DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: February 22, 2012
The Church of Our Lady’s Dormition in Dandenong, Australia, Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of its Rector’s Service
On February 14, 2012, the feast day of the Meeting of the Lord, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York honored the Dandenong, Victoria, Parish of Our Lady’s Dormition with his presence to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the rectorship of Mitred Protopriest Michael Protopopoff. Metropolitan Hilarion also congratulated the parishioners on the 30th anniversary (in March) of the first-ever divine service in the church.
Joining Vladyka Hilarion in the service were Fr Michael, Priest Mikhail Vasiliev of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, Protopriest Evgeny from Irkutsk, Russia, Hieromonk Luke (Bell), Protodeacon Vasily Kozulin, Protodeacon Alexander Abramov, Deacon Samuel Vishnevsky and Hierodeacon Panteleimon Zhigalin.
In his sermon, Vladyka Hilarion pointed out that the Church of Our Lady’s Dormition is one of the most beautiful churches in the diocese, for which he gave credit to the Rector and parishioners.
It was an added joy for the parishioners to have the opportunity to venerate the holy relics of St Innocent of Irkutsk. The reliquary was brought to Australia for several weeks with the blessing of Metropolitan Hilarion and His Eminence Metropolitan Vadim of Irkutsk and Angara.
In Fr Evgeny’s sermon, he told the parishioners about the great events from the life of St Innocent, how much he is venerated in Irkutsk, the capital of the Siberian region, and about the wondrous healings brought about by prayers to him. He also noted that it was a pleasure to see so many children and young people praying in church in distant Australia.
At the end of service, fruits were blessed and a moleben performed before St Innocent’s relics. Thereafter, everyone enjoyed a trapeza lovingly prepared by the parish sisterhood.