DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: December 29, 2009
Russian Orthodox Youth Conference Opens in Australia
On December 26, 2009, the 45th Russian Orthodox Youth Conference of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand opened in the city of Melbourne.
During the opening ceremonies, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York performed a moleben before the beginning of a good deed. Greetings were then read by the Conference’s organizers and by a representative of the Russian Embassy in Australia.
In his greeting, Metropolitan Hilarion wished the conferees success and fruitful work. Vladyka Hilarion stressed the importance for Orthodox youth to become better acquainted with each other and acquired beneficial knowledge among their peers, strengthening their spiritual lives.
On the evening of December 26, Vladyka Hilarion performed all-night vigil in Holy Protection Church in Melbourne, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.
On Sunday, December 27, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia officiated at Divine Liturgy, attended by the participants of the Youth Conference. Vladyka Hilarion was joined by a multitude of clergymen of the Diocese. It was particularly joyful that the Icon of the Mother of God “Softener of Evil Hearts” was brought from Moscow. After the end of Liturgy, the conferees conducted a procession of the cross with the icon.
The young participants of the conference actively participated in the discussions of various lectures and reports. Priests discussed vital topics with the youth, spurring interesting discussions and constructive dialog on topics of everyday life. The young people were given a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other. An excursion through Melbourne was also scheduled.
On Monday, December 28, a Pastoral Conference chaired by Metropolitan Hilarion was then held for those clergymen participating in the Youth Conference.