In Serbia, the church has long been a way of life.
In a country where women are often denied access to the priesthood, women have taken to the pulpit to speak to the poor, heal the sick and lead the faithful.
The women of St. Sophia, however, are now raising money for a new, more inclusive church.
In the town of Sergac, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of the capital, Belgrade, a small, wooden building is being built to house the new church.
It is a project of the nonprofit Women’s International Organization (WO).
A small, colorful sign on the building reads: “The Church of the Sacred Heart is the only church in Serbia dedicated to women.”
The building will be completed in March.
“We wanted to do something that is different from what is happening in our country, and this project is a part of that,” said St. Maria Vladić, the organization’s executive director.
“We want to help the women who are in the community to make the most of their lives,” said Ms. Vlacić. “
The building will give the church a unique character that has a lot of historical significance.”
“We want to help the women who are in the community to make the most of their lives,” said Ms. Vlacić.
“To be able to be a part in a church, in a monastery or in a temple, it is something that they have not experienced.”
Ms. Gaga, the priestess of the church, said she had been a member of the congregation for two years.
“I am very happy and happy that we are finally starting to see the progress of this project,” she said.
“It is a new start and a new direction for women’s religious life in Serbia.”
Ms Gaga said that she would like to see more women ordained and more women in the clergy, but that the work is far from over.
One thing is for sure: women are now a part, but not all.” _____