­pose (or mis­sion) state­ment will answer the ques­tion ‘Why does this parish exist?’ in the larg­er con­text of the Church as a liv­ing man­i­fes­ta­tion of our spir­i­tu­al beliefs. A pur­pose state­ment (or mis­sion state­ment) is some­thing that will direc­tion­al­ly guide those that fol­low us for decades to come. The vision answers the ques­tion, ‘What will be accom­plished?’ in the next 5–10 years in pur­suit of our purpose/mission. The vision state­ment speaks to spe­cif­ic, con­crete objec­tives and goals that we can mea­sure. The val­ues or rules of engagement/conduct pro­vide guid­ance of how we are to act and be as we move toward our vision. All three ele­ments: purpose/vision/values give direc­tion to our deci­sions as we search for fund­ing, secur­ing a per­ma­nent struc­ture, and how we con­duct our day to day oper­a­tions in the parish.

We will ensure align­ment of the con­tents of purpose/vision/values to coin­cide and align with our Ser­bian Ortho­dox Church’s West­ern Diocese’s mis­sion. It will be the pri­ma­ry guid­ing doc­u­ment for a future deci­sion regard­ing secur­ing our per­ma­nent struc­ture and our day ‑to- day oper­a­tions. Narand­ja Milanovich, Gary Eagle­son, and Mila Evanovich will pro­vide facil­i­ta­tion for the devel­op­ment of our guid­ing doc­u­ment.

The ongo­ing search for fund­ing and secur­ing of our per­ma­nent struc­ture has entered a unique six-month phase. Mr. Milan Panic’s gen­er­ous offer to match up to one mil­lion dol­lars will expire Novem­ber 13, 2017, so there is much to accom­plish giv­en this unique oppor­tu­ni­ty. Spear­head­ing the match­ing fund’s effort is John Vukaso­vich, and he will be look­ing for exper­tise and help. Our vision of what we fore­see for our future parish facil­i­ty must be clear and con­cise because it will guide our imple­men­ta­tion strat­e­gy. The imple­men­ta­tion strat­e­gy will in turn set pri­or­i­ty and tim­ing for which struc­tures (cul­tur­al cen­ter, hall, sanc­tu­ary, et al.) will be secured and made oper­a­tional first. Please make sure you answer the last ques­tion in the sur­vey per­tain­ing to the area where you want to get involved, using your unique skills and expe­ri­ences.

I am hope­ful that we are enter­ing a more secure and sus­tain­able phase of our parish where we can con­tin­ue our spir­i­tu­al devel­op­ment, get and give sup­port as a com­mu­ni­ty, and ensure the longevi­ty of our unique Ortho­dox Chris­t­ian and cul­tur­al lin­eages.

The sur­vey is avail­able here (or https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/58P27R2).

Bless­ings to each of you,

Father Blasko on behalf of
Nativ­i­ty of The Most Holy Theotokos Ser­bian Ortho­dox Church of Orange Coun­ty

Orig­i­nal Let­ter from Father Blasko


Father Blasko’s Sermon on the Incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

June 10, 2014 | Father Blasko, Media, Uncategorized


Father Blasko’s Sermon on the Love of the Living and the Dead

May 5, 2014 | Father Blasko, Media, Uncategorized


Father Blasko’s Sermon on the Resurrection of Christ

April 28, 2014 | Father Blasko, Media, Uncategorized


Father Blasko’s Sermon on The Cross of Christ

April 28, 2014 | Father Blasko, Media, Uncategorized


Father Blasko’s Sermon on Palm Sunday

April 28, 2014 | Father Blasko, Media, Uncategorized