Wednesday, September 26, 2007
- Father Steve Tumbas, St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
We at St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church were sorely disappointed by the minimal coverage by the Ledger Dispatch of a most momentous recent event in the history of our church, indeed in the history of the town of Jackson.
Born in 1863, Father Sebastian Dabovich, the first American-born Serbian Orthodox priest, traveled to Jackson to minister to the Serbian miners. Due to his encouragement, the first Serbian Orthodox Church in the United States was completed in 1894. Father Sebastian also traveled widely in the United States, as well as to other continents, in his tireless missionary efforts. He died and was buried in Serbia in 1940.
For many years, we in Jackson have been trying to have the relics of Father Sebastian returned to our church. Over Labor Day weekend, we saw this desire fulfilled. With five hierarchs in attendance (including one who traveled from Serbia, and one from Australia), as well as over thirty clergy from the Western States and across America, we celebrated divine liturgy at the St. Sava Camp and then processed to our church where the relics were interred.
We had sent the press release announcing this event to the Ledger Dispatch, the Sacramento Bee, and the Stockton Record. The latter two publications sent reporters and photographers out in advance of the event and on the day of the event, resulting in stunning coverage in their papers.
Mayra Jimenez of your staff has been extremely supportive of St. Sava and did contact us to obtain a photo and information for a caption. This appeared on the Religion page. We are grateful for her efforts. But we find it embarrassing that such an historic event which took place in Jackson and was of front-page importance was virtually overlooked by the local paper.
Father Steve Tumbas
St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church
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