At this most significant time in the church calendar, we are pleased to share exciting news about substantial additional progress in the Cathedral’s endowment funds. These funds provide crucial long-term support for our ministries. You’ll remember that several years ago the Cathedral initiated its first-ever endowment funds, thanks to the foresight and generosity of gifts for the Djuro Dragisich, Milan Rakich, Smiljana Pavichevich Knight and Milorad Cupich Funds. We reported to you that at the end of 2020 our endowment funds totaled about $300,000. Since the beginning of 2021, we are grateful to have received a number of contributions, which bring the total of endowments to $947,000. All gifts are precious and will be carefully stewarded and applied to key Cathedral needs. Three particularly significant endowment gifts are described below. We are pleased to announce the creation of:
The Lebar Family Endowment Fund
Our Cathedral is grateful for the generosity of the Lebar Family. The late +Jane and +Blagunja Lebar family roots come from Northern Macedonia. God blessed them with four children: Nickifor, Yakov, Efka, and Maria, who were all born in Istanbul, Turkey. Their children became very successful professionals and devout Orthodox Christians. Nickifor was an architect, Yakov was a medical doctor, and Efka and Maria worked in administrative roles. The Lebar Family were people of deep faith and devotion to Christ. The family supported many institutions throughout their lifetime. They always treasured the many visits to their home for the past 15 years made by their parish priest, Fr. Darko Spasojevic. They also cherished visits with the late +Father Dennis Pavichevich. The Lebar Family has generously donated $500,000 to our Cathedral Endowment Program and $500,000 to the St. Sava Monastery in Libertyville. The family establishes this lasting legacy to continue the spiritual growth of our Cathedral family for centuries to come. The Lebar Family, in gratitude to God, established this endowment as a result of true faith and trust in the Lord. Offering thanksgiving and sharing our gifts from God is the essence of the life in the Church. Give rest, O Lord, to the Lebar Family and establish them in Paradise.
Dusan and Golubica Sarich Endowment Fund
Our Cathedral Family is honored to announce the establishment of the Golubica Saric Endowment Fund. Golubica, who passed away shortly after her 100th birthday, will always be remembered as a kind and loving person who gave many years of her time and talents for the wellbeing of our parish. She worked tirelessly for our parish Kolo and Chetnik Kolo organizations. Golubica and her late husband +Dusan, were one of the first wave of immigrants who came to America in the late 1940s. The journey to America was not easy. Loyal Chetniks, Dusan and Golubica, then pregnant, fled the encroaching Communists and Ustase, crossing the Korana River during a harsh winter. Golubica almost froze to death but was saved by a kind family who took her in and immediately placed her in front of a fire, saving her life. Their eldest daughter, Grozdana, was born in a refugee camp in Eboli, Italy and their second daughter, Jelena, was born in a refugee camp in Germany. After arriving in America, the late Dusan and Golubica settled in Chicago and were blessed with two more daughters, Biserka and Dana (all current Kolo members). When her children grew older, she became active in parish life. She served as Kolo Vice-President, and President of the Kolo Auditing Board. She also served as president of the Chetnik Kolo for many years and was honored to be elevated to Honorary President of the Chetnik organization. Most of all, Golubica will always be remembered by her tireless labor as the head cook for the Cathedral. She prepared many exquisite dinners for church slavas, banquets honoring royalty and many dignitaries, and hundreds of weddings and baptism celebrations during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. Her many years of service to our Cathedral and the Kolo have proven very valuable. The decades of dedication are truly a labor of love for our Serbian Orthodox Church and our rich Serbian culture.
The Yovovich Family Endowment Fund
The Yovovich Family Endowment Fund, in memory and honor of George and Elizabeth (Djoko and Radojka) Yovovich. The family has generously donated $100,000 to launch this fund. George and Elizabeth met and were married in a Displaced Persons camp in Ebola, Italy in 1946, having survived the brutal war years and fled Yugoslavia. At the camp, they met a number of fellow refugees who would also come to America and become lifelong friends and fellow members of our Cathedral. George and Elizabeth arrived in Chicago in 1950 and were blessed to be able to live only three buildings away from the church that was central to their family and lives. Paul and Mary Yovovich are long-time stewards of our Cathedral, supporting various ministries, including St Sava Academy. Their stewardship is both an act of almsgiving to our Cathedral and an expression of gratitude to God for his grace and blessings.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy we pray, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights.” Our Cathedral is deeply grateful to the Saric, Lebar, and Yovovich families, and all our generous stewards, for wholeheartedly sharing the gifts granted to them by God. Our Cathedral benefits in this and future generations from the generosity of endowments that sustain our ministries and establish a lasting legacy for generations to come. A gift to establish an endowment is an investment not only in the present and future of this world, but in the world to come, as well.