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2017 News Archive
Our June 2017 parish newsletter - 25/06/2017

Our June 2017 parish newsletter - the first in nearly five years - was published on 25 June 2017.  It includes parish news, the recent Epistle of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, news about Diocesan youth activities, and more.  To read it click here.  Copies are available in church and will be distributed by post during the week beginning 26 June 2017.

 


Services on 24-25 June, the Third Sunday after Pentecost - 25/06/2017

On Saturday 24 June and Sunday 25 June we had services for the Third Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Saint Onuphrius the Great (+4th C. AD) and Venerable Peter of Mount Athos (+734 AD).  As many of our parish founders came from Belarus, in addition to the icon of Saints Onuphrius and Peter and the other saints commemorated on this date, the parish icon of All Saints of Belorussia was placed in the centre of the church for veneration.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday Matushka Marie helped the parish children to make candles for home use by recycling the stumps from our church candles.


The repose and funeral of Vadim ("Jim") Zdanowicz - 15/06/2017

On Saturday 10 June we learned with sadness of the repose of our parishioner Vadim (“Jim”) Zdanowicz. Jim arrived in Australia at the age of 10 in 1949 and had a long involvement in the life of the Russian Orthodox Church in New South Wales - his father, Gennady Ivanovich Zdanowicz, was a key figure in the early life of the Diocese who served as Warden of both Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Strathfield, and the Church of All Saints of Russia, Croydon. Jim prepared himself carefully for the end of his life, receiving Holy Communion for the last time just a few hours before his repose. Our parish rector presided at Jim’s funeral at the Croydon church on Thursday 15 June and at his burial afterwards alongside his parents, Gennady Ivanowich and Anna Dmitrievna, in the Russian Orthodox section of Rookwood Necropolis. Jim is survived by his wife Eleanor and his children George and Kathy, to him we offer heartfelt condolences. May his memory be eternal!


Services on 10-11 June, the Sunday of All Saints - 11/06/2017

On Saturday 10 June and Sunday 11 June we had services for the Sunday of All Saints, the First Sunday after Pentecost. Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday a collection was taken up to assist the construction of a memorial church in Sremski-Karlovci, Serbia, raising $359.00.


Diocesan Youth Symposium in honour of the Royal Martyrs of Russia - 14-17 July, 2017 - 08/06/2017

From Friday 14 July to Monday 17 July this year, Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral will host a four-day youth symposium in honour of the Royal Martyrs of Russia.  The keynote speaker at the Symposium will be His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen), retired First Hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America and now a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.  All-night Vigil for the Royal Martyrs will begin at 10.00pm on Sunday 16 July and be followed by a midnight Divine Liturgy.  More information is available at www.syezd.com.au.


The repose and funeral of Alma Kaiko - 07/06/2017

On Tuesday 30 May 2017 we learned with sadness of the repose that day of 88 year-old Alma Kaiko, a long-term friend and supporter of our parish.  Alma's husband of 57 years was Wlodzimierz (Walter) Kaiko (d. 2007), one of our church builders and for many years our senior altar-server, and together with him Alma did much for the benefit of Saint Nicholas'.  Lutheran by faith, Alma's funeral was held at the LifeWay Lutheran Church in Broadmeadow on Wednesday 7 June with our parish rector Archpriest James Carles, Subdeacon Vitaly Lupish and his family, and Head Sister Anna Morhun in attendance.  Alma was afterwards laid to rest beside her husband in Sandgate Cemetery.  We offer condolences to Wlodzimierz's and Alma's children Leo, Ralph, Elizabeth and Alexander and their families, and pray that God will give rest to his departed servant.


Our new postal address - 07/06/2017

As of 7 June 2017, our postal address will be PO Box 545 Wallsend NSW 2287.  We ask our parishioners and friends to amend their records accordingly.


Services on 27-28 May, the Seventh Sunday of Pascha - 28/05/2017

On Saturday 27 May and Sunday 28 May we had services for the Seventh Sunday of Pascha, the Afterfeast of the Ascension, and in honour of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday the parish rector spoke about the history, purpose and enduring significance of the Council.  Addressing the congregation after the dismissal, he spoke further about the visit of the relics of Saint Nicholas to Russia and of the participation of Metropolitan Hilarion and other bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in the consecration of the new church dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ and to the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia at Moscow's Sretensky Monastery.


Services on 21-22 May, the Feast of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas - 22/05/2017

On Sunday 21 May and Monday 22 May we services had for the feast-day of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra in Lycia, modern-day Turkey, to Bari in Italy.  On Sunday evening All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served.  As this feast-day of Saint Nicholas is the patronal feast of our parish, the customary lesser blessing of water was served early on Monday morning.  It being a working day, only a small number of parishioners and friends were present.  Divine Liturgy followed, and then a moleben to Saint Nicholas with a cross procession and the sprinkling of the Holy Water.  Following the moleben the usual prayers were offered for the Patriarch and the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Australian and Russian lands, parish office-bearers and all present, and for our departed founders and parishioners.  Congratulating the people with the feast-day, the parish rector spoke about Saint Nicholas and the help that Christians have received through his prayers over many centuries.  He also noted the particular joy with which this feast-day had been prepared for in Russia this year, a portion of Saint Nicholas’ relics being due to arrive in Moscow from Bari.  Following the service many of those present gathered in the church hall for a convivial feast-day lunch.


Our Winter 2017 Schedule of Services - 22/05/2017

Our Winter 2017 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August  - is now available in PDF format.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2017 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2017 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies in both languages are now available in church.  


Services on 13-14 May, the Fourth Sunday of Pascha - 14/05/2017

On Saturday 13 May and Sunday 15 May we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman (John 4:5-42).  In his sermon on Sunday the parish rector spoke about Christ’s mercy to the Samaritan Woman and about her response.  Following Divine Liturgy a memorial litia was served for Mitred Archpriests Michael Li and Michael Klebansky, long-serving priests of our Diocese who both departed this life on 12 May 2016.   It being Mothers’ Day, our Head Sister Anna Morhun then presented Matushka Marie with flowers, after which “Many Years” was sung for all the mothers of our parish.


Now available - the April 2017 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 01/05/2017

The April 2017 issue of the official journal of the Australian-New Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia is now available in our parishes.  In addition to Metropolitan Hilarion's Paschal Epistle in both Russian and English, there is a range of interesting articles in Russian and English.  In Russian: "Любимый ученик Христа: Апостол Иоанн Богослов"; "Подвижники Божии ХХ век: Игумен Ипполит (Халин)"; "Игуменья Тамара и паломники Елеонский горы".  In English: "The Ascension of the Lord"; "Not Abdication of the Tsar, but Abdication from the Tsar", the text of a lecture given by Tatyana Mironova at the International Historical-Theological Conference at Tsarkoye Selo; an interview with Metropolitan Onuphry (Berezovsky) about the newly-reposed Archimadrite Kirill (Pavlov); and more.  Copies are $5.00.


The May 2017 meeting of the Parish Council - 01/05/2017

On Monday 1 May 2017 there was a meeting of the Parish Council.  The usual pastoral, administrative, and financial reports were then presented and progress on parish governance, decorative and building projects was reviewed.  The Parish Council is scheduled to meet next on 19 June 2017.


Services on 24-25 April, the second Tuesday of Pascha ("Radonitsa") - 25/04/2017

On Monday 24 April and Tuesday 25 April we had services for the second Tuesday of Pascha and in honour of Venerable Basil the Confessor, bishop of Parium, modern-day Kemer in Turkey.  Saint Basil (+8th C. AD) was a steadfast defender of the veneration of icons.  From ancient times the second Tuesday of Pascha been one on which prayers for the departed resume after Holy Week and Bright Week.  Following Divine Liturgy on Tuesday morning a general memorial service was served in church.  As in Australia it was Anzac Day, prayers were offered for the souls of all Orthodox soldiers who had fallen in battle.  The parish rector and the faithful then proceeded to Wallsend and Sandgate Cemeteries for services by the graves of their departed relatives and friends.


Services on 22-23 April, Thomas Sunday - 23/04/2017

On Saturday 22 April and Sunday 23 April we had services for the Second Sunday of Pascha, Thomas Sunday.  At All-night vigil and at Divine Liturgy the choir again sang under the direction of Matushka Marie Carles.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy, the parish rector read the Prayer at the Cutting of the Artos, pieces of which were later distributed amongst the faithful.  In place of a sermon, the Paschal Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion was read aloud in Russian and in English


Holy Week and Pascha in Newcastle - 17/04/2017

This year, our parish had a number of traditional services for Holy Week and Pascha.  Matins with the reading of the Twelve Passion Gospels was served in the evening on Thursday 13 April, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ at midday on Friday 14 April, Matins with Lamentations before the Tomb of Christ in the evening on Friday 14 April, and Divine Liturgy in the morning on Saturday 15 April.  On Saturday evening we had an early Midnight Office and procession followed by Paschal Matins and the blessing of Easter eggs and cakes.  During Bright Week, Divine Liturgy with a Paschal procession was served in the morning on Monday 17 April.


Russian and other Orthodox Kids' Camp, 10-16 December 2017 - 16/04/2017

A group of young families working under the auspices of the Intercession of the Holy Virgin parish in Cabramatta, NSW, is again organising a camp for Russian and other Orthodox children and young people aged 8-17 to be held in Toukley, NSW - to be held not far from us on the Central Coast - from 10 December - 16 December 2017.  The cost will be $399.00 per person.  For those interested, more information is available here.


Services on 8-9 April, Palm Sunday - 09/04/2017

On Saturday 8 April and Sunday 9 April we had services for the Great Feast of the Entry of the Lord into Jerusalem, Palm Sunday.  On Saturday evening All-night vigil with the litia, the blessing of five loaves, wheat, wine, oil, and the blessing of palms and pussy willows was served.   On Sunday morning there was a great many people in church, the majority of whom received Holy Communion.   After the dismissal a memorial litia was served for the newly-reposed Archdeacon Eugene Burbelo, with the parish rector speaking briefly about Father Eugene’s long and distinguished service to the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  The customary collection for the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem was then taken up.


Services on 25-26 March, the Fourth Sunday in Great Lent - 26/03/2017

On Saturday 25 March and Sunday 26 March we had services for the Fourth Sunday in Great Lent, the Sunday of Saint John of the Ladder.  As Saturday 25 March was a day of commemoration of the departed there was a general pannikhida prior to the service on Saturday evening.  This year being the centenary of the Russian Revolution, prayers were  again especially offered for "the repose of the departed servants of God who innocently died, endured suffering and torture, were exiled and imprisoned and tasted bitter death" during the harsh years of Soviet persecution.  Also commemorated was the ever-memorable Emperor Paul I of Russia (+1801), it having been the anniversary of his assasination on Thursday 23 March.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday many of the faithful received Holy Communion.  In Lena Gan’s absence the choir sang under the direction of Matushka Marie Carles.  Following the service on Sunday the parish rector and the warden, Nikolai Goura, visited the Serbian Orthodox parish of Saint Naum of Okhrid in Broadmeadow on the occasion of the first pastoral visit to Newcastle of His Grace Bishop Siluan, Ruling Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand.


Services on 11-12 March, the Second Sunday in Great Lent - 12/03/2017

On Saturday 11 March and Sunday 12 March we had services for the Second Sunday in Great Lent, the day of commemoration of Saint Gregory Palamas.  As Saturday 11 March was a day of commemoration of the departed there was a general pannikhida prior to the service on Saturday evening.  This year being the centenary of the Russian Revolution, prayers were  especially offered at this memorial service for "the repose of the departed servants of God who innocently died, endured suffering and torture, were exiled and imprisoned and tasted bitter death" during the harsh years of Soviet persecution.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Epistle of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on the 100th Anniversary of the Tragic Revolution in Russia and Beginning of the Godless Persecutions was read in place of a sermon.  Following the service a collection was taken up to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York, raising $280.00.


A baptism - Sofia Jardine - 11/03/2017

On Saturday 11 March the parish rector baptised Sofia Jardine, the infant daughter of Scott and Liudmila Jardine and a baby sister to Alexander.  Sofia, who was baptised in honour of the Martyr Sofia, had as her godparents Diane Jardine, William Lynch and Natalia Khyzhniak.  We warmly congratulate Scott, Liudmila, Diane, William and Natalia, and wish the newly-baptised handmaiden of God Sofia many years!


Useful information about when weddings can be celebrated, together with a list of available dates in 2017 and 2018 - 04/03/2017

In conjunction with Saint Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Church, Gosford, our parish has developed and published an explanation of the reasons why weddings cannot be celebrated on certain days and dates and during certain seasons. It incorporates a list of Sundays and Fridays on which weddings can be celebrated that has now been updated to include Sundays and Fridays in 2018.  This information, which can be accessed either here or via our ‘Needs’ page under ‘Weddings’, has been prepared to help our parishioners and friends when planning weddings in parishes of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church. Should anyone have any questions about this information, please contact us.


Services on 25-26 February, Forgiveness Sunday - 26/02/2017

On Saturday 25 February and Sunday 26 February we had services for Forgiveness Sunday, the final Sunday before the beginning of Great Lent.  As is the practice in many parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia, Vespers with rite of asking forgiveness was served immediately following Divine Liturgy.  A collection was taken up to benefit Orthodox Action, raising $240.00.  After the rite of asking forgiveness on Sunday many people gathered in the parish hall to enjoy pancakes prepared by the Ladies' Auxiliary.


Maslenitsa in Newcastle! - 24/02/2017

On Friday 24 February, the Friday of Cheesfare Week (“Maslenitsa”), a pancake evening was held in our parish hall in Wallsend.  This event was organised by the parish Ladies’ Auxiliary together with members of the Russian-speaking community of Newcastle and the wider Hunter region.  73 adults and 9 children were present.  The ladies prepared 500 pancakes and served them with a variety of toppings, both savoury and sweet.  Traditional appetisers (“zakuski”) preceded the pancakes, and dessert included pancakes with cottage cheese, “Mishka” cake, and fruit with tea.  The hall was beautifully decorated with Russian items.  The evening was enjoyed by all, and nearly $2,000 was raised to help the work of the Ladies’ Auxiliary.  We offer thanks to those who worked so hard to make the evening a success: Elena Ferguson, Irina Lupish, Raisa Zyza, Lucy Szabunia, Dean Crawford, Olga Martin, Oksana Grim, Anna Shvetz, Magdalina Savonov, Anu Kinnunen, Lydia Vasilik, Lena Gan, Anna Kalamoutsis, Klavdia Dalheeva, Tatiana Parish, Julia Dzhalilova, Julia and Sasha Petevskih, and Julia Dulah.


Our Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services - 24/02/2017

Our Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2017 - is now available in PDF format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week and Pascha, in addition to Radonitsa and our parish feast of Saint Nicholas on 22 May.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2017 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies are available in church.  


Services on 11-12 February, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son - 12/02/2017

On Saturday 11 February and Sunday 12 February we had services for the Sunday of the Prodigal Son and in honour of the Three Hierarchs: Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom.  In view of the extreme temperatures expected - Wallsend was expected to reach 47 degrees celcius on Saturday! - a decision was made beforehand to have the shorter service of Vespers on Saturday evening.  At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday three new icons for our church were blessed: All Saints of Ekaterinburg, All Saints of Ufa, and Saint Joseph the All-Comely.  A memorial litia was then served in anticipation of the anniversary of the repose of the ever-memorable Archpriest Nicholas Grant - active in the life of the Diocese as a layman and clergyman for 45 years - and Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) - former Bishop of Stuttgart and Ruling Bishop of our Diocese from 1980 until 1992 - close friends who reposed on 14 February and 15 February 1995 respectively.  Both Vladyka Pavel and Father Nicholas were great friends of our parish.  May their memory be eternal!


A baptism - Alexandra and Sofia Unwin - 11/02/2017

On Saturday 11 February the parish rector baptised sisters Syanna (3 years old) and Sofia (3 months), the daughters of Scott Unwin and Bogdana Cankova-Unwin and sisters to Gabrielle. Their godparents were Vyara Caneva and Timothy Moss. In baptism Syanna was given the name Alexandra in honour of the Martyr Alexandra the Empress, and Sofia was baptised in honour of the Martyr Sofia. Congratulations to Scott, Bogdana, Vyara and Timothy. May God grant His newly-baptised handmaidens Alexandra and Sofia many years!


A fundraising dinner to benefit the Presentation Convent and the Holy Transfiguration Monastery - 01/02/2017

On the evening of Sunday 28 May 2017 a fundraising dinner will be held at the Fontana Amarosa Reception Centre, next to the Greek Orthodox Church of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene in Liverpool, NSW, to assist the Presentation Sisterhood in Bungarby, NSW and the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Bombala, NSW, monastic communities of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  During the evening there will be a performance by the Melisma Ensemble, a slideshow presentation by Abbot Sergei of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery on ‘Hagia Sophia: The Mother of Churches’, and a performance from the Russian Orthodox Choir.  Child-minding will be available.  Tickets are $50.00 for adults and $15.00 for children aged 15 and younger.  Seating will be at round tables of 12.  More information, including information about a fundraising raffle, is available at https://cabrapokrov.org/fundraising-for-monasteries.


The visit of the myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God, "Softener of Evil Hearts" - 26/01/2017

On Thurday 26 January, the Australia Day public holiday, our parish had the great honour of receving a visit from the miraculous myrrh-streaming icon of the Mother of God, "Softener of Evil Hearts".  Having visited the Gosford parish earlier in the day, the icon arrived in Wallsend soon after 2.00pm.  Gathered in church to welcome the icon were many of our parishioners, together with members of the Serbian and Romanian Orthodox communities in Newcastle.  A moleben with an akathist was served before the icon, with the sections of the akathist to the Mother of God read alternately in Slavonic and English and all those present commemorated by name.  The parish rector thanked the custodian of the icon, Sergei Fomin, for bringing it to Australia from Moscow, and spoke of the importance in these times of spiritual, social and military conflict of softness of heart.  The faithful then venerated the icon and were anointed with the holy oil.  Although the visit of the icon was brief, the service before it was uplifting for all those present.  Glory be to God!  For those wishing to learn more about the icon, information is available in English here and in Russian here.  The icon's schedule for the remainder of its time in Australia is available here.  The final service will be an akathist at 7.00pm on Tuesday 7 February 2017 at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral, Strathfield, at which Bishop George and the clergy of the Greater Sydney region will concelebrate.


Services on 21-22 January, the Thirty-First Sunday after Pentecost - 22/01/2017

On Saturday 21 January and Sunday 22 January we had services for the Thirty-First Sunday after Pentecost and the day of commemoration of Hieromartyr Philip, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia (+1569).  It being also the Sunday after Theophany, following the Prayer before the Amvon at Divine Liturgy on Sunday a brief moleben was served for the founders, parishioners and benefactors of the former Theophany church, a parish of the Moscow Patriarchate that functioned in Mayfield, Newcastle, from 1994-2009.  After the Dismissal the parish rector spoke of the good work done by the Theophany parish during the fifteen years of its existence - of the prayers offered and the good works accomplished there - and congratulated all those former parishioners present.  He then served a memorial litia for the departed members of that community.


Services on 17-18 January, the Eve of Theophany - 17/01/2017

On Tuesday 17 January and Wednesday 18 January we had services for the Eve of Theophany, the Great Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.  Matins was served on Tuesday evening, and on Wednesday morning - a day on which the temperature in Newcastle exceeded 40 degrees celcius! - Vespers with the Divine Liturgy of Saint Basil the Great was served together with the Great Blessing of Water.  At Vespers, many of those present assisted with the thirteen appointed readings from the Old Testament.  As is common at this time of year, were joined for the service on Wednesday by friends from Sydney holidaying in the region.


A service on Sunday 8 January, the Second Day of the Nativity of Christ - 08/01/2017

On Saturday 8 January, the Second Day of the Nativity of Christ, we had Divine Liturgy for the Synaxis of the Most-Holy Mother of God and in honour of Saints Joseph the Betrothed, David the King and James the Brother of the Lord, kinsmen of the Lord customarily remembered on the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ.  Our choir sung under the direction of Elena Gan.  In place of a sermon, the parish rector read aloud in Russian and in English the Nativity Epistle of Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.  Many stayed afterwards to share in a festive meal and to enjoy a visit from Father Christmas.


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