On Saturday, 25 October, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, arrived in Cabramatta. Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand and the Rector of Protection Church in Cabramatta, Priest Boris Ignatievsky, showed the First Hierarch the parish school. Vladyka Laurus came in to several classes, and the students joyfully answered questions and demonstrated their knowledge.
At noon, at the Russian sports center, a lunch was held, organized by the Russian-Chinese Orthodox Missionary Society of Sydney. The spiritual father of the Society, Protopriest Michael Li, greeted Vladyka Metropolitan Laurus at the entrance. Thereupon, lunch was served, at which a children’s choir sang church songs in Chinese. Protopriest Michael Li recounted how he became Orthodox. A speech given by Professor Jeremiah Norman was of particular interest–he gave a bi-lingual (English and Chinese) historical overview of the Pekin Ecclesiastical Mission. At the conclusion of the luncheon, the Protodeacon read out a Decree of Blessing [gramata] to the Boikov couple, Vladyka Metropolitan blessed the children with small icons and the Society was given an icon as a gift.
Before vigil, the children of Protection Church met the First Hierarch with flowers, after which a pannikhida, or commemorative service, was held for all reposed clerygmen, founders and parishioners of the Parish. Vladyka Metropolitan was joined by Archbishop Hilarion for the vigil service, along with Protopriests Michael Klebansky, Nikita Chemodakov, Michael Li, Peter Sheko, George Lapardin, Priests Boris Ignatievsky and Vladimir Tsukanov and Protodeacons Joseph Jaroschuk, Basil Hadarin, Basil Yakimov, German Polorotoff, Nicholas Triantafillidis, and Deacons Alexander Kotliaroff and Alexander Korzhenevsky. Deacon Vadim Gan directed the choir. Vigil ended at 11 pm.
Solemn divine liturgy was served on Sunday. Vladyka Metropolitan devoted his sermon to the Mother of God. After liturgy, a procession of the cross was held with a service of supplication. Protodeacon Joseph read a Synodal gramata to the Protection Parish.
After divine service, a trapeza feast was held at a municipal hall. Reader Seraphim Shatrov presented a staff to Metropolitan Laurus as a gift from Protection Parish. The main speech during the trapeza was given by His Grace Bishop Gabriel, who was reared in Protection Parish. A virtual pleiades of spiritual figures had come from the Parish, especially as a result of the influence of the rector and builder of the church, Protopriest Rostislav Gan. In addition, congratulations were read from Protopriest Gabriel Makarov, Protopriest Nicholas Karipoff and the former Rector of the Parish, Priest Serafim Gan. Fr. Michael Klebansky, the Rector of the Church, Fr. Boris, and N.N. Sadovnikov also gave speeches.(Photo below: Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishop Hilarion and Priest Boris Ignatievsky with the members of Protection School.)
In conclusion, Archbishop Hilarion greeted the clergy, parishioners and guests on the jubilee and thanked everyone who worked to organize the celebration.
from the Synodal website www.russianorthodoxchurch.ws