On Saturday 2 February and Sunday 3 February we had services for the Thirty-Sixth Sunday after Pentecost and in honour of Venerable Maximus the Confessor (+662 AD) and Martyr Neophytus of Nicaea (+303-305 AD). Our parish rector Archpriest James Carles presided at the services for the first time since seriously injuring his ankle in November 2018. Following Divine Liturgy on Sunday the Ladies’ Auxiliary served a festive meal in honour of Father James’ name day (5 November) and the twentieth anniversary of his ordination as deacon (29 November) - the celebration of which had been delayed by his accident - and of his fiftieth birthday in late January. At lunch Parish Council member Anya Nielsen congratulated Father James on behalf on the parish and he was presented with a beautiful new set of gold vestments.
On Monday 28 January the parish rector baptised Rocco Ward, the infant son of James Ward and Sara Fidock. Rocco was baptised in honour of the Holy Apostle James, Brother of the Lord. Rocco’s godparents were Lucia Kostava-Fidock, Demna Kostava-Fidock, Albert Haddad, and Priscilla Haddad. We warmly congratulate James and Sara and Rocco’s godparents and we wish the newly-baptised servant of God many years!
On Saturday 19 January and Sunday 20 January we had services for the Thirty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, the Sunday after Theophany, and in honour of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John. Father Dionysios Halim presided at these services. Concelebrating with Father Dionysios Halim after a two-month absence was our parish rector, Archpriest James Carles. As there were no services in our parish for the Great Feast of Theophany the Great Blessing of Water was served at Divine Liturgy on Sunday following the Prayer before the Amvon. Praying in church on Sunday were trainers and team members of the Russian Women's Rugby Sevens team, in Australia for the 2018–19 World Rugby Women's Sevens Series.
On Sunday 6 January we had services for the Sunday before the Nativity of Christ and in honour of the Holy Fathers, the ancestors of Christ from Adam to Joseph the Betrothed, together with the Righteous Ones of the Old Testament who lived in expectation of His coming. As our parish rector was recovering following surgery there was no service on Saturday evening and Priest Michael Storozhev – a cleric of the Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield – presided at Divine Liturgy and Vespers of the Nativity of Christ on Sunday.
The January 2019 issue of “Word of the Church” (“Церковное Слово”), the official journal of the Australian-New Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, is now available in our parishes. As usual, it contains a range of interesting articles in both Russian and English. In Russian: “Послание Архиерейского Синода Клиру и Пастве Русской Зарубежной Церкви”; "Патриаршество на Руси"; "Торжество Православия – торжество здравого смысла”; and more. In English: “The Epistle of the Synod of Bishops to the Clergy and Flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia”; “Prototypes of the Nativity: What did prophets say about the coming of the Saviour?”; “Where do liturgical colours come from?”; “A list of last minute rules and suggestions in preparation for Great Lent”; and more. Also included is a useful list of Diocesan parishes, monastic establishments and clergy. Copies are $5.00.
On Tuesday 26 March and Wednesday 27 March 2019 the clergymen of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese will gather in Sydney for their customary Great Lenten Pastoral Conference. On Tuesday evening the clergy will meet at the church of All Saints of Russia in Croydon for the Rule of Preparation for Holy Communion at 5.00pm and Lenten Matins and confession at 6.00pm. On Wednesday morning from 8.00am the Hours and the Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts will be served at Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield with Bishop George presiding and the clergy concelebrating. Those of the faithful who wish to do so are welcome to attend the service on Wednesday morning and – if properly prepared – to receive Holy Communion. Following Divine Liturgy the clergy will meet to discuss a range of pastoral and liturgical matters.