DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: July 5, 2009
New St John of Shanghai Church Consecrated for An Orthodox Aboriginal Community
The Australian and New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia held diverse celebrations on the 15 anniversary of the glorification of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Wonderworker. Though July 2 is the day of St Johnís death, the solemn celebrations in the Diocese are traditionally transferred to the nearest Saturday to allow a greater number of parishioners to participate in the divine services.
On July 4, 2009, the First Hierarch of ROCOR, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, Archbishop of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, consecrated a new church in honor of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco specifically for Orthodox Australian Aboriginals.
The acting rector of the church, Priest Seraphim Slade, a clergymen of the Australian and New Zealand Diocese, himself an Aborigine, began his missionary work among the natives of Australia in March 2008. Father Seraphim is a descendant of the Aboriginal tribes from south-eastern Australia. He came to Orthodoxy mainly through the reading of the life and works St John of Shanghai.
Simeon Boikov (translated from Russian by Protopriest Michael Boikov)
Australian and New Zealand Diocese