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DIOCESE OF AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND: July 18, 2012
SS Peter and Paul Cathedral Celebrates its Feast Day

The Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of Holy Apostles Peter and Paul on June 29/July 12. The main Orthodox church in Sydney, dedicated to these saints, celebrated its feast day on this day.

Despite the fact that it was a work day, the cathedral, located on a quiet street not far from Strathfield Station, drew over four hundred worshipers. Visitors to the cathedral are first met by a beautiful mosaic icon above the entrance. This mosaic was the result of a year-long effort by the residents of Transfiguration Monastery in Bombala. In the center is a depiction of our Lord Jesus Christ, handing the cathedrals patron saints, Peter and Paul, a crown and a sword. The parish council exerts a great deal of effort in renovating the temple with new icons. Not long ago the church hall was renovated. The council plans to have the interior walls painted with frescoes. Next year, Sydneys Cathedral of SS Peter and Paul will mark the 60th anniversary of its founding.

The festive Liturgy was headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, along with priests from various Orthodox churches of the diocese. The Senior Priest of the cathedral, Protopriest George Lapardin, told the editor of the publication Unity [Edineniye] that His Eminence was also joined by Mitred Protopriest Michael Protopopoff of Dandenong; Protopriest Alexander Filchakov, Rector of the Moscow Patriarchates Protection Church in Blacktown; Hieromonk Sergy (Shatrov) of Transfiguration Monastery; Priest James Carles, Rector of St Panteleimon Church in Central Coast; Priest Alexander Korzhenevsky, Rector of St George Church in Carleton; Priest Teimuraz Suarishvili, who ministers to several dozen Georgian Orthodox Christians in the diocese, and Priest Semen Nekipelov of SS Peter and Paul Cathedral. Also participating in the service were Protodeacon Boris Evstigneev and Protodeacon Alexander Kotliaroff and Deacon Martin Neff.

Protopriest Nikita Chemodakov and Protopriest Michael Li arrived in time for the procession of the cross, as well as Abbess Maria of Kazan Convent, Priest Daniel Metlenko with his protodeacon father.

The presence of the dioceses beloved archpastor enhanced the decorum and ceremony of the Liturgy, as did the great number of clergymen and the magnificent choir headed by Nikolai Kulikov, and the multitude of worshipers filling the cathedral. Mr Charles Casuscelli, member of the Parliament of New South Wales was also present, and could not suppress his joy at the splendor of the church singing. He was also happy to see so many young people and parents with children at the celebration.

After the moleben and procession of the cross around the cathedral, which a light rain failed to discourage, the sisterhood invited everyone to a trapeza luncheon. Senior Sister Ekaterina Feodorovna Pasternatskaya explained that the parish hall and Russian School classrooms accommodated 400 guests.

During the luncheon, Fr George thanked Metropolitan Hilarion, the Rector of the cathedral, who is also the Ruling Bishop of the diocese, and congratulated everyone in attendance on the feast day. Fr Michael also thanked Vladyka Metropolitan, and congratulated him on his having been awarded the ancient honorary Order of the Georgian Eagle and the Seamless Tunic of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which he received during evening vigil from His Eminence Vladyka Irinei of the local Serbian Orthodox Church on behalf of Crown Prince David Bagration of Georgia. Fr Michael then noted that His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and His Holiness Patriarch Irinei of Serbia were also recently awarded this medal. This medal, which depicts a large cross, awarded to the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia shows the respect that the Prince David Bagration-Mukhransky and the Katolikos-Patriarch Elias II of All Georgia have for him. We should all be pleased, for this is a symbol of the fraternal attitude that the Heir to the Georgian Throne has for Russians abroad, he noted.

Vladyka Hilarion, congratulated the priests and flock on their feast day. Vladyka particularly noted the efforts of the parish council, the warden, senior sister and their tireless assistants.

Unity recognizes the efforts of the clergymen and parishioners who helped build this church sixty years ago and continue to maintain its splendor.

From Edineniye and www.rocor.org.au