DIOCESE OF SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: July 16, 2010
Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart Officiates at Feast-Day Celebrations at Sydney’s SS Peter and Paul Cathedral
Services were conducted in the Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul in Sydney, Australia, by two bishops on the weekend of July 10, 2010: His Grace Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart and His Grace Bishop Irinej of the Serbian Orthodox Church. They were joined by the Senior Priest of the Cathedral, Protopriest George Lapardin and other priests.
Bishop Agapit came to Australia from Germany a few days earlier and will temporarily assume the duties of the Ruling Bishops of the Diocese of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand. The Cathedral’s choir sang magnificently, joined by singers from other Orthodox parishes of Sydney.
After the service, the Cathedral Sisterhood headed by EF Pasternatskaya invited everyone to a trapeza. Tables were prepared for 300 guests.
Ekaterina Feodorovna recalled that her children were altar boys at the Cathedral soon after it was built, and she has worked in the Sisterhood for twenty-four years, of those, 6 as Senior Sister. The Sisterhood at one time had 25-28 members, and though now there are only 15, many volunteers provide assistance.
Warden George Nikolaevich Kulikov helps maintain the Cathedral in good order. Remembering the first years, Ekaterina Feodorovna said that the first Senior Sister was a certain Bukaseva, succeeded by Nina Ivileva and Lyalya Rado.
The Cathedral has for many years been the center of Orthodox life in New South Wales. In 2003, the parishioners marked the 50th anniversary of the Cathedral.
There is now also a church hall next to the Cathedral, a Russian school and an old Russian scout house. Archbishop Theodore, former Ruling Bishop of the Diocese, was buried next to the Cathedral after his death in 1955.
Elena Engel spoke about the Russian School, which had existed until the 1970’s in a small, old building in which the priest also lived. A new building was then erected on the site in time for the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Russian Orthodoxy, in 1988. Tatiana Pigareva, a teacher at that time, remembers that each class had 15-20 students. Now only a chimney remains from the old building. Now, each class has its own room in the new building.