2004.07.03 Montana Standard:
Holy Trinity leads today's parade
By Curtis Wackerle of The Montana Standard - 07/03/2004
It took Bozeman artists Paul and Jinnie Wiese three months to paint the
exterior of the float, but the mini-Orthodox church on wheels came together
in a matter of hours.
With the assistance of his fellow parishioners at the Holy Trinity Serbian
Orthodox Church, Joe Vukovich put one of the finishing touches on the
float, a golden cross above one of the miniature spires.
"Vuk! A little to the left," said Kevin Horne, who will be driving the float.
Vukovich tried to oblige but was soon showered with contradictory
instructions from the group of onlookers. But excitement was in the air as
a dozen or so parishioners gathered at the Butte church on Saturday morning
to make final preparations for the Fourth of July parade on Sunday. This
will be the church's first Fourth of July float in more than 50 years.
In recognition of the church's 100-year anniversary at the end of the month
and 100 years of community building, Butte Celebrations has selected the
entire congregation of the Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Church to be the
grand marshals at this year's parade.
"I am glad they selected us to be the representatives of the melting pot
(this year's Fourth of July theme)," Father Bratso Krsic said. "It is
fitting for the church."
People should not put a national label on the church, thinking of it only
as Serbian, Krsic said. It is an Orthodox church and all are welcome, he said.
When the congregation gathers at 9 a.m. Sunday before the parade, Father
Krsic will deliver a message in lieu of his regular Sunday sermon. Butte
needs enthusiasm, love and care for the community, he plans to say.
"Butte had that with the first immigrants and that is coming back," Krsic said.
The church's parade procession will include the float, two limousines and a
convertible, where Krsic and his wife Lisa will ride.
After coming to Chicago from his native Bosnia in 1991, Krsic has had the
pulpit at Holy Trinity for eight years. In the last three years the town,
and likewise the congregation, seem to be making a comeback, Krsic said.
His congregation now includes 100 families, Krsic said.
The first Serbian Orthodox Church, consecrated in 1904, was on Idaho
Street. In 1964, the church moved to the current location at 2100
This spring, work began on a fresco that will eventually cover the entire
ceiling of the sanctuary. The ceiling painting that illustrates Christian
stories is one-third complete.
"We added one more jewel for people to come see," Krsic said while
discussing the church's impact on the community.
The Serbian community is one big family that sticks together, parishioner
Alice Speare said.
Added Vukovich, "We are small, but we are powerful."
Marko Lucich, president of the church congregation and executive director
of the Butte Chamber of Commerce, contemplated Montana's nickname of the
Those treasures include the ore from the ground and the scenery of the
mountains and rivers. But Lucich had a slightly different take on the motto.
"In Butte, the treasures are the people," Lucich said. "That is the
greatest blessing of living here."