Elderly Serbs found refuge in the Prizren Orthodox Seminary

Decani Monastery Relief Fund :
A Non Profit Organization

by Reverend Presbyter Demetrios Serfes, President,
Hieromonk (Priestmonk) Sava Vice President,
& Veljko Sikirica Secretary-Treasurer

October 8 - The last DMRF Report

Previous DRF Reports

Decani Relief Fund Charter, Fr. Demetrios Web Site

Fr. Teodosije visitina refugee family
Fr. Teodosije, the Abbot of Decani Monastery visiting a Kosovo Serb refugee family


Decani Relief Fund

Most Beloved Friends In Christ Our Lord,

God Love And Bless You Always!

Abiding always with the love of our Gracious Lord God, and through the prayers of St. Sava of Serbia, our patron saint of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund, we greet you, and pray earnestly all is well with you! Rejoice always in the Lord Our God!

We would like to inform you about the basic information on the Eastern Orthodox Decani Monastery Relief Fund in regard to the fact that this organization is non-profit and tax-deductible. This fund was founded in October 1998, with the blessings of His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah the Presiding Hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver. A blessing by His All Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew I, as well as the Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchate in Constantinople (Istanbul). In addition to the blessings of His Grace Bishop Artemije, of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren Gracanica Monastery. Finally with the blessings of both Archimandrite Theodosius Abbot, and Hieromonk Sava, both from the Decani Monastery in Kosovo.

The founder and president are Reverend Presbyter Demetrios Serfes, who is a parish priest of Ss. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Boise, Idaho, USA. Our Vice President is Father Sava from the Decani Monastery in Kosovo, of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and our Secretary Treasurer is Veljko Sikirica. The Decani Monastery Relief Fund keeps its records independently and also they are part of the records of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in which the Archpriest Victor Potapov is the parish priest, which is located in Washington, DC and named St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church. The Decani Monastery Relief Fund constituted of volunteers, and in addition to their time they also donate money to cover all and/or any expenses regarding the fund, therefore making your donation to reach its destiny and the suffering people in Kosovo in the full amount that anyone makes a donation or is being contributed. In addition both Archimandrite Theodosius, and Father Sava, and as well as our Secretary Treasurer Veljko, has a list of names of those who have made donations to the Decani Monastery Relief Fund since its foundation. Every name is remembered as well in God loving prayer daily at the Sacred Decani Monastery in Kosovo.

St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Outside of Russia in Washington, D.C. Church, eventually receives all donations sent directly to Veljko Sikirica our Secretary Treasurer, who then presents them to the treasury of this mentioned Church, and which at the same time this Church as an organization has been granted tax exemption under the Internal Revenue Code and/or Revenue Act. The corresponding tax exemption number is: EIN: 13-1675030. The copy of the IRS letter verifying this status and data is also available, upon request to the Decani Monastery Relief Fund at which time St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church in Washington, DC will in return send you a verification. Your full name and address are important upon this request.

All donations can be made out by check or money orders to the Decani Monastery Relief Fund, and should follow the following instructions:

Decani Monastery Relief Fund
C/O Veljko Sikirica
4 West Hill Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

Please kindly indicate in your addressed letter with your donation, if you would like to obtain a letter and/or receipt from the Decani Monastery Relief Fund confirming your tax-deductible donation. This letter will in return be sent to you directly from St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Church in Washington, DC with an indication of your donation for the Decani Monastery Relief Fund.
Once these God loving donations are received they are then sent to the Decani Monastery in Kosovo, these funds are then used to obtain provisions for food, clothes for both the young and elderly, fire wood, assistance for shelter, and as well as follow up for medical assistance. In particular this fund is interested in assisting the restorations of the said destroyed one hundred and one Serbian Orthodox Churches and Monasteries throughout the region of Kosovo, after the war, however at this time the indications mentioned are first priority, but we pray to assist in these restorations in time. This fund helps throughout the region of all of Kosovo, through the God loving efforts of the monks of the Decani Monastery in Kosovo. We have means and provision to make sure that your God loving donation does reach the Decani Monastery in Kosovo. If you have any further question in this regards you can directly contact Reverend Presbyter Demetrios Serfes in Boise, Idaho USA: 208-345-6147.

All kind donations reach the Decani Monastery in Kosovo within a very short period time, the provisions as indicated are then giving to anyone who as well makes a request for help and assistance no matter what nationality or religion they belong, as all citizens are granted help. The conditions and situation are still very much deplorable, and any God loving donation would be a great help to those still suffering and struggling throughout the area of Kosovo.

The Decani Monastery Relief Fund does not have the means to send directly any particular items such as clothes, and or any other items, as we have learned that it's difficult to transport these items, and would not reach the Monastery safely, and at the same time get into the wrong hands, which are then sold for profit. We therefore accept donations in which both by the God loving efforts of Father Theodosius and Father Sava have means to offer then the proper needs.

We indeed offer to you our God loving thanks for donations, and we give thanks to our Lord God! At the same time one can well imagine the blessings that are bestowed upon those who are indeed deprived of the necessities of life, and further assistance. We cannot even imagine how those currently living in Kosovo specially during the winter months are surviving, and so we constantly make appeals to keep this fund alive and moving forward. We love you and thank you with all our mind, heart, and soul!

We pray earnestly that our Gracious Lord God will Bless you always!

Through the prayers of St. Sava of Serbia, O. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon us and save us! Amen!

Peace be unto your God loving souls!

Your Faithful Friends In Christ Our Lord,

+Reverend Presbyter Demetrios Serfes
President of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund,
+Hieromonk Sava
Vice President,
Veljko Sikirica
Secretary Treasurer

Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes
The President of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund
Web Site of Fr. Nektarios

Who all humbly pray for you, and thank you!

Holy Saint Sava,
Pray Unto God For Us!

Fr. Sava with the children who still live in Pristina in a block of apartments
guarded by British troops (down)

Wellsville Elementary, UT, USA helps Visoki Decani Monastery

In front of Serb block of Apartments

In order to send your God loving donations please now kindly read this appeal from Veljko Sikirica, the Secretary Treasurer of the DRF.

Dear brothers and sisters,
As you know Monastery Visoki Decani has been on the front line in the last couple of years working hard to avert the  tragedy that unfortunately we were not able to prevent from happening.  In that struggle, Father Sava with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren and full support of Abbot Theodosios and his brotherhood, has been the most inspiring light trying to reach through the WWW with the truth about the violence in Kosovo and particularly the suffering of innocent civilians. Beyond the WWW, the hearts of the brotherhood of the Monastery Visoki Decani as well as the doors, were opened immediately to all the suffering both Serbian and Albanian that desperately needed help. The shared what ever they had at their disposal, depriving themselves at times without any second thought.  Immediately they mobilized other Monasteries that followed suite and also invited people of good will from Serbia and around the World to join in this humanitarian effort.  In addition, our brother monks have reached to the suffering and sheltered them with their prayer. They gave them shelter in the monastery compound and also they were sheltering them in their homes, giving protection and all kinds of assistance medical, food, etc. and needless to say exposing their own lives. Both Albanian and Serb population have recognized this extraordinary effort.  They even succeeded to open some routs to bring food and other needed supplies that could not reach the needy due to the fighting.

As you know, Father Sava and our brother monks did what they had to do according to their Orthodox Christian believes and kept quiet not seeking for themselves any publicity or recognition.  However, it is up to us to find out these things and to give testimony and most of all to bring together the best in Christian communities and give a hand to Father Sava, the Monastery of Visoki Decani and the Diocese of His Grace Bishop Artemije, so that they can continue in their wonderful work to alleviate the suffering of so many innocent people and to build the confidence that there is future for a joint life of Albanian, Serbian, Gypsy, Montenegrean, Goranci, Turks and other nationalities in Kosovo and Metohia.

We have received the blessing from His Grace Bishop Artemije to conduct any relief help through the Visoki Decani Monastery and Father Sava as the responsible for the Relief Assistance.

A special account will be opened in USA for the donations. The management of this account will be transparent and the statement of this account will be made available to anyone upon request. Proceeds from donations will be then hand delivered to Father Sava, who will post the names of the donators on the web page. We hope that the transparency of this operation will give people confidence to participate and help this noble cause.

In Christ
Veljko Sikirica

The Monastery During the War - A Safe Haven For all

NYT, Monastic Refuge For Kosovars, June 16
AP, Serb Monastery Protects All Peoples, June 17
KRN, Decani Monks' Courage Saved Lives of Many Kosovars, June 23

Post-War Life of Decani Monastery

In Djakovica
Visiting elderly Serb women in Djakovica
The Story of Last Serb Women in Djakovica

Appeal From Archimandrite Theodosius, Decani Monastery
by Abbot Teodosije, November 2001

Abbot Teodosije
Abbot Teodosije

Visoki Decani
Serbian Orthodox Monastery

Decani, November 27, 2001

Dear Donors, Brothers and Sisters,

Greetings in the Lord!

It has been three years since we began gathering donations for the suffering people in Kosovo and Metohija through our Decani Monastery Relief Fund. These were three years of continual efforts of our dear in Christ: The Very Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios (Serfes), and our brother Veljko Sikirica, as well as all of you who have provided our monastery with necessary funds in order to support those who suffer.

Although we have managed to ease the lives of many the situation in Kosovo, and refugee camps in Serbia nevertheless remains grave. Many people still need our assistance especially now during the harsh Balkan winter. Almost every day someone asks our support to buy food, wood to keep warm, proper shelter, pay for education of their children, medical treatment and many other needs.

We know that there are still many people who have not heard of the suffering people in Kosovo and Metohija, but would like to help those in need. Therefore we kindly ask you to spread the information about our Decani Monastery Relief Fund, and tell them that many poor Christians await help from their brothers and sisters all over the world. What a great joy was for us when little children from Welsley, Utah, Elementary school learned about us from the Internet and sent their aid. Those who cannot help with money they can still do much with their prayers which we need most of all. For us it is most important that what you send comes from the sincere and loving heart.

I am taking this opportunity to express our gratitude for all your love and concern for our people and our brotherhood. May the Merciful Lord, through the prayers of our patron Saint King Stefan of Decani, grant you His abundant mercy and love.

You can send your donations to the following address please:

Decani Monastery Relief Fund
c/o Veljko Sikirica
4 West Hill Street
Baltimore, MD 21230

In Christ Jesus

Abbot Teodosije
with my brethren in Christ

Appeal to support the Serb Children in Kosovo & Metohija
"Children Relief Campaign" - Winter 2001/2002


With grannies from Djakovica
Fr. Teodosije and Fr. Sava with "grannies" from Djakovica

In Osojane
Supporting the returnees

A camp for displaced Roma people in Kosovo
A camp for displaced Roma people in Kosovo