Jefrem (Milutinović) of Banja Luka

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Jefrem (Milutinović), Bishop of Banja Luka, (Serbian: Јефрем Милутиновић, Православни Епископ Бањалучки) is the sixth Serbian Orthodox bishop in the city of Banja Luka in the Republic of Serbia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. He was born on April 15, 1944 in the village of Busnovi near the city of Prijedor, today in the Republik Srpska, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.

Life

Jefrem Milutinović attended elementary and high school in his native village and in the nearby town of Sanski Most. He became a monk in the Monastery of Liplje on July 9, 1967. Jefrem finished studies at the Theological Seminary in the Monastery of Krka in Dalmatia in 1971 and at the Theological Academy in Moscow in 1975. He then graduated from the Moscow Academy with work on the teachings of St. Basil the Great (on monasticism), and he earned the title of "Candidate of Theology." He was ordained as a hierodeacon by His Grace Andrej, Bishop of Banja Luka, on January 14, 1968 and as hieromonk on Pentecost, July 14, 1970, both in the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Banja Luka.

In 1975, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church appointed him as a teacher at the “Three Holy Hierarchs” Theological Seminary at Krka Monastery. Eventually Jefrem assumed the duty of being the seminary’s main tutor as well. Hieromonk Jefrem was elected to fill the place of Vicarius, Bishop of Moravice, on June 1, 1978 and consecrated on September 17 of that same year. His Grace was elected "Bishop of Banja Luka" in May, 1980, and his enthronement took place on June 1. As bishop of Banja Luka, he succeeded His Grace Bishop Dr Andrej (Frušić), who was elected bishop of Srem. On November 2, 2005, the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church requested that His Grace accept the duty of chairman of the Jasenovac Committee.

Christ the Saviour Cathedral

He put enormous energy in rebuilding and recovery of his diocese, that was largely destroyed in World War II by Croatian fascists and in the post-war period by communists. The crown of all his efforts was the rebuilding of the old cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The cathedral was initially destroyed by German and Croatian fascists in 1941. After the war, the remnants of the cathedral were removed by the communists who didn't allow it to be rebuilt until 1991. Now the cathedral church is almost completed, and the first Divine Liturgy took place in September 2004.

Succession box:
Jefrem (Milutinović) of Banja Luka
Preceded by:
Andrej
Bishop of Banja Luka
1980-
Succeeded by:
Incumbent
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