Venerable Sebastian Dabovich

Commemorated on November 30

Venerable Sebastian (Dabovich) of Jackson, California was born on June 9, 1863 in San Francisco to Serbian emigrés. Jovan Dabovich studied at the Kiev and St. Petersburg Theological Academies. In 1887, while pursuing his studies at the St. Petersburg Theological Academy, he was tonsured as a monk, and then ordained as a Hierodeacon.

After completing his education, Father Sebastian returned to the United States, where he began to serve at Saint Alexander Nevsky church in San Francisco. On August 16, 1892 he was ordained as a Hieromonk by Bishop Nicholas (Ziorov) of the Diocese of the Aleutians and Alaska, who sent him to Minneapolis to replace Saint Alexis Toth as the priest of Saint Mary’s Church. Under Bishop Nicholas’s omophorion he carried out a program of educational, missionary, and pastoral work in Washington, California, and Minneapolis. Then he worked in the administration of the North American mission under Saint Tikhon (Belavin), the future Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, preaching in English, Serbian, and Russian.

In 1894 he built a church for the Serbian community in Jackson, California in honor of Saint Savva of Serbia, which was the first Serbian parish in America. he was assigned to assist at Saint Michael’s Cathedral in Sitka, Alaska.

During his lifetime, the missionary priest crossed the Atlantic Ocean fifteen times and the Pacific Ocean nine times, when he needed to visit Serbia and Russia, and also his missionary journeys to Japan, where Father Sebastian met Saint Nicholas (Kasatkin) of Japan.

In 1905 Igoumen Sebastian was appointed to the post of Dean of Serbian churches, and in that same year, by decree of the Synod, he became the head of the Serbian mission. Archbishop Tikhon asked Father Sebastian to head a Serbian Mission in the North American diocese. On August 15, 1905, Archbishop Tikhon elevated him to the rank of Archimandrite for his zealous labors for the Church.

In 1910, Father Sebastian went to Serbia, serving as a chaplain in the Serbian Army during the Second Balkan War (1912-1913), and also during World War I (1914-1918). From 1936 until the end of his earthly life, he lived in retirement at the Saint Savva of Serbia Monastery in Žića. He reposed there on November 17/30, 1940, and Saint Nicholas (Velimirovich) presided at his funeral. In 2007, Venerable Sebastian’s relics were reburied in the church of Saint Savva in Jackson, California, which he had founded.

On May 29, 2015 by the decision of the Bishops’ Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Sebastian was glorified as a Saint.

His formal canonization took place on September 4, 2015, and Patriarch Irinej of Serbia presided at the service in Saint Stephen’s Cathedral, Alhambra, California.



Venerable Sebastian Dabovich was last modified: November 22nd, 2023 by Deacon Kirill