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Decani Monastery Relief Fund Report for April, May, June & July 2002
By Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
August 2002
Boise, Idaho

The Decani Monastery Relief Fund is a non-profit organization.
For more information please click here
This web site is dedicated to the God-loving Archpriest Victor Potapov - we humbly thank for his great Christian love and assistance.

The Decani Monastery Relief Fund Was Established in October 1998

President: Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes (Boise, Idaho)

First Vice President: His Grace Bishop Teodosije (Decani Monastery, Kosovo)

Second Vice President: Hieromonk Sava (Decani Monastery, Kosovo)

Treasurer: Gioia-Maria Frahm, (Boise, Idaho)

Secretary: Lois Fletcher, Attorney At Law (Boise, Idaho)
Our Patron Saint is
St. Sava of Serbia!

With the humble blessings of

  • His Grace Bishop Artemije, of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Raska Prizren.
  • His Grace, Bishop Teodosije, Abbot of Visoki Decani Monastery.
  • Hieromonk Sava of the Decani Monastery
  • His Holiness Patriarch Pavle, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovac
  • His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, Archbishop of Constantinople, and the Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchate
  • His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah, Presiding Hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver
  • The Friends Of Mt. Athos (in America): The Hon. Sir Steven Runciman, C.H.
  • His Grace Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia.
  • Dear Friends In Christ Our Lord,

    Thanks to God! We would like to humbly thank the kind souls who made Christ-loving donations to the Decani Monastery Relief Fund during the months of April, May, June, and July 2002.

    By your kind donations, we can assist the much needs such as the Children's Relief Campaign, the Satellite Internet Fund for the Decani Monastery, the assistance for General Need's such as food, shelter, and follow-up for medical assistance. Truly what a blessed hour, since so many struggling and suffering souls in Kosovo and Metohija will be assisted by your great Christian love and help! May our Lord God reward you for your help!

    The matter of sufferings continue however since the last time we reported you in regards to the Serbian Orthodox Church in Kosovo and Metohija, the destruction and damages of the Serbian Orthodox Churches and Monasteries has now risen to 112, and several Serbian Orthodox cemeteries have also been damaged, including even monastic graves.

    The situation is that many Serbian citizens have to live in total isolation, in fear of their lives, as they are constantly in fear of travel throughout the regions of Kosovo and Metohija.

    The matter of local hospitals including mental hospitals have become deplorable in helping the necessary needs of both adults, which well includes the elderly, and children, which are known to have become neglected, as even the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren Kosovo and Metohija, seek out to offer assistance but denied even at times access to help in the needs of those in these local hospitals, and which well include the mental hospitals, and the elderly! Serbian doctors cannot access to the great abundant needs of these citizens, as they even have offered assistance to any citizen no matter what ethnic background. It's almost impossible for a Serbian doctor to perform his medical duties throughout these regions, simply because he is Serbian. The matter is that those who are very ill and need further medical follow up must be quickly transferred if possible (as travel is very dangerous) to a hospital in Belgrade.

    Then we have a URGENT matter : The local municipal court in Decani are seeking to take land from Decani Monastery from this 14th century monastic community, and this matter continues to get out of hand, and even if a portion of this land is taken from the monastery, more land, and the actual compound of the whole Monastery will be next. This land on the grounds of the Decani Monastery does not belong to no one but the Decani monastic community, we appeal to you to please seek further protection for this land, and monastery, as well as assist our Decani Monastery Relief Fund so that we can help the efforts of the Decani Monastery to justly recover their right use freely the land that belongs to this Monastery. Please kindly read the following URGENT report from the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren:
    Date: Fri, 9 Aug 2002 15:48:46

    URGENT ..... URGENT ..... URGENT




    Judge Haki Balaj "annuls" decision of the Serbian Government

    Visoki Decani, August 9, 2002

    On Friday, August 2, 2002, after nine consecutive sessions the muncipal court in Decani, with Judge Haki Balaj presiding, annulled the decision of the Government of the Republic of Serbia from 1997 returning to the Monastery of Visoki Decani a part of the land which was nationalized illegally and without compensation in 1946.

    For more than three years there has been continuous pressure from the Decani municipality to deprive the monastery brethren of their right to use the land returned to the monastery by a special contract with the Government of the Republic of Serbia in 1997. This includes two land parcels totalling 23.45 hectares in immediately proximity to the monastery which were, together with 700 additional hectares of monastery property, illegally nationalized in 1946. For years the monastery unsuccessfully sought to correct this injustice and return at least a part of its property; however, the local authorities had simply distributed the greater part of the monastery land into the private hands of Albanians, who built their houses on it.

    Built on the two above mentioned and now contested land parcels over time were the Visoki Decani Motel, in the forest immediately above the monastery, and "Apiko", a small honey-packing plant; both of these were abandoned and have been closed since the beginning of the 1990's. Finally in 1997 the monastery succeeded in getting these two land parcels and the buildings on them back from the Government of the Republic of Serbia. The contract with the Government of the Republic of Serbia was duly processed and recorded in all relevant land registry books, and the brethren began to use their property, which had belonged to the Monastery of Visoki Decani for centuries.

    After the war the newly established Albanian municipal authorities immediately contested the decision of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and sought every possible means to take away this land from the monastery. In 2000, because of the firm position of the monastery brotherhood on the property issue, two mortar attacks were launched against the monastery in which, fortunately, no one was injured. KFOR secured all monastery property and UNMIK head Dr. Bernard Kouchner issued a special letter confirming the right of the monastery to use its own land. However, the municipal authorities pursued the matter and immediately filed a petition which has, in the meanwhile, been transferred to the district court in Pec, only to be bounced back to the municipal court in Decani. The monastery brotherhood did not attend hearings for the simple reason that the municipal court has no jurisdiction in this type of case and because it considered such acts on the part of local municipal authorities to be blatant examples of institutional repression.

    The municipal court based its decision on unfounded facts and inaccurate information with the intent of proving the illegality of the decision of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. Special significance was given to UNMIK Regulation 1999/24, according to which all contracts concluded after March 22, 1989 are supposedly "illegal". The best evidence of the arbitrary interpretation of this regulation is the fact that the Albanians are not contesting any of the contracts concluded in the last ten years which are to their benefit.

    The Monastery of Visoki Decani will seek protection from UNMIK from blatant institutional repression waged against the last remaining Serb enclave in Decani municipality. While hundreds of hectares of privately-held land owned by Serbs have been usurped by the Albanians and state-owned property is being illegally appropriated left and right, UNMIK must nevertheless seek to protect the legitimate rights of the monastery which desires to preserve its property and which is essential to its economic survival. The monastery will also officially seek the assistance of the Government of the Republic of Serbia which must not allow its decisions to be annulled by court institutions without jurisdiction or objectivity.

    Information Service of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren Kosovo and Metohija,

    Contact person:
    Fr. Sava (Janjic)

    Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren

    Veljko Sikirica the Secretary-Treasure has now submitted for consideration the Decani Monastery Relief Fund Report for April, May, June and July 2002:

    Decani Monastery Relief Contributions for April 2002 - July 2002
    Contributor Name

    Children's Relief Campaign:
    548 Peter & Magdaline Bouras
    549 Luke & Gloria Buyenovich
    550 Miljana Bovan & Rasko Ojdrovic
    551 Greg Cook
    552 Joseph & Annette Chinn
    553 Cahterine & Alesander Bizakis
    554 Barr Jozwicki
    555 First Church in Chestnut Hill
    556 Josif Djordjevich
    Children's Relief Campaign: Sub-total $1,370.00
    Satellite Internet Fund For the Decani Monastery
    557 Josif & Kathleen Djordjevich
    558 Marko & Milena Kerkez
    559 Joel E. Cloeter
    560 Anonymous from Slovenia
    Satellite Internet Fund For the Decani Monastery: Sub-total $1,233.00
    General Needs
    561 Joe & Catherine Patzke
    562 St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church (first donation)
    563 St. Elizabeth Orthodox Church (a second donation)
    564 Peter N. Kovis
    565 Olga Nicki & Basil R. Nielson
    566 Panos
    567 Judith A Dines
    568 Dr. George & Diane Changas
    569 Obrad & Rebeca Kesich
    570 Willilam & Elizabeth Kuretich
    571 Athanasios
    572 Darla Buhler
    573 Anonymous from Pennsylvania
    574 John Kapetan
    575 Yvonne (Mary) McCoy
    576 Irene Itina
    577 John Kapetan
    General Needs Sub-total $1, 785.00
    Total for April, May, June and July 2002 $4,388.00
    Previous balance up to March 31, 2002 $105,352.38
    Grand Total as of July 31, 2002 : $109,740.38

    Humbly submitted on August 8, 2002 by

    Veljko Sikirica

    Thank you humbly for your gracious donations, as every kind loving soul will be remember in prayer, as these names are sent to the Decani Monastery.

    We ask for your loving prayers, and it's our prayer that our Gracious Lord God will bless you with His Right Hand. If you would like to help the Decani Monastery Relief Fund with a donation of your choice please send it to the following address:
    Decani Monastery Relief Fund
    c/o Veljko Sikirica
    4 West Hill Street
    Baltimore, MD 21230
    If you would also like to have a tax deductible report for your donation, please indicate this when you send in your donation.

    Thank You Humbly!

    God love and bless you!

    Your Venerable Brothers In Christ Our Lord,

    ++Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
    President of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund,
    ++Archimandrite Teodosije & Hieromonk (Father) Sava
    Vice Presidents,
    Veljko Sikirica
    Secretary Treasurer

    Holy Saint Sava,
    Pray Unto God For Us!


    Content written/compiled by Father Demetrios Serfes.
    (c)2002 Father Demetrios Serfes