In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Dear Reader,


                By now you might have already heard of St. Luke’s Serbian Orthodox Mission. With this, our first publication of ‘The Missionary’, we wish to inform you of our purpose and future plans.

                St. Luke’s Mission is composed of Serbian Orthodox Christians who are dedicated to the propagation of the faith, the promotion of Orthodox Christian arts, and the expression of Christian love through humanitarian efforts. In this respect, St. Luke is an exemplary model in all three areas: as the evangelist who wrote the 3rd Gospel; as the first iconographer; and as a physician. In his life, he showed a truly holistic approach, combining healing of body, healing of soul, and revealing the Divine in the created world through his artistry. We can hope to be but weak mimics of his saintly efforts. Although it is the obligation of every gathering of Orthodox Christians, from the family unit to the parish and the diocese, to express these same goals, we felt that an organization of lay church members should also dedicate itself to this missionary work, in much the same way that this was done (and continues to this day) by the lay organization known as ‘Bogomoljci’, founded by the holy bishop, St. Nikolai of Zicha, in the 1930’s.

                St. Luke’s Mission does not intend to compete with the work of our parishes but rather to complement it. We can paraphrase St. Nikolai: if you must compete, then compete to do the greatest good. Indeed, our publication, The Missionary, is dedicated to the memory of St. Nikolai, who in his life struggled to evangelize everyone that he came in contact with. His words to this day continue in their transfiguring strength in his many writings, whether in theologic prayer, in sermons, in religious lyrics or in prose.

                Evangelization is not an instant ‘conversion’ of a person. It is more of a process, a growth in our knowledge of God, not in the sense of knowing more facts about the faith, but in learning the mind of God, and living His law – making His Kingdom our kingdom. Evangelization is the gift of the Good News (lit. Gospel) which we give each other from our strength and receive from each other in our weakness, and the force which makes all this possible is love, which comes down from above and is shared amongst all on earth. In this way we are all in the same boat, on the same ocean, and seeking the same port. All are learners, all are beginners, all are in a process of becoming. The saints serve as our helmsmen, having already traveresed the treacherous waters of this world with success. This process of change has specific names attached to it in our faith, names which we all know. The two most expressive ones are metania which means, literally, to change direction, and transfiguration (metamorphosis in Greek) which refers to a profound change in our very nature. This is a bidirectional process. Our efforts to redirect the course of our lives toward God (metania) lead to a change in our being (transfiguration) which is the gift of God the Spirit. The process is not instantaneous but lifelong. Many lose their way on this journey, as we can see all around us, both outside and within our own families.

The Missionary, with God’s blessing, will be published regularly four times yearly.

The current issue is dedicated to the Orthodox family. This family has multiple manifestations in each of our lives. At its base is the expression of faith within our own home, with our biologic family and closest friends. This expands into the parish family with whom we meet regularly in group prayer and communion, and ultimately into the family of all Orthodox Christians to which our particular parish/diocese/partriarchate belongs. This great Orthodox Christian family is bound together not by corporations, constitutions and bylaws but by a common faith which we express every minute of our lives through mutual love. One practical expression of this love is the act of remembering. We have family events because we remember our biologic relatives. We do the same in the Church. We remember each other in our daily private and family prayers. We remember our sick, travellers, those in distress, and our departed at every service. We remember our bishops and patriarchs, and the patriarchs remember each other at the Liturgy. The simple act of remembrance, in which we recall each other by name is called commemoration, and happens all the time, often without us noticing it. The next time you pray, either alone or communally in church, pay special attention to these commemorations, and remember those named in a conscious effort. This is the only power which binds Orthodox Christians. This is not surprising, since God created all things by the power of His Word (Logos), and to Adam (mankind) He gave express power over creation by having him name the creatures. Nothing distinguishes us more than our name, and there is nothing that we would defend as strongly as our name from those that would slander it. At its foundation there is only One Name which gives life to all other names, and that is the Name of God. Similarly, in God we see the prototype of the family. Though we must never conceive of God in earthly terms, the very nature of our language in calling God Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, implies an understanding of community, as some have expressed it, a Tri-unity of the Godhead.

In this issue we present a series of articles in both Serbian and English with thoughts about the different  Orthodox ‘families’ we live in, realizing that they are in fact inseparable.

The other feature of this first issue is a translation into Serbian, of portions of T. Colliander’s book ‘The Way of the Ascetics’. This devout Russian émigré paraphrases the Church fathers in a way that brings to the average reader a practical approach to the spiritual life. It is to be read as well as studied and applied.

As already stated, St. Luke’s Mission is also interested in Orthodox religious arts and humanitarian efforts. Our activities and interests in these areas are also covered in this issue by various articles.

We hope that you find The Missionary an aid in your spiritual growth, and if so, that you pass it on to someone else to read. Your questions, comments, and opinions are valued. You can contact us at:


            St. Luke’s Mission

P.O. Box 74584

270 The Kingsway

Etobicoke, Ontario

M9A 3T0

Fax (voice mail): +1 (501) 423 - 7348 



Dr. Milutin Drobac