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Historic Sellwood church celebrates first-ever ordination ceremony

by: David F. Ashton, Deacon (soon to be Father) Predrag Alilovic and Father Slider Steuernol of the St. Agatha Parish in Sellwood are both happy on the occasion of Alilovic’s ordination, the first ever at the neighborhood church.

In just four years, Sellwood's St. Agatha Catholic Church will be celebrating a century of service to the community.

But on Friday, November 30th, the church hosted what the parish's priest called a 'most unusual celebration'.

'Tonight, we're hosting an ordination to the priesthood,' explained Father Slider Steuernol. 'The ordination is the first ever, in this church. They usually take place in a cathedral or at an abbey.'

Even more unusual, Father Slider said, was the fact the priest to be ordained would soon leave to serve in his home country, Serbia.

'Deacon Predrag Alilovic is a Hungarian from Serbia,' Father Slider continued. 'He attended Mt. Angel Seminary for two years under a scholarship, and he has been a deacon in our church for the last year. He decided he would like to be ordained here in our church, if his bishop would let him.'

Although the request was highly unordinary, Alilovic's bishop in Serbia readily agreed. His bishop and three priests traveled to Portland for the ordination. After he is ordained, Alilovic will travel back to Serbia where he'll serve.

'In the Catholic Church, an ordination is really special event,' added Father Slider. 'When a fellow decides to become a priest, he is ordained after many years of preparation. For this to take place in our parish is a great privilege.'