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Services on 13-14 August, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost - 14/08/2022

On Saturday 13 August and Sunday 14 August we had services for the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of the Procession of the Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord and the Holy Maccabean Martyrs (+166 BC).  On this day the Russian Orthodox Church also commemorates the Baptism of Rus' in 988 AD and the feast of the Most Merciful Saviour and the All-Holy Theotokos, established in 1162 AD to commemorate the simultaneous victory of Byzantine and Russian forces over their enemies.   Matins with the bringing out of the Cross was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At both services the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michael Matys.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday there was a Blessing of Water and, in accordance with the custom of the Russian Orthodox Church, a blessing of honey.  The honey, a gift to our parish and the Gosford parish in memory of the departed servants of God Anna, Olga and Nestor, Michael and Alla, and Evgenia, was afterwards shared amongst those present.  In his sermon the parish rector spoke about the various historical events and saints commemorated on this day and the way in which they bear witness to the continuing relationship between God and His people.


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Services on 23-24 July, the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - 24/07/2022

On Saturday 23 July and Sunday 24 July we had services for the Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, the day of commemoration of Great-Martyr Euphemia the All-Praised (+304 AD) and Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Olga, princess of Russia (+969 AD).  Matins was served on Saturday evening, and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At both services the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michael Matys.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  At the end of Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers of blessing were read over a beautiful new embroidered image of the Mother of God for veneration at services for the Great Feast of the Dormition.


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Services on 9-10 July, the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost - 10/07/2022

On Saturday 9 July and Sunday 10 July we had services for the Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, the day of commemoration of Venerable Sampson the Hospitable of Constantinople (+c.530 AD).  Matins was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At both services the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michael Matys.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  Drawing on the appointed reading from the Apostol, Romans 6:18-23 (§93, Servants of righteousness), the parish rector spoke in his sermon on Sunday about being servants of righteousness rather than servants of sin.


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A review of our parish child safe policies and procedures - 07/07/2022

In conjunction with Saint Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Church, Gosford, our parish has commenced a review of its child safe policy and procedures to give effect to the Child Safe Standards.  The Child Safe Standards are based on the research and consultation conducted by Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  Now enshrined in law by amendments to the Children’s Guardian Act 2019 (NSW), the Child Safe Standards provide a framework for creating organisations that are inclusive and safe for children.  One of our first steps has been to draft a Statement of Commitment to Child Safety, a copy of which can be viewed here.  We are also working on a new and comprehensive Child Safe Policy; new role descriptions and complaint-handling procedures; and a new Child Safe Code of Conduct.  We will seek comments on all these documents from our parishioners and friends, as well as from the Diocesan and civil authorities, before implementing and formally launching the new policy and procedures later this year.


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Now available - the June 2022 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 01/07/2022

The June 2022 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, is now available in our parishes. This edition continues the beautiful glossy colour format introduced in December 2020.  Content includes details of March 2022 clergy awards, including an awards to our own parish rector; articles relating to the May 2022 repose and burial of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) and to the Diocesan observance of the fortieth day of his repose; biographical materials, reflections, and photographs of Vladyka Hilarion; the commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of divine service of Mitred Archpriest Michael Protopopov; articles on the reestablishment of canonical communion between the Serbian and Macedonian Orthodox Churches; and more.  Copies are $5.00.


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The June 2022 meeting of the Parish Council - 28/06/2022

On Monday 27 June, a meeting of the Parish Council was held.  This was the first meeting of the Parish Council in 2022 and the first face-to-face meeting since September 2019.  The parish rector tabled detailed reports covering the life of the parish and the wider church from October 2021 until June 2022.  Decisions were made concerning requests for assistance, donations and collections, and new acquisitions.  A report was given on the implementation of new financial management software and the new reports were tabled and discussed.  Suggested changes to the scheduling of services, particularly during Great Lent and at Pascha, were noted and endorsed.  It was agreed that our parish Annual General Meeting would be held on Sunday 25 September 2022.  The Parish Council will meet again in July to discuss several policy documents and a draft Annual Report.


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Services on 23-24 June, the fortieth day of the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) - 27/06/2022

On Thursday 23 June and Friday 24 June, clergy of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese gathered at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield, NSW, to offer prayers on the fortieth day of the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), Ruling Bishop of our Diocese since 1996 and First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia since 2008.  Friday 24 June was also the day of commemoration of the wonder-working “Kursk-Root” Icon of the Mother of God, the “Directress” of the Russian Diaspora; of the wonder-working “Tabynsk” Icon of the Mother of God, revered by both the Russian Orthodox faithful and the Chinese people in Harbin, China, where it was kept from 1918 until 1948; of the Holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas; and of the of the Hieromartyr Mitrophan and 222 other New Martyrs of China, slain during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900.  All-night Vigil was served on Thursday evening, with Mitred Archpriest Gabriel Makarov presiding and Protodeacons Alexander Abramoff and Vasily Konstantinidis assisting.  All the clergy vested for the singing of the magnification of the Mother of God before copies of the two wonder-working icons.  On Friday morning the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served, with Mitred Archpriest Michael Protopopov presiding and twenty-eight other clergymen concelebrating.  His Grace Bishop George of Canberra, recovering from illness, prayed in the altar on both days.  Following Divine Liturgy a panikhida was served for our departed First Hierarch, with the kontakion “With the saints give rest” sung together by the choir, clergy and all the faithful.  The clergy, their spouses, and special guests later gathered in the cathedral hall for a commemorative meal.  Over lunch there was discussion of Vladyka Hilarion’s gentleness, kindness, and pastoral warmth, characteristics that remained steadfast even as he rose in the church hierarchy; the possibility of a memorial within the cathedral grounds to all our departed Diocesan bishops; and missionary efforts in Vladyka’s memory.  Many years was sung for Bishop George, the Administrator of the Diocese, and for Archpriest Barnabas Jellings, celebrating his name-day that day.


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Services on 25-26 June, the Second Sunday after Pentecost - 26/06/2022

On Saturday 25 June and Sunday 26 June we had services for the Second Sunday after Pentecost, the day of commemoration of All Saints who have shone forth in the land of Russia.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michael Matys and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday there was  a memorial litia for the evr-memorable Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), Friday 24 June having been the fortieth day of his repose.


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Services on 11-12 June, the Great Feast of Pentecost - 12/06/2022

On Saturday 11 June and Sunday 12 June we had services for the Great Feast of Pentecost.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening.  Prior to the service our small church had been beautifully decorated with flowers and green branches in honour of the life-giving Holy Spirit.  On Sunday morning, the Hours and Divine Liturgy were immediately followed by Vespers with the reading of the customary "kneeling prayers".  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  At the end of the services on Sunday the faithful were reminded of a Diocesan collection to assist the Saints Cyril and Methodius Orthodox Institute, the theological and higher education institute of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.


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Services on 23-24 June, the fortieth day of the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) - 06/06/2022

Updated 7 June 2022: On Friday 24 June, the day of commemoration of the wonderworking “Kursk-Root” and “Tabinsk” Icons of the Mother of God and of Hieromartyr Mitrophan and 222 other New Martyrs of China, slain during the Boxer Rebellion (+1900), Bishop George and the clergy of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese will gather at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield to observe the fortieth day of the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral).  A brief biography of Metropolitan Hilarion is available here.  Bishop George's directive may be viewed here.  All-night Vigil will be served from 6.00pm on Thursday and the Hours, Divine Liturgy and a panikhida will be served from 9.00am on Friday.  Clergy have been asked to wear blue vestments.  All are welcome to attend these services.


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Decisions of the Synod of Bishops following the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion - 25/05/2022

Since the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion on Monday 16 May 2022, the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) has made several decisions concerning church life.  On Tuesday 17 May it was resolved, amongst other things, that our newly-reposed First Hierarch be especially commemorated at each Divine Liturgy during the Paschal season and that a panikhida be served on the fortieth day of his repose, Friday 24 June; that the name of Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany be commemorated during the divine services in all ROCOR churches immediately following the commemoration of Patriarch Kyrill; and that Bishop George of Canberra would be appointed Acting Ruling Bishop of the Australian-New-Zealand Diocese.  On Monday 23 May it was resolved, amongst other things, to convene a Council of Bishops in New York from 13-21 September 2022 with the purpose of electing a new ROCOR First Hierarch; and to especially commemorate Metropolitan Hilarion on Sunday 26 June, the Second Sunday after Pentecost, as well as on the fortieth day of his repose.


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Our Winter 2022 Schedule of Services - 22/05/2022

Our Winter 2022 Schedule of Services - covering June, July and August - is now available.  Services of note during this period include those for the Great Feast of Pentecost on 11-12 June; for the beginning of the Dormition Fast and the Procession of the Wood of the Cross on 13-14 August; and for the Great Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God on 27-28 August.  A copy of the English-language Winter 2022 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Winter 2022 Schedule of Services is available here.  Printed copies in both languages are also available in church.


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Services on 21-22 May, the Fifth Sunday of Pascha and the feast of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas - 22/05/2022

On Saturday 21 May and Sunday 22 May we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, and in honour of the Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas from Myra in Lycia to Bari, Italy, in 1087 AD.  This was the patronal feast-day of our church.  All-night Vigil with the blessing of wheat, wine, oil and five loaves was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning. Divine Liturgy on Sunday was preceded by the Lesser Blessing of Water and followed by a moleben to Saint Nicholas.  At Divine Liturgy the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys and prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  Following the moleben the parish rector congratulated those present and spoke about the unfailing help that Christians throughout the centuries have found in the prayers of Saint Nicholas.  Many of our parishioners then gathered in our church hall for a festive meal, the first such gathering in two years.


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A memorial service for the newly-reposed Metropolitan Hilarion - 21/05/2022

On Saturday 21 May, immediately before All-night Vigil for the Fifth Sunday of Pascha and in honour of Saint Nicholas, our parish rector served a panikhida for the newly-reposed Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and much-loved Ruling Bishop of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese for over twenty-five years.  Following the service, our rector spoke spoke briefly concerning Vladyka Hilarion’s great humility, kindness and pastoral dedication.


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Services on 7-8 May, the Third Sunday of Pascha - 08/05/2022

On Saturday 7 May and Sunday 8 May we had services for the Third Sunday of Pascha, the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and the Hours and Divine Liturgy were served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  At the end of Divine Liturgy the Artos was cut and distributed.


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Now available - the April 2022 issue of "Word of the Church" ("Церковное Слово") - 25/04/2022

The April 2022 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, is now available in our parishes. This edition continues the beautiful glossy colour format introduced in December 2020.  Content includes Metropolitan Hilarion’s 2022 Paschal Epistle in Russian; the Ukase concerning Priest Alexei Jukoff’s transfer from Dandenong to Adelaide to assist and then replace the retiring rector of the Saint Nicholas parish, Archpriest Vladimir Deduhin; a Russian-language obituary of the late ever-memorable Protodeacon Constantine Moshegov; information about the 2022 Great Lenten Pasoral Conference of our Diocese; Part II of ‘The Relationship Between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Australia in the period from 1950 until 1969’, the English-language text of a lecture presented to the ROCOR Centenary Conference; and more.  Copies are $5.00.


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Orthodox Holy Week and Pascha in Wallsend, 2022 - 24/04/2022

This year, our parish again had a number of traditional services for Holy Week and Pascha.   Divine Liturgy was served in the morning on Great Thursday, 21 April.  On Great Friday, 22 April, Vespers with the bringing out of the Shroud of Christ was served in the afternoon.  On Saturday 23 April Midnight Office was served late in the evening, with Paschal Matins and Divine Liturgy following in the early hours of 24 April, the Sunday of Pascha.    Easter baskets with cakes, eggs and other festive foods were blessed following Matins.  At the services on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys.


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Services on 9-10 April, the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent - 10/04/2022

On Saturday 9 April and Sunday 10 April we had services for the Fifth Sunday of Great Lent, the commemoration of Saint Mary of Egypt.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At both services the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus. Following the Prayer before the Amvon on Sunday, prayers of blessing were read over a new Shroud ("плащаница") of Christ, new blue and green sets of priests' vestments donated in memory of the departed servants of God Michael and Alla, and an analogion cover embroidered with an image of the Holy Trinity.  All these items were the work of the Saint Elisabeth Convent in Minks, Belarus.


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Services on 26-27 March, the Third Sunday of Great Lent - 27/03/2022

On Saturday 26 March and Sunday 27 March we had services for the Third Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Veneration of the Cross. Matins with the bringing out of the Cross was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At both services the parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michal Matys.  As Saturday 26 March was a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served immediately before Matins on Saturday evening.  As an act of kindness in memory of the departed, several people attending the panikhida brought non-perishable foods to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.


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Services on 12-13 March, the First Sunday of Great Lent - 13/03/2022

On Saturday 12 March and Sunday 13 March we had services for the First Sunday of Great Lent, the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Prayers were offered for the restoration of peace between Russia and Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  Following the Prayer before the Amvon, a brief moleben was served ‘For the Conversion of Those in Error’, at which prayers were offered for those who oppose the truth of the Gospel with heresy and for those who have fallen away from the Holy Orthodox Church through schism.  In his sermon, the parish rector spoke about the restoration of the icons to the churches on the First Sunday of Great Lent in 843 AD, the event leading to the establishment of the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, and about the essential place of icons in the defence of the doctrine of the Incarnation of Christ.  At the end of Divine Liturgy, a collection was taken up to benefit the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York.


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A service on 6 March, Forgiveness Sunday - 06/03/2022

Early in the evening on Sunday 6 March, Forgiveness Sunday, we had Vespers with the rite of asking forgiveness.  During this service the church vestments were changed from gold to black and the festive melodies gave way to the solemn Lenten melodies.  At the end of the service the parish rector spoke briefly about the Gospel injunction to grant forgivenss to others if we are to hope for forgiveness from God (Matthew 6:14-15).  Following this, all present venerated the Gospel, the Cross, and the Holy Icons, and asked forgiveness of one another in accordance with Orthodox custom.


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Services on 26-27 February, the Sunday of the Last Judgement - 27/02/2022

On Saturday 26 February and Sunday 27 February we had services for the Sunday of the Last Judgement.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  As Saturday was a day of commemoration of the departed, a general panikhida was served immediately before Matins on Saturday evening.  As an act of kindness in memory of the departed, several people attending the panikhida brought non-perishable foods and sanitary items to be passed to a local charitable organisation for relief of the homeless.  At Divine Liturgy on Sunday prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine and for deliverance from the coronavirus.  Following Divine Liturgy, a collection as taken up to benefit Orthodox Action.  Afterwards, the Ladies’ Auxiliary served pancakes in the church hall.


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Archpastoral Epistle to the Clergy and Flock of the Eastern American and Australian-New Zealand Dioceses on Great Lent and on the Events on the Holy Ukrainian Land - 24/02/2022

On 24 February 2022 Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and Ruling Bishop of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese, issued an 'Archpastoral Epistle to the Clergy and Flock of the Eastern American and Australian-New Zealand Dioceses on Great Lent and on the Events on the Holy Ukrainian Land.'  The Epistle can be read in Russian here and in English here.


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Our Autumn 2022 Schedule of Services - 19/02/2022

Our Autumn 2022 Schedule of Services - covering March, April and May 2022 - is now available in digital format.  It includes all our services for Great Lent, Holy Week, Pascha and our patronal feast of Saint Nicholas.  A copy of the English-language Autumn 2022 Schedule of Services is available here, and a copy of the Russian-language Autumn 2022 Schedule of Services is available here.  Both can also be accessed on our Services page, and printed copies will be available in church from the weekend of 26-27 February.


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Services on 12-13 February, the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee - 13/02/2022

On Saturday 12 February and Sunday 13 February we had services for the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  Prior to the service on Saturday evening, prayers of blessing were read over our new memorial table, largely the work of the late ever-memorable Protodeacon Vasily Hadarin (+13 February 2021), and a panikhida was served for him.  At Matins and Divine Liturgy our parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michael Matys.  Also assisting at both services was Subdeacon Irenaeus (Ryan) Strickler, now living in the Hunter Valley and teaching at the University of Newcastle.  In his sermon at Divine Liturgy, the parish rector spoke about emulating the humility of the Publican and the virtue of the Pharisee while avoiding the sinfulness of the one and the foolish pride of the other.  Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, the first anniversary of Protodeacon Vasily’s repose, he was again commemorated at a memorial litia


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The funeral of Valentina Abramow - 03/02/2022

On Thursday 3 February our parish rector served the funeral of Valentina Abramow, née Katonin.  Both the Abramow and Katonin families have a long and important association with our parish.  Valentina, who was born in Europe in 1943, departed this life on 23 January 2022.  She was laid to rest in Wallsend Cemetery, a short distance from her parents Michael and Maria.  We offer heartfelt condolences to Valentina’s husband of nearly 55 years, Eddie; to their children Michael, Natalie and Phillip; to her grandchildren; and to her sister Anna.  Memory eternal!


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Services on 22-23 January, the Thirty-First Sunday after Pentecost - 23/01/2022

On Saturday 22 January and Sunday 23 January we had services for the Thirty-First Sunday after Pentecost, for the Sunday after Theophany, and in honour of Saint Theophan the Recluse of Vysha Monastery (+1894).   Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy with the Great Blessing of Water was served at on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy and the Blessing of Water our parish rector was assisted by Deacon Michael Matys.  Following the blessing of water a brief moleben of thanksgiving was served for the work of the former (1994-2009) Theophany parish in Mayfield, Newcastle, the remaining members of which joined our parish in 2009, and Eternal Memory was sung for the departed founders, parishioners and benefactors of that parish.


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Services on 8-9 January, the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ - 09/01/2022

On Saturday 8 January and Sunday 9 January we had services for the Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday after the Nativity of Christ.  Matins was served on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy was served on Sunday morning.  At Divine Liturgy the Prayer in time of Devastating Epidemic was read.  In place of a sermon at Divine Liturgy, the parish rector read aloud Metropolitan Hilarion’s Nativity Epistle in both Russian and English.


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Information about the Holy Trinity Orthodox Monastery of Monkerai - 01/01/2022

Our parish often receives enquiries about the Holy Trinity Orthodox Monastery of Monkerai and its founder, Father John MacPherson.  To help consistently answer such enquiries and to provide some history, to date, of an interesting episode in the history of Russian Orthodoxy in the Hunter Region, some information has been compiled here.


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