Fr. Vladislav Golic ~ Parish Priest
Presbyter Vladislav Golic was born on December 26, 1983 in Jajce (Yaytse), Bosnia and Hercegovina, the older of two sons of Protopresbyter Vlatko and Jadranka. From an early age, he expressed love for and dedication to the church services, serving in the altar and reading the Epistle. His primary education was interrupted by his father’s reassignments and moves necessitated by the war in Bosnia from 1990 to 1998. Having started his elementary education in Bosnia, he eventually completed it in Serbia in 1995, after the family’s relocation.
In 1998, Father Vladislav enrolled in high school at the St. Arsenios Seminary in Sremski Karlovci, Serbia, from which he graduated in 2002. In the following academic year, he began his studies at the Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Belgrade. During his tenure, his focused interests were canon law and liturgics. Graduating in 2007, he fulfilled the requirements for the degree in theology.
While enrolled at the university, Father Vladislav, together with other students, was active with Philanthropy (Čovekoljublje), a charitable ministry of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The group with which he worked was responsible for psycho-social support for persons living with HIV. Spending time with this population and advocating for them afforded Father Vladislav experience that has been of value to him in his pastoral work.
Father Vladislav began another ministry prior to his graduation from the university: teaching Orthodox Catechism in a prominent public high school in Belgrade. In 2008, he married his classmate from the university, Sara Jager, who also studied theology. They became colleagues, as Sara taught Orthodox Catechism at the elementary level.
On June 19, 2009, Father Vladislav was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at the hand of +Metropolitan Amfilohije (Radović), of blessed memory and was assigned to Holy Trinity Church in Zemun-Belgrade. His actual service, however, was to assist auxiliary bishops who were directors of the Christian Education Department of the Archdiocese of Belgrade and Karlovci. His duties in that position included participating in regular liturgical services with the bishops, assisting them in representing the Patriarch before state and diplomatic officials, and visiting parishes and priests in the archdiocese on behalf of the patriarch.
Additionally, upon his ordination, Father Vladislav became a member of the Board of the Department of Christian Education, overseeing the work of teachers of Orthodox Catechism, observing them in the classrooms, and offering recommendations for professional growth.
When Bishop Jovan, formerly one of the Christian Education directors, was elected to the Diocese of Slavonia, Father Vladislav continued to work with him in another capacity. With Bishop Jovan, he participated in the organization of seminars, retreats, and other events promoting the “culture of remembrance” to increase awareness of the holocaust and suffering of the Serbian people during World War II. As an aide to Bishop Jovan, Father Vladislav researched the sufferings at the concentration and death camp at Jasenovac (Yasenovats).
After eight years of productive work in Belgrade, in August 2015, Father Vladislav, was accepted under the omophorion of Bishop Mitrophan into the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America. Ordained to the Holy Priesthood on the feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross in 2015, he was assigned to be the parish priest at St. Stephen Serbian Orthodox Church in Lackawanna, New York, where he continues to serve. Among the multiple ministries in the parish, his primary objective has been to incorporate fully the immigrants of the last two decades into the life of the parish while continuing to foster spiritual growth and maintain the spiritual and social activity of the descendants of earlier immigrants.
As the president of the Council of Canonical Orthodox Churches on the Niagara Frontier, Father Vladislav has promoted collaboration among the member parishes, not only to support one another’s ministries, but to aid individuals in the parishes with needs, such as home repairs. He has opened the parish summer day camp to the children of the other parishes. With his brother priests, he has continued the decades-old tradition of rotating Pan Orthodox vespers among the parishes on Sunday evenings during Great Lent.
In addition to Serbian and English, Father Vladislav speaks Greek, having studied contemporary Greek at the Hellenic Cultural Foundation in Belgrade from 2009 to 2011. He is able to communicate effectively in the preferred language of most parishioners. Although the parish is comprised mainly of people of Serbian descent, a number of parishioners are of Northern Macedonian, Bulgarian, Russian, Arabic, or Greek ancestry, or of heritages not traditionally associated with Orthodoxy.
Currently, Father Vladislav serves under the omophorion of Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America. He has been a member of the ecclesiastical court of the diocese for two years and actively participates in diocesan events, including the summer children’s camp, despite the distance of St. Stephen parish from other parishes in the diocese. In 2017, at the 100th anniversary celebration of the establishment of St. Stephen parish, Bishop Irinej elevated Father Vladislav to the rank of Economos.
Father Vladislav and Popadija Sara are blessed to have two children, Natan, born in 2011, and Amos, born in 2018.